I Just Spent Too Much Money.

Well, today I booked the final preparations for my trip to Portland and Seattle early next month. I’ll be flying up to Portland for a few days and then driving up to Seattle for the NW Regional, Millrock, and Coffeefest. I’ve set some rules for myself this trip. I’m sure I’ll make the rounds to every coffee bar worth being at while in Portland, but beyond that I’m attempting to stay away from coffee folk. I’ve become a horrible son and friend to many people whom I’ve known for a long time. Lately, when I have gone home, I’ve gotten lost in the coffee world of Stumptown and I forget my friends and family… Not this time.

With Coffeefest going, I will get plenty of time for throwdowns and what-not. It’s gonna be a blast. I’m hoping to pull the Chris Baca and borrow a camera somewhere along the way… Well, that’s all for now… In the mean time, Lilly Griffith has a message for all you out there…

Clovers 1 – Urn 0

Pictures will come soon, but I can’t help but to share the news… From day one, people have been asking what the giant mechanical box with steam pouring out the top was on our side bar… The triple urn. The question was continually asked when it would be used… and I would boldly declare, “Never!”

The entire plan was to have the urn for the day that we would be so busy that we could not keep up on our beloved Clovers…

Today, the urn was removed. In place, we have added a 2 group Synesso Cyncra. Not once was coffee from the urn sold in our store. So, we have added a new espresso machine with the hopes of stepping up the service for our back bar and ‘for here’ drinks. I’m not completely sure of how this will develop as it is still turning in the mind of Kyle Glanville…

Changes and improvements are coming and we are preparing to step it up a notch… be afraid.

Welcome Lily!

Lily GriffithWell, I have great news. Lilly Griffith is moving to Silverlake. Of course, her parents, Shar and some dude who rolls around calling himself, Pure Shmishmabica, will be accompanying her. But watch out for this cutie to be rolling around town more often. Oh, and you should probably welcome her by buying her a decaf, agave, machiatto. She loves them! Lily comes to us (finally!) from Redlands, CA, where she has resided for the last few years of her entire life.

An Informal Introduction to Intelli.LA Regulars

Well, the bar is beautiful as ever. What’s even better than the bar itself are the customers. We have such an eclectic group of regulars. They range from Gerald, an awesome dude who used to work in the fashion industry in Chicago. Apparently, he was once a regular at the Broadway store. Gerald is probably the most encouraging customer I have ever served. He’s always quick to remind us of how much he appreciates what we’re contributing to the neighborhood.

Another favorite of mine, is a man I refer to as “Gibralter Man,” ‘Gibbie’ used to live in St. Paul and knows exactly what I’m talking about when I tell him where Kopplin’s is. He knows what a real Juicy Lucy is and that makes him cool. Plus, he drinks one of the best drinks on the West Coast.

Of course, we’re in LA, so we see a couple actors here and there. Some are even regulars. I don’t watch Heroes, but one of the dudes from there rolls in everyday. Also, a woman from the show House comes in regularly. Both are extremely nice people with no ego. Oh, and the other day, one of my favorite Grey’s Anatomy actresses came in. I wasn’t present at the time, which is probably for the better…

Jeff is someone who I would refer to as a die hard, more than a regular. It was his brother who introduced him to Intelligentsia. Some years ago, his brother passed away from cancer. Since then, Jeff has been dropping by to remember his brother. Jeff stopped by everyday the first couple weeks we were open, and everyday he had a different Intelligentsia T-shirt on. It’s always a pleasure to see him.

There are so many other names and faces that come to mind now. There’s the awkward, hot blond, who always gets an iced angelino. The manager of the neighboring restaurant who loves machiatto’s. Oh, and Josh… who manages bands. Josh is the key to some of the best local music. One of his bands, the Deadly Syndrome, just released an album you should check out.

Well, it’s the weekend and I’ll be closing tonight. Oh, before I run off, major congratulations to our store manager, Colin Mahoney and his new wife, Mary. Awesome people. They just got hitched last night! Oh, and shout out to the other newly weds, Steve Ford and Chris Baca! …not together… They have women.

PS. And I promise I’m working on getting a new camera so you can have something visual as well…

I’m not sure how to put this.

Warning: I have no idea where this post will go, but it’s gotta come out.

This has little to do with coffee and much more to do with the decisions we make in life. For once I’m on the other side of the table. The one where my parents often reside. I remember the day when I told my parents I wasn’t going back to school because I had this itch in me for coffee. I wanted to be a barista. I cared a lot about being a barista and unless I got it out, I would never be able to focus on schoolwork.

A year passed and it was time to go back to school. I drove back to Minneapolis for year two. This time, a barista, and with a new job already there for me. Then, the semester ended. I passed 0 of my classes because I was too busy being at my coffee bar and couldn’t care less about English. I dropped out for good.

I now feel close to what my parents must have felt when I told them I’d be moving out of the dorms, into a house in the ghetto, and picking up a second part time job as a roaster.

I was informed today that my little brother, who just graduated from high school and immediately started at the local community college, dropped his full scholarship and told his coach he will not be playing basketball this year. The kid breathes the sport… and I don’t understand it. His reasoning is that his heart is not into it. Apparently, he’d rather be working and making money than working just for a game. Apparently, the new goal is to save enough money to move out of our parents house by spring. I’m terrified.

I feel so many levels of fear. I see so much potential being thrown away… and it makes me wonder what I could have done. If it weren’t for Intelligentsia, I would be wondering if I had made the same mistake and I would be questioning my choices. In fact, I had been wondering right up until I arrived in LA. Once again, I’m terrified. I’m scared as hell of where this kid will land.

I guess the difference is the lack of passion. It seems okay to follow your heart and seek whatever things you really care about, but this seems about just turning down what his heart isn’t into… not going where his heart is. I really am terrified.

Anyway, I had to get this out. I’m thinking so much more carefully about life now. I guess it’s all about learning lessons… Which, apparently, is very scary.