I'll never forget the first time Craig Min, the quality-obsessed owner of La Mill coffee, sent me a sample of his Black Velvet blend. The gorgeous aroma of the beans filled my office for days and, for better or worse, that first taste of intensely complex Black Velvet transformed me into even more of a coffee snob than I already was. Craig's devotion to coffee perfection will soon be played out in a new store that he's opening this August in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.

I spoke to him about the project the other day, and he says it will elevate the idea of a coffee shop to a completely new level. The 2,200-square-foot space will have a sleek, modern feel, and he's bringing in French presses and Clover coffee brewers so every cup can be brewed to order. La Mill is partnering with Providence restaurant to do light breakfast and lunch items (think peanut butter and jelly brioche), and Providence's pastry chef, Adrian Vasquez, will be making handcrafted chocolates (you can buy them from La Mill's Web site already) in wild flavors like Rooibos Bourbon and Ufra Mocha. Craig plans to play sommelier, too. He's creating coffee and tea tasting flights and food and coffee pairings.