If you’ve spent any time in a specialty coffeehouse, you’re probably familiar with Belle & Sebastian, Scotland’s indie rock darlings, who sing about fringe characters like the “middle distance runner” and “lazy line painter jane.” Phil & Sebastian aren’t nearly as melodic, but the Calgary based coffee roastery from Phil Robertson and Sebastian Sztabzyb has built a strong reputation in South Central…Alberta…but isn’t exactly a brand name in L.A. However, Yeekai Lim might be changing that by offering PhilSeb beans at the new Culver City location of Cognoscenti Coffee. Lim’s multi-roaster attack is drawing the attention of local coffee pros, and the fascination will likely extend to the general population in no time.
On Friday, during my morning writing session, seasoned Cog Coffee barista Jonathen Liu informed me that they had 15 shots left of a Phil & Sebastian espresso, which I later learned was Ethiopia Koke, and that respected coffee pros recently anointed it their “best shot ever.” Liu didn’t name names, but the prospect of drinking the “best shot ever” definitely caught my attention. So did the amount of limited edition beans, which dwindled by the minute in the hopper. Was this the best shot of espresso ever? Probably not, but it was bright,and sweet, with minimal bitterness and light flecking that washed over the tan crema in waves.