Lavender & Honey Espresso Bar owners Melanie and Charlie Porter have officially fired up their La Marzocco. The coffeehouse and deli had its grand opening on Saturday, June 21, as a crowd of obviously caffeine-deprived locals filled the corner brick building on East Washington Boulevard, on the northern edge of Pasadena. It's a neighborhood known mostly for excellent burritos and Armenian food, not so much excellent coffee, so the espresso engines are very, very welcome.
The Porters took over a location that once housed a kids ceramics shop, converting it into a lofty coffeehouse with white tile, strung lights and window seats, shelves for locally made jams and baked goods, and a long counter to house the Marzocco Linea.
The Porters are sourcing locally, with coffee beans from Klatch Coffee in Upland, baked goods from Berolina Bakery and Pastry Shop in Glendale and Poppy Cake Baking Co. in Sierra Madre, and gluten-free items from Rising Hearts. Thus to pair with your cortado, there's a toast menu - the Pasadena toast, with avocado and chiles, is terrific - and a list of sandwiches, pastries, salads, various hot chocolates and a kids menu with milk and cookies, PB&J, and Nutella and banana toast. (Which, of course, you do not have to be underage to order for breakfast.)
As for why this little corner of northern Pasadena, not only are the coffee beans and pastries local but the owners are, too: Charlie Porter is from nearby La Cañada. Outside you'll find sidewalk and side patio seating plus - gasp - an actual parking lot. And once the crowds dissipate, back to their homes and offices, there's a cozy place to work, happily close to the espresso engines, as there's not only parking but free Wi-Fi (honeybee; lavender1383).
There will be even more reasons to head to the area, just west of Hill Avenue, in the near future. Melanie Porter says they're going to start having small pop-ups in the patio area for local artisan producers soon. The coffeehouse is open every day at 7 a.m. (8 a.m. on Sundays).