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Day 4 in LA
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brokencup
Senior Member
brokencup
Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 1,617
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1
Grinder: Cimbali Junior, Infinity
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Tue Aug 17, 2004, 11:43pm
Subject: Day 4 in LA
 

There is a coffee shop across the street called Buzz Coffee. I walked in and looked around. It looked shabby. The main attraction seemed to be the row of computers along the wall. Against my better judgment I ordered a single espresso. The guy behind the bar (I wouldn't dignify him with the title of 'barista)' took a cardboard cup and wedged it under the portafilter and hit the auto doser. The shot seemed to take forever (45 sec is my guess). I paid for it, took a sip, put the remainder on the counter by the register and walked out. It was so bad, it would take this guy 7 days at the Schomer school just to get into the coffee profession. 0 stars for Buzz.

Urth on Melrose.
No place to park, you gotta valet or walk a bit. I chose to walk a bit. You walk in and read the placards which pronounce Urth a serious gourmet coffee, earth friendly emporium. It made me wonder why all the self congratulatory propaganda. Was it to justify a higher price for their coffee? Or was it to impress the locals? It's good to do good deeds. It is questionable to proclaim one's own good deeds, in my view, anyway.

The place is definitely not meant for casual relaxation and contemplation unless you happen to have the powers of concentration of a Buddhist Monk. Bustling would be the one word description of the ambience.

I ordered a single espresso. It was delivered to my table without the saucer on top to hold in the heat (a practice that my locals in Atlanta adhere to). The crema was adequate but not particularly thick and with no tiger striping. It was about equivalent to my average at home shot. I sipped it at my table, while standing, as is my strange custom. The barista watched me down it from across the room. The body was a bit thin. It didn't have a thick creamy buttery mouth feel that I'd experienced sometimes in the past. It was an okay shot. It tasted like shots I pulled at home when I was running the S1 at 95 deg C, the Shomer temperature. (I have since lowered my home machine to 93 deg C and found that I prefer the resulting taste to the hotter shot.) I tried hard to detect the complexity that the placard by the cash register proclaimed that I'd experience. The fact that I didn't could well have been my failing and not that of the espresso. All-in-all, I found the shot to be a good one but not a great one.

Next, I ordered a cappuccino. Here the story was different. The cap was delicious. The foam on top was the best. So sweet that I almost think that not all of the sweetness is due to steaming. Again, I might be wrong. But I have never achieved anywhere near that sweet taste at home, nor tasted it in my local coffee houses. If they came by it honestly then Urth is to be congratulated. The espresso that was okay as a straight shot really shined as an ingredient in the cap. It was probably the best cap I've ever had. (Temper that praise with the fact that relative to an expert, I haven't had that many.)

Finally, I ordered, what I assumed was one of their signature drinks, a Spanish latte. It tasted exactly like the soy latte that I make for my wife with 4 splendas.  It was a coffee flavored sweet milk drink. I can't say that it was bad, it wasn't. I guess that I expected more from Urth. I was a bit disappointed that their drink was no better than mine. An establishment with so much propaganda postered about, that pulls more drinks in an hour than I do in a year should be able to invent a more complex and subtle drink.

I give Urth 1 star for ambience. 5 out of 5 stars for the cap and 3 stars for the other drinks.

Bob
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spinnaker007
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spinnaker007
Joined: 24 Apr 2003
Posts: 1,783
Location: Chicago!
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Aug 18, 2004, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Day 4 in LA
 

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your daily LA report.  I am not sure how long your trip is, but your report will be something I look to read when I come to my office in the morning.

Traveling and coffee seem like a box of chocolate, you’ll never know what you gonna get as you step into an unfamiliar café.  Latt3rt has a section on his website where his customer can recommend a café to others.  I think we should have a section where we can do the same.

I am terribly sorry to hear about the bad espresso that you had at Buzz Coffee, and I guess they are not going to any business from CG in anytime soon.  : )

Did you see or rubbing shoulders with any movie stars at Urth?  I guess valet to a coffee shop is a LA thing. JK.

As I recall reading your post somewhere that you were a US Air Force pilot.  What type of the aircraft did you fly?  My dad was a F-100 fighter pilot for R.O.C..  I always wanted to be a fighter pilot since I was a kid, but my vision is not so good.  Oh well.

Are you taking your CoffeeGeek grandson out for more espresso adventure today?

Cheers,

Steve
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brokencup
Senior Member
brokencup
Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 1,617
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1
Grinder: Cimbali Junior, Infinity
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Wed Aug 18, 2004, 8:07am
Subject: Re: Day 4 in LA
 

spinnaker007 Said:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your daily LA report.  I am not sure how long your trip is, but your report will be something I look to read when I come to my office in the morning..................

Did you see or rubbing shoulders with any movie stars at Urth?  I guess valet to a coffee shop is a LA thing. JK.

As I recall reading your post somewhere that you were a US Air Force pilot.  What type of the aircraft did you fly?  My dad was a F-100 fighter pilot for R.O.C..  I always wanted to be a fighter pilot since I was a kid, but my vision is not so good.  Oh well.

Are you taking your CoffeeGeek grandson out for more espresso adventure today?

Cheers,

Steve

Posted August 18, 2004 link

Hi Steve,

Glad you enjoy my posts. I hope that everyone realizes that these are just my impressions. I certainly have no wish to be mistaken for an expert. My remarks are meant only as entertainment and not as a definitive guide to what's hot and what's not. '-)) Sometimes, I sound like I know more than I do. I want to squelch the impression that I actually know what I'm doing.

As I've posted once before, somewhere, I am celebrity challenged. My worst fear is that I will insult some famous person by not recognizing him or her. What would Jay Leno say if I were to blurt out, "Hey, I know you, you're..........................you're..............long pause while my mind raced through every name I could think of, skipping, of course, "Jay" and "Leno". '-))

I flew a lot of aircraft but have the most time in HC-130s. All pilots are brothers! Since your dad was a pilot, that makes me your uncle. ;-))

Bob
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spinnaker007
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spinnaker007
Joined: 24 Apr 2003
Posts: 1,783
Location: Chicago!
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Aug 18, 2004, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Day 4 in LA
 

sounds good Uncle Bob!
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spinnaker007
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spinnaker007
Joined: 24 Apr 2003
Posts: 1,783
Location: Chicago!
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Aug 23, 2004, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Day 4 in LA
 

Uncle Bob,

Anymore trip reports?  Did you make it to Coffee Klatch over the weekend?

Cheers,

Steve
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brokencup
Senior Member
brokencup
Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 1,617
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1
Grinder: Cimbali Junior, Infinity
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Mon Aug 23, 2004, 8:51am
Subject: Re: Day 4 in LA
 

Steve,

Alas, I have been holed up with my french press, lots of beans and a Capresso Infinity, in front of the tv, watching the olymics. But stay tuned.

Bob
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