La Kuma Coffee
La Kuma is the newest coffee shop to hit the Central Florida area. "Kuma" in Japanese means bear, so when you see a few furry little creatures around the shop you'll know why.
The shop is owned by Justin Xiong, a local graduate of Full Sail University. As a coffee lover Justin decided he would take his knowledge of coffee, including Japanese coffee, and open his own shop in Longwood. While all the standard coffee options are here, you can also enjoy ice drip and iced coffee Japanese style.
The decor is very minimal and clean with three seating areas, including a bar and a cozy lounge area with a fireplace. Throughout the space you'll find light wood tones, modern yet comfortable furniture, cute or "kawaii" lighting, and animal accents that make for a clean yet not sterile environment. Attention to detail can be found in the small trinkets around the shop, but nothing is overly designed or detailed to the point of distracting from the main event, the coffee itself.
On my first trip I got an iced matcha latte ($3.50) and a regular latte ($3.25) so I could also taste their coffee. Their coffee is sourced from a very local roaster also located in Longwood, Blasted Bean. The matcha, for my own taste was pretty perfect. Completely whisked so you didn't have any heavy chunks lurking at the bottom and not overly sweetened. The latte was strong but light. Justin was also kind enough to let me try some unadulterated iced coffee black which was really smooth and easy to drink without being overly bitter.
A local friend and baker sources the desserts in their case that change daily. You can expect to see different Japanese inspired desserts, all very well detailed in modest portions.
There is nothing hipster or intimidating about this space. It's unassuming, quiet, and very relaxing. Justin and his girlfriend Vicki were very hospitable and helpful with our coffee inquiries. I really hope as other coffee shops continue to open around town, more places will be like La Kuma; no pretension, allowing people to enjoy coffee the way they like it while being gracious, kind and informative when engaged.
For functional purposes, they do have wi-fi and their own parking lot.
The address of the shop is 840 E State Road 434 in Longwood between Ronald Reagan Blvd and 17-92. The hours are Sunday - Friday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Shout out to my friend Amber Wilsun for sharing this spot with me!
All photos are property of LemonHearted Creative and cannot be reused without consent. All coffee was paid for me. This is not a sponsored or paid post for the business.