CBD Coffee

La Marque Cafe
3590 5th Ave. (near Brookes Ave.)
San Diego, CA 92103

La Marque is French for brand. Their mission is to offer multiple brands of coffee such as Intelligentsia, Bird Rock, Café Moto, Lavazza, and more. I had a robust Americano Lavazza while Helen enjoyed their drip coffee. They have a breakfast menu, including several muffins, but we didn’t come for food.

Trying coffee with CBD has been on our list of things to try, but finding a coffee shop that offered it was hard. Finally we found La Marque in Hillcrest selling a dropper of CBD that we could put in our coffee. These were 2 separate purchases: #1, buying a cup of coffee; #2, buying the dropper of CBD. We had to actually drop the CBD in our own coffee & they returned $1.00 to each of us when we returned the empty dropper. This must be part of their license to sell.  We didn’t count the actual number of drops but it’s a very small vial.
The product they use is PlusCBD Oil from a local company (https://pluscbdoil.com/home/).  CBD stands for cannabidiol, a non-hallucinogenic derivative of agricultural hemp. CBD is meant as a relaxant, but there are other medical claims. It’s best each person do their own research, though, to see if it might work for them.
Is CBD legal? “CBD products derived from hemp are legal to possess under a new federal law, as long as they contain 0.3 percent THC or less” (according to this UT article: https://enewspaper.sandiegouniontribune.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=293037a1-5f62-4a88-9cf6-8cc4d9fb0d9a). However, laws vary from state to state, so research laws by state before crossing borders or flying to another state. It is not THC…see https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-vs-thc for the difference between the two.

About visiting La Marque:  They are open Mon.-Thurs. from 7:00am to 5:00pm, Fri. & Sat. from 7:00am-6:00pm, and Sun. 8:00am-5:00pm. Metered parking is available on 5th Ave. ($1.25 per hour up to 2 hours, no fee on Sundays). Snacks, wine, and beer are also available with seating inside and out.


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Soft Serve Coffee: Lick Like No One’s Watching

Better Buzz Coffee
822 Grand Ave.
San Diego, 92109
Open Daily 5AM to 9PM

We’ve been to several Better Buzz coffee shops and have enjoyed watching this local business grow, but when we learned another Better Buzz opened in Pacific Beach and they had coffee-flavored soft serve, we knew we had to give it a try.
We each had a soft serve Best Drink Ever in a cup (rather than a cone). Yes. It was delicious. They also have a vegan matcha.
The space is delightful and they have Bread & Cie bakery items. I got a raspberry scone for Bob and Patty got a mint infused ice coffee to go which was an espresso, muddled mint, raw natural cane sugar, heavy cream, and ice. It looked and, I hear, it tasted delicious.
Their menu has many interesting food and drink options. We saw a server deliver a gorgeous avocado toast to a lucky dude.

There is an outside loft area with a peek view of the ocean. There’s one swing, indoor seating, and outside seating that works well for handicapped visitors. They are a drive-thru location as well.

We happened to visit on a Thursday and every Thursday there is no parking on Grand (on the Better Buzz side of the street) between 8AM and 10AM for street cleaning. We saw one guy get a ticket delivered to him personally as he arrived back to his car after a brief stop. (Bummer.) So, be warned.

There is 30-minute and one-hour parking while you are at Better Buzz, but there was a person monitoring the parking. After one hour, the parking is $5 an hour. I’m not sure what the parking security guy would have done had we stayed longer than one hour, but we each opted for two-hour parking on the street so we didn’t have to monitor our time.

Their website says they’ll have a new location opening in La Jolla on Prospect this summer, so it might land on our upcoming outings list.

Definitely worth a little coffee outing if you are in the area and enjoy a little walk on the beach before or after, but remember to mind the parking signs.


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Coffee Good Enough for a Smuggler

Baba Coffee
2727 State Street, #100
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Open 6 to 6, 7 days a week

This month’s adventure took us north to Carlsbad where we visited Baba, a coffee shop we’ve heard lots of buzz about. It opened in January and has already captured the attention of many who suggested we give it a try.

Baba is named after a 16th century coffee smuggler. Popular Indian lore states Baba Budan discovered the wonders of coffee and was eager to grow his own. He smuggled seven coffee beans hidden in his beard from the port of Mocha, Yemen to plant when he returned home.

Today, you don’t have to be a smuggler to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. I had a delicious, pretty-as-a-picture, latte and Patty enjoyed a made-to-order dark roast drip. It, of course, took a few minutes, but was definitely worth the wait.

Latte art

We just missed meeting the owner, but he definitely has his finger on the pulse of what people want in their neighborhood coffee shop. The store is modern, welcoming, and a hubbub of activity. They offer an extensive menu (we heard avocado toast is a favorite), lots of bakery items, and, a plethora of coffee options.

They buy their beans and Pannikin roasts them. Parking is easy and there is inside and patio seating.

Definitely worth a stop if you are in the area or you’re in the mood for a coffee adventure.



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A Place to Chill

Cool Down Coffee,
750 E. St. (at I-5 exit E St.)
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Need a place to cool down after a run or just chill after a stressful day at work? This is the place for you! The atmosphere is comfortable & relaxing, encouraging conversation instead of computers. Not that computers aren’t welcome, but in our 2 hour visit no one was on their cell phone or laptop. They also encourage exercise…see the last paragraph here for a direct quote from them on this subject.

