Roasting in Downtown Los Angeles

Coffee is a simple pleasure many people take for granted as they’re commuting frantically between home and work, rushing betweens meetings, or trying to relax and retain sanity while lounging on a lazy Sunday. Yet the culture and community being built around coffee houses around the world in metropolitan areas is a complex web of creative, business, and social norms liquidating into a quasi-melting pot of cultural identity, whether that be in NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Whether looking at Century City or Venice, Echo Park or Santa Monica, and of course the burgeoning Downtown area; Los Angeles is proving itself as one of the coffee epicenters of the world.

From the nine to fivers hustling through Starbucks and The Coffee Bean near Bunker Hill to the transplant immigrants stopping by their local bodegas in the Jewelry District, and of course the trendy creatives taking up residence at Blue Bottle and Stumptown in the Arts District; Downtown Los Angeles has it all. Want to learn about a community in ten minutes? Head to a coffee shop and people watch while sipping your cold brew or iced mocha latte. Community identities are being built one espresso at a time as creative entrepreneurs and artists are flocking to Black Top Coffee in the Arts District as fashion designers and freelance creatives flock to Verve Coffee Roasters, all while tourists and residents alike flock to Bottega Louie for an overpriced latte and sweet macaron in a stunning interior.

Los Angeles is being built right before it’s own eyes with a new identity being created via residential projects and new businesses moving into town, but the influx of coffee shops popping up are the showcase of what’s to come; a true metropolitan city. My love affair with coffee is as strong as my love affair with this city is, and as diverse. From macchiatos in the morning to cortados in the afternoon, and cold brew coffee at any time; Los Angeles is as much a coffee city as anywhere else, and we have the brands to prove it. This is the beginning of a serious relationship between man and coffee, with many places to visit and plenty of drinks to be had.

Kurt Slanaker