Wednesday, January 29

Ministry of Coffee brings Australian drinks, food to Westwood Village

Ministry of Coffee, an Australia-based coffee shop, opened its first U.S. location in Westwood Village on Saturday. The shop will expand its menu Tuesday to include food items prepared by a full-service kitchen. (Jacob Preal/Daily Bruin)

A new Australian coffee shop opened in Westwood Village on Saturday.

Ministry of Coffee, located on Glendon Avenue, will also sell all-day breakfast and lunch. Manager Nicole Rodrigues said she thinks MOC is different from other coffee shops in Westwood because it roasts its coffee in-house and provides a full food menu. As opposed to shops like Starbucks, where people often get their drinks to go, MOC allows patrons to sit and order food from their kitchen.

This is the store’s first location in the U.S. – other locations include Sydney and Istanbul, Turkey. Rodrigues said MOC’s owners chose to open in Westwood because they wanted to serve both the UCLA community and other local residents.

The Westwood location is currently importing its coffee beans from roasting facilities at MOC’s headquarters in Sydney, Australia, but Rodrigues said they are planning on roasting their coffee in the shop directly in about a month, after receiving city approval.

MOC serves Australian items, like a bacon-and-egg roll made with Australian bacon, and the fare often includes Middle Eastern spices like za’atar, Rodrigues said.

“We combined Australian tendencies with basically Middle-Eastern flavors and Turkish flavors,” she said.

Some students said they think the new coffee shop will be an ideal location for studying.

Sarah Zia, a fourth-year communication studies and English student, said she thinks she will return to MOC because Espresso Profeta, another coffee shop in Westwood where she likes to study, is often too crowded.

Zia added she thinks the shop’s long tables and spacious interior will encourage group studying.

She also said the selection of food at MOC allows her to grab a satisfying bite while studying.

“I don’t have to go home for food when I’m studying and break my flow,” she said.

Allison Cosca-Baresh, a third-year applied mathematics student, said she thinks the coffee shop is less crowded and quieter than other coffee shops in Westwood, which will make it easier for her to study.

Brenna Fekete, a third-year psychobiology student, said although she likes MOC’s environment compared to other coffee shops, she thinks its food is too expensive.

Rodrigues said the shop is currently only serving beverages and pastries but will expand its menu to include smoothies, salads and other food items when it officially opens Tuesday.

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