"Los Angeles is most exciting city in the country for coffee right now," says Bar Nine Collective roaster Mitchell Tellstrom.
After tasting a vibrant shot of light-bodied espresso pulled at the stylish new Culver City coffee shop and roastery where he works, however, we're inclined to believe him. The low-slung countertops don't hold the usual espresso machines, but rather a futuristic-looking Modbar system (the first of its kind in L.A.) that allows for temperature and timing tweaks to be made for the different types of coffee that Bar Nine roasts.
That detail may excite coffee geeks, but the final product should excite everyday drinkers, too. And it does: the Kenyan espresso ($3) we sampled that day was smooth, deeply flavored and intriguingly fruity.
Bar Nine Collective, located inside a modernized 3,400-square foot warehouse located in the industrial Hayden Tract area, has been open to the public for the past several months but is still awaiting its retail business license. So what does that mean for coffee fans?
You can stop for a cup of pour-over, a latté with frothy house-made almond milk or a glass of 48-hour steeped cold brew. You just can't pay for it.
Until Bar Nine gets its permit finalized, all drinks are paid for by tips. However, you can buy a bag of beans--like the Brazilian Mariano Peaberry ($18)--to brew at home.
We have see the future of L.A's ever-evolving coffee scene, and it looks a lot like Bar Nine.
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