Comfortable seating

It’s the coffee we were after and we weren’t disappointed. My cold brew with a splash of cream was excellent! It was bold, not watered down as sometimes happens with iced beverages. Helen’s cappuccino was exceptional. Their beans are roasted in Mexico. If you’re here for food there are the usual breakfast choices, including a bagel with cream cheese & coffee for $4.00 (ask for their “grab n’ go” special).

Friendly staff & delicious choices greeted us

The parking lot is for the trolley blue line, but there are about 8 green spots reserved for Cool Down customers. Cool Down is open Mon.-Fri. 6:30am to 3:00pm and Sat. 7:30am to 3:00pm, closed Sundays.

Inspiring messages in English & Spanish

A direct quote from their website:  At Cool Down Coffee, we would like to serve our community by giving ideas as far as workout routines, different exercises, programs to meet various goals–whether they are to lose weight, gain muscle, move faster, or simply just exercise for stress relief.  Begin with going out for a walk!

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Blue Bottle Has Arrived in San Diego

One Paseo Place
3725 Paseo Place, Unit 1060
San Diego, CA 92130
open 7AM to 7PM
Blue Bottle Coffee was started in early 2000s, but they have grown to a network of cafes across the United States and Japan. One week ago, San Diego got their first Blue Bottle. So, of course, off we went to investigate.

Look for this blue bottle on the building.

The store is sleek, modern, and prides itself in the presentation of its coffee with a Japanese sensibility.

The coffee is made in full view and I watched every step of my Bella Donovan au lait being made. The presentation made my heart soar with coffee delight. I loved the beauty of the glass mug and the art heart and leaf. It is said that we eat with our eyes first, and similarly, we drink with our eyes first in a beautifully presented cup of coffee.

Watch as your pour over is created.

The ambience may not be your typical coffee shop look, but we found a cozy corner to enjoy our coffees and chat and catch upon on our recent adventures. Patty had the Myanmar coffee which had a subtler, less bitter taste than mine. Both of us enjoyed our coffees, the kind and informative employees, and the ambience. 
The shopping area is still being completed and few stores are currently open for business so parking was easy when we arrived at 8:30. 
Be sure to take your credit card as the shop is a cashless one. They don’t have WIFI (also no plugs for electronic devices) as they want to encourage guests to talk with each other, but the mall does have WIFI. 
They host special events to help you learn more about coffee and they’ll be posting them on their website. You can sign up to receive notifications for the events.
They will be opening a downtown location in the near future. 
You can read their whole story and other locations at their website: www.bluebottlecoffee.com
Definitely worth checking out!

Their graceful glass mugs are available for purchase.



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All Organic Coffee

Clairemont Coffee
3095 Clairemont Dr. (at Iroquois Ave.)
San Diego, CA 92117

No need to inquire if your coffee is organic here…every cup is! Their coffee is roasted by San Diego Coffee Co., roasting coffee since 1978 (http://sandiegocoffee.com/). Choose from options of lattes, cappuccino, Americano, and blended coffees such as Vietnamese (hot or cold), plus teas, smoothies, and kombucha. Bags of their beans are available for purchase, too.
The shop is a popular neighborhood gathering place with comfortable leather chairs or table seating, books and toys for kids. Dogs are welcome, too.  Scones and other Bread and Cie breads are available, as well as Acai bowls and an assortment of ice cream.

Art is everywhere, from a fanciful mural filling one wall to small paintings on another and even on the ceiling! The big mural was done by Debi Winger. The smaller paintings are for sale and very reasonably priced.

Fanciful mural by Debi Winger

Art is for sale or just enjoy it while you enjoy your coffee.





Parking is free & plentiful in their front lot (at least we didn’t have any trouble). WIFI is free, of course. Stop by any time Mon.-Fri. from 6:00am to 8:00pm or Sat./Sun. from 7:00am to 8:00pm.

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New Spot in South Park

Seven Seas Roasting Company
1947 Fern St.
San Diego, CA 92102
Monday — Sunday 6 AM to 2 PM

No need to sail the seven seas to enjoy Seven Seas Roasting Company. It’s the new kid on the block in South Park.

I first came across Seven Seas Roasting at the Pacific Beach farmer’s market (on Tuesday afternoons) and learned they were opening their storefront. Seven weeks ago they opened and they seem to already have a following.

Their fabulous outdoor signage looks like it has sailed the seven seas. It was so fascinating, we asked about it. Turns out the artist recently made it for them and immediately turned it into a vintage relic.

Next the octopus tentacles crawling along the floor and up the walls caught our attention. We learned they were painted by the tattoo artist who has the neighboring shop.

They roast their coffee onsite and the lovely smell fills the shop. The aroma, the ambience, and friendly staff make this an enjoyable stop on any coffee adventure. (Not to mention the scones.)
Yes, the coffee is delicious. Yes, we’re fans!

They started their company in 2017 and next on their plans is opening a new store in Aliso Viejo.

Stop by their storefront or visit Pacific Beach, Little Italy, and La Jolla farmer markets and catch them there. Visit their website to learn more about this company.

We’re looking forward to see how they grow!


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