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BEST COFFEE in downtown LA

sonnyjay May 22, 2013 10:25 AM

Intelligentsia Cafe is to die for!! Coffee Commissary too! What do you all think? I dont think there are better spots!

  1. p
    pley May 22, 2013 02:29 PM

    Spring for Coffee. And very very likely, Barrista Society, which opens next week.
    In Jtown, Demitaase.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pley
      Food_destroyed_my_life May 22, 2013 02:43 PM

      Second Pley's recs and adding G&B coffee when they open a kiosk at Grand Central Mkt

      1. re: pley
        lapizzamaven Jun 16, 2013 09:01 PM

        was at Demitasse yesterday...very nice cup of an African bean...mellow, relaxing atmosphere late in the afternoon...tasty pastries from Farmshop & Jin Patisserie macarons...i can barely drink Peets coffee anymore and i used to be a big fan..going back to when they really brewed good coffee in Bezerkley...way too bitter to my palate these daze!

        1. re: lapizzamaven
          cls Jun 17, 2013 06:27 AM

          Demitasse is excellent for coffee. I haven't tried their espresso (which is what a lot of people refer to as coffee nowadays, sometimes me included.) The pastries, I agree, are very good as well.

      2. p
        pley May 22, 2013 02:41 PM

        Btw, what Intelli cafe are you referring to?

        1. p
          pley May 22, 2013 02:44 PM

          Actually, are you sure you're even talking about dtla?

          4 Replies
          1. re: pley
            Food_destroyed_my_life May 22, 2013 03:27 PM

            If you are referring to G&B, check their IG feed...straight from the source. End of the month is what they say about GCM, at least 4 days ago.

            1. re: Food_destroyed_my_life
              carter May 22, 2013 04:08 PM

              Well, the end of the month is a week from Friday, meaning next week.

              1. re: Food_destroyed_my_life
                pley May 22, 2013 05:21 PM

                My question was directed to the OP. Neither of those places are in dt.

                1. re: Food_destroyed_my_life
                  Johnny L May 23, 2013 01:19 AM

                  They will be open at the end of next week, confirmed in person.

              2. liu May 22, 2013 03:27 PM

                As pley has responded, Spring for Coffee downtown is delicious!

                I have never had a better iced coffee than their cold-drip Stumptown. It has a complexity I have never tasted elsewhere, with notes and levels of flavor that I never knew before from any other cup-of.

                1. c
                  carter May 22, 2013 04:07 PM

                  Since neither of them is in downtown LA, comments below appropriate.
                  Yet, to me, neither of them match up to even Peet's.
                  Both of them are too insipid for me.
                  I want coffee with some body, guts, and Peet's provides just that.

                  1. k
                    kevin May 22, 2013 04:44 PM

                    Handsome Coffee Roasters.

                    1. ipsedixit May 22, 2013 06:45 PM

                      Put down that cup of coffee and download Google Maps.

                      Apparently you're still using Apple Maps, which has yet to fix the LA region.

                      1. f
                        Food_destroyed_my_life Jun 15, 2013 01:14 PM

                        G&B at GCM. Not even close.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Food_destroyed_my_life
                          kevin Jun 15, 2013 03:57 PM

                          Dope. Did you even hit it up yet ?

                          1. re: Food_destroyed_my_life
                            pley Jun 15, 2013 09:57 PM

                            G&B is good. Barista Society is better.

                            1. re: pley
                              TonyC Jun 16, 2013 10:54 PM

                              how, exactly?

                              Handsome (barista champ) & Demitasses roast beans. G&B (barista champ) has hipster cred. Spring for Coffee is friendly + lower cost. Dulce has coffee + house-made donuts + seating. Barista Society claims to be "first" in financial district, which is to say what exactly? Don't get me wrong, I DIG elabrew, especially the redec'd CNN stand, but, still -- curious how it's better.

                              1. re: TonyC
                                kevin Jun 17, 2013 03:43 PM

                                I want to know too.

                                1. re: TonyC
                                  pley Jun 26, 2013 09:58 AM

                                  Barista Society has a good rotation of different beans, they brew by drip, pour over, Chemex, siphon, aeropress, plus that have that giant Japanese cold brew contraption. They also have matcha, and good teas. They carry pastries from B1. They will soon start serving lunch.

                                  G&B does some form of pre-pour over that's kept in a thermos or some sort of thermal glass (go ahead and make all your fine correction points about their containers). And then they have the cap/latte/espressos.

                                  I like G&B too, but I like Barista Society better. Plus, I find the guys at Barista Society, particularly the owner Charn, to be a bit more down to earth, while being complete coffee geeky aficionados. One of the baristas at Barista Society actually enters aeropress competitions. Love that.

                            2. b
                              Bruce Kerr Jun 15, 2013 09:12 PM

                              Another vote for G&B - went there last week. They have a great location, just inside the west (hill st ?) entrance and close to the comp'd market parking.

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: Bruce Kerr
                                kevin Jun 15, 2013 09:56 PM

                                Any convenient parking ?

                                1. re: kevin
                                  Food_destroyed_my_life Jun 17, 2013 04:35 PM

                                  GCM validates an hour for free if you spend $10 (never had them check or ask for a receipt). You could always pull into the drive way next that splits GCM and La Cita, throw the hazards on and watch your car while you are sipping at the counter at G&B.

                                  I like Barista Society but if I had to choose, G&B pulls a better shot, pays more attention to details such as weighing the amount of grounds in each pull and the experience is just more enjoyable. I love the flow of walking up to an espresso bar with no queue. You can have different people ring you up on the ipad.

