March 02 2010
Though I’m a big fan of the rich and gloopy drinks commonly found in Starbucks-style coffee chains, it’s been something of a challenge to find one that doesn’t contain the calorific equivalent of a roast beef and Yorkshire pudding Sunday lunch. So at my all-time favourite hang-out in Los Angeles, the Urth Caffé on Melrose Avenue, it was like hitting the jackpot to discover the ice-blended organic Moroccan mint tea with boba pearls.
All the drinks at the Urth Caffé are organic and highly addictive. They also sell first-rate salads and sandwiches. You line up at the counter, make your order, and are given a number. Then you find a table inside or on the terrace outside where you can eavesdrop on some of the best studio gossip in Los Angeles.
The ice-blended Moroccan Mint Boba ($4.75) arrives at your table: so thick and creamy that it might have been dispensed from a soft ice-cream machine rather than poured from a liquidiser.
A mint-flavoured fusion of mint, milk and green tea, the best part of the concoction is the abundance of chewy brown tapioca pearls that you suck through a straw as fat as a nickel. In my view, supping away at one on a sunny Sunday morning is as good as life gets in Los Angeles.