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The Dish: Caffe Luxxe brings upscale coffee, community feel
Malibu’s coffee scene just got a wonderful addition.
As one walks into Caffe Luxxe, a high-end European-style artisanal coffee roaster and retailer, the place exudes classy – the sheek, shiny counters gleam as baristas carefully create coffee drinks the old fashioned way: tailored to how each customer orders its coffee, using porcelain drip cone bee house drippers.
“It’s a wonderful environment and the coffee is unique and robust,” Bridget French said as she attended Caffe Luxxe’s grand opening free drink promotion April 26.
French was so impressed that she bought a bag of the limited edition “Malibu Blend” that has been released at all Caffe Luxxe locations in celebration of the launch in Malibu.
The cafe was packed with excited customers during the grand opening, who know about the award-winning Caffe Luxxe from visiting one of the other three California locations.
Caffe Luxxe is an epicurean experience for coffee and pastry aficionados.
Not your average joe
This is not an average cup of joe. The baristas grind the coffee to order for each customer. The goal is a perfect cup of coffee tailor-made for each customer’s taste. Coffee selections range in price from $3.75 to $7.
Try the Rwanda Kibu Rutsiro, a medium blend with brown sugar and citrus with a crisp, clean finish. (8 oz. $4.75).
Espresso lovers will delight in the impressive array of choices. Try the Caffe Shakerato, with espresso, milk, ice, slightly sweetened with dark chocolate and shaken ($5).
The owners of Caffe Luxxe hope customers stay awhile, visit with friends from the neighborhood and make new acquaintances.
“We’re a perfect fit for Malibu with its wonderful energy and peacefulness and its small town feel,” said Gary Chau who co-founded Caffe Luxxe with Mark Wain. “We have no Wi-Fi because we want our customers to enjoy themselves, to actually talk to one another. One can surf the internet anywhere. Our goal is to help people escape all of that, even if only briefly. Caffe Luxxe is a place for the community to gather and enjoy.”
A large outdoor patio as well as ample seating inside awaits at Caffe Luxxe. Awash in Italian sunshine yellow reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast, the place is inviting and relaxing. Soon, the outdoor area will have comfortable Fermob bistro furniture from France.
While customers wait for their custom-made beverages, they can peruse the small retail area, which has unique European culinary food and cooking accoutrement selections as well as greeting cards. It is a place to relax and enjoy.
“We’re so excited to have Caffe Luxxe join the Malibu community and all the local residents are thrilled to have the new gorgeous coffee shop here,” said Barbara Bruderlin, executive director of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce.
Caffe Luxxe also offers a potpourri of organic loose teas, including such unique choices as Golden Pu-Erh, Masala Chai and Moroccan Mint. A cup of tea is $3, while a pot goes for $7.
Another wonderful option is the Ghiacciato, an iced tea ($3), offered with a black, green, herbal tea or with a seasonal choice.
Caffe Luxxe sandwiches, pastries
The new shop’s food is equally impressive.
Try the organic pastries from Milo Olive. They are fresh-baked daily with farmers market ingredients and there are gluten-free and vegan options available.
The pastries are that wonderful, crispy, creamy, delectable sort of fresh that makes one’s senses travel to a quintessential European café experience. They are decadent, but light, and are not to be missed.
The pastry selections change seasonally. When the Malibu Surfside News visited, there was a to-die-for fresh, tasty raspberry rhubarb tart ($4.75), and a luscious lemon scone ($3.50)
For a bit heartier fare, Caffe Luxxe also has sandwiches. Try the Italian tuna on a baguette ($8.50), made with a lovely olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes and a garlic artichoke spread. This lovely sandwich has no mayo and is hugely popular with customers. The tuna is fresh and flavorful, but not overly fishy. The oil lends character to the taste and the sun-dried tomatoes add just the right amount of zing.
Home sweet home
When Malibuites go to Caffe Luxxe, they might find a familiar face behind the counter.
Malibu High School alumna Alexis Bolter, who has worked for the company for nine years, has joined the team at the Malibu store.
Cup by cup, Caffe Luxxe strives to make Malibu residents feel right at home.
Malibu Sands Center, 22333 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 160, Malibu
Phone: (310) 394-2222
7 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily