Blue Bottle Coffee in Venice

21 Jan


Blue Bottle Coffee is hitting LA, starting in the coffeedouche-friendly confines of Abbot Kinney and the DTLA Arts District. While Blue Bottle’s arrival is welcome, it means the death of LA’s Handsome Coffee — true coffeedouches, but they made a fine cup of joe. I visited the newly opened outlet at the north end of Abbot Kinney. Expect tiny, with no place to sit, and of course, no WiFi.

Suddenly, Abbot Kinney is flush with decent coffee options. 3 Square and Gjelina (and GTA) serve Stumptown. Intelligentsia has been holding down the Third Wave fort for a few years now. And the NKOB, Blue Bottle.

One thing that has always been nice about Blue Bottle is that you can get a great cup of coffee for $3. That tradition holds true here with a drip cup of the 3 Africans blend for $3 (excluding tip but including tax). Stumptown also is great about having a decently cheap cup, even less than $3 for the batch brewed daily cup. This is refreshing considering at Intelligentsia it’s hard to get anything for less than $5. Lots of Third Wave places are like this, where the coffees start at $5 and go up from there. That’s dumb. Give me a reasonable cup of coffee that I can get every day.


They sell a few bags of coffee, mostly roasted at the old Handsome Coffee roastery in the Arts District, but some brought down from Oakland. They also serve a very small selection of pastries (brought in from an unknown local supplier) and treats from Blue Bottle Oakland.*

* As an aside, Blue Bottle sells confections because the founder met his wife at the Ferry Building in SF, where they both had shops, he selling coffee and she selling sweets. I think she has since sold the business (Miette, which was still there the last time I was at the Ferry Bldg), and started making sweets for Blue Bottle shops.


Anyways, I’ve mentioned before that Blue Bottle and its 3 Africans was my gateway drug into the world of coffeedouchery. It’s still fantastic, one of my favorite coffees, with its rich, chocolatey nose. The extremely slow service reminded me of waiting in line at the Ferry Building back when it was still a kiosk outside, except without the fun of being at the farmer’s market.

I’ll swing by here when I’m driving through, but I’ll probably check the line first.

** One other collateral effect of Blue Bottle landing here is that the nearby Deus Ex cafe has stopped serving Blue Bottle. They are now using an Australian roaster, which is not nearly as good, at least to my taste. Deus Ex still is a nice place to have the douchiest cafe experience in the area, but unfortunately I won’t be making a stop for the coffee.

Blue Bottle Coffee
1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291


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