Urth Cafe


This place was pretty hyped up for me. I thought it was an “artisan” coffee joint because I had heard about and seen the quality of their work. So today, I finally made the trek out there. Immediately I was turned off by two things; the utter business of the store and its “manufacturing” of coffee and the fact that it was obviously a chain. Skeptical, but i had to get over myself and try a cap. I expected it to be decent at best. The menu led me to believe that it was sort of psuedo connoisseur since they referred to things like “light italian traditional roast” and asked me if I wanted an American or Italian style cap. Strange terminology, but they really just simplified coffee jargon. Cool. The place was packed, busy, the clientele were… well… “SB guests.” I did not expect a whole lot from this place.

So we sit down, and I was really impressed with their high quality free pour art on such a quickly and mass produced drink. Ok, time to taste. Now, I am reviewing this by comparing the shop to other second wave shops rather than to third wave. For a number of reasons, I want to put it in the same bracket as a Pete’s or CB or SB since it really is more of a mainstream mass consumer store. That being said, I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the drink. It was about 85% of what a good third wave shop can do. The espresso was mild, good tasting, and the milk texture was pretty smooth. Now, again, it was not anything amazing in comparison to Intelligentsia or Blue Bottle, but for what it was, a quickly produced coffee at a high volume store, it really is exceptional. If this company plays its cards right, it could be major competition for both third wave stores and put many SBs out of business. Great job guys, keep up the good work.

I liked:

  • The speed to quality ratio
  • The pie
  • The accessibility of their products to “noobs,” or rather, the way the make things simple for the customers while utilizing relatively advanced techniques
  • Lack of “barista attitude”

Urth Cafe

2327 Main St

Santa Monica, CA 90407

(310) 314-7040

  • Mon-Thu, Sun 6:30 am – 11 pm
  • Fri-Sat 6:30 am – 12 am

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