Coffee is a science. One shop has claimed their spot in the beating heart of LA to take us back to school. Installation is more than just coffee... it’s an education.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Josh McKeown Contributing writer
There are few things so classic, nostalgic, or All-American as the door to door salesman. In the ‘Mad Men’ days of half a century ago, everyday families would rely upon the humor and wisdom of a sale-and-install gentleman who came directly to your house to improve your day to day life through the vanishing art of conversation and introduction of the latest, state-of-the-art home technology.
As far as Ben Usen, the visionary behind Installation Coffee, is concerned, this was the only way to truly reach the public with the latest coffee education, provision, and preparation (along with a fantastic bottled cold brew). It didn’t take long for him to realize that he could effectively flip the whole concept on its head, creating a one-stop-shop where you could not only get the best quality coffee for the lowest price but also learn what goes into the process and how to take it home with you.
Consider it coffee punk rock rebellion, or just a bean brewing hero finally pulling open the curtain to a new coffee movement.
Upon entering Installation’s coffee shop “classroom”, the first thing you’re immediately made aware of is how intimate and efficient the space is. Absent of tables and stocked only with to-go ware, it’s clear that this is a spot designed to fit neatly into any busy city shuffle or parking meter time crunch. Everything is pristine, polished, and in its neatly organized place—almost surgical—which serves as stark contrast to the rough, but resilient streets of DTLA upon which this coffee shop resides (within the historic Jewelry District, just a stone’s throw away from the legendary Los Angeles Athletic Club, to be exact). This shop is a gateway, bridging the gap from the average coffee drinker to the specialty coffee world and all its wonders.
The second thing any self-respecting coffee aficionado will notice is the espresso machine… well… the lack of one. That’s right, welcome to the new era of coffee, this house is espresso free. Instead, Installation brews a stronger coffee that is rich, bold, and smooth, complemented by a stand-alone steam wand made by La Marzocco. One sip from any of the shop’s specialty creations and you’ll see that coffee can truly hold its own, especially when delivered in the form of Installations’ coveted Cafe Crema, the anti-latte that will soon have you wondering why you never really noticed that you were purchasing 90% milk and just 10% espresso concoctions all these years. Cali sun on the streets? Order up the shop’s signature 50/50’s; made with deep, smooth cacao and strong coffee cold brew. Other gems include the Honey Chai Latte, or the Blood Orange Iced Tea.
What originally started as just a dream birthed by a man working at La Colombe Coffee Roasters, has grown and graduated into an official brick-and-mortar within one of the most desirable, up-and-coming neighborhoods in the world. Consider it coffee punk rock rebellion, or just a bean brewing hero finally pulling open the curtain to a new coffee movement. Either way, Ben has found a unique and surprisingly informative way to contribute his “tile” to the ever-changing, ever-growing mosaic that is Downtown Los Angeles.
Only 5% of coffee drinkers actually order an espresso, making most of the masses consuming 90% of steamed dairy in their coffee drinks. Installation has arrived to change this
Cafe Crema all day long
No egotistical coffee attitudes allowed!
Shop mate Jose is always up on the jams, ask what’s on the speakers