Caffeine Crawl San Diego hit loads of coffee hotspots in the thriving cafe culture of this So-Cal city
BY SADIE COLWELL
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
Year three of Caffeine Crawl San Diego kicked off with gorgeous weather, excited Crawlers, and the biggest cafe lineup yet!
We spent Friday afternoon strolling along the North Coast, enjoying a well-rounded sampling of Lofty Coffee Co. ”a geisha cold brew, Kenya Chemex, housemade almond milk, and house-made flourless chocolate cake with espresso buttercream.
Coffee Coffee (formerly Cafe Ipe) showcased a roasting demo alongside pourovers of several different house roasts, and Pannikin Coffee & Tea served the same coffee roasted for the same amount of time, but at varying temperatures. Ironsmith Coffee Roasters took us on a detailed journey through the molecules of steamed milk, and Banana Dang Coffee joined us from Oceanside to serve banana espresso smoothies and educate us on the similarities between bananas and coffee.
On Saturday morning, we gathered at InterAmerican Coffee to start the day with Chemex brews and a presentation on the Mpanga washing station in Burundi with owner Jean Clement, founder of Burundi Friends International. Choosing one of two walking routes for the Crawl, attendees continued the conversation and discussed direct trade at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters while sipping Burundi and Panama brews.
Cafe Moto showed a video on Sustainable Harvest’s initiative in Rwanda to assist women farmers with better farming and business practices, and we sipped Rwandan Nitro cold brew alongside cinnamon rolls. The WestBean Coffee Roasters served up nitro cold-brew floats and recapped the company’s first year of business on Broadway. Ryan Bros. Coffee gave us a roasting demo and multiple samples of different roasts, and sent Crawlers on their way with a logo mug, lanyard and a bottle of cold brew. Cafe Virtuoso served us cortados while we watched a roasting demo, and then invited us to sample the freshly roasted coffee alongside a batch from several days before for freshness comparison.
The new Copa Vida cafe rocked its route stop with a taste-your-way tour through the company motto, œGo. Enjoy. Experience, and Bean Bar rolled out its new coffee cart for sparkling cascara service and Portland vibes. Bay Park Coffee served Klatch Coffee and several types of tea as a wind down from the caffeine high, and Coffee & Tea Collective took us through the color change of beans at various stages of a roast. Dane Coffee Roasters set up outside Subterranean Coffee Boutique for samples of mint Sumatran cold brew (which was awesome!) and homemade lemon poppyseed scones. Afterwards, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters gave us some down time with nitro cold-brew floats and the motto œwe take coffee seriously, but not ourselves.
Eclipse Chocolate welcomed us to their event room for drinking chocolate and an overview of the confectionery assortment of offerings, and James Coffee Co. served up pourovers and good vibes in its great space. Caffe Calabria blew us away with an assortment of delightful coffee cocktails and flatbread, and sent everyone home with a coupon for a free pizza (the team returned the next evening for that and more of those stellar cocktails).
San Diego Coffee Network and Wholesome! provided awesome event bags, filled with goodness from Earnest Eats, Yelp San Diego, Urnex, Bird Rock Coffee and David Bacco Chocolatier. The team got around in a snazzy red Zipcar (we’re now huge fans!), and a recap of the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to Pia Piscatelli of San Diego Jumble for her fantastic bike route tour guide skills.
We’re excited to announce that Caffeine Crawl will be hosting not just one, but two, annual San Diego events starting in 2017. The city’s coffee scene in booming and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. Until next year…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brimming with ambition, sarcasm and caffeinated zeal, Sadie Colwell is fascinated by all things beverage and the extraordinary humans behind them. Recently relocated from KCMO to Fort Collins, Colorado, you can find her behind the bar of Harbinger Coffee or hunkered down with a cappuccino, fervently planning the next Caffeine Crawl or blogging for The LAB. When she isn’t traveling to caffeinated cities, she drinks a lot of local beer and lets her dog take her for long, vivacious walks through City Park.