Lately, we’ve been slacking on our write ups about the cafes we’ve visited. Yes, we talk about them in our podcast, but the experience isn’t really complete until the written word hits the page. To save us, Brian Colmenares and Matthew Hernandez have come to our rescue and graciously agreed to document their coffee journey for us. They took an interest in coffee at about the same time and have chosen to visit a new coffee shop every month as a catalyst to broaden their horizons while sipping good coffee. I hope you enjoy hearing about their journey as much as I did.
About. Aroma Craft Coffee claims to be rooted in a mid-century Japanese-Taiwanese setting. It is a quaint craft coffee shop that aims to provide a great product, but simultaneously offer a truly unique experience. There is no Wi-Fi and they prohibit photography; you can find several photos on Yelp from anarchist visitors. If you get the chance to visit them, keep your eyes peeled for all the little details in their interior décor. You’ll find Japanese license plates, newspapers, street signs, etc.; great conversation pieces. Last but not least, you cannot miss the huge roaster that lives and operates inside the shop! You can see them roast live while enjoying your beverage; there’s something awesome about seeing where your drink comes from.
Location. Aroma is stuffed in an old industrial area, surprisingly only a stone’s throw away from a Starbucks. Looks are really deceiving due to the lack of curb appeal but once you step through their doors you’ll wonder how this place ever got here.
Service. First thing I noticed was that the baristas are all very kind and knowledgeable. During our visit, the customer in front of us happened to be rude during her order. Later, I noticed that the same barista who took the lady’s order made it a point to visit her table and make sure her iced coffee was everything she had hoped for.
Our visit lasted about an hour and at multiple times during our conversation baristas chimed in and conversed with us which was nice. We found out that they offered free classes on latte art and pour over coffee, it showed they wanted their community to love coffee just as much as they do. It certainly felt more like a community rather than a place I needed to drink my beverage and get out of the way.
Lastly their presentation needs to be mentioned. All the baristas are dressed in white button-ups with black pants and carry themselves professionally while still being approachable. And when they serve you anything, it comes in beautiful, custom etched trays paired with a complementary cookie or sparkling water.
Beverages (all made w/ House Blend)
Espresso Normale. This drink was my favorite of all three, probably due to the fact that I’ve been on an espresso kick lately.
Cortado. And what a great cortado it was. This was Matt’s favorite as he’s a sucker for the crème in his drinks.
Kyoto Iced Drip. This was a first. The Kyoto Iced Drip is supposedly Aroma’s strongest caffeinated drink, but it sure doesn’t taste like it; and that’s a good thing! This drink was so smooth and refreshing, sort of like a silky cold iced coffee.
Conclusion. I’m very happy to have Aroma Craft Coffee only minutes away from my house. It isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination so unfortunately it’s not the kind of shop you could visit on a daily (for most anyway), however if you do feel like treating yourself (TREAT YO’ SELF!) then Aroma is the spot.
Also, I would be remise if I didn’t take a moment to mention their food. If interested, they have a great looking menu on their site and what you see is what you get!
Graphic designer from LA with interests in design, soccer, photography, coffee, and people. Been drinking coffee since 08′, however didn’t catch my attention until this past year. Currently drinking: Starbucks Single Origin East Timor Tatamailau.
Matthew Hernandez. Electrical engineer by day, bartender enthusiast by night. Matt also resides in LA and is on this little journey of exploring everything the coffee experience has to offer.