From sunny beaches and high mountainscapes to boulevards lined with palm trees and a dense urban core, we criss-cross this sprawling cradle of pop culture to bring you stories of a rapidly diversifying coffee scene. From the history and lore of Hollywood, to a growing awareness of social justice issues—and, of course, a prolonged pandemic—we take a look at how coffee and Los Angeles have grown together over decades.
Drift Volume 11 washes up on the sunny coast of Southern California, home to one of America’s most vibrant cities. From the beach volleyball courts of Santa Monica to the ever-changing neighborhoods of its urban core, the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles is home to a wide range of communities. Whether it’s specialty Colombian coffee at Andrés Piñeros’s coffee shop in the “surfurbia” of Redondo Beach, or Jonathan Yang’s Cantonese-inspired drinks at Thank You Coffee in Chinatown, L.A. has something for everyone. But as the coffee pioneers of the city’s Westside, like Menotti’s in Venice Beach, or the emerging Black-owned coffee shops, like Bloom & Plume Coffee in Filipinotown, demonstrate, beneath the glossy patina of the city’s celebrity glamor is an incredibly diverse coffee culture that—like Saugus Cafe, which was founded in 1888—is steeped in history, and offers unique perspectives that make Los Angeles a dynamic place to live, visit, and drink coffee.
Drift Volume 11 includes:
- From puppuccinos for four-legged friends to macadamia milk for those seeking dairy alternatives, Los Angelenos are finding a quickly diversifying coffee culture.
- Old Hollywood, new Hollywood, old Chinatown, new Chinatown: we visit old favorites and newcomers.
- From surfing to volleyball, the sandy beach communities of Los Angeles’s South Bay have created a unique coffee culture for Olympic athletes and recreationalists alike.
- High in the Santa Barbara hills and beyond, a budding coffee farm hopes to bring coffee closer to Southern California and create a new ecosystem.
- And more…