Originally appeared in the LA Times
Written by Betty Hallock
Industrial-sleek coffee shop and roaster Bar Nine Collective officially opened its doors to the public Tuesday in a cavernous warehouse in the Hayden Tract of Culver City.
Founded by Zayde Naquib, who ran the coffee installation at MOCA's Mike D-curated Transmission LA exhibit, and Jereme Pitts, Bar Nine is located in a 3,400-square-foot space that used to be a food truck commissary kitchen. It now features an expansive bar with a shiny new Modbar espresso making system (the first in Los Angeles) and an on-premises matte black Probatone 12 Series roaster.
The coffee bar faces the large glass doors that open onto its patio, equipped with the stainless steel taps and steam arms of the Modbar system, an upstart machine that features a touch-screen panel to control temperature, dosage (a set quantity of water) and pressure profiling (water pressure at the grouphead that is varied during the brew process to alter the extraction).
"It’s not without its trials, but it’s an amazing system," said roaster Mitchell Tellstrom, formerly of Barrett's Micro Roast Coffee in Austin. "The product that it yields -- it’s hard to drink espresso from elsewhere.... The best part of the pressure profiling is it's the first company to really have a way of automating it so it has repeatable results."
The space houses a cupping bar and communal table and features a large outdoor patio. Cuppings have been held each Sunday at noon since the beginning of the year.
Tellstrom recently was serving coffee from Cotecaga station in western Rwanda, another from Karongi Gitesi, also in Rwanda, and a microlot coffee from the Segec station in Burundi's Kayanza region.
Bar Nine serves espresso and espresso/milk drinks with whole milk or its own house-made hazelnut milk.
The new coffee shop emphasizes sustainability (it's partially solar-powered) by using compostable packaging and serving coffee to go in reusable glass jars. Bring your own coffee cup cozy.
3515 Helms Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 837-7815, www.barninecollective.com.