Balancing Beans: Tilt Coffee Bar

Tilt is turning the coffee world on its head and redefining what hospitality means within the specialty coffee industry. Read on to learn more about the new kid on the block and their signature drinks that are putting them above the clouds.

Hey coffee lovers, get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience at LA’s newest coffee shop, Tilt Coffee Bar! We had the pleasure of stopping by Tilt during one of our Sunday afternoon coffee crawls (hopefully you had a chance to see our story last week on Instagram) and got to meet the great guys behind the bar, owners Suk Hong and Kyuho Choi. Something big is brewing within the Old Bank District of DTLA and Tilt, with it’s futuristic and edgy coffee shop is enticing people by sharing a whole new level of coffee with the people of Los Angeles.

We can honestly tell you that before we knew of Tilt, we passed their shop three times that week driving to different shops in DTLA. So, just imagine our surprise when we figured out how close it was to one of our favorite shops – Giorgi Porgi (you can see GP from Tilt‘s patio). But, don’t let that make you question the location of Tilt because once you find it, you’ll want to hang out for awhile and maybe even contemplate moving into The Medallion, the luxury apartments that are connected to Tilt and making way for even more businesses within the complex.

Welcome to Tilt Coffee Bar, turning the coffee world on its head.

Seeing Tilt for the first time kind of catches you off guard. You can’t help but do a double take at how magnificent the structure is, perched at the center of the complex; the front of the quaint shop makes way for natural light to pour in through the windows and the backside serves as beautiful landscaping, almost camouflaging Tilt. With child-like fascination, we took some time exploring the entire area surrounding the shop and sat on one of the triangle-shaped wooden benches, basking in the warm sun. It’s simply beautiful.

But, enough about the outside of the coffee shop. We want to let you know why you should make your way to Tilt, like, now.

For one, the owners Hong and Choi are so welcoming. Their hospitality makes you want to stay long after you’ve enjoyed one of their tasty beverages. What’s more, their excitement and passion for coffee is an extraordinary thing to witness, so don’t be surprised that when you visit, you feel more inspired than you were before! Plus, music is a biggie with us and they had some great tunes streaming through the bluetooth speaker.

The infamous, cloud mocha.

For two, they make some killer drinks that are so unique and so artisanal that you crave ’em every single day after you’ve had one. Trust us when we tell you that a big chunk of your coffee money will go to this shop after you’ve visited once…you’ve been warned. One of their signature drinks is called the cloud mocha and if that doesn’t intrigue you, let us explain what’s in a cloud mocha. The drink consists of espresso, milk, chocolate and cold cream. Pretty simple ingredients and what most would consider to be a standard mocha latte. However, there’s just a little more to it than that. You see, the cloud mocha can only be served in a special glass cup and must be consumed immediately to get the sensory overload that is the hot/cold effect of the drink. It’s the type of drink that makes you go, “Whoaaaa!” right after your first sip. And then after your next sip. Then, next sip. OK, we think you get the point. It’s darn good.

When we asked Choi what his inspiration was behind the cloud mocha, he simply said that during a trip to Korea, he was at a coffee shop and the barista gave him a drink similar to the cloud mocha. After his first taste, he knew that he wanted to somehow make his own version and incorporate it onto his menu, so through trial and error, he recreated it and voila, the cloud mocha.

Cloud latte and regular latte

The second specialty drink is the cloud latte, a hybrid of Choi’s cloud mocha and LA’s favorite type of coffee drink, iced lattes. This delicious beverage has espresso, milk, maple syrup and cold cream. The secret to the drink, which can only be consumed in a tall glass cup, is making sure to push the ice cubes down to stir up the latte. Trust us, the flavors are great separately, but even better mixed together.

Friends supporting friends, pick up an LADOT Zine at Tilt.

As for all of you coffee snobs out there wondering what type of beans Tilt uses (we see you over there sizing them up), they’ve got a lot of heart for Heart Roasters. In fact, Heart is the only roaster they’re currently using and pairs well with any of the pastries and croissants in their display case. Make sure to grab a cuppa in one of their handmade ceramic mugs (crafted by a friend) and watch Choi, a recent latte art throwdown champion, work his magic behind the bar. And if you need any coffee shop recommendations, Hong’s got you covered, so make sure you ask him where you should go after getting your fill at Tilt!

A beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Although the shop is small inside, the patio seating/various grassy spots and benches surrounding the shop are perfect for hanging out or reading a book. Feeling chilly outside, or at least for Southern California standards? No worries because Tilt has a small basket of blankets to keep you warm and toasty. It’s those little touches that make a huge difference as far as coffee shops go because if we’re being honest, the city is saturated with coffee shops meaning that coffee lovers have so many choices as far as where they’re willing to spend their money. But, from our personal experience, Tilt is one of those shops we’d drive through rush hour traffic for because they just get it.

Tilt is turning the coffee world on its head and redefining what hospitality means within the specialty coffee industry. You won’t want to miss out on seeing the process of this coffee shop as it evolves, so grab some friends and stop by as soon as you can.

And if you do swing by, be sure to tag  us on Instagram and feel free to use our hashtag #dailycoffeerun to share your daily cup of coffee with us!


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