Common Room Coffee is Far from Common - Newport Beach
Common Room coffee is unique in the fact that it was never meant to be open to the public in the first place.
The location for Common Room is nestled in the quickly growing community of Westside Costa Mesa/Newport Beach.
That area in town had long been ignored or unseen, until recently. And it's creative spaces like Common Room that help fuel growth, and tap into the area's potential. (That's not to say this area is a stranger to me anymore; it's where I go grab food, kick box, cycle and hang out with friends - but for a long time it was a big question mark to me.)
And like the area of town, Common Room had some how slipped from my vision. I didn't even know about its existence until I stumbled upon it on Instagram. I said to myself several times that "I need to go!" But the odd hours (6:30a - 11a) kept me limited... until now.
As I entered the space I immediately regretted taking so damn long to get here.
The space is simple and moody with black walls absorbing most natural light. Afterall, the large windows can only let in so much light in the darker, early morning hours. But as the sun tracks upwards from the horizon, lengthy shadows set in of a cappuccino cup here, and a set of books there, against the lovely wooden tables.
You can imagine the Instagram potential here.
But aside from the warm yet moody aesthetics, the coffee here is also pleasant and delicious. This is where Timber comes in.
Barista Timber has been in the coffee game for quite some time now. She's worked her fair share of coffee joints - some you may have heard of - and has trained under by what some may consider the best in Southern California.
Timber was instantly warm, easy to talk to and for someone who truly knows a great, great deal about coffee would never come across as a nose-in-the-air barista. She instantly cares and when she asks, "How's your day?" She really is asking about how your day is going.
She's the only one behind the bar as we begin to chat it up (this is a low key shop where lines aren't expected, and hardly more than six people are in the room). She begins to tell me that the office behind the counter, all visible through the glass doors, is an advertising agency that owns the space and opened up Common Room coffee.
The owner is Australian and bought the fancy coffee equipment to provide good coffee for his staff (two questions for him: Are ya hiring?! And - Do you need staff in Australia?)
He would find Timber to help operate and serve coffee. It was then Timber suggested why not open up the space to the public - he practically already had the high quality gear needed.
(I would later casually chat with the Australian owner about the shop and he noted there wasn't something like this in the area and he wanted to provide that. He also talked of moving his agency space next door to expand both the shop space and the shop hours(!) and set up a roaster room(!!!). I may just have to move into the shop and pay rent in the form of coffee once this is all said and done - but until then I'll just have to keep you posted.)
Timber, who runs the bar with her boyfriend, was put in charge with selecting the coffee and secured the Colorado roaster Sweet Bloom Coffee. Sweet Bloom is known to be quite selective in deciding which storefronts to sell their precious beans.
She won them over, because it's Timber and her name rocks, and they rightfully concluded that she'd consistently brew the best batch, pour the best coffee and extract the most out of every espresso keeping quality consistent through and through.
In the future Timber has plans of possibly making the shop a multi-roaster to showcase different roasters from all over the world. But for now it's focused on one roaster and some fantastic doughnuts.
Ah yes, the doughnuts. I don't have to say much to convince any normal person about how tasty a doughnut is so I'll keep it short. The doughnuts are from a Long Beach company called The Caffeinated Kitchen. I got to try the "Churro" and the "Pistachio Lavender." The Churro was incredibly delicious and surprisingly light and a perfect paring with coffee. The Pistachio was something I was hesitant to try but Timber offered it on the house. ("They are small doughnuts" I told myself...) And it turned out also so yummy and in a weird way vibrant and fresh (that must be the lavender.)
The chocolate sea salt is next on my list. 😉
Anyway, if you can stop by tell them the Coffee Nomad sent ya and please order all the doughnuts you can so I don't 😁.
Until next time,
The Coffee Nomad