Time for something other than James Coffee Co. Believe it or not, I DO in fact get coffee elsewhere from time to time. One of the elite members of my “top three” favorite coffee shops in San Diego is Birdrock.
The very beautiful moment I first realized I actually could do this whole “black coffee” thing was in a friend’s dorm room where I was handed a Chemex brewed cup of Birdrock coffee (the specific one, I don’t remember). I had just purchased a bag of Ethiopia blend from James Coffee Co. for home (though I was still drinking my coffee with sugary milk at this time). I brought it to my friend, Nate’s, place to have battle: My favorite place vs. his favorite place. James vs. Birdrock.
He handed me a cup and I dared to embarrassingly ask, “Just black? No cream?” He and his roommate Brady laughed. “Of course not…” The first sip sent a tingle through my jaw that resulted in an involuntary wince but was followed up shortly with pleasantness. Hmm, I can do this. And so I started to. This wasn’t my first taste of Birdrock ever though. I’d had a latte before at their La Jolla location once before. Nate had told me that Birdrock was once ranked nationally for their coffee or something so I chose to give it a try with my friend Karis. Pretty good.
I haven’t been to the La Jolla location after that one time but since they opened a location right around the corner from James Coffee Co., I’ve gone in a few more times. I even recently became friends with one of their baristas, Kaleb (he actually came to church with me this last Sunday). Another one of their baristas, Mark, is friends my sister and many of her friends because they all went to San Diego Christian College together! For whatever reason, the only thing that has really appealed to me here are the Cortados. I did hear that they have a delicious Yemen blend, but it’s so rare and fancy that it’s priced at around $8 or so. Nate often purchases their coffee so I’ll have him whip me up some in his dorm again.
I think every coffee shops ambiance pales in comparison to James Coffee Co., but I do enjoy the Little Italy location. Both their locations have lots of open concepts and large windows that roll up completely for optimal fresh air! I love that! They also extended their hours (wise choice!).