Hi! I’m Sharleen, owner of Bru Coffeebar here in Los Feliz, the vibrant bohemian enclave nestled between Silverlake and Griffith Park.
For the love of cafe.
According to family legend, one of my first words was “cafe.” I grew up in a rural town in northern California, and my parents often took us on weekend outings to Carmel. Visiting small, charming cafes was an integral part of these adventures.Even as a child, I was captivated by the atmosphere of independent coffee houses and loved watching my father select special roasts to bring home so that he could come up with his own blend.
Sitting down to enjoy a perfectly brewed cappuccino or green tea eventually became a sacred part of my own day. It’s still my favorite way of recharging, either by myself or with a few close friends. It’s also my go-to ritual for enhancing the overall quality of my day.
Things can get really hectic when you’re running an independent coffee house, but I always make it a point to set aside a few minutes to enjoy the process of preparing a special cup of coffee. I love engaging and enlivening all of my senses as I prepare it.
The simple beauty of the bean, the sound of the grinder, the incredible aroma that fills the air as the hot water filters down through the grinds, the coolness of the porcelain cup, the exquisite taste of the final product—it’s all amazing. This process reminds me of the importance of slowing down and awakens me to the significance of all the little details. And over the years, I’ve deepened and refined my love for coffee.
A brand new start.
In 1999, I opened Psychobabble. We served good coffee and filled the space with large sofas and reading chairs so it had the feel of Central Perk, the coffee shop in Friends. It was a great coffee house and helped me to start understanding the industry, but when I had children, I took some time off. Once they were in school, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and get back to business.
But I wanted a new start. The industry had evolved a great deal in just ten years, and I wanted to change with it.
One of the first things we changed was our approach to coffee and tea. I didn’t want to just serve good coffee. I wanted to offer our customers the best coffees in the world, so I started taking classes through the Specialty Coffee Association of America in order to strengthen my knowledge of coffee and the best practices for preparing it.
Along the way, I discovered my fabulous roaster—Eileen Hassi, the owner of Ritual Coffee Roasters—who is dedicated to finding the highest quality beans, coaxing the full flavor from them, and making coffee production a viable way of life for the farmers with whom she does business.There are hundreds of coffee roasters to choose from these days—many of them far cheaper than Ritual—but knowing that we’re working to create a sustainable way of life for the people whose products we depend upon makes all the difference in the world. It’s worth it to me.
As I learned more and more about the fascinating world of coffee, I decided to change our offerings every week so that we could introduce our customers to a wide range of them.Selecting our single-origin coffees is one of our team’s weekly rituals. We gather together to learn about the farmers, the country in which the coffee was grown, and sample the offerings to discuss their merits as well as the differences between them. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week.
From us, to you.
I derive a great deal of satisfaction from sharing these coffees with the people who come in to Bru.
My favorite thing is seeing what happens when I convince customers who always use a lot of cream and sugar to try our coffee black. I love watching their faces light up with delight as they experience the pleasure of truly exceptional coffee. That’s when I know I’ve done a good job.
Since I wanted our tea to be just as exceptional as our coffee, I also began learning more about this aromatic beverage and searching for vendors who were in sync with our mission and values. Eventually, I discovered Miriam Novalle of T Salon and Bill Waddington of TeaSource, who now provide us with the finest, most fragrant and beautiful teas.
So if you’re looking for the best cup of coffee or tea in the Los Feliz and Griffith Park areas, come check us out. We’re also very close to Silverlake—just five miles away. I’d love to meet you!