The Heart of Urth Caffé

Rising Sun Latté with heart design

Urth Caffé Rising Sun Latté

Ever go into Urth Caffé (or look at Urth's logo or one of their mugs or a myriad of other things) and notice the ❤️ within it? That is the heart of Urth Caffé. One of the main principles upon which Urth Caffé was founded and built and the guiding light and philosophy of Co-Founders Shallom & Jilla Berkman—That there is "heart" in everything that Urth does. 

Says Shallom, "The heart is important to Urth Caffé. Because everything is done with love. It's a business out of love and a desire to do good and serve." And this is a real ethos and foundation of Urth. It is the motivation. So, they put a heart into everything and it is always there as a reminder. It is above the fireplace at the Hawthorne  location, etched into the antiqued exposed  brick—a red heart flanked by expressive white wings.

                                                                                   Brick tiled fireplace with red heart flanked by expansive white wings

It is woven into the tapestry of Urth Beverly Hills—A hand-painted piece imported from Italy, framed and hanging over the fireplace;Drawing of a buddha with sunglasses holding a cup of coffee a note on the chalkboard by the front door, and a sketch of a Buddha that holds a cup with a heart.  


"We tell our staff: 'This means something. This means that you represent heart. This is not just a business. These are not just customers coming in. We are serving them. And we have to love what we do." Continues Shallom, "Frankly, it's something that I pray on a lot. That we can do it authentically and sincerely to our greatest ability." And you feel it when you walk into each and every Urth Caffé. And you feel that each and every person that works at Urth lives this ethos. Shallom says this is the thing that he and Co-Founder, Jilla, are most proud of and what makes the magic of Urth Caffé. More than coffee or dessert or whatever someone may like. It comes from love, from the heart.

Tiled artwork at the Santa Monica Urth Caffé

Urth Caffé consciously grew their business, and Co-Founders Shallom and Jilla had to be inspired, before opening a new café. They wanted each new location to start new and fresh. They took their time. They followed their hearts. Urth Caffé cappuccino with heart latté art - a heart with petals and lace hearts


Right now, I am sitting in the cozy (and original!) Urth Caffé on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, California, on a rain-drenched day. Warmed by a cozy fire, tranquil and soothing music on the overhead. The sound of coffee being tamped and ground in the background, the pleasant hum of other customers around me. A convivial energy. A welcoming place. A place to feel peace and comfort (and good food, and the best coffee you can find in the city!). And I am looking around the room for the heart(s). 


First, I see it on the large menu board hanging above the friendly barista and cashier station: It is on the teacup of Urth's logo and flanked by two additional expressive hearts—like wings. 


                               Urth Caffé tea and tea cups with heart design in logoOutdoor Urth Caffé chair with heart engraved in back


I see it, engraved into the back of a few outdoor chairs along with the words "Urth Caffé." It is on the colored ceramic cups and in the design of the Latté Art.  

You can find this signature heart in the tile work of many of the Urth Caffé locations, and Co-Founder Jilla Berkman individually designs all the tiles with care and consideration. She has a very clear vision of what she wants to create, then goes into the factory, where they have an artist draw it. She then chooses the colors and they make the samples. Everything is handmade the old-fashioned way and hand painted, with a strong Moroccan and Spanish influence. No stock tiles are ever used and everything is made to order. Each café has its own unique and individual personality. 

 Tiled heart with white wings

Shallom & Jilla visit the stone yard in the San Fernando Valley and take their time looking through all the stone and marble to thoughtfully find the one that will be special and unique to that particular location. For instance, at Urth Santa Monica, on its expansive outdoor patio—there is a beautiful, curved, hand-tiled fountain—with a base made of dazzling emerald-blue Amazonite. Amazonite is a type of turquoise that is said to have healing properties, and many call it the "Stone of Hope." There is also a framed tile piece on the interior side wall—an intricate gold and seafoam-green design surrounds the Urth logo—the words "Urth Caffé" arched over a yellow teapot with a red heart at the center. A delicate lace of auburn and green-leafed flowers arch beneath it. All surrounded by an intricate mosaic design. 

California Pottery makes all the tiles for Urth Caffé and also did the Berkman's personal home. They first started using California Pottery at the Santa Monica location and then continued to use them for the tile work in all the cafés. (A little side-note: Urth Melrose did not have tile work when they first opened and they have since added the beautiful, unique tiles from California Pottery to this location.)       

                              Matcha latté with an intricate heart and lace design latté art 

                                               Urth Caffé Rising Sun Latté

At Urth South Bay, the culinary epicenter and some would say the "beating heart" of Urth Caffé —with its coffee roasting facility, in-house smoker, test kitchen, soup department and main kitchen (look for more on this in upcoming blogs!)—You can find two white-winged hearts set against stunning turquoise-blue tiles flanking the words "Urth Caffé," over the expansive outdoor entryway. AndEntryway to Urth Hawthorne - "Urth Caffé" flanked by two red hearts with white wings around the bar you will see a heart with wings. Wings—which have been an inspiration of Jilla's while creating the beautiful interiors for the last few Urth locations.

Jilla's mother was inspired by Sufism in Iran and The Sufi Heart symbol is a winged heart which represents our connection between body and mind or heart and spirit. The heart is considered the sacred temple to be worshipped. And it represents the ideal, the beloved, the Spirit of guidance, the One Heart that unites us all. Unity. 

Rumi Latté with heart design with wings

                                                                                                            Urth Caffé Rumi Latté


And at Urth Orange, a location set in a lovingly restored building that was originally built in 1888—there is a large antiqued, painted teacup logo with a heart, surrounded by oranges and beautiful green leaves. Urth Teacup at Orange location with heart design and surrounded by orangesAn artful contrast to the original, exposed, indoor brick wall—creating an environment of warmth, community and shared history. Hearts are also weaved into the designs of Urth locations at The Wynn, Las Vegas,   Pasadena and Downtown L.A. 

So, next time you are in your favorite Urth Caffé location—look for the heart!

It was put there just for you! ❤️

Urth Caffé Matcha Latté with white hearts

                                                                                                 Urth Caffé Matcha Latté


Written By: Lisa Mouhibian