Tierra Mia Coffee, the hard charging specialty coffee chain from community-minded owner Ulysses Romero, took over Echo Park’s Downbeat Café in 2013. The dapper glass-fronted coffee bar fit seamlessly into the neighborhood thanks to a handsome wood motif, marble bar, framed photos of coffee farmers taken at origin, and flavorful coffee drinks.
Tierra Mia has developed several Latin-influenced specialty beverages since opening in 2008, including a Horchata Latte and my favorite, Mocha Mexicano ($3.95). This caffeinated riff on a Mexican hot chocolate features espresso whisked with hot steamed milk, raw sugar, ground chocolate, and warming cinnamon. The frothy result sips quickly and leaves sweet sludge at the bottom of the mug, which you may be tempted to scrape up with a spoon. I did.