This seems to be a sort of food oriented day on blogging.la. Therefore, I would like to share my favorite place for coffee in all of L.A.: the Groundworks Coffee on Rose, just west of Lincoln, in Venice. For most of first year here, I would bike past it on my way to work, going down to my old job at the interactive ad agency in the giant binoculars in Venice. It took me a couple months to figure out why I always thought of San Francisco when I biked down Rose, and finally realized, it was the coffee roastery on the north side of the street, and the sourdough bakery on the south side.
Groundworks is fair trade coffee, so it’s grown by workers at fair wages, with minimal pesticides that damage people and the land the coffee’s grown on. I know that Starbucks is taking some social responsibility, but most of the world’s coffee – like the stuff in the supermarkets, and the horrible, horrible brown water that people drink in red states – comes from places where it’s grown using social and enironmental standards we’d never allow in the United States. But while some organic or socially responsible foods aren’t as tasty as their bad-karma counterparts, Groundworks is damn good coffee for being so ethical. I’m from the Pacific Northwest, and we drink a lot of coffee up there, to ward off the depression caused by all the rain, clouds and dark in winter, and trust me, this is good coffee. As good, and better, than anything I consumed during the few years I lived in Seattle.
The other thing I like about Groundworks is the atmosphere. During the morning, locals of all economic and lunacy levels can be seen hanging out on the benches outside the door. Inside, there’s worn wood everywhere, from the steps to the bar. It reminds me, a lot, of local coffeehouses I stopped at in the beach towns in Oregon and California, on my Journey To Los Angeles in 2004. It’s like being in a little west coast town that’s even smaller than Venice.
So the next time you’re at the beach, and need a caffeine fix, stop by the Groundworks stores on Rose, or on Main in Santa Monica, or at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. There’s six types to choose from at the two stores, of varying strengths and brightness/darkness levels. None are flavored, all will cause your heart to beat a little faster. Mmm. Coffee.