When we last left Bobak Roshan, he was at the tail end of building out his coffee shop, Demitasse, and trying to figure out how many parking spaces he needed in order to comply with the myriad of confusing, and often conflicting, local laws and regulations. Now, a little over a month later, he figured out his parking situation, dealt with a few additional layers of red tape, and finally opened last Monday. Just stone's throw from Daikokuya, Roshan is relieved and excited to bring his version of a coffee shop to Little Tokyo.
"I just want to be friendly, approachable," he says. Underscoring that point is the shop's Aroma Bar, which encourages the patrons to wake up and smell the coffee, literally. The day's selection of coffee and teas are on display in individual bottles right next to the ordering counter, ready to be uncorked and sniffed.
"Coffee is more than just taste. We want people to smell the coffee, and based on what they like, we'll brew for them right here." For the brew, there are, as promised, no pour-over filters here; rather, drip coffee is brewed using the considerably less high-maintenance Clever dripper, or in a siphon filter. La Marzocco machines take care of the espresso. After sniffing out their drinks, patrons can sit at the coffee bar that dominates the café and watch their barista make their coffee, or sit outside in a patio facing Weller Court.
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Most of the beans offered at Demitasse are from San Rafael-based Equator Coffees and Teas; however, Roshan also plans to offer beans from a rotating roster of locally-based guest roasters. This month, the distinction goes to City Bean, and Roshan currently is considering possibilities for next month's guest roaster.
To eat, the coffee offers a menu primarily designed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Brentwood's Compartes Chocolatier supplies the shop's truffle selection, with a Demitasse-exclusive chocolate truffle notably infused with Equator's Guatemala La Flor del Cafe Antigua coffee. The shop also features pastries from Farmshop.
Roshan left a career in law behind in order to pursue his budding passion for coffee. What's the difference between litigating class action securities cases and running a coffee shop? "I'm working ten times as hard," says Roshan. "But having ten times the fun." Case closed.