Last Friday, I was invited by the folks at The Lab to take part in this year’s Caffeine Crawl. As a coffee enthusiast, I was so very excited and invited my fellow coffee connoisseur, Audrey (who used to work in a coffee-house a “back in the day”) to join me on this little adventure. Audrey and I spent many a long night discussing “the world we live in and life in general” at different coffee houses throughout San Diego, so I couldn’t imagine doing a crawl with anyone but her!
We attended the “North Coast Crawl”, which allowed us to take in local coffee spots in the Encinitas area. Our route took us to four different coffee houses, sampling coffee and baked goods in nearly each place. We also received lessons on roasting, coffee producers, ways to brew coffee and even the science of what goes into great cup.
Our stops were as follows, which started at 2pm and ran until around 5pm. We were very glad we wore flats because there was quite a distance between some of the stops. But we enjoyed it because we discovered so many great places to eat and shop along the way.
I hope you enjoy my pictorial account of the crawl below. Keep in touch with Caffeine Crawl through their official site, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest crawls in your hometown, and remember to hashtag #CaffeineCrawl on Instagram to share the love. Special thanks to Sadie for the invite, to Emily for being our tour guide, and to all the wonderful owners, producers, roasters and baristas for sharing your time and knowledge with us!
Stop 1: Coffee Coffee (aka Cafe Ipe) was our first coffee-house. Roasters Dan & Scott, along with producer Victor and barista Matt, gave us great information on the types of beans they use, how their roasting process works and why their blends make a for a great cup of coffee.
Stop 2: Pannikin Coffee & Tea is a very familiar name in the San Diego area. Owner Shawn and his son Dempsey were on hand with roaster Helena and producer Sam. We were able to try out a new blend that has yet to be served in their cafe. Helena provided some insightful information about coffee that I didn’t know: “The oils in the coffee carry the flavor & the caffeine.”
Stop 3: Because of the distance between Pannikin and the next stop, Lofty Coffee Co., we didn’t get to see the demonstration or get to know the presenters. We did arrive to one of my favorite blends called Guatemala Genesis, served both hot and cold. I loved it so much I bought a bag!
Stop 4: Our final stop was at Ironsmith Coffee Roasters, owned by Matt & Raul. Their shop isn’t quite opened yet, but we still were treated to a “flash brew” where the coffee is shocked, as well as a very informative slide presentation. Stay connected to their Facebook page for their grand opening!
(FTC Disclosure: I was offered the opportunity to attend this event as a courtesy, but not necessarily for the purposes of a review. Although I attended free of charge, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.)