Los Angeles is a sprawling metropolis with a world-class food and drink culture just waiting to be explored (provided you’re down to occasionally wait in traffic). The city’s coffee scene is particularly exciting, and while there are many exciting single-origin pour-overs and nuanced espresso shots to be had, there’s also an exciting strain of fun, free-wheeling coffee concoctions being made at some of the city’s top cafes.
Coffee bars in LA seem less beholden to old ideas of “seeming cool”, and more likely to whip you up something special; it makes this a really fun city to be a coffee drinker. To that end, I recently set out on a quest to try five of LA’s least conventional coffee drinks, purists be darned. From fancy nut milks to hand-crafted syrups to ice cream, the creative coffee bars of Los Angeles did not disappoint.
The Business & Pleasure — G&B Coffee
G&B Coffee has become almost synonymous with their location at Grand Central Market, the rejuvenated downtown Los Angeles market that has become a major destination for food lovers. The coffee bar has been experiencing a great amount of attention lately thanks to their recent feature in the New York Times article titled, quizzically, “The Best Iced Latte in America?”
I’ve tried the raved-about latte, and it is dreamy, but this time around I wanted to focus on a more unique offering: The Business and Pleasure. Sounds delicious already, doesn’t it?
This order is actually three drinks in one. It starts out with G&B’s well-loved signature “fizzy hoppy tea”, an elixir that combines cold-brewed oolong, beer hops, and magic. Next you’re served an espresso, from G&B’s rotating roster of top North American roasters. This is the “Business” portion of the drink.
After sipping (or downing) the espresso, you’re served a silky macadamia-almond milk latte. This is the “Pleasure” half of the equation It’ll coat your tongue with a creamy, nutty taste, indulgent enough to be pleasurable, but strong enough to hold its own next to the bright, sparkling tea and complex espresso.