Lamill Coffee in Silverlake, LA impressed me because it looked good. They package their coffee beans in tins (made in the USA) that are retro looking and all the staff wear matching t-shirts. Yes, call me superficial - but ever since leaving Tokyo, I have to admit I miss the art of presentation.
The menu is loaded with a long list of beans to accompany the equally long list of ways extraction methods. "Slow Extraction" processes include Clover (available in 8 or 16 oz.), French press, Japanese Hand Drip (Hario extraction) and the Siphon Brew. I felt like I could only have an 8 oz. that day so I went for the Clover, $3.5 (the Siphon Brew sets you back $15, but you get 20 oz. and a whole show reminiscent of high school chem lab).
I wanted something dark, so I asked the barista for something good to drink black. She recommended the Organic Black Onyx. I thoroughly enjoyed this blend because it was pretty heavy but didn't leave a weird aftertaste or didn't get me too caffeinated. I guess I would describe it as solid.
I also asked another barista what was special about the Clover machine. He told me that it's unique because it can make smaller cups of coffee (8 oz and 16 oz) without sacrificing taste or quality. I could tell that they really valued the aesthetics of their machines as they were all displayed in plain sight for customers to ooh and aah at.
My cousin bought a pound of beans for herself. This gave me the opportunity to capture the tin with my camera. The barista told my cousin that if she brought the tin back, she'd get a discount on her next one-pound bean purchase.
Lamill Coffee might not make the best cup of coffee in the world, but I like that they exude confidence - and seem to be having fun too. I admit I admire businesses that can create a pretty sturdy facade where everything is branded and sparkling clean. It's a given in Tokyo, but not at all in California.
Lamill Coffee also has a store selling coffee-ware next door to the boutique. Most of the products were made by HARIO, a Japanese coffee-ware company.
Various HARIO and Bodum products