After an amicable departure from Intelligentsia, former VP of Strategy Kyle Glanville spoke with Eater about his team-up with Charles Babinski, lead trainer at Intelligentsia Venice, for a new high-concept coffee bar coming soon to Los Angeles. The still-unnamed coffee bar hasn't found a permanent location thought Glanville stated that both he and Babinski have a strong preference for the Eastside, in an underserved locale such as Echo Park.
Glanville and Babinski comprise the next major dispersal of talent from Intelligentsia's Los Angeles operations. Last year, trio Michael Phillips (2010 World Barista Champion), Tyler Wells (Intelligentsia Pasadena), and Chris Owens (Intelligentsia Venice) banded together to form Handsome Coffee Roasters, which now boasts a national wholesale distribution as well as an idealist coffee bar in Arts District. More recently former Wholesale Rep Nick Griffith joined Tony Konecny's highly-regarded Tonx, a Steve Jobs-eseque (in its ease-of-use and cool street cred), direct-shipped roasted coffee subscription that has gained the attention of the New York Times, among other outlets. Kate O'Shea left Intelligentsia Venice to become Primo Passo Coffee Co's educator.
Babinski recently placed 2nd in the 2012 U.S. Barista Championship while Glanville boasts the 2008 U.S. Barista Championship title. With their combined expertise in training, brewing techniques, and cupping coffee beans, they plan to produce what might be the most high-falutin, advanced coffee bar in Los Angeles. They'll have a strong protocol for tasting and choosing coffee from roasters around the country, much like green coffee buyers pick coffee for roasters. Though early on rumors stated that they would be exclusively using Intelligentsia coffee, Glanville has stated that this coffee bar will take samples from any roasters who are willing to send them.
One of the most salient differences this coffee bar will have from others will be its policy of using no disposables. This means no paper cups, napkins, perhaps even coffee filters. Glanville mentioned the "elephant in the room," as the coffee industry's dependance on paper and other disposable products that causes a lot of environmental waste as well as a detrimental effect on the flavor of coffee served to customers. Though details are still to be determined, they will have takeaway options, perhaps in the form of reusable tumblers and mugs.
Glanville also hinted at a that they are very close to inking a deal for pop-up operation that will last for a few months. This pop-up will allow them to "beta-test" their ideas and concepts to the public.