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The Coffee Buzz

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Although LAist has visited some coffee haunts in the last few months that felt as if we had miraculously ended up in a totally different part of the world (i.e. Pasadena), there are other pockets of Los Angeles that also make one feel as if they've taken a trip through the Twilight Zone.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf #14
7502 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Hours: Monday - Friday 6:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Saturday - Sunday 7:00AM - 8:00 PM

Although those who make their daily stop at the Melrose Avenue Coffee Bean would call it the hipster Coffee Bean and those who drive by on their way to work without stopping might call it the freaky people Coffee Bean and those who work there would gladly call it the dirty bum-infested Coffee Bean, we here at LAist like to call it the hip, freaky, bum-infested Coffee Bean.

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What do you expect — this has got to be the dirtiest chain-run coffee shop in all of town.

Crunched inbetween a variety of other quirky shops selling non-brand name clothing that's just as expensive as brand-name clothing, this Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has always seemed like an afterthought to those who run it. Although the coffee drinks are on par with the rest of the CB Empire it's the atmosphere that makes it as far away from zen as you could ever get.

Mostly, it's the annoyance factor; here, people down on their luck consider a human being who is sitting still on Melrose to be a fair target. Here, if you stop still for more than five minutes or lock eyes with one of the down-on-their-luck-locals, there's a chance you'll never get out alive.

Homeless Man #1: Can you help me out, buddy? Some change or something?
Wannabe Zen Coffee Drinker: Sorry.
Homeless Man #1: Just a dollar or something?
Wannabe Zen Coffee Drinker: Sorry, can't.
Homeless Man #1: A quarter?
Wannabe Zen Coffee Drinker: How about I buy you a coffee? Or a muffin?
Homeless Man #1: Food? Forget it.
Wannabe Zen Coffee Drinker: Okay.
Homeless Man #1: You're killing me, buddy.
Wannabe Zen Coffee Drinker: Excuse me?
Homeless Man #1: Harry never would have done this to me. Harry was a kind soul. You're just a motherf*cking bastard!!

And so on, and so on.

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And although this particular locale does match the quality of the coffee you expect, there is no legitimately easy parking (you must find a metered spot on the street) which immediately relegates this locale for walking traffic only. Which most of the time ends up being the hipsters, the bums, and you — the coffee freak who cannot make it from the Westside to Hollywood without your morning fix.