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Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, Westsiders!

Written By: Autumn Simon Westside Coffee Shops

It is safe to say that Los Angelenos need their morning coffee! After waking up bright and early, most of us take a short trip to our local coffee shop expecting to wake up to our favorite scented flavor. Coming prepared with a laptop or book, coffee shop goers feel right at home. The pros behind it all is another reason that keeps them coming back. A ton of people love coffee, while a selected few truly live it. These coffee shop owners and roasters provide the community based atmosphere. Waking up bright and early to prepare our morning brew and pastries, while providing excellent customer service is easier said than done. We hosted a poll on our website that allowed readers to vote for their favorite Westside coffee shop pros. Here’s your chance to get to know a little more about your winners!

Westside Coffee Shops

Amelia, Ralph and Gianni Diaz of Amelia’s

Q: How does it feel to be voted as one of the favorite coffee shop pros in the Westside? 

Amelia Diaz: We are pleased, honored and humbled to be voted as a favorite in the community. With so many options in the neighborhood, it is heartfelt to be considered in the category of favorite coffee shop pros. We thank all our loyal and devoted customers, friends and family who nominated us, and we appreciate the time they took to do so. 

Q: What is it like to run a family business?

AD: The best part of having a family business is the three of us being together. We have nicknamed our threesome, ‘tripod,’ and continue to enjoy each other’s company on a daily basis. You will always find the three of us at Amelia’s. Our richness comes from each other’s energy and from our social involvement with our customers and the community, young and old. 

Q: How is the community at Amelia’s?

AD: Amelia’s appeal is the family atmosphere. Many of our customers are locals. We consider them as an extension of our family and we enjoy seeing them return. Even though some may move away, we are likely to see them return, though it may be a year or many years from when we first met. Often we will see young toddlers in their strollers, pointing and kicking their little feet as they approach Amelia’s. They recognize our little coffee shop as a place where they will receive a little treat, a smile and an exchange of love, a memory not only for them, but for us.

Q: What is the most requested item on the menu?

AD: The most requested item on the menu is our Vanilla Latte. Hot or iced, it is well thought of and the pleasure for many.  

Native Knowledge: Amelia’s does not allow computers, for they believe the art of conversation is becoming extinct. They foster a community of talking, communicating and real world interaction in a technology driven age where people no longer speak to each other. They have cut the cord to promote people working towards a more harmonious and loving community.

2645 Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
310.396.9095

 

Selina Viguera of Blue Bottle Coffee’s Abbot Kinney Cafe

Q: How does it feel to be voted as one of the favorite coffee shop pros in the Westside?

Selina Viguera: I felt really honored by the amount of support I received from my Blue Bottle family, and the rest of my coffee community! It was pretty great.

Q: What is your favorite coffee?

SV: Washed Ethiopian coffees. A couple that we’ve served at Blue Bottle that my taste buds still remember—our Homacho Waeno from three years ago, and recently, our Guji Deri Kochoha. Wait. Also, Guatemala El Injerto Geshas.

Q: What brew method are you using here?

SV: I love brewed coffee, and I love pour overs. I enjoy the thought process behind different brewers and dialing in for them, and the art and craft of pouring the water itself. Striving for consistency in the flurry of a busy service is a balancing act that I enjoy. Plus, it’s pretty meditative to me.

Q: What do you love about the community?

SV: I love the love in our community! We know mostly everyone and they love what we do. I love when regulars have me come around the bar to give them a hug when I’m working. I love seeing and being a part of couples grow their families before our very eyes. The #dogsofbluebottle. The exciting high profile but super low key regulars and the occasional celebrity. I love that we’re such a part of everyone’s daily routine, and experiencing the different waves of guests that come in throughout the day—the locals come in as soon as doors open and steer clear of all the tourists during peak hours.

1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
510.653.3394

Samuel Jimenez of Love Coffee Bar

Q: How does it feel to be voted as one of the favorite coffee shop pros in the Westside?

