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I want to tell you a story, a story about favorites.
I’m often asked what’s my favorite coffee shop. And to be honest, I can never give a straight answer. Favorite, has this meaning of the one you like above all the rest. It connotes that, there’s this one coffee shop that has it unequivocally right in some way.
I believe there are a lot of different ways to make the experience of coffee right. I believe, that there are innumerable ways to taste a great coffee, given your own palate and how it can perceive flavor. And, I do believe that there is a common denominator for taste – as in the cup and in a space. And then, there’s the idea of subjectivity.
Therefore, favorite for me, really means preference. And if we’re talking preference and I am, I have a lot of preferred coffee shops. That preference is defined by my lifestyle – what I’m doing, how i feel, how I want to be moved within, and at times how I don’t want to be moved.
Here, in Paris, I’m discovering a lot of coffee shops and preferences are forming. I wanted to share how one preference came about. After visiting the Picasso Museum, I wanted a coffee to top off the experience. But other nearby shops were closed. I walked for a short couple of blocks and saw a cafè among a line of them on the rue.
The color palette of its exterior facade was inviting: cream, caramel mocha and a desaturated Tiffany Blue. I peered in on it’s confetti floor and was welcomed by some friendly baristas, buffered by wooden shelves of fresh baguettes lighteaves likenpoondcake yellow where fresh baked cakes and cookies glowed.
I wanted something short but cold. But what really could satisfy that? A cortado was too long and a macchiato was too short. The barista offered to make me something, which I now call a noisette-errato. Imagine a macchiato with the texture of a shakerrato, topped with one large ice cube and a fine skim of cool foam. What a little beauty!
This is how coffee comes into my memories. This is how coffee, becomes apart of my lifestyle, this is how preference is more about an experience followed by a palette sensitivity.
Is this cafè now a favorite? If that’s how we’re naming it, then yes!
Here’s a primer on some of my LA preferences right now.
If, I’m in Santa Monica, I love going to Cafè Demitasse before hitting the beach, they have the best specialty drinks usually paired with some type of leafy herb that’s sets off a date with sand and beach
If I’m looking for some Sunday bar interaction, amazing music and a side of magazine racks with a house made milk, there’s Go Get Em Tiger for ‘Business & Pleasure’.
If I’m looking for a little quiet, some craft amid people watching while I plug into some work there’s the minimally designed Maru Coffee in Atwater Village.
If I’m looking to hide away and get some work done without being pulled by my own penchant for curiosity there’s @eightfoldcoffee and @andantecoffeeroasters, equally serving wide open spaces and room to be creative.
If I want to run into someone I know, while getting spoiled with a secret menu of liquid goodies, where vinyl spins, often imploring me to ask the barista ‘who is that playing’ there’s @menottis.
When I want to get a refresher on coffee and get the best bottled Thai drinks my town has to offer, I extricate myself out of central LA and cocoon myself into the experience that is Endorffeine in Chinatown, which I never can get to as often as I like.
This is how I coffee. And this is ehh this short lists gets longer and sometimes changes as there’s so many ways I like to experience an experience.
What about you?