caffeine crush: cafe maji

One thing you should know about me: I have a serious coffee addiction, and I’m a unapologetic snob about it. I’ll go miles out of my way to find the nearest “hipster” cafe that looks more like a science lab than your average coffee shop (re: Portola). I’m a fiend for a good cold brew, and sometimes I’ll opt to add in a splash of almond milk if I’m feeling adventurous. Skip a day, and I’ll suffer the onsets of a caffeine withdrawal. You get the idea. The point of this rant is to preface the start of a new segment of my blog: spilling the secrets on my latest caffeine crush.

Currently, Cafe Maji (Artesia x Norwalk) has been my go-to. Since my s/o lives in Cerritos, I’ve begun to haunt the city much more frequently than I have in the past. The landscape and overall reputation of the city is undeniably evolving for the better, with cafes like Maji or Bakers & Baristas opening their brick-and-mortars, and even the city mall receiving a luxurious makeover.

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Cafe Maji’s vibe is cutesy and endearing, and skillfully so–there’s nothing kitschy about this place. All over the shop–and I mean every nook and cranny–it’s apparent that the owner or designer spent an incredible amount of strategic attention to detail. There’s cute little figurines crossing their legs over the ledge of shelves and tiny handwritten notes greeting you from your table vase to the bathroom door. Plenty of fresh flowers and living succulents bring vibrance to the atmosphere, and there’s ample natural lighting that floods in from the floor-to-ceiling windows. And copies of Kinfolk’s magazine gets another nod of approval. Maji’s look is a lovely change of pace from the played-out minimalistic/all-marble aesthetics of  plenty of cafes and restaurants, and definitely holds its own as a unique meeting place for Cerritos’ community.

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Off the menu, I’ve tried their cold brew, which is solid in my book. Splash it with some almond milk for a nutty touch. Other mentions are their Iced Peach Black Tea, Lavender Latte, and Cold Brew Affogato (uh–yes!). All of the drinks are served with a delightful little cream puff, and they’ve also got macarons, biscotti, and an earl grey cheesecake that I’m dying to try (and I don’t even like cheesecake). They do have a decent-sized food menu, with dessert waffles, burgers, pasta, quesadillas, and fries (I’ve only tried the latter two). Maji’s only con is their price range–drinks range from $4-$7 and the food is even more expensive; they also require that each guest make a purchase.

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Despite that small setback, Maji still remains one of my favorite coffee shops to date. Unpretentious, warm vibes and a dedication to good coffee–plus, they have reliable wifi and plenty of seating for all of us wandering nomads who work remotely and need a place of refuge.

// ruth kim

All photos are original and taken with Nikon D5100 or iPhone 6S.

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