Coffee Shop Spotlight: The Assembly
Into specialty coffee and stunning decor? We are too and that’s why we love West Hollywood coffee spot The Assembly so much. We caught up with the manager of this epic establishment, Brian Barnes, to get the low down on the customers, the brews, and the clothes. Here’s what he had to say.
Introducing The Assembly
How long has The Assembly been in business?
The Assembly’s been up and going for nearly two and a half years.
Where do your coffee beans come from?
We serve, exclusively, beans from Counter Culture, which is a roaster based out of Durham, NC.
What are some specialty coffee drinks on the menu?
We have standards like the Capp and Cortado on the menu to other, more playful options like the “Queen Bee” and the “Crescendo.”
What is the most popular drink on the menu?
Cold Brew, Matcha in various forms, and just about anything with almond milk.
What is your average customer like? Do you have any regulars?
We consist mostly of neighborhood regulars with a combo of residents and local business peeps. We’re definitely a “neighborhood cafe.”
Brews According to Brian
How and when did you get your start in the coffee industry?
I relocated to LA from Philly seven years ago and, within a year, I was working for Intelligentsia when they were still the only third-wave game in town.
What are some of your favorite coffee shops in town or around the world?
That’s a tough question because so much depends on mood. If I could own a spacious yet cozy coffee shop somewhere around Big Sur with the balance of mountains and the Pacific out the window, I’d likely refer to it as heaven.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me is going with the unpredictable flow of customers, orders, requests, orders, and the like. No two days are the same, which is fantastic.
What is your daily uniform?
My daily uniform is casual, clean, and presentable.
What is your favorite drink on The Assembly menu?
How do you drink your coffee?
I either drink my coffee black or, if espresso, with a minimal amount of milk (the Cortado/Gibraltar is a “go-to”).
Do you have a favorite coffee shop playlist artist/song?
Tough question. All comes down to the vibe you’re feeling on any given day. Coltrane, Sade, Miles, Badu, Horace Silver, Duke, Stevie or, some days it’s all Duran, Duran, Phil Collins and sometimes it’s nothing but Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, etc.
What is your #1 tip for making good coffee at home?
Invest in a quality grinder. Period.
Noted! Next time you’re in LA, stop by The Assembly and catch up with Brian. Tell him we sent you.