Friday, April 20, 2012


Is it a secret club, a secret code? 
This Chicago born low-number franchise has infiltrated Pasadena, you may already know.  I went speeding by on a rainy evening, and loved the brick facade (god, I'm a sucker for brick--a harbinger of new places and old buildings) and found myself craving, CRAVING a made-to-order cup of coffee.

The scoop:
How do you like your waiting?  Distended?  Eternal? Cuz, here, you wait.  After a bit, you order.  You repeat your order because the background music is actually foreground.  Then you wait again. I watched a man devour his croissant long before the coffee arrived.  You watch a victim of tattoo ink and multiple piercings whisk a carafe of steaming hot water over a filter, as if he were uttering an incantation  to an Ethiopian goddess, and you pray too, surely that's your cup of coffee? But it's not--you ordered a cappuccino, and piercing victim #2 is doing his magic with the arcane fixtures.

Many minutes later you have a modest mug of cappuccino with a beautiful design on the foam.  You suffer multiple pangs, because, 1) it was more expensive than Starbucks so you didn't 2) tip the foam-based artisan.

You seat yourself with a view of the slick Pasadena streets and sip.

Then you get it.  Yeah, you're pretty cool  That's right.  You're so cool to appreciate this high end, fussy coffee, how could you regret the 4 plus bucks it costs? You're precisely the discerning  kind of person who appreciates that kind of thing.

On your way out you snag a couple of those Intelligentsia-stamped cylinders of sugar.  You're pretty sure Intelligentsia, somewhere, in some language, translates as pandering.


  1. I guess maybe it's a good thing I'm not a coffee drinker.

  2. I think 4 bucks is a small price to pay for some tasty writing, such as "How do you like your waiting? Distended? Eternal?" Then again, it wasn't my 4 bucks.

  3. Some afternoons it's not crowded. And I do like the pretty designs in the foam. But perhaps I'm not so discerning because I'd rather pay less for coffee that's just as good.

  4. I suspect I lack intelligentsia because I've never been and didn't realize it was a coffee house. I miss the e-bar. And I hate music when it's not of my choosing

  5. PA-your kind of intelligence is OFF the scale
    P: I'm talkin a very UNcrowded am.
    AH: You make me giddy.
    M-I didn't check, but I'm sure they'll do the same thing for tea-

  6. Oh, man. I know people who love this place, but waiting? Not my favorite thing . . .