Opened this past January, Eightfold Coffee is the latest cafe to emerge in the coffee-loving Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park. It’s a spacious newcomer that, while set away from the more bustling area of Echo Park, is already attracting coffee-loving locals and visitors with carefully crafted drinks and a welcoming vibe. The cafe is serene and bright, with white brick walls, marble tabletops, and big, open windows letting in the LA sunshine. The sleek wooden benches and communal table invite a mix of people to have a seat and unwind.
“I wanted to have breathing room, I didn’t want a small space,” says Soo Kim, co-owner of Eightfold. Coming from a design background, Kim had a clear vision of the cafe's look and feel. “I wanted to create a locally inspiring and inspired gathering space with good coffee, good people, good conversation, and a good experience overall.” Kim includes in that experience a rotation of artists on display in the cafe, and adds that she's “working hard on bringing more artists and designers into the shop to share with our community.”
Another Eightfold collaboration is with & Pens Press, which is responsible for the cafe's display of art and design books, zines, and magazines. Magazines such as Cereal, Drift, and The Happy Reader are on hand, giving coffee drinkers a chance to find inspiration while flipping through pages filled with travel, photography, typography, and more coffee.
Eightfold exclusively serves Heart Roasters out of Portland, Oregon, offering a variety of Heart’s blends served from a La Marzocco Linea Classic; the cafe pours espresso beverages, as well as cold brew and a daily hot drip. Kim plans to expand the menu and feature other creative drinks—a single-origin cold brew is also on the table. “We’re building our secret drink menu,” Kim confirms. “Our very first one is one shot of espresso plus one shot of matcha plus sparkling water for refreshment.”
In addition to coffee, Eightfold has an extensive loose-leaf tea selection that goes a bit beyond the standard chai and matcha options. “I’m very proud to serve Ippodo, the best-quality green tea from Kyoto, Japan. It is owned and operated by the Watanabe family for nearly three centuries, and has upheld the culture of matcha since they began hand picking tea in 1717,” says Kim. The choices include two kinds of matcha (ground and loose leaf), gyokuro, sencha, and hojicha. Kim says Eightfold is one of the only places in LA to get Ippodo teas, and she plans to add more choices like chamomile, rooibos, and black teas.
Pastries and treats from Farmshop are replenished daily, while doughnuts are also on the menu from Monday through Saturday. Eightfold also offers various bean-to-bar chocolates to complement their drinks. On the savory side, bento boxes by Gorumando are featured starting at noon from Tuesday through Saturday: you’ll see veggie-friendly boxes and meat options like turkey meatballs, all organic.
Before Eightfold, this stretch of Sunset Boulevard lacked a cafe that brought people together. The zen-like environment the cafe fosters, should come as no surprise, given its name. Taken from Herman Hesse’s classic Siddhartha (and Buddhist teachings in general), “the Eightfold Path” is an attempt to change patterns of thought and behavior to achieve enlightenment. It seems only right to have a dose of enlightenment with your coffee.
Tatiana Ernst is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and photographer. Read more Tatiana Ernst on Sprudge.