Patrons of Roasted N?tz, the Long Beach community coffeehouse that dedicated itself to serving the beans of local roasters and hosted BYOV (bring your own vinyl) Sundays, noticed this past Sunday that the windows were suddenly papered up and doors were closed.
There is, however, a caffeinated lining to the tale: Were you to just step a little closer to the brown wrapping paper that prevented you from peeking inside, you would have seen the small but well-known logo of Long Beach coffee roasting company Rose Park Roasters. That’s right: The coffee company that was founded upon the beans-by-bike delivery idea is opening its first brick-and-mortar coffee shop. Opening as in today.
Rose Park Roasters burst onto the caffeine scene in 2010, just as L.A. was starting to get its own specialty coffee scene, thanks to a lead largely taken by Intelligentsia when it opened in Silver Lake in 2007. Andrew Phillips, then a roaster for coffee boss Martin Dietrich at his Costa Mesa–based Kean Coffee, decided to pair up with design and business friend Nathan Tourtellotte to offer something that, at the time, didn’t exist outside True Beans Roasters in Long Beach: a local roaster dedicated to specialty beans.
“The core of our business has always been about making the highest-end coffees as accessible as possible — particularly for those who brew coffee at home,” Tourtellotte says. “Coffee is a process that can be very welcoming, even though third-wave coffee shops have tended to make it feel elitist. We love what that third wave has accomplished in terms of quality. Now, we want to help make that quality of coffee something that happens in a really simple and comfortable way.”
That simplicity and comfort comes in tangible form in the new coffee shop, the first brick-and-mortar that Rose Park can call its own. Tourtellotte and Phillips have gutted the space, eschewing N?tz’s bohemian, DIY aesthetic in favor of clean, contemporary design elements.
“When you walk into our new coffee bar, we want every aspect of the space to simplify your coffee experience,” Tourtellotte says. “Coffee should be a small but complex journey every time. That's why the best place to enjoy it is wherever you are most comfortable. We're designing a space to that effect. We're training our staff to that effect. We're creating our menu to that effect. Everything is about simplicity and clarity and giving you a reason to pause. Ultimately we want that experience to be what our customers take home with them.”
Rose Park Roasters also is going to be a place to explore, both seasonally and regularly. Much as Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski of G&B/Go Get Em Tiger do twice a year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, Tourtellotte and Phillips want to offer seasonal drinks that will forever turn you away from the basic pumpkin spice latte. On the regular, there will be coffee and tea drinks on tap. They’re even nerding out over their Kold-Draft ice maker, which produces the large cubes typically reserved for old-fashioneds and Sazeracs.
“Our ice is going to be awesome. Right now there are some imperfections but once we have it dialed in, we'll have gorgeous, crystal-clear cubes,” Tourtellotte says. “And we're really excited about the tea service we'll be offering. We'll be sourcing some really incredible teas from this great San Francisco tea company [Red Blossom] that is also a direct importer. It's going to be beautiful and delicious.”
Rose Park is a welcome addition to Long Beach’s growing roasting scene, with the veteran Polly’s in Belmont Shore, the soon-to-be-open Heartbreak Coffee in downtown Long Beach and Alamitos Beach haven Lord Windsor holding down the fort in between.
“We just want to bring one more piece to the table, to bring a style of coffee experience that is distinctly Rose Park and that makes coffee culture in Long Beach just that much more dynamic,” Tourtellotte says. “It's a good moment to be a part of the Long Beach culinary scene. We're excited about where small businesses like ours will continue to take things going forward.”
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And fear not: They still deliver beans by bike for free throughout Long Beach.
Rose Park Roasters Coffee Bar, 3044 E. Fourth St., Long Beach.