Hollywood’s Biggest Power Couple
Hollywood is famous for power couples: Brad and Angelina, Ben and Jennifer, Kim and Kanye, and, of course, Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski. With a cumulative résumé that includes some of the best companies and highest accolades in specialty coffee, Glanville and Babinski turned more than a few heads when they went into business together in 2012. We’ve been California dreamin’ of visiting one of their cafes for a while now, and finally got the chance to check out Go Get Em Tiger between family Christmas parties.
Innovation and Efficiency
Specialty coffee shops are always looking for a new angle, but Go Get Em Tiger is one of the few cafes we would call truly innovative. Taking a page from Italian espresso bars, GGET has done away with the cash register queue and replaced it with bar style service. More iconoclastic is the decision to pre-grind each shot of espresso. This surprised me because freshly roasted coffee ground to order is one of the main tenets of the craft coffee movement. But our barista defended the practice explaining the ground coffee has a 30 minute window before there is a noticeable decrease in cup quality. Furthermore, this allows each dose to be precisely weighed within a tenth of a gram without cutting down on speed and efficiency.
It may be premature to dub pre-grinding the new trend for 2014, but the shot of 49th Parallel’s Epic Espresso I had was delicious: super sweet with a bright acidity. The espresso was unconventionally served in a tea cup, which enhanced the aromatics, with a sparkling black tea palette cleanser. The pre-grinding might have been the cause of the thin crema, but I don’t think it subtracted from the overall experience.
Glanville and Babinski are big proponents of automated brewing methods. Their La Marzocco Linea PB is outfitted with a state of the art volumetric system (hence the exact doses), and all filter coffee is brewed with Fetco autodrippers. The autodrip, however, is brewed and served with the same precision and care reserved for pour-overs at many cafes.
I ordered the Kenya Gichatha-ini from Heart Roasters, which was served in a hand thrown tumbler and a glass carafe (wrapped in a denim handkerchief for easy handling- evidently GGET has something against handles). I’ve had this coffee before, so my expectations were set high. Thankfully, the cup did not disappoint: sweet, juicy, with notes of red fruit and a grapelike acidity. It bordered on sour as it reached room temperature, but it still ranks as one of the best cups of batch brew I’ve ever had.
Go Get Em Hollywood
The friendly service, thoughtful presentation, and exceptional drinks made Go Get Em Tiger my favorite stop in Los Angeles. With such top notch coffee in Hollywood, one can only hope we’ll see less mermaids in paparazzi photos.