Santa Monica's Caffe Luxxe
I've gotten used to getting an overly sweet latte from my closest Starbucks, usually by drive thru, if not only to put headphones in to get a few hours of work done. Before visiting Caffe Luxxe, I'd forgotten what it's like to be in a café that prides itself on its atmosphere, its vibe and the quality of its coffee over the convenience factor. However, that's exactly what I was exposed to when entering into one of its Santa Monica locations.
Sure there were a couple of people working on their laptops, but the vast majority were face to face with a comrade enjoying a good ol' one on one conversation, something that seems to get a bit lost in the go-go-go of bustling LA culture. Some were on their own, but instead of staring down at their phone, they had their hands wrapped around a latte or were eating a colorful macaroon, enjoying the sun streaming through the windows and the cozy decor.
Caffe Luxxe manages to make an old-school concept, new-age by encouraging their patrons to put down their phones, even if it's just for a while, and enjoy the warm intimate atmosphere that they provide. In fact, as unnerving as it is to most millennials, they don't provide a WiFi connection to encourage it to be replaced with a human connection.
You can't get away with talking about a café without going into detail about their coffee. I am no coffee connoisseur, but I could immediately tell the difference between the latte I enjoyed there and the one I would get on a typical day. Namely, that I didn't need a teaspoon of sugar to enjoy it. After sitting down and talking to one of the co-founder's and hearing about how Caffe Luxxe makes sure that their coffee is perfect from the specific beans they pick to the hand crafted latte art that the barista lovingly designs on each cup, it all made sense.
If you live in the LA area or are planning a visit, I highly recommend checking them out and seeing for yourself what it's like to be in its cozy environment.