Cafe Demitasse at the Promenade

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Cafe  Demitasse’s new location at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica is not a far cry from the style, service, and quality of their original Little Tokyo location… and that’s a good thing! It’s nice to see more and more small, local shops steadily expanding their business one location at a time, ensuring that one location does not suffer on account of too rapid a development in the business overall or an over-focus on the new store at the detriment of the old. It’s also great to see more high quality shops going up on the Westside. While we already have the Refinery (which is an excellent option for anyone visiting the Promenade) and Intelligentsia, Urth, Menotti’s within one mile, the new Demitasse is a refreshing addition to the area and a welcomed break from the endless sea of Coffeebeans and Starbux that plague LA shopping districts.

In terms of the space itself, it has a unique design and layout compared to the original. Motifs are more or less the same; modern, professional, restaurant-esq, clean. More over, brewing methods and machinery do not differ, so you can expect very similar offerings on the menu and enjoy their own-roasted beans on both sides of the city with the confidence of consistency.

There is, as is evident from the pictures, one huge difference sitting on the center of the counter; the Alpha Dominche Steampunk Brewer. I had no idea they had purchased one before my visit and was ecstatic to finally get the chance to check one out. So, I sat and talked to the barista about the inner workings and usability of the machine (let alone the sweet design). I have been following the machine since about 2012 when I saw early prototypes out on the web. It seems to have gone through quite a few changes and the finished design is stunning. Truly, it is a work of art and a centerpiece to behold. But was a machine that promised to mechanize and largely automate siphon-brewed coffee going to revolutionize the way we have our beans? Aesthetically, sure, the machine throws down with other top end equipment. Now, these are just my observations over about a 20 minute span, so take it with a grain of salt, but it seems like the machine still has a few quirks. It is, apparently, quite difficult to clean and handle; the glass crucibles (as one of the designers called it) are rather delicate and must be worked around slowly, removing the pressing mechanism for cleaning takes time, and what we find is the only automation is pouring preset volumes of water and agitating the beans. This is great! With the right programming, it seems to work beautifully. But in terms of putting a cup out quickly, both automated and non-automated siphon processes still take a bit of time.

Most important of all, however, was the taste (of course). In all honesty, both my and my partner’s coffees were outstanding but really no different than you would get from a  regular siphon. I will leave the deeper conclusions up to the pros, but the machine seems to be doing a great job.

In all, the Santa Monica location is as impressive and boasting of high quality as the original location. If you need a coffee fix on the Westside, we now have another outstanding option.

Cafe Demitasse Santa Monica
1149 3rd St
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Neighborhood: Santa Monica

(310) 260-6308



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