REASONS I GO TO INTELLIGENTSIA DAILY, EVEN THOUGH I QUIT DRINKING COFFEE & HATE WAITING IN LINES
Look, I think the place is now considered pretty "basic" among L.A. third-wave coffee snobs. But I've always found it fashionable to be a little unfashionable.
- •I like having a routine.My life is genuinely more rad when there is a sense of structure.
- •It's two blocks from my house.I now refer to the Sunset Junction corner as InStellaGentsia.
- •Chances are I will run into someone I want to run into.If at least one ListApper, Haim sister, or member of Dirty Projectors isn't at Intelli during your visit, they'll give you a free refill.
- •A fine selection of non-coffee beverages.So yeah, I don't drink coffee anymore! Don't dabble in decaf -- feels like self-deception. But the Intellis have a vast range of teas; hot or served over ice, caffeine-laden or unleaded. I usually jam on some iced green tea. HOWEVER: my favorite non-coffee drink at an Eastside coffee place is the Housemade Shrub at Dinosaur Coffee. Insane.
- •Attention to detail.I like observing the Intellis as they brew their pour-overs and teas. They've got this shit dialed in to an exact science, like some meditative micro ballet. Bonus points for the little things, like warming up the mugs in advance, and the plates on which they serve pastries as well. These things do not go unnoticed. By me at least.
- •The music they play is generally excellent.E.L.O. yesterday.
- •They get that line moving quickly.I remember many physically long lines, but not too many that were excessive in duration. They run an efficient ship in there, almost militaristic in its order. And in dealing with customers, they inject just enough friendliness into the all-business sorta energy of a well-oiled machine.
- •Turmeric Tonic.My hot beverage of choice over there. Gingery, turmericy... very comforting situation.
- •Great people watching.Always a weirdo or two. Good eavesdropping situations. Cute dogs. Yoga babes. Character actors. Laptop jammers. Something for everyone.
- •I find the whole thing very impressive.I do!