All You Need is Love and…Coffee.
“Come on, don’t you ever stop and smell the coffee?”
– Justina Chen, North of Beautiful
When I was a kid, I could never understand the appeal of coffee. I remember my dad and mom starting out the day with their steaming coffee poured lovingly into their Ram’s and Packer’s mugs respectively. All I could think was how icky I thought it smelled.
“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.”
– Flash Rosenberg
Now at 28, I couldn’t image life without my morning coffee. It is truly my morning ritual. Sometimes I don’t even think I can function without. I have a Keurig Platinum and long to get a Nespresso someday so I can make delicious little cups of espresso. Since moving to San Diego, it has been great exploring the different types of local coffee shops around the city. Coffee shops are full of life and conversation, each one with its own flavor and characteristics much like the coffee they serve.
Here are a few places I’ve visited.
Influx Cafe – Little Italy
750 West Fir St., San Diego, CA 92101
This little coffee shop packs a punch with its excellent Vietnamese coffee. They also have a nice selection of sandwiches and salads. With its sleek modern décor and ample seating both inside and out, this has become one of my fave coffee haunts in San Diego. It’s a great place to get some work done or people watch.
Caffe Italia – Little Italy
1704 India St., San Diego, CA 92101
I get the feeling I’m in New York the second I walk into Caffe Italia, right down the street from Influx Cafe. The espresso bar, located inside the quaint La Pensione hotel in the heart of Little Italy features coffee made with Lavazza coffee beans imported from Italy. Rows of magazines and an enticing display of Italian desserts and gelato make for the ultimate coffee shop experience. Be sure to try their excellent Hammerhead coffee and relax in their beautiful courtyard with a tranquil fountain flowing in the background.
Caffe Bassam – Banker’s Hill
3088 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
Vintage is the one word that hits you as you walk into Caffe Bassam. Filled with assorted antiques, art and other oddities, Caffe Bassam is truly unique. This colorful coffee house also boasts an extensive selection of teas. I would suggest Caffe Bassam as a place to go and enjoy some conversation with a friend given ing the unique décor and low-key vibe.
On my honeymoon, my husband and I got the opportunity to take a tour of O’o Farm in Maui’s scenic Waipoli forest. While there, we took a tour of the sustainable farm and had an awesome gourmet meal prepared with ingredients freshly picked while roaming about. The real highlight was the coffee, their dark roast Mokka to be exact. I can’t tell you how amazing their coffee is; you simply have to try it yourself. Flavorful and rich, it was simply perfect. It probably was the best cup of coffee I have ever had. It really inspired me to try coffee from different places. If you are ever in Maui be sure to check out O’o Farm. To see a listing of their tours visit: http://www.oofarm.com
Also, if you would like to try some of their coffee, you don’t have to hop on a plane to get it, they sell it online at http://www.oofarm.com/aina-coffee/
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters – Normal Heights
3260 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116
After my forays into the awesome sauce that is Hawaiian coffee, I was stoked to check out Dark Horse Coffee Roasters. The owner is from Kauai and its obvious when you walk in, they are passionate about their coffee. I had an iced coffee, perfectly balanced with just a hint of sweetness. The staff is super-attentive and friendly. The Aloha Spirit flows freely here. The next time I stop in, I’m definitely going to pick up some of their coffee to brew at home.
“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”
– Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes
It’s great checking out independently owned and operated coffee shops. I love hearing their stories and it’s great to get out and support small businesses. I look forward to popping into other coffee shops around San Diego and would love to hear about your favorites in the comments section.
Until Next Time, Suzy