Sunday, August 25, 2013

Alfred Coffee & Kitchen - Becoming a coffee drinker

I watched it for weeks. Eyed the bold strip of stencil-like letters identifying the space with the simple plume "COFFEESHOP." Each time I walked by on my way to and from my local Sunday farmers market, I felt a nudge of curiosity, anticipation and slight regret.

When it soft-opened in January, beckoning the neighbors and farmers market dwellers in with the promise of free cups of Stumptown coffee, I couldn't help but feel left out. I wandered inside, gawking at the shiny new espresso makers, the moustache-enbossed coffee sleeves, the fresh-faced baristas expertly doling out latte art, and wanted desperately to be one of the throngs of people standing in queue for their morning brew.

A coffee drinker.

For a decade, I've embraced the tea leaf in lieu of the bean, proclaiming to all who pause to listen that I can't drink coffee.

"It makes me crazy," I say, gesticulating wildly with my arms to demonstrate the extent of said "craziness."

Jittery. The fastest typer in the history of typists. A 5'10'' blonde Kramer clone.


And I've been fine with it. Fine to be a tea drinker, a connoisseur of the various types of green and oolong loose leaf teas, as well as rooibos, which isn't really tea at all.

"It's healthier," I justify, patting myself on the back for slurping down a giant pot of jasmine-perfumed hot water in the morning while my contemporaries blast themselves awake with their carefully concocted asphalt-colored libations.

Yet, all the while that I've been slurping and gesticulating, I've always secretly wished that I could enjoy coffee as more than just a flavoring in my ice cream or tiramisu - that I could be one of those people who take pictures of latte art to show off on Instagram, who meet a friend for coffee and actually order a coffee, who roll their eyes at the amateur ordering a decaf sugar-free soy mocha.

So when Alfred Coffee & Kitchen made its debut on Melrose Place - my Melrose Place, where I go shopping for kale and farm fresh eggs and self-righteousness - I wanted in. I wanted to be part of its culture, part of the club of couples and friends and exhausted parents huddling over espressos and Americanos and Gibraltars, while stalling the beginning of another day. I wanted to be the person taking over precious table real estate with a laptop and more than just a cup of the specialty-of-the-day white coconut iced tea.

I wanted to be a coffee drinker, specifically an Alfred coffee drinker. Moustache-enbossed coffee sleeves and all.

I've started off slowly, kicking off the training wheels in recent weeks with an occasional early morning cappuccino ordered boldly and sipped proudly in front of the Alfred coffee community. Each time, it's made me a little crazy. Wild gesticulation (!).

But each time, it's also made me feel connected to my neighborhood COFFEESHOP in a way that I hadn't felt with those specialty-of-the-day white coconut iced teas.

An insider. Mere sips away from becoming a 5'10'' blonde Kramer clone.


Alfred Coffee & Kitchen
8428 Melrose Place
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
(323) 944-0811


Banana Wonder said...

Welcome to the club TALF! Thatta girl! Giddy yup! Set yourself free!

H. C. said...

Giddy up indeed; and even I don't think I have a neighborhood coffee shop that I can call my own.

Diana said...

TALF - I feel like such a grown-up! And it only took me 30 years!

H.C. - Aw shucks, well you can borrow mine any time you want!

Ashley said...

2013 will henceforth be known as the year we became coffee drinkers.

Finn Felton said...

It is evident that people that consume coffee in large amount leads to sleepless nights.

Finn Felton

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