Introducing The Humble Cup

Yesterday I met with Leo Li and his new partner, Sonny Mediana, at Sonny’s recently opened coffee house, Taza, near the Santa Anita racetrack and down the street from the Arboretum in Arcadia. Leo and Sonny have just created The Humble Cup, which Your Local Hive will be launching on July 21st at our Donut Making & Coffee Brewing Workshop. Leo is a Q coffee grader, a barista at Cognoscenti in Culver, and in his spare time inspects coffee farms, coaches barista competitions, consults start-up coffee shops, and is now roasting his own micro lots of coffee. The Humble Cup is taking Leo’s expertise, choosing beans from small farms in Ethiopia, Colombia, Indonesia or Costa Rica, micro roasting the beans, and sealing them in mini vacuum packets, the size of instant cocoa. Each packet comes with a paper filter designed and copyrighted in Japan. Humble Cup packets are ready to rip open and are equipped with everything you need to create your own perfect pour-over! Seems like a brilliant invention for any number of coffee fanatics on the go; working in an office, camping in the Sequoias, out in your garden, driving up the coast, or away on business, or anywhere you might find yourself stranded without a decent cup of joe. The Humble Cup is not your Sanka of the past; its coffee that tastes so good, its as if it has just been ground in front of you, with notes of nutty, caramel, citrus, sweet, chocolate or hints of blueberry; everything we’ve grown accustomed to in our daily coffees! 

The Humble Cup Leo made me today had many of those tastes, and was a perfect cup; not too watery, not too bitter, and just as perfect as the Americanos he makes for me at Cognoscenti. I must admit though, the coffee tasting experience was also fully enhanced by the multi berry lightly glazed brioche donut, the three of us shared from Donut Snob, that Taza sells on weekdays.  OMG.  It's rare that I eat a donut, but these really got me ready and excited for Clémence and Malcolm Gossett next week! Guess I'll just have to pedal more miles!

Here are a few photos of Leo and Sonny in Taza with The Humble cup, and then, of our celebratory lunch at 101 Noodles afterward.  A great way to discover the local hive of Arcadia!!


The People of the YLH Popup Store

One of the most exciting aspects of creating a neighborhood popup store in a hip, but exacting coffee shop in Culver City, CA is the gathering or passing by, of the most interesting, diverse and eclectic group of people. Architects, tech folks, furniture designers, coffee fanatics, eaters, food foragers, like me; world citizens, all curious about delicious, beautiful, local food and the stories behind them. Most visitors arrive at Cognoscenti Coffee shop in search of the best coffee in LA, a different method of brewing it, or the nuance of the milk to the espresso taste in a bistro glass “cup”. 

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting an artist of Dutch and Indonesian descent who creates installation pieces and has written a theses around the curiosity and unfamiliarity of food, while teaching photography in one of the city colleges. And later the same day a young woman whose mother is Japanese and father Algerian, about to marry a musician and performance artist with a Mexican mother, and Egyptian father. Then there was the older Angeleno couple who float between LA and Florence, cooking, eating and writing cookbooks in between. I love meeting everyone!

Thursdays' popups often turn into an after hours dinner party of friends and neighbors drinking Martian Winery Grenache Blanc and fabulous Egyptian style beer from our friends up the street at Bar & Garden, along with takeout Hollywood Pies or Annapurna paneers. Saturdays bring in new Culver neighbors throughout the day, seeking out their perfect Cognoscenti cappuccino or single origin pour over. I always look forward to my next popup and the people I will meet.


After hours at Your Local Hive neighborhood popup store

After hours at Your Local Hive neighborhood popup store

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