There’s a new coffee shop on Hollywood Boulevard that tends to not take itself so seriously yet couldn’t be more technical in its approach to its craft. Each wall of the distinctly whimsical interior of Rubies + Diamonds is enough to win over any Instagram star, but its vast menu of caffeine-rated coffee, signature lattes, steeped teas and nitro-chilled teas is what is giving beverage junkies plenty to nerd out over.
While nitro-carbonated cold brew coffee is currently all the rage at places like Stumptown, Rubies + Diamonds is introducing Los Angeles to "nitro tea hybrids," priced at $5.50 per glass, or a flight of four for $8. Beverage director Precy Betiong and Aaron Rodriguez combined matcha green tea with almond milk for a vegan-friendly, micro-carbonated, creamy beverage. Their nitro turmeric tea is accented with yuzu and rosemary, and is also delicious when combined with their nitro ginger ale green tea. The nitro technology is calibrated to each flavor so as to create a creamy, cascading head when poured into its glass from the tap, resulting in a wonderfully smooth application of tea. According to Betiong and Rodriguez, different nitro teas will be changed out from time to time.
Signature coffee drinks are solid as well, made using beans from shop founder Jean Shim’s wholesale coffee business, which ranks each bean blend by its level of caffeine (Shim was a co-founder of LAMill Coffee before branching out to open her own shop). They include a rose vanilla latté, a caramel sea salt latté and a sea salt cold brew; the latter two can also be made vegan. Drawing from Shim’s heritage, the team also formulated their own version of a hot or iced misugaru, a traditional, multigrain Korean drink.
At the heart of Rubies + Diamonds' high-tech beverage program is a BKON brewer, the price of which has varied from $14,000 to $40,000 — depending on whom you ask. It’s a technological beast with a patented process called RAIN (Reverse Atmospheric Infusion), which vacuums air from inside the coffee or tea’s cellular structure in order to extract its purest essence, after which it’s infused with liquid. A touchscreen serves as both a control panel and talking point about what exactly it is you’re brewing at the moment.
While coffee and futuristic tea beverages are the focus of the menu, there is also a small selection of beers on tap, plus wine and food offerings that include sandwiches made with bread from Larder by Suzanne Goin, and even cookies made by Shim’s daughter.
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If R+D’s massive drink menu sounds overwhelming, it probably should. A flight of nitro teas is worth the taste test, but multiple visits would be necessary to try all worthy drinks without getting too hyped on caffeine. Stop in for a dessert drink such as the sea salt cold brew for a pick-me-up in the middle of the day. The beautiful space with its pink, black and gold eye candy and reasonable price points make it easy to return, again and again.
Rubies + Diamonds, 6115 W. Sunset Blvd., Ste 150, Hollywood; (323) 465-0400, rubiesanddiamonds.com.