Confidential Coffee opens, cementing Downtown as Long Beach’s caffeinated center

Downtown Long Beach is clearly trying to tell the rest of the city one thing: Our urban core wants to be the queen of, well, everything.

It undoubtedly holds the crown as the Queen of Parklets & Outdoor Dining and massive developments—but it is aiming for yet another title: Given a new coffee joint by the name of Confidential officially opened at 145 W. 6th St., it is becoming the Queen of Caffeine.

DTLB has Recreational. Cuppa Cuppa. Aroma di Roma. Cabinet. We got Rose Park opening its second location soon. And now, we have Confidential, which officially opened Thursday in Downtown and offers, at least for now, a limited but solid menu of drink offerings. (And some deliveries from Porto’s to satisfy those cravings.)

Owner Denise Maldonado is no stranger to coffee (as is co-owner Gustavo De La Rosa): Heading to Long Beach by way of Demitasse, coffee master Bobby Roshan’s well-respected coffee staple with three locations in L.A., Maldonado’s harkens to her own Latin American roots by offering up everything from cajeta lattes—a homage to Mexican caramel—to mazapan lattes—this latter drink giving a tip-of-the-hat to Mexico’s famed peanut candy, de la Rosa. (I always feel a little flutter of happiness at successfully unwrapping a piece of mazapan without breaking it.)

Confidential Coffee's rompope latte. Photo by Brian Addison.

Confidential Coffee’s rompope latte. Photo by Brian Addison.

Maldonado’s concoctions are witty and certainly drinkable. Take her rompope latte, a nod to Puebla’s iconic rum-based Mexican eggnog that is popular both during and outside holidays. Using an oat milk and non-alcoholic rompope, Maldonado blends espresso with the liquid in ice, adds a whole milk foam on top with fresh orange peel shavings. The result is a smooth latte that deviates away from your typical sugar’n’coffee concoctions.

Even her iced tea—a fruity blend of pomegranate and blueberry—Maldonado says she is aiming for a Long Beach-based “relaxed, laid-back vibe” while being a multi-roaster shop, carrying everything from local brands like North Long Beach’s Black Ring Coffee—currently acting as their espresso option—to regional and national brands that “provides more variety for our customers,” like Onyx Coffee Lab.

Confidential Coffee, located at 145 E 6th Street in DTLB. Photo by Brian Addison.

Confidential Coffee, located at 145 E 6th Street in DTLB. Photo by Brian Addison.

The move couldn’t be timed better for the North Pine area, as dubbed so by its residents and business owners who feel Pine is largely disconnected from Downtown north of Fourth Street.

In the past four years alone, North Pine has seen an influx of investment following the opening of Molina Healthcare in the old Press-Telegram/Meeker-Baker buildings. The Pie Bar, Romeo Chocolates, and Saints & Sinners Bakeshop have created what I dubbed Decadent Row while Toxic Toast Records and Ace of Hearts Tattoo bring Long Beach’s long love of music and body art to an area that was once booming with both.

As I’ve said, all that North Pine needs now is a good bar and restaurant…

Confidential Coffee & Tea is located at 145 W 6th St.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.