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The Blacktop Coffee Cold Brew Bar – An Artisanal Collaboration

Blacktop Espresso Bar in Downtown LA was founded by Tyler J. Wells, one of the trio who founded Handsome Coffee Roasters (recently acquired by Blue Bottle Coffee). As Tyler told LA Weekly, “Since the beginning, I’ve always wanted a little 200 foot espresso bar, something truly European, where people can stop in and have a drink, a little two minute bright spot in their day, and go on to whatever’s next.”

Blacktop's minimal menu - with their famed cold brew coffee.
Blacktop’s minimal menu – with their famed cold brew coffee
Blacktop Coffee Barista Nick 3
Nick, one of Blacktop’s expert baristas
Heath Ceramics Cups used at Blacktop Coffee DTLA
Earthy and beautiful Heath Ceramics are used to serve each cappuccino
Barista Measuring Espresso at Blacktop Coffee in DTLA
“I try to measure every time,” Nick periodically uses a scale to measure grounds, ensuring a consistent quality and flavor with each shot of espresso
Blacktop exclusively uses beans from Sightglass, a San Francisco-based roasting company
Blacktop exclusively uses beans from Sightglass, a San Francisco-based roasting company

That is exactly what he has created in Downtown’s flourishing Arts District – a place for the community to gather, enjoy a delicious cup of espresso or their famed cold brew coffee, chat with friends, and continue on with their day. This is not a place to bring a laptop and “pretend to be working.”  The minimal outdoor seating is comprised of tree stumps and small benches (there is no wifi).

Tree stumps make up the seating area outdoors - vegan almond milk cappuccino (with extra thick almond milk)
Tree stumps make up the seating area outdoors – vegan almond milk cappuccino (with extra thick almond milk)

We stumbled upon Blacktop recently and had the pleasure of meeting with the manager, Ryan Judd. He works with a great team of baristas to create a welcoming atmosphere, delicious bites (open-faced sandwiches), and superb coffee every day.

Blacktop Coffee Manager Ryan Judd
Blacktop Coffee Manager Ryan Judd
Farmers Market Nectarines and Burrata at Blacktop
Summer offerings: Farmers Market Nectarines and Burrata. “Nectarines are just fuzzless peaches”

At No Tox Life we make our facial and body soaps using the traditional cold-process method, meaning we make it entirely from scratch by combining oils (the acid) with sodium hydroxide, also known as lye (the base). The resulting chemical reaction converts these substances into a new, stable material known as soap.

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Vegan oils used as the base for No Tox Life soap

Some soap makers use animal fats or palm oil as the base of their bars.  We use 100% vegan and sustainable oils – olive oil, rice bran oil and coconut oil.

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Adding Blacktop Coffee grounds for exfoliation

In the multi-step soap making process we added cold brew coffee, cold brew coffee grounds, charcoal (activated hardwood charcoal powder), espresso fragrance oil with a hint of mocha and vanilla, and sprinkled coffee grounds on the finished bars.

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Blacktop Coffee Cold Brew Bar with coffee grounds on top

Our newest No Tox Life body bar is crafted entirely using cold brew coffee & coffee grounds from Blacktop. It is an exfoliating bar (one of our heaviest scrubs), with a zing of firming caffeine to wake up your skin. It is an ode to artisan craftsmanship, community and damn good coffee.

Blacktop Coffee Cold Brew Bar Exfoliating Vegan Soap
Blacktop Coffee Cold Brew Bar – Deeply Exfoliating Vegan Soap

The Blacktop Coffee Cold Brew Bar is available online and at our weekly markets.