A Progressive Coffee Party

Holsem Coffee
2911 University Avenue (near 30th in North Park)
San Diego, CA 92104

Hawthorn Coffee
3019 Adams Avenue (near 30th on the edge of Normal…Normal Heights, that is)
San Diego, CA 92116

The sleek, crisp lines of Holsem's space are very inviting...

The ambience of Holsem’s is very inviting and…

When we noticed there were two coffee shops near each other on our “must visit” list we decided to make it a progressive coffee party. Both shops are outstanding!

Our first shop was Holsem Coffee and the first impression was: Wow, what an inviting space! Its sleek, crisp, and clean lines are welcoming and artfully presented. There’s a variety of seating including tables, benches, and bar level stools. There is an outside space for a warm day.

...but so is their menu. We'll be back to try these coffee enhanced desserts!

…so is their creative menu. We’ll be back to try these coffee enhanced desserts!










A great ambience is important, but can they deliver the coffee? Absolutely YES! What a menu. We noticed taps that serve cold teas and coffees. I couldn’t resist and had a cold brew Ethiopian Virgecheffe, a region in Ethiopia. It was amazing with a bright flavor and a hint of apricot, while Patty had their signature Holsem roasted hot coffee. They roast their own coffee offsite and it is currently only available onsite.

Their menu is inspiring. Both of us will be making future trips to work our way down their enticing menu. It’s definitely worth multiple visits. The menu doesn’t seem to be listed on their website, but includes such temptations as a baklava latte with anise, nutmeg, date syrup, and milk or a Nutella cold brew. So many choices! I took home a cinnamon, raisin scone home for a treat later.

They opened in May 2015. Their website has a blog and brewing guides tab, but right now it hasn’t been updated so I signed up for future emails to inform me of special coffees and articles.

Holsem is easy to find as it’s located right by the North Park sign over University Avenue. Parking was easy and plentiful the morning we visited.

Their website proclaims: “Uplifting, exciting flavor and design.” Those perfectly selected words describe this amazing coffee shop.

So . . . on to our second coffee shop.

I have to say I was worried about the second shop since we loved Holsem’s so much, but I needn’t have worried as I was blown away by how much I loved Hawthorn Coffee. I shall return!

What are the chances of having two amazing coffee shops in one day?

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to be served by one of Hawthorn’s owners. He explained the Hawthorn tree logo to us and their commitment to communication and excellence. We’ve been to numerous coffee shops, but I was so impressed by the owner’s kindness and helpfulness. The store opened December 20 and we hope they’ll be open for many, many years and wish them much success!

The owners are a son-and-father team who state on their website “Coffee is our passion. But our soft spot will always be there for the people we get to meet and know.” That’s what they’ve posted on their website and the store’s vibe reflects that statement. We felt so welcomed at this cozy shop.

Hawthorne coffee is served in individual glass pots to pour at your pleasure.

Hawthorne coffee is served in individual glass pots to pour at your pleasure.

We’ve visited many coffee shops, but the presentation of our cups of coffee at this shop was the best ever. Our coffee was served on a small, wood tray with the coffee cup and a glass serving of the coffee to pour into the cup. It was an impressive and memorable presentation.

But . . . what about the coffee? Yes! It was just as impressive and memorable. We tried a cup of the Foxy Coffee and the Flying Goat Coffee. Foxy Coffee is a local small roasting company while Flying Goat is from the owner’s hometown of Sonoma. Both were satisfying. Both screamed, “Come visit again!” And, we will.

I love the store’s facade of vintage tile remaining from stores from long ago and they are complimented by the Hawthorn tree logo in tile behind their counter.

Their website’s home page states “The Craft of Fine Coffee” and “Exploring the Delicious while the “Who We Are” page states “Sublime” across the page.

“Sublime” . . . yes it is.

This entry was posted in Coffee shops in San Diego, cold brewed coffee, roaster and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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