                                  Interesting enough that when I first went to G&B at SQIRL, I didnt like the set-up because it felt cramped and I didnt really understand who to order from, either Kyle or Charles. I have been four or five times to G&B at GCM, and they started to recognize me and the process is just more relaxed now. These are all reasons for me to spend my once or twice a week splurge on shots pulled by someone else versus me trying to save money.

                                  I also loved ElaBrew truck but the shots are just a little too watery and thin compared to G&B. Same experience at Barista Society, shots are a little too thin. Also, Barista Society didnt have half and half when I went last week, just whole and skim milk. Not a deal breaker, but if you are charging $3.25 for an americano (i get this bc their shots are too thin), then I would like to have the same options as most 3rd wave stores.

                                  1. re: Food_destroyed_my_life
                                    Dommy Jun 17, 2013 04:57 PM

                                    I love all the shops in DTLA for different things. Handsome of Lattes, Demitasse for Iced Tea. Spring for Coffee for Pourovers. Tierra Mia for Mochas. G&B for Sweet Lattes (I love flat whites with Honey and this one sets just the same tone) I love that I have so many choices in DTLA now and that some of the shops are even staying open later...

                                    As for parking at G&B, there are couple of meters across the street that are available. There is also the Pershing Square Metro Exit right on the corner. It perhaps makes G&B the most convenient to us right now! :)


                                    1. re: Food_destroyed_my_life
                                      TonyC Jun 26, 2013 09:18 AM

                                      G&B's 5-min pourovers forces you to get a latte if you're a suit needing something to sip at your desk. Seriously, that's insane.

                                      I've had 2 Stumptown espressos pulled by Elabrew Hollywood recently, and the body was just as rich as anything out of anywhere in LA. They're switching to Heart roasters as we speak, so I can't predict the future, but "thin" wasn't a word that came to mind.

                                      1. re: TonyC
                                        liu Jun 26, 2013 12:12 PM

                                        Spring for Coffee uses Stumptown. Their Stumptown cold drip iced coffee is, to my tastes, as good as it gets!

                                        I also like that they keep their cream very cold; I think their container has an ice core, if I remember correctly, and am not mixing my wares from place to place.

                                        And I heard that Guisado's tacos is moving nearby. This is going to be a problem: Do I have an horchada with my taco sampling platter or do I get a Spring for Coffee iced coffee to mellow the taco heat?

                                        1. re: liu
                                          Dommy Jun 26, 2013 01:58 PM

                                          Take an expresso shot to go and mix it into that Horchata and be HAP-HAP-PEE!!!


                                          1. re: Dommy
                                            liu Jun 26, 2013 02:44 PM

                                            Oh, MY!!!!
                                            How indulgent!
                                            How creative!
                                            How delicious that sounds!

                                            1. re: liu
                                              Dommy Jun 26, 2013 03:20 PM

                                              Yes... and SLIGHTLY more legal than my usual slug of flask Rum... LOL!


                                              1. re: Dommy
                                                liu Jun 26, 2013 04:13 PM


                                          2. re: liu
                                            Johnny L Jun 28, 2013 11:45 PM

                                            They'll be moving into the Spring Street Arcade.

                                            1. re: Johnny L
                                              liu Jun 29, 2013 07:24 AM

                                              Hi, Johnny L!

                                              I assume you are referring to GuisadosTacos.
                                              Do you know when they will be in?

                                              1. re: Johnny L
                                                kevin Jun 29, 2013 06:09 PM

                                                What else is in the Spring Street arcade so far ?


                                    2. x
                                      Xan7hos Jun 16, 2013 12:38 AM

                                      Cafe Dulce has my favorite Vietnamese iced coffee; they substitute the traditional concentrated drip for espresso which adds depth and complexity (usually fruity, floral, tangy) and combines it with what I consider a perfect ratio of condensed milk. It has almost a syrupy mouthfeel, even as it melts with the ice. My infatuation with it lies in the fact that it always seems to border on being on the too sweet and too strong side, however the condensed milk and espresso play a beautiful balancing act that produces a very harmonious and delicious drink.

                                      Cafe Dulce
                                      134 Japanese Village Plz
                                      Bldg E
                                      Los Angeles, CA 90012
                                      Neighborhoods: Downtown, Little Tokyo

                                      1. m
                                        Marsia Jun 26, 2013 08:30 AM

                                        I like Urth. While I have only drove by their DTLA location (couldn't find parking) I've been to their other locations and always great coffees. Spanish Latte is my favorite. Tied with Peets coffee. As I'm in the Valley Peets gets most of my business.

                                        1. ipsedixit Jun 26, 2013 09:23 AM

                                          I like the stuff at the cafeteria at the Roybal Federal Building.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                            kevin Jun 26, 2013 02:11 PM

                                            Seriously ?

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              Dommy Jun 26, 2013 03:22 PM

                                              Next time you pick up a cup... grab a packet of saltines. Dip one of the saltines into the cup of coffee quickly and toss. The touch of salt adds just enough depth and evens out any bitterness. It's one of the ways I survived many months of Hospital cafeteria coffee...


                                              1. re: Dommy
                                                ipsedixit Jun 26, 2013 03:33 PM

                                                That would be a waste of perfectly good saltines.

                                                1. re: Dommy
                                                  Mr Taster Jun 27, 2013 01:53 PM

                                                  That's funny.. I actually do add a pinch of salt to my coffee as well, and I make mine with freshly ground beans in a chemex :)

                                                  Mr Taster

                                              2. m
                                                mesutcan Jun 26, 2013 12:23 PM

                                                Definitely Demitasse in Little Tokyo

                                                1. mrshankly Jun 26, 2013 04:32 PM

                                                  Spring for Coffee and Demitasse

                                                  1. a
                                                    AlkieGourmand Jun 27, 2013 11:30 AM

                                                    Spring for Coffee is on par with Intelligentsia, at least for drip.

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