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Minimalist Perfection at LA’s Maru Coffee

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Minimalist Perfection at LA’s Maru Coffee

March 27, 2019

The next time we’re in LA, we’ll be stopping by one of Maru Coffee‘s two locations. We’ve been following its Instagram account, @marucoffeela, and are intrigued with its minimalist design and attention to detail.

The founders, Joonmo Kim and Jacob Park, who met while working at a coffee shop—naturally—opened Maru’s first location in Los Feliz in 2016. (Maru roughly means “mountaintop” in Korean, a nod to both their shared heritage and to the fact that good coffee beans often come from high altitudes.) After gaining a loyal following of coffee fiends and design aficionados alike, they opened a second, larger location in the Arts District last year.

Kim and Park have no design experience, but with help from YouTube videos, they built all the maple and sycamore furniture themselves. “We both don’t have any design backgrounds, but we were pretty particular about what we liked and didn’t like,” Kim said in an interview. “We’re both Korean, so naturally we were drawn to Korean aesthetics and design. We wanted to create a space that is simple, minimal, with warm vibes.”

Mission accomplished. Let’s take a tour.

Photography via @marucoffeela.

Simple signage at Maru&#8
Above: Simple signage at Maru’s diminutive store in Los Feliz.
Utilitarian lab stools are both sturdy and inexpensive; you can find them at National Public Seating.
Above: Utilitarian lab stools are both sturdy and inexpensive; you can find them at National Public Seating.
Kim and Park built their cabinetry mainly from sycamore and maple.
Above: Kim and Park built their cabinetry mainly from sycamore and maple.
The wood furniture warms up the concrete flooring.
Above: The wood furniture warms up the concrete flooring.
Kim and Park asked Notary Ceramics to make custom vessels for Maru. (See Portlandia: Inside the Remodeled Farmhouse of a Cult Favorite Ceramicist for a glimpse of Notary&#8
Above: Kim and Park asked Notary Ceramics to make custom vessels for Maru. (See Portlandia: Inside the Remodeled Farmhouse of a Cult Favorite Ceramicist for a glimpse of Notary’s founder’s home.)
The Arts District location is large enough to include a roastery. (For a similar trash bin, see Design Sleuth: Stylish Trash Bins from an Unlikely Source.)
Above: The Arts District location is large enough to include a roastery. (For a similar trash bin, see Design Sleuth: Stylish Trash Bins from an Unlikely Source.)
The partners&#8
Above: The partners’ Korean-inspired minimalist design aesthetic does away with all distractions.
A barista brews coffee using Kono drippers and Kalita glass carafes, both Japanese brands.
Above: A barista brews coffee using Kono drippers and Kalita glass carafes, both Japanese brands.

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