Caffe Luxxe, a fixture on Montana Avenue known for their excellent espressos, has two additional locations, both in Brentwood. The flagship location on Montana (between 9th and 10th) has one drawback: the customers. Pretentious, Lululemon wearing mothers pushing $500 Bugaboo strollers. “Writers” who spend their entire day in there doing nothing but browsing Twitter and Facebook. Like Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney, it’s always frantic and noisy inside, but the quality of the coffee makes bearing this atmosphere worth it. The location on San Vicente, between Montana and Bundy, however, is more laid back and down to earth. Natural lighting floods the cafe, and baristas read the newspaper and chat to costumers while waiting to take an order. Even though the traffic of San Vicente is a mere 30 feet away, the courtyard in back in completely removed from any distractions. With Mid-Century modern architecture, palm trees, and various forms of succulents, it is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee.
Knowing I would be there for bit while my brother was at the dentist, I ordered a drip rather than an espresso. I chose the Indonesian as the other option, their house blend, wasn’t that impressive last time I tried it. For starters, the price, $3.50, was very reasonable for the quality of coffee being made . The barista knew what he was doing, measuring out the beans, wetting the Melita filter, and using a nice, spiral pouring motion. After he was finished, I asked for a glass of ice water, and brought my coffee to the outside patio. The coffee was decent. Medium body, smooth finish with hints of orange and nuts, it was neither too bitter nor too weak. It was a simple cup of coffee that didn’t have any dominant characteristics; positive or negative.
While the coffee itself wasn’t extraordinary, the atmosphere of the courtyard made it a memorable experience. As already mentioned, most upscale coffee shops tend to blast loud music, and are in a perpetual state of frenzy. This is all well and fine, but there is something to be said for enjoying a cup of coffee in a calm environment. At home this can be achieved in the afternoon sun, with nothing more than your coffee, a book, and a cookie. Rushing through coffee in the morning is understandable; wanting to get the day started efficiently. But in the afternoon, it pays of to take a bit of time to savor the moment, read an article, and enjoy your coffee.