Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Ink & Bean" Coffee Maker for a Day

And now for something completely different.  

"Careful, it's hot."

I made a resolution this year to break away from my desk, now and then, and do something totally new to me—and then write about the experience.  Things I've always dreamed of doing, such as playing guitar in a Mariachi band, or traveling to the Antarctic on a submarine.  Or maybe working as a barista for a day.

Recently the least-complicated of my pie-in-the-sky wishes was granted.  I took a non-paid, one-day-only job at the beautiful new "Ink & Bean Coffee Saloon and Wordshop" in downtown Anaheim. 

Ink & Bean is highly photogenic!

Ink & Bean is our brand new local hangout that feels like it's been around for about eighty years.  It's the kind of place I absolutely love, with a creative vibe that makes me want to just sit and read or draw for a whole afternoon.  The "Ink" in Ink & Bean refers to writing, and the theme is carried out in every detail.  Antique typewriters decorate one wall—black Underwoods, Royals and Smith-Coronas—with room for more.  The central table is illuminated by a 1950s 8mm film projector re-born as a table lamp, and they have a working rotary dial telephone.  

Among the well-stocked merchandise shelves are some vintage books for sale (cheap!) and parked outside is a little silver Airstream trailer with books for exchange (free!)  There are plans for writer workshops, author readings, and poetry contests.  I hear they're going to play old radio shows here!   Even the baristas, dressed in thick grey-green aprons and caps, resemble a team of old-timey typesetters in a print shop.

Me trying to blend in with the pros: Pam Hamidi, Amy Wilcox, and CodyBarczak 

Ink & Bean proudly serves Stumptown coffee roasted in Portland and brewed hot and fresh throughout the day.  There are chilled dark bottles of "Cold Brew" in the fridge, as well as toasty bags of whole Stumptown beans to take home (my favorite is the Rwanda Muyongwe, with hints of vanilla, plum, port wine and maple—it's mighty good!) 

 When I arrived at the shop on a Tuesday morning, a Stumptown trainer was intently walking the crew through the fine art of brewing perfect espresso shots and "polishing" steamed milk to a beautiful white gloss.  I was issued a hat and apron and put to work carefully measuring and grinding beans for espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. I felt like a scientist.  The aromas, including those of the fresh-baked scones and brioches (and a gift from the gods called a "black widow tart") from Blackmarket Bakery, inspired me to pack a sack of goodies to take home at the end of the day. 

I enjoyed being a barista for a day, and if I do it again sometime (before I forget everything I learned), I'll let you know.  And when I play guitar in a Mariachi band, I'll let you know about that, too.

In the meantime, if you're in the Disneyland area and simply craving a hot cup of exceptional coffee on a real hometown "Main Street", this is the place.  Ink & Bean is tucked between THE GOOD Californian Haberdashery and Center Street Cheese Shop on the newly refurbished Center Street Promenade.  Take my word for it and GO!

Ink & Bean Coffee Saloon and Wordshop 


The Sunshine Grove said...

Aw, man. I wish I had stopped in for coffee that day! The cold brew coffee is amazing!

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