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Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
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Discussions > Regional > US West > Coffee Klatch...  
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Mark_C
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Posted Sun Feb 11, 2007, 6:57pm
Subject: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

I'm down in L.A. on business and, after having read the glowing reviews about the Coffee Klatch in San Dimas, decided I'd drive about an hour total out of my way today to check it out.  The end result was that I liked the atmosphere of the place (I actually hung out a while on their comfy chairs surfing the internet via their free wifi), but had a mediocre drink and a vaguely negative customer service experience.  Maybe I've become totally spoiled by living in Seattle and getting to hang out regularly at Vivace, Vita, etc for 8 years or so, but I was surprised more than anything by the seeming unsophistication of the baristas who were there.  I'm also nutty enough (like many of us) to have PID'd a Zaffiro and have pretty high expectations for what constitutes a really good espresso shot or milk-based drink.

My experience: normally when I'm trying a new place that is supposed to be good, I'll get a straight espresso shot (or a macchiato) and a double latte with relatively minimal milk (about 6 ounces...not 12 or more ounces like Starbucks serves up...which I think still allows me to appreciate the coffee although admittedly watered down somewhat).  Given that it was late afternoon and I didn't necessarily want that much caffeine, this time I figured I'd start with the latte and, depending on what I thought of it, get the straight shot or macchiato.  Much to my surprise for a high-quality place, their latte choices on their drink board were a single-shot latte with 12 oz of milk or a double latte with a whopping 16oz...in my view, way too much milk for the regular drinks.  More to my surprise, when I asked if I could have a double latte with only 6-8 ounces of milk, I got somewhat of a confused reaction ("oh, a 'latte' has 12 ounces of milk"  "I know, but can you just pour in less milk" "how about a 12 oz cappuccino which will have less milk and more foam" "no thanks, I don't really want all the foam, can you just make a latte and pour in less milk" "uh, yeah I guess so").  When I got the drink (made by a different person than who took the order), it was actually a 12 ouncer...one sip and I could barely taste anything but milk.  I told the barista that I had asked for an 8 ounce drink, and her also-confused response was that they don't have any 8 oz cups.  Then she offered to pour out 4 ounces of the drink!  Uh, that doesn't work, I say, because I wanted a stronger coffee flavor.  Then she offers to pour out 4 ounces and add more espresso.  Uh, that's great and I'm sorry to be difficult, but I don't want that much espresso.  By this time the order-taker has come over and they're exchanging knowing glances like I'm a monster PITA customer.  One finally suggests to the other that they make me a new drink, which I gladly accept and she hands me it in about 15 seconds (literally)...I couldn't quite see behind the machine, but seriously I think an old double shot must have been cooling its jets given how quickly she handed it to me.  The end result was a mediocre drink with milk that was almost scalding hot.   Needless to say, I wasn't impressed at all.

I had high expectations coming in, which, of course, adds to the sense of disappointment at the visit.  In hindsight, my drink and experience were mediocre but not a total disaster, and given that one drink on one particular day isn't necessarily representative of a place, I'll probably give it another chance on a different day if I happen to be nearby.  In any event, one additional data point for those considering driving a long way to find some good espresso in L.A. (which definitely ain't easy to find).
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GaryH
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GaryH
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Posted Sun Feb 11, 2007, 9:27pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

I also had a disappointing visit at Coffee Klatch in San Dimas December 27, 2006. Took these pics. The 3oz double espresso, pulled in a ~7oz cup, had some carbon taste and a really weird after-taste. This ugly looking macchiato was about 6-7 oz in volume. I prefer them to be about 4oz or less in volume. When the barista ground the beans in the PF using a Swift(?) grinder (not shown in photo), she walked away to help another barista, then the phone rang which she answered. By that time the grounds were in the PF for about 50 seconds before she transfered the PF to the espresso machine to pull the shot. Should not be this way.

GaryH: Klatch_coffeehouse_122706-2.jpg
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GaryH
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GaryH
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Posted Sun Feb 11, 2007, 9:35pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

I bought some expresso beans from Coffee Klatch that were roasted on December 26, 2006. That's right, they wrote expresso on the bag which they corrected to espresso. Five days later pulled some nice shots at home with very good complexity. Then something odd happened, 7 days after roast the shots consisted mostly of carbon taste.

GaryH: Klatch_shots_123106.jpg
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GaryH
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GaryH
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Posted Sun Feb 11, 2007, 9:38pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

I also visited Coffee Klatch in San Dimas in May 2005 and February 2006 and the double espressos were very good! Easily best coffee house in LA at that time.

