The Roadtrip – Los Angeles

June 20th, 2007

Missing the 101 down the coast, and taking the I-5 may turn out to be one of the few regrets of this trip but the thought that 2 weeks wasn’t enough was hardly new to our journey.

The route down is quite boring with occaisonal pockets of beauty.  It must be a road full of accidents though because it is so straight and dull, there is no real driving to be done.  Anyway, from time to time you see something quite photographable.  I quite liked this alien water tower:

Ah but the coffee, what of the coffee?  Well we arrived into LA without much in the way of caffeine urges and we just hung out at the (now) legendary Intelli bungalow with the crew (Kyle, Ryan, Nick, Devon, Colin and Tony was around too) before having a quick look at the cafe in progress, getting some drinks, some damn fine tacos (I could get very addicted to them) and then hanging out and talking rubbish til late into the night.

The next day we went down to the roasting works which are absolutely stunning, the roaster looks so damn good it is criminal and the training room and cupping room both are great.  I was delighted to cup there and there were some great coffees on the table, especially their Idido Valley Natural that was a crazy cup of coffee – when it was hot it had this incredible pineapple (to me anyway!).  The Panama and Kenyan on the table were pretty damn good too.

I was relieved there was no latte art smackdown to be had, as my one pour there was so bad is was funny.   A highlight of the day was a little Gelato at a great place working with Intelli to do single origin ice-cream – a Bolivian and a Kenyan, and it was weird how much the characteristics of the coffees came through.

Our final day was spent with Tony as the rest of the crew had to head to the Roasting Works for training.   It was nice for Anette and I to just hang out with him, he’s so great and I loved chatting to him about all things coffee and all things not coffee.  He tooks us down to Venice beach so we could dip our toes in the Pacific.  It is not my place to comment on Tony leaving Intelli, but I do think that whatever he does next will be amazing and I hope to keep in good contact with him.  He’s truly awesome.

From there we were pretty close to Caffe Luxxe so we went in for our first coffee of the day.  They have a couple of three group Synessos on the bar (under a great skylight) and I had a great macchiato (which was a proper macchiato with just a little marking of milk not the new macchiato that seems to be everywhere where you pour essentially a mini capp, popularised no doubt by it being an opportunity to pour difficult latte art).  Tony’s capp had some nice latte art and we chatted to Mark about coffee and some incredible bars of chocolate he was stocking.

From there it was to the airport and spending 11 hours in a tiny seat pretending to be luggage.

Thanks to everyone in LA, it was a shame I didn’t get to say goodbye to Kyle (who I’d love to chat to more as well) and we lose Stephen to Intelli for a month or so til he comes back to help me in the final stages for WBC prep.

So now I am back in the UK, I have one more post on the roadtrip to come (which is kind of a best of) so if anyone has any questions then go for the contact form or leave them in the comments.

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