City Bean Sweet Lady Runyon (Drink of the Week)

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City Bean, the Los Angeles specialty coffee roaster that co-founder Sol Salzer is steering into its 25th year, continues to innovate. The company long ago closed Westwood and downtown bars, now focuses on a West Adams roastery, and is completely wholesale. In 2017, they’ll bring a 75-kilo Probat roaster from 1963 online, making a big upgrade from their existing 15-kilo roaster. According to Salzer, “We want to be the one-stop shop for wholesale coffee and tea (in Southern California).” Toward that end, Zach Williams and Travis Lorton recently developed a nitro product line. That means they’ll soon be supplying coffee bar clients with Owl’s Clover Cold Brew, Sweet Lady Runyon Brown Sugar and Vanilla Latte, and Flowering Ash Lemon/Ginger Kombucha. During a recent tasting at City Bean’s open house, I was partial to Sweet Lady Runyon.

Runyon refers to a nearby Santa Monica canyon. Future nitro offerings, including Temescal Falls salted caramel cold brew and Stony Point Legend bourbon barrel-aged cold brew, are also named for local landmarks, with Owl’s Clover and Flowering Ash named for native plants, but I digress. Sweet Lady Runyon is not technically a latte, since there’s no espresso, but the cascading, judiciously sweet beverage does incorporate whole milk. The Owl’s Clover cold brew base is a blend of Central American and South American coffees. Salzer clarified, saying, “Primarily, it is Honduras Las Capucas. This coffee is sourced and roasted specifically for our cold brew and nitro programs. Add to that the Colombia Sol Bohemia for balance and flavor. The blend changes with season to maintain stability of the flavor profile.”


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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