Samuel Jimenez: It is such an honor to be nominated and humbling to be in one of the top spots. There are many established, great coffee shops on the west side with such talented, dedicated coffee professionals and I am very honored to be considered by my community as one of them.

Q: What are your duties as the Coffee Director of Love Coffee Bar?

SJ: As coffee director, my duty is to bring about and foster a great sense of community through coffee. We are a neighborhood shop that focuses on bringing great coffee to our quality-driven and focused customers. I need to make sure that all of our coffees are dialed in everyday to ensure optimal extraction and experience for our guests. Staying on top of new trends, being creative with drink ideas and formulating good flow are all integral parts of leading the bar.

Q: What is the atmosphere like at Love Coffee Bar?

SJ: The idea is to offer the best coffee in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere with a definite California vibe. Our space is tied to classic 1960s Italian coffee bars, with the use of mirrored elements at the bar and vintage ‘60s pendant lights from Milan.

Q: What is your favorite coffee?

SJ: Well, that’s a tricky question. I enjoy coffees that are extracted well, meaning that they are given time and respect. I’d have to say the Cariamanga (Ecuador) from Counter Culture Coffee has been at the top. One doesn’t easily find many good Ecuadorian coffees but this one is amazing.

1732 Ocean Park Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405
310.392.3604

 

Mark Wain and Gary Chau of Caffe Luxxe

Q: How does it feel to be voted as one of the favorite coffee shop pros in the Westside?

Gary Chau: What an honor to be considered a local favorite amongst all of the other coffee shops, which we have a lot of respect for! We’ve always simply focused on the craft of coffee to make each drink better than the one before. This is our passion and it’s really nice to hear that our neighbors recognize us as a favorite spot.

Q: What is the inspiration and story behind Caffe Luxxe?

GC: My best friend Mark Wain and I had a simple vision 11 years ago: create a neighborhood community place where friends and family can get together every day to enjoy each other’s company and make new friends at the same time. This is exactly how we both experienced caffe culture in Europe from living and traveling there for many years. Both of us also aspire that what we serve must also be an amazing experience and match the high quality of relationships that are fostered in our cafes. So, we source and roast our own coffees (Mark is our master roaster and coffee buyer, who travels to the farms to hand select many of our coffees and builds sustainable long term relationships with our farmer friends), create our own tea blends and partner locally with Milo & Olive to provide us with daily fresh baked pastries and breads, which are all organic with ingredients sourced from our Wednesday Santa Monica farmers market.

Q: What brew method are you using here?

GC: We serve espresso and hand pour over drip for both hot and cold drinks. Everything we do for coffee is all about crafting it by hand, in the control of a skilled barista, so the human being is in full control to make decisions about the coffee preparation and not an automated push button machine. We train all of our baristi to a professional level, which takes on average 6-12 months of practice.

Q: What  do you love about the community?

GC: We love our neighbors because they care about our community as extended families. We share this same level of people passion, which actually inspired us to focus our charitable donations on all of our local schools. Our goal is to support positive environments for our kids to grow up into healthy adults, by providing them with the right resources. Our vision is to provide our kids with the opportunities to stay in our community. This month we celebrate our 11th birthday, and we couldn’t be happier from the moment we opened to the present day, having the opportunity to serve delicious drinks and food for our community.

925 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310.394.2222

 

Bobak Roshan of Demitasse

Q: How does it feel to be voted as one of the favorite coffee shop pros in the Westside?

Bobak Roshan: Flattering and humbling. I love working in coffee and it’s an honor to be recognized for doing something that I love doing!

Q: What is your favorite coffee?

BR: I can’t pick amongst my children! But I’ll always have a soft spot for any of our coffees from Finca Argentina—it was the first farm from which we bought coffee directly.

Q: What brew method are you using here?

BR: Depending on the shop, we use siphons, pour-overs, clevers and batch.

Q: What  do you love about the community?

BR: What’s there not to love? We’re fortunate to be in a community and profession where everyone is always happy. People come in because we can give them something they want and they get to leave happy. It’s wonderful to be a part of a happy circle every day.

1149 3rd St
Santa Monica, CA 90401
424.322.0959

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