This article was published in 2017. For the latest on Maru, check out this article from 2022.
There’s a new coffee shop open in Los Feliz, the small neighborhood in Los Angeles that borders Silver Lake and Hollywood. A lot of small and independent businesses line the streets here, including a fair share of coffee spots. One of the newest to hit the scene is Maru Coffee, a minimalist and tranquil spot that fits into the eclectic makeup of Los Feliz perfectly.
A dream conceived by co-founders Jacob Park and Joonmo Kim more than three years ago, Maru finally began serving coffee in late September. On a visit, you may catch Park behind the bar—he’s not just an owner, but also the head barista and a certified Q Grader. Co-founder Kim is also in-house most days and manages the business side of things. “It’s an amazing feeling to see your vision come to life,” he tells me.
Maru is from an old Korean word ‘San Ma Ru’ which means mountaintop, Kim tells me, “it is our representation of high quality as good coffee beans come from high elevation,” he says. Inside, you’ll find the standard coffee menu with espresso drinks made on a sleek Synesso MVP. Kalita and Kono drippers are also on hand for pour-overs, alongside a Mahlkönig EK 43 and Mazzer grinders. Maru plans to feature three roasters at a time; on a recent visit, the shop carried Coava Coffee Roasters, Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters, and Stereoscope Coffee.
If you happen to have the time to stay and drink inside, you’ll get your beverage served in a stylish ceramic cup by Notary Ceramics from Portland, Oregon. Maru also serves a selection of herbal, green, and black teas. For now, pastries come from LA’s Cake Monkey—with treats like slices of babka, doughnuts, and savory bacon jam twists available to pair with your coffee.
There are a lot of cafes to choose from in the vicinity of Los Feliz, but they all offer something different to coffee patrons. Maru is a cafe with a mellow vibe, somewhere to get away from the chaos of the city. There is a comforting tranquility in the simplicity of it all.
Tatiana Ernst is a Sprudge staff writer based in Los Angeles. Read more Tatiana Ernst on Sprudge.