Thursday, February 12, 2009

Coffee addiction's (a) bitch...

Being a native Seattlite, transplanted into the concrete jungle that is LA, I have steadily remained loyal and true to my hometown hero and my long-time caffeine companion, Starbucks Coffee Company. Yes, despite the temptations at every corner, despite the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf's seductive beckoning, with their tantalizing Ice Blendeds and pretty purple straws, I have managed to withstand the calls of numerous Starbucks-imitating sirens and continued to patronize that magnetic coffee mega-chain for my early-morning java jolts and my late-night library companions. I thought I was strong and faithful, and would be to the very end, until a few weeks ago, I met my match. All of a sudden, just by ordering one simple cafe au lait and fatefully selecting one brew out of an impressive variety of roasts, I have been forever changed, my coffee loyalties turned upside down by LA-native Groundworks Coffee Company.

I credit my penchant for artsy, independent-looking coffeehouses to my Pacific Northwest roots (hey, the first Starbucks in Pike Place Market looked pretty homegrown back in the day...). So, when I spotted the inviting, community-friendly cafe that is Groundwork's Hollywood location on Sunset and Cahuenga, I was drawn like a magnet to metal, hell-bent on finding an artisanal cup of coffee that stimulated both my senses and my mid-day energy level. Walking in, I was greeted right away by an artsy-looking, young guy who appeared to genuinely appreciate my first step into the neighborhood hot spot. What?! You mean I'm not another double tall half-decaf two-pumps-of-sugar-free caramel macchiato with no whip and a sprinkle of cinnamon, with a Hawaiian bagel toasted with cream cheese on the side? Nope...crazy. I ordered my cafe au lait and cautiously approached the table stocked with numerous carafes of organic, fair-trade and shade-grown roasts, and I could tell that this was no marketing ploy. Scanning the labels on the admittedly intimidating selection of brewed coffee, my eyes were drawn to the tag that read, "Organic Bitch's Brew," and instantly I knew that I had found my inaugural roast of choice.

Boy, did I make the right decision. A deep, darker roast that was unexpectedly free of any bitter aftertaste, the Bitch's Brew is a perfect choice for those who enjoy the depth of a strong, dark cup of joe and want none of the harsh aftertones of an Ethiopian or Yukon blend at that "other" coffee chain I used to solely award with my pocket change (What's its name again? Carmucks? Blartucks?). Faithful to my palate that I am, I have not yet sampled Groundwork's other roasts, but I caught a good, long whiff of the Organic Angel City blend when picking up coffee for a co-worker. Bright, medium-roast, and wonderfully floral-scented; while I'm sure this one is a winner, too, I just can't stray from the Bitch's Brew. When it comes down to it, I guess you could say that now I'm the bitch...Bitch's Brew's bitch, that is.

Groundwork Coffee Company
1501 N. Cahuenga Boulevard
(@ Sunset Boulevard)
Hollywood, California 90028

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