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Sep 8, 2009 03:56 PM

Coffee Throw Down

A reminder of how bad Starbucks is today gave me the idea for this post.

Please rank the following based upon their coffee drinks--show your work:

Urth Cafe
Conservatory for Coffee and Tea

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  1. My vote goes to Groundworks. I like the Urth Cafes but the coffee really isn't great, Peet's is a Bay Area favorite but I don't go when I'm in LA because I live in San Francisco, and I haven't been to the Conservatory. But Groundworks is solid, and hard to find outside of LA. I especially liked when they used the Clover machine to bring out unusual flavors in certain coffee. For example, I've had one that had an undeniable note of grapefruit in it. Whether or not you like citrus in coffee, it takes some care and skill at all the steps between picking and drinking for that flavor to actually appear.

    Are there any Intelligentsia outlets in LA yet? I thought I heard something about there being more.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      Yes, we have 2 Intelligentsia outlets and I would rank that first though the OP didn't list it
      Groundwork (frankly it's not even in the running for me - I don't get the appeal of it)

      1. re: soniabegonia

        I should've included Intelligentsia on the list. And to all those that haven't heard of the Conservatory, I highly recommend it:
        10117 Washington Blvd
        Culver City, CA 90232-3147
        (310) 558-0436

        I have had some tasty chai there as well as great coffee.

        1. re: 1newyorkguy

          I don't know if you saw this prior thread by Thi or not? If not, and you like coffee, it's a must read:

    2. Peet's
      Urth Cafe

      Can't vote on Conservatory - where is it?

      Peets wins for me because their drip coffee and their espresso drinks are the same quality of excellent - foam always thick, not bubbly, and coffee always good enough to drink black, which is my litmus test. If you have the opportunity to bring home a bag of their pure Kona, it's heaven.

      Groundworks is fine. I'm not a fan of the Clover like the pp, but their coffee's never done me wrong.

      I don't like Urth. It tastes like Coffee Bean coffee to me, which is worse than Starbucks - thin, pale, no richness, lack of flavor.

      1. My biases.. I drink drip, press, shots, macchiato is about as close to milk drinks as I normally get. C4C+T roasts in house, usually have some interesting drip options, Everything from Ethiopian to Bolivia to Indian Malabar. They do pull really nice shots, but not ristretto's but very good. Bonus points to Urth for quality nosh, good press pots. Shots are mostly good. Groundworks does't always get the best quality beans, but they are always fresh, good drip, excellent shots (at least in hollywood and SaMo). Peets i.s good consistent cuppa, they just roast too dark for me. Which is too bad because I really like how they do their drip.

        1.Conservatory (culver city, next to victor jr's)
        2. (tie) Urth + Groundworks
        4. Peets

        1. That's a good illustration of the difference between CH and Yelp. Over on Yelp they're debating which is better, McDonald's or Starbucks coffee. God bless you and spare me from Yelp.

          1. Not venturing that far east to test coffee, a far Westside coffee surprise - non chain - is the chocolate place Leonidas in Santa Monica.