Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Storefront Report: Will Blue Bottle win over Echo Park coffee drinkers?

Future Echo Park home of Blue Bottle coffee

ECHO PARK — If you thought there were enough places in Echo Park to sip a coffee or a latte, you will soon be proven wrong.  The founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, the artisinal coffee maker out of Oakland, told Eater L.A. earlier this year that  the company had plans to open a shop in Echo Park as part of its Los Angeles expansion.  A Blue Bottle official this week confirmed that the company known for its individually brewed cups of coffee is moving into Echo Park’s historic Jensen’s Recreation Center, where the former Echo Park Coop apparel and accessories store has been leased.

What makes Blue Bottle, which has attracted the attention of coffee aficionados as well as investment from Silicon Valley, so special?  The Wall Street Journal, in a 2012 story, explains the Blue Bottle method to making coffee:

Blue Bottle’s concept is slow coffee, an unusual offering in today’s coffee-retail industry. Brewing a cup of Blue Bottle coffee is a laborious process that can take up to five minutes, including the time it takes a barista to grind the beans and pour the grounds into a filter suspended above a cup before water is added on top.

The process takes substantially more time than it does to get a typical cup of coffee from shops like Starbucks, raising questions about how many customers would be willing to wait for a cup of joe from Blue Bottle and whether they can taste the difference.

Blue Bottle recently opened downtown after taking over Handsome Coffee Roasters but it still has not set an opening date for its Echo Park outlet.



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  1. The absolute LAST thing Echo Park needs (aside from bad musicians and doughy Mexican gangsters) is a slow coffee shop. I’d rather have a Dunkin Donuts there cause I’d least get my coffee in under 5 minutes. Who in this world has all this time to wait for a cup of coffee? Who in this world enjoys sitting in a crowded shop waiting for one?

    • Hey look – someone from the midwest/east coast is pissed because we don’t have Dunkin Donuts in our city.

      • Hey look- some smug person from the west coast is being sarcastic because he doesn’t understand a simple statement.

  2. @dingus – the long lines at intelligensia in silver lake, G&B downtown certainly confirms there’s a market for “slow coffee”.

  3. Normally, I would say meh but Blue Bottle is so much better than Intelligensia.
    This is a valuable addition to the neighborhood and should up everyone’s game

  4. Not that this is a bad thing, but we need more and better dining options along sunset. Plenty of hungry people and too many empty storefronts. Whats going on with the planned e-pack sandwich shop and the old barragans place?

    • What are you talking about? There are plenty of good dining options on Sunset. from Echo Park Blvd to Silver Lake Blvd. If you go just a little further past Silver Lake Blvd, you have Samosa House a very good addition to the dining scene in Silver Lake.

      • Dude, in EP there’s red hill and mohawk bend. both are good but thats it.Sage is mediocre at best. Same for Elf. Brite Spot is fine for diner food. I do need to check out Kush.

        There is only one appropriate response to Samosa House:


        • Dude, you have no taste buds if you think Mohawk Bend is good, it’s vastly overrated. Red Hill is pretty good, though my last meal there was below average. Brite Spot is barely a step up from Denny’s.

          • Yea I love that Mohawk Bend has a great craft beer list and at much more reasonable prices than almost anywhere (no beer over $6.50) and I enjoy SOME of their food, but a most of it is pretty mediocre.

          • So you Post that there are tons of great options, then trash everything on sunset in echo park. You don’t have to have the same tastes as me, but why are you saying there’s lots of options and then trashing most restaurants on sunset in echo park? Whats so great between EP ave and coronado? Not much. You proved my point.

  5. There’s an overpriced, terminally hip place like that in Pasadena. Meh. By the time you get your coffee, it’s lukewarm.

    • Really??? You can’t be that narrow minded, can you? I stated my opinion on two of the three places you named. That hardly means I’m trashing every place on Sunset!

      Two Boots, Masa, and Buono all have good pizza. The restaurant that opened at the EP Boathouse has a restaurant on Sunset-name escapes me now, but they serve good food. Taix-while very dated, the food is always good. Guisado’s, while not in that area is very good. Across from Samoa House is a good Mexican seafood restaurant.

      I too would like to know the progress of the restaurant that was suppose to replace Barragans.

      • Speaking of ‘narrow’ all fhe places you just named are one style of food: pizza. So again, why are you coming at me with an attitude and calling me names because i think that there should be more variety and choices in downtown EP? It’s a major thoroughfare in one of LA’s best cities and deserves more than pizza , coffee and empty storefronts. Again, thanks for continuing to prove my point.

        • Really?? Really? Is Taix a pizza place? Is that MEXICAN place across from Samoa House? Is Square One at the Boathouse & on Sunset a pizza place?

          Please get a clue before you post again.

          • Lady, you’re clearly very upset someone is challenging your ‘foodie’ credentials. You also seem to not understand geography when you keep referencing silver lake when I’m talking about Echo Park. You also described taix yourrself as ‘dated’, not exactly a ringing endorsement. Square one is fine for the mornings and afternoons they are open i guess. But again you’re reaching because they don;t do dinner. And again my point is proven that EP needs some more restaurants to give us locals options at night so we don’t have to schlep to silver lake for crappy indian food you seem to love. The EP stretch of sunset should be filled with life and business at nights, not empty and dark.

        • There’s plenty of walking options for great food in Echo Park and tons more a short driving distance away(great delivery options too). Anyone complaining about lack of food options around here is boring.

          The Park, Xoia, Masa, El Compadre, It’s Thai are all good restaurants just off sunset Sunset you haven’t mentioned. Even Sr. Fish is alright outside of their lousy service. Now we got Kush which is f-ing delicious (pulling off the upscale small plate dining without the high price/pretension). Smaller thouroughfare too like Angelus Salads and Trencher. You’ve got your precious craft beer going on at Sunset Beer. There’s so much more on the horizon it’s kinda ridiculous.

          Screw Guisado’s bring back La Esquinita.

          If you go to Brite Spot more than once a year there’s something wrong with your tastebuds.

      • Yes, the food is always good at Taix. So what makes it dated? it’s a restaurant with great food, drink and service and it has a history. Never disappoints.

  6. griffithparkmountainlion

    This is THE best coffee in the states. Naysayers get ready to eat your words. This coffee makes all the other coffee places look they serve gas station coffee. I have been waiting for years for this to migrate to LA. Hipster or not the coffee is GOOD!

  7. I’m happy to hear that the dilettantes will have someplace else to go.

    I see them clustered in the park and it makes me sad.

  8. Forage serves Blue Bottle coffee. And I love their coffee. So this should be good!

  9. Same thing happened in NYC; slowly Blue Bottle bought its way into specific artful neighborhoods to cash in on the those neighborhoods respective images but NYC became so saturated with Blue Bottles that a lot of locals started to avoid them.
    Sure their coffee is good, but Demitasse, Lamill, Cafecito Organico are better mostly because they roast their beans locally

  10. I’m sticking with Taza Cafe on Sunset. Great coffee, reasonable prices and nice staff. What else do you need?!

  11. Oh look, a bunch of gentrifiers whining about where to spend their allowance checks, there will never be enough restaurants or debates on a monday afternoon around 2pm for you soulless lot. Shut up or go back to whatever small town u came from please.

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