Spring for Coffee Begins in Los Angeles

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Coffee Los Angeles

Spring For Coffee is more ambitious than their basic facade shows.

At the Western Regional Barista Competition, Archie Hernandez revealed plans to open a “wine bar for coffee” called Spring for Coffee on the ground floor of the old Lloyd’s Bank building in downtown Los Angeles. Hernandez (a 5 year Peet’s veteran) partnered with Maru Nagano (Morihiro Onodera’s longtime sous chef at Mori Sushi) and Ken Yoshitake (a fine art collector). March 11, 2009, marks the opening date.

Hernandez is an L.A. native who fondly remembers “mom and pop shops” like the Onyx in the ’80s and ’90s. He’s hoping to help bring back to the community. A mutual friend introduced him to Nagano and Yoshitake and a partnership was born. Nagano and Yoshitake attended the same school in Kobe, Japan, but didn’t know each other growing up.

Why downtown? According to Hernandez, “Ken lived in this building for awhile. He saw a need for this area…There are a lot of coffee shops, but nobody dedicated to brewing the best cup.”

Coffee Los Angeles

Spring For Coffee equips baristas with modern equipment like a La Marzocco GB/5.

The space is only 296 square feet, with marble walls, an antique French chandelier and a coated wood counter. Their equipment: a sleek two-group La Marzocco GB/5, Mazzer grinders and Curtis drip coffee brewers, which will be employed during the breakfast rush from 6 AM – 10 AM.

The trio will rotate seasonal coffees every two to three months. Hernandez said the trio cupped coffee from over 40 different roasters. At first, they’re stocking Intelligentsia, LAMILL and Equator beans. You’ll find a Colombian coffee from Intelligentsia, Kalosi Toraja Celebes from Equator and an Ethiopian Sidamo from LAMILL, representing the world’s three primary coffee-growing regions. “We hope to educate people on what makes these regions different,” says Hernandez,” try to find what they like.” All beans are designed to be in peak season, harvested within the past 3-6 months.

They’ll employ four different extraction methods at the bar, which the owners call “crafted cups.” You have the option of a Melitta pour-over using either Swiss Gold or paper filters, Chemex, Eva Solo or French press.

“We’re all fanatics of coffee,” says Hernandez. “That’s why we teamed up…We enjoy helping and educating customers. For most people it’s their first interaction, and we can help them get their day started.”

Tea Los Angeles

Spring For Coffee also takes care with their tea selection.

Nagano sources loose-leaf green teas from Japan’s Shizu Oka prefecture, including Sencha, Genmaicha, Konacha, and Hōjicha.

To pair with the green tea, the trio is sourcing mochi from Little Tokyo’s Fugetsu-Do, including traditional adzuki bean, sakura – cherry blossom; and kashiwa – red bean with sweetened mochi around it.

Pastries come from Röckenwagner Bakery, including a five-grain scone, ginger scone, pretzels, blueberry bran muffin and apple-walnut muffin.

Spring for Coffee is sourcing milk from Strauss Family Creamery, a revered dairy in Northern California.


Joshua Lurie

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

Blog Comments

actually it could use another coffee shop. People won’t pay for expensive sushi right now, but they might pay for a decent cup of joe in the land of Coffee Beans and Starbucks. Downtown only had 2 decent places – Groundwork and Lot 44. In fact, this place still isn’t close enough to the financial district.

just walked by last week. sous chef for Mori? DTLA needs more edible sushi joint, not another coffee shop…

I hope to be there when it opens tomorrow.

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