Thirst Come, Thirst Served at Bloom & Plume Coffee
If there was anything I really missed about the US, it was the sheer existence of Black-owned businesses, especially cafes and coffee shops. Melbourne is great for a lot of things, coffee being near the top of the list. But no world-class coffee experience will ever come close to being a Black person feeling right at home when they walk into a coffee shop. It’s rare for us to feel comfortable in most coffee spaces—we’ve hashed that out before. But when done so elegantly with us in mind, you can’t help but walk in and deeply sigh, relieved.
This was my reaction walking into Bloom & Plume Coffee.
Nestled in-between Historic Filipinotown and Echo Park, it’s hard to miss the bright purple exterior of Bloom & Plume Coffee. The cafe is a long-time project of brothers, Moses and Maurice Harris, and an extension of Maurice’s florist company of the same name. As people knowing the need for spaces like these for the Black community but not knowing anything about coffee, they brought on local LA coffee professional, Kene to help them. A few years and many delays by the city later, Bloom & Plume Coffee opened officially during Black History Month this year and we couldn’t be more thankful for it.
The shop is rife with references to Black culture and so elegantly decorated with gold, purple, green, and orange all over. It reminded me personally of the Black churches I grew up going to and ironically enough, the menus are printed on church fans.
It’s one of those places where a Black person can walk in and instantly get what’s going on. And the folks at Bloom & Plume know it too. They know the impact it has when someone can see themselves behind the bar for once because it instantly breaks down the wall of defense most of us put up walking into other coffee shops. Bloom & Plume is a place where you can show vulnerability—it’s okay if you don’t really drink coffee, the baristas are going to take care of you. They got you.
Bloom & Plume will be one of my go-to’s every time I’m in LA and should be yours too. They’ve got a little something for everybody, including delicious Stumptown Coffee and a custom gold-plated La Marzocco GB5 for the coffee geeks, Califia Farms Oat Barista for the alternative milk fanatics, and of course, avo toast for Becky. 😉