Saturday, October 23, 2010

Coffee College? I'm going to Jones Coffee Roasters, Pasadena CA

Nestled in a warehouse at 693 S. Raymond Ave (back entrance off Edmondson alley) rests a artisanal coffee lover's dream come true.   The family Jones Coffee Roasters is just that.  In 1994 a passionate family started the wholesale roasting biz (family owns 100 year old coffee farm, Finca Dos Marias in Guatemala) then added a retail sales and hippy-dippy cool hang out for caffeine addicts (connoisseurs) like me.

green coffee beans
The flagship green beans come from the family coffee farm in Guatemala (yes, they have escorted tours) and other sustainable farms around the world.   I was there when Rafael Batiz was roasting 21 pounds of Columbian Decaf.    After tumbling in the roaster 15-18 minutes he pulls a small sample of roasted beans to smell the aroma and check the bean color.  Too long in the roaster, the beans are burnt and bitter.

Rafael Batiz smells the sample beans
It takes experience to know when to release the hopper of perfectly roasted coffee beans. The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans is a sensual experience and envelopes the entire warehouse.  Ahhhhh......

Rafael Batiz releases the roasted coffee to cool 
Jones Coffee Roasters is open 7 days a week, all coffee drinks made to order, even decaf drip.  Pastries and Friday tamales are good.  Plenty of spots to sip, talk, hang out, open mike and art shows rotate.   Retail bean bar offering 25+ coffee varieties from high to low acid, dark to medium roast, blends and flavor complexity a-go-go.   They have it all and want to educate the art of roasting, brewing and pleasures of drinking handcrafted, top shelf coffee.   There is also a choice of tea for you T-total-lers.   Baristas are really nice and knowledgeable.   Not the corporate *$'s vibe and crappy java.   So delightful, refreshing and fun.

Coffee brewing devices for sale along with my favorite Chemex Classic drip.   They offer Coffee College aka workshops in basic brewing, cupping (proper coffee tasting), and fancier barista artistic blending.

coffee bean sales bar
I introduced myself to one of the owners, Larry Jones.   He gave me the tour, showed me the cool neon hotel sign and I felt right at home (even though it's a 25 minute drive from my home).   Jones Coffee Roasters is worth the time and gas for the perfect cup of Joe.........I mean Jones!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

DineLA Chefs QuickFire Sweet Finale

Finalist Chefs Mark Peel of Campanile/The Tar Pit, Akira Hirose of Maison Akira, Octavio Becerra of Palate Food + Wine and Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose gathered at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill L.A. LIVE for the Dessert Finale showdown & bragging rites to DineLA.

Judges Evan, Russ, Sherry
Judges including Wolfgang Puck Worldwide Executive Pastry Chef Sherry Yard, Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons, and Chef and Owner of Angeli Caffe and Host of KCRW's Good Food, Evan Kleiman.
Chef Eric's Peanut Butter Cookie with Banana Bacon Marshmallow Filling
Chef Octavio's Baked Grape & Cheese Clafoutie
Chef Akira's Ice Cream with Red Wine Poached Figs
Chef Peel's UpsideDown Peach Cake

And the Grand Prize Winner is........Chef Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose.

Please visit a Los Angeles restaurant on DineLA's list during these 2 weeks.  Now is the perfect time to explore LA's vast selection of multicultural flavors, culinary styles & food artistry.   Go meet the chefs, they won't bite!