We first covered Maru Coffee back in 2017, and in the years since it’s become a favorite place for the Sprudge team to spend time at in LA’s Los Feliz neighborhood. Fun unknown fact: much of the writing process for The New Rules of Coffee (Ten Speed Press, 2018) was fueled by takeaway coffee from Maru.
This grow and change through the years, and Maru has, too. Now they have two locations, roast their own coffee, and will open a third outpost in Beverly Hills in 2022. Their original cafe in Los Feliz remains one of LA’s most charming coffee bars, and it’s a perfect time to check back in on Maru to find out what’s new–and what’s next.
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As told to Sprudge by Michael Caro.
Introduce yourself to our readers—tell us about your cafe!
Maru Coffee is a Korean-American owned coffee company with two locations and a roastery in Los Angeles. The name Maru comes from an old Korean phrase “San Ma Ru” meaning mountaintop. We approach coffee very simply and intentionally in pursuit of creating memorable flavors and experiences.
What equipment do you use in your shop?
Which roaster or roasters do you serve?
What is the neighborhood like where you’re located? What’s some other cool stuff nearby?
We currently have two locations (Los Feliz and Arts District) and a third location (Beverly Hills) expected to open this summer.
Los Feliz is a neighborhood surrounded by many residential properties. People that live here also hang out in the neighborhood. There are many small independent shops and restaurants but the biggest nearest attraction is the Griffith Park where many Angelinos frequently hike and picnic. The Greek Theatre in Griffith Park also holds many great concerts. This is one of the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles. People here love to support local commerce and people take pride in their neighborhood.
Arts District is an industrial area that is in the midst of transformation. While there are many warehouses and big trucks going by, it is also a place where many new good restaurants, creative studios, and offices opened up. In the vicinity, there are great restaurants like Damian by renowned chef Enrique Overa whom we have a coffee partnership with, Bestia, and Yess Aquatic which will be opening up soon. Soho House is also across the street from our shop and also a boutique hotel Kensho Ryokan is opening up this spring.
Did you close during a mandated Coronavirus shutdown, and if so, for how long?
During the pandemic, we mostly stayed open as a to-go service shop.
How has Coronavirus impacted daily work at your cafe?
We have had our fair share of challenges, just like many other businesses. Our cafe was designed with the intention of creating a warm ambience and celebrating the analog energy where simple coffee can bring people together in a shared space. The pandemic forced us to reimagine how we could still create a moment of serenity for our neighbors even while behind a glass shield.
What’s something cool or unique about your cafe you want folks to know?
For the coffees we roast and serve, we like to use single varietal coffees as often as possible for developing consistent and distinctive flavors. Additionally, all of our offerings are single origin, even our espresso offerings.
Is there a community organization or charity you’d like to shout-out as part of this feature?
Photos by Maru Coffee, used with permission