The Paramount Coffee Project, a shop brought to you by a trio of folks from Australia, is now open in Fairfax Village.
The Project is a collaboration among Russell Beard, Mark Dundon and Jin Ng. These names may be familiar if you follow the Australian specialty coffee scene: Beard is the owner of Reuben Hills, a café and roastery, in Sydney, and Dundon hails from Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters in Melbourne. The two, along with Ng, worked together to open the Paramount Coffee Project in Sydney’s Surry Hills in 2013.
What has made the place a destination for many specialty coffee aficionados since it opened in Sydney — other than its fine coffee and food — is its innovative approach to coffee education.
They’ve sent out the same lot of green beans to local roasters to roast, for instance, giving roasters the chance to see how their colleagues handle the same batch of beans, and customers the rare chance to compare, side by side, how roasters differ in style.
They’ve also invited various coffee professionals, like G&B Coffee’s Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville, to come down and run the shop for a week. Those residencies, Beard says, “expose us to new, sometimes better, techniques and approaches. As a result, we adopt some of their principles, and the overall experience for the customer is better.”
Paramount Coffee Project’s Los Angeles shop is the first location outside Australia, and while the owners are adjusting to a few things (the weather right now, for one), they’ve tried to retain much of what makes the Sydney shop successful. They’ve brought their own beans with them, as well as a few from other international roasters. There probably isn’t a more unique lineup of coffee anywhere else in town right now.
On the menu are drip coffee and espresso drinks. Yes, there is a flat white. There is a cappuccino, too, with the difference between the two being that their flat white is a “milkier” drink, says Dundon, as it has only one shot of espresso as opposed to the double shot that’s in the cappuccino.
If you don’t want coffee, you may want to consider the pumpkin pie hot chocolate, a Clover juice or Song tea. And there’s a shake made of Vegemite — there’s a huge canister of the stuff sitting on a shelf in the open kitchen — and butterscotch.
Pastries and baked goods are from FarmShop, and chef Wilfredo Majano — whose resume includes Petit Trois and the French Laundry — oversees a nice offering of breakfast and lunch fare.
The menu includes things you might expect to see at a place like this (avocado toast, a “Dirty Bird” chicken sandwich, Lamington-stuffed French toast) as well as things you might not (black sticky rice, beautiful bowls of cashew nut yogurt). There are a few off-menu specials, such as a soft shell crab burger.
You can order any of the above from the takeout window in the front, or inside. If you intend to stay a spell, though, you can just wander in, grab a seat in the shop or at the front or back patio, and a server empowered with an iPad will come along in due time to take your order. And when you need another cup of coffee? The server, the iPad. Table panic is not something you will likely experience here.
The Paramount Coffee Project is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
456 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 746-5480, www.pcpfx.com.