Local coffee roasters:
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, 5627 La Jolla Blvd. & 2295 Kettner Blvd., www.birdrockroasters.com
Cafe Moto, 2619 National Ave. (near 26th St.), www.cafemoto.com
Cafe Virtuoso, 1616 National Ave. (near 16th St.), www.cafevirtuoso.com
Caffe Calabria, 3933 30th St. (north of University), www.caffecalabria.com
Coffee and Tea Collective, 2911 El Cajon Blvd. (near 30th St.), www.coffeeandteacollective.com
Compassionate Beans, www.compassionatebeans.com
Dane Coffee Roasters, 3115 Upas (near 31st), www.danecoffeeroasters.net
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, 3260 Adams Ave.(near 33rd), www.darkhorseroasting.com
Daymar Coffee, 460 Cypress Ln., El Cajon, www.daymarcoffee.com
James Coffee, 2355 India St. (near Kalmia), www.jamescoffeeco.com
Manzanita Roasting Co., 13330 Paseo del Verano, www.manzanitaroasting.com
Ryan Brothers Coffee, 1894 Main St. (at Cesar Chavez), www.ryanbroscoffee.com
Safari Coffee, 1012 W. El Norte Pkwy. (off I-15), www.safaricoffee.com
West Bean Coffee Roasters, 240 Broadway, www.thewestbean.com
Coffee at its source:
This fall I took a trip to Colombia & no trip to Colombia is complete without a visit to a coffee plantation. We toured the Hacienda Venecia (http://haciendavenecia.com), near Manizales, a working farm offering coffee lectures, tours of the grounds, food, and even rooms, dorms, or camping. Their website is quite informative, but here are a few of my photos:
If you want a taste of Colombia without the airfare, visit Antojitos, a Colombian restaurant at 2851 Imperial Ave., in San Diego. Besides a traditional Colombian menu, they also sell Colombian coffee beans that benefit an orphanage near Medellin. All their beans are from small Colombian farms. You can also order them online at http://emilianiproject.org/
Nicaragua was where I first actually stayed on a coffee plantation, the Finca Esperanza . It’s in the Matagalpa region of central Nicaragua. We flew into Managua, where it’s easy to catch a local bus to the town of Matagalpa, then another shorter bus hop to San Ramon & another bus to Yucul. Then it gets a little tricky…you can either hike (which I don’t recommend) or arrange for a lift from Finca Esperanza (https://vianica.com/attraction/20/finca-esperanza-verde-activities). Then it’s time to relax on their porch above the coffee fields with a cup of coffee. They offer tours of the coffee plantation, as well as the surrounding forest, which is home to howler monkeys, sloths, butterflies, & birds galore. Their cabins are cozy (although bring warm clothes for the evening) & their food is delicious! A local band entertained us at night.
Another coffee experience can be had from the city of Granada, about an hour south of Managua (again, it’s easy to get there by local bus from Managua). Cafe Las Flores is easy to reach as a day trip from Granada (http://cafelasflores.com/). But they offer s(wwo much more than just coffee: zip lining, a night time volcano hike, bird watching, kayaking, and more. Check out the many options at https://vianica.com/touroperator/25/mombotour. I appreciated Matagalpa for the serenity, while the area surrounding Granada offers a rush. Go for gold & go to both areas!
Until April 23, 2015, Brown Water Coffee is donating $7 from every bag of coffee sold to the clean water project for Nicaragua called El Porvenir, meaning The Future (http://www.elporvenir.org/). To buy coffee for this cause go to http://brownwater.org/ (only until April 23, 2015, or until they run out).
The long skinny country of Vietnam sees so many different weather changes that coffee is often seen growing in different stages, from bud to flower to bean. We were there in March when coffee wasn’t even a bud in Khe Sanh (north of Hue, near the Laos border) to beans in Buon Ma Thuot (in the central highlands near the Laos border) to flowering as we were coming down from the 4000 feet town of Dalat (also in the central highlands). Their coffee is powerfully strong, but maybe that’s because it’s brewed extra thick for their Cafe Sua beverage. If you don’t know what Cafe Sua is see our post on March 31, 2016, for Saigon Coffee…