GaryH: Klatch_coffeehouse_May05.jpg
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GaryH
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GaryH
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Posted Mon Aug 2, 2010, 11:13am
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

I visited Coffee Klatch in San Dimas on 7/24/10. Took these pics. They have a small V60 pour-over bar. The double espresso was pulled in a ~7oz cappuccino cup, even though they have regular espresso cups. The espresso, pulled with the Klatch house blend, had some complexity with a little carbon taste. Pretty boring, disappointing.

GaryH: Klatch-Jul2010.jpg
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Kamera
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Posted Sat Aug 7, 2010, 7:52pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

I finally made it out to the Klatch in San Dimas.  I wish I would have taken some pictures but I didn't think about it at the time.  Klatch is clearly third wave but some of their choices do seem at odds with what I have come to expect from a third wave cafe.  Maybe I have just been spoiled by Intelligentsia.  I think us Coffee Geeks can be laser focused on flaws sometimes since we have such exacting standards but I will say there was a lot of good at Klatch and some not so good.

The good:
I ordered a double espresso and cappuccino.  The espresso was in the ristretto style but not as tight of a ristretto as a lot of third wave cafes serve.  It was very pleasant though and I was entirely happy with it.  It's not one of the top espressos I've had but I would order it again and be happy.  I've ordered beans from Klatsch numerous times and have tasted the char that other people have mentioned.  I'm not sure what causes it with Klatch, even some of the lighter roasted beans will have the char taste, but I did not taste any char or carbon in the espresso today.  It was tasty, well balanced if not overly intense.  It was also served in the proper espresso demitasse.  

The cappuccino was steamed and foamed perfectly.  The milk had the sweet taste to it that a good cappuccino should have.  

The coffee on sale was of a large variety and had some great choices.  I picked up a micro lot Colombian and an estate Costa Rican.  

The bad:
I was asked if I wanted a single or double cappuccino.  I ordered a double not realizing that the drink itself would be larger.  I was simply expecting a stronger cappuccino.  I agree with the others who have mentioned that the drink sizes at Klatsch are too big.

The coffee beans on sale were not all very fresh.  I picked out a couple bags at first not realizing they were roasted on 7/21.  Eighteen days old seems too long in the tooth to me.  Especially when it is micro lot and estate coffees that you are selling.  I put those bags back and got a couple fresher choices instead.  

All in all I enjoyed my visit to Klatch.  It is not one of the top coffee bars that I've been to.  It is nowhere near the Intelligentsia, Stumptown and Vivaces of this world but it was a very competent cafe making some good coffee.  I would happily go back.
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
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Location: Inland Empire California
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Posted Wed Aug 11, 2010, 9:43pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

I went here after several recommended it. Out this way, we do not have a lot of choices. I was not horribly disappointed with the fancy drinks I bought there. One day, I walked into the smaller Ontario store and they had fresh roasted Panama Esmeralda Mario Carnival. Roasted the day before.

I plunked down the 40 bucks. It smelled wonderful. This was a Saturday. Monday, we pressed a pot in the afternoon. We looked at each other thinking it was some weird fluke. We tried again the next day and poured most of it down the drain.

It was by far the most awful coffee I have ever drank. It tasted like the aftertaste of a bad piece of meat.

I've not good back.

 
The world needs more outstanding coffee.

do you game?:
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rocktageous
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Posted Thu Aug 12, 2010, 2:51pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

For all of the, understandable harping on drink sizes and baristi, Klatch does sell excellent roasted coffee. The last time I stopped by, the majority of the bags were shamefully stale, but when fresh, their coffees can be spectacularly good.
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lifeandpeace
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lifeandpeace
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Posted Sun Aug 22, 2010, 11:27am
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

cerridwyn Said:

I went here after several recommended it. Out this way, we do not have a lot of choices. I was not horribly disappointed with the fancy drinks I bought there. One day, I walked into the smaller Ontario store and they had fresh roasted Panama Esmeralda Mario Carnival. Roasted the day before.

I plunked down the 40 bucks. It smelled wonderful. This was a Saturday. Monday, we pressed a pot in the afternoon. We looked at each other thinking it was some weird fluke. We tried again the next day and poured most of it down the drain.

It was by far the most awful coffee I have ever drank. It tasted like the aftertaste of a bad piece of meat.

I've not good back.

Posted August 11, 2010 link

Do you know for sure that it was a fresh harvest and not held over green for some time?

 
www.lampmode.com
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
Joined: 6 Jun 2010
Posts: 505
Location: Inland Empire California
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Mon Aug 23, 2010, 4:13am
Subject: Re: Coffee Klatch (L.A. area) -- disappointed
 

Not at all. All I can tell you is the day it was roasted per the label, the day I bought it and the day I made it.

It was so not what I expected from a roaster who had ratings like theirs).

(Their Ontario location is their smallest. Only one there that morning was the Barista. )

 
The world needs more outstanding coffee.

do you game?:
http://forum.paxcorvus.info
http://www.outland.org
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