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Intelligentsia Employees to Open High Concept Coffee Bar With No Paper Cups Rule

(Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
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Former Intelli employees Charles Babinski (2nd in the 2012 U.S. Barista Championship) and Kyle Glanville (2008 U.S. Barista Champion) are about to embark on a new project on the Eastside, reports Eater LA. They're hoping to create the most fancypants coffee shop in the city, outdoing Handsome Roasters no-sugar rule with a no paper cup rule. There's also rumor that the establishment might not offer paper napkins or coffee filters either. It's true that coffee tastes much better out of ceramic, and saving a tree or two couldn't be a bad thing, right? Still, we're sure there will be plenty of kvetching once the Yelpers figure catch wind of the yet-to-open establishment's paperless policy.

The ex-Intelligentsia employee's new rule is likely part of what third-wavers believe makes coffee bars different than grab-and-go shops: Not doing take-away service means you actually have to sit down and have a conversation. This is also why some establishments don't offer WiFi.

The partnership marks the latest exodus from the Chicago-based coffee shop. It almost seems like they're becoming the Patina of the coffee world, training up-and-comers who then blossom into running their own successful establishments.

Says Eater:

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"Glanville and Babinski comprise the next major dispersal of talent from Intelligentsia Champion), Tyler Wells (Intelligentsia Pasadena), and Chris Owens (Intelligentsia Venice) banded together to form Handsome Coffee Roasters, which now boasts a national wholesale distribution as well as an idealist coffee bar in Arts District. More recently former Wholesale Rep Nick Griffith joined Tony Konecny's highly-regarded Tonx, a Steve Jobs-eseque (in its ease-of-use and cool street cred), direct-shipped roasted coffee subscription that has gained the attention of the New York Times, among other outlets. Kate O'Shea left Intelligentsia Venice to become Primo Passo Coffee Co's educator."

The team is looking to open their space in the Eastside/Echo Park areas , which they feel are "underserved" in the specialty coffee department. Aside from the Susina-owned Fix and Chango, there's really not much in terms of third wave out there. Judging by how packed the Fix patio gets on the weekdays, a new shop in the Park would be a welcome addition.