First off I would like to apologize for 1) not posting last week. My silly day job got in the way. And 2) for the love fest that is about to happen.
So, over the Memorial Day weekend, my family and I went to Encinitas, CA (just a bit north of San Diego). It is my absolute favorite place to go. It is this quaint little beach town that has been growing in popularity, but maintaining its quaint appeal. Some new coffee shops went up since our last visit. The first one I visited was Ironsmith.
This little coffee shop is located on what I call “the strip.” It is about a ½ mile of shops and wonderful food (diner to fancy Italian). It has an open design, which only really works in places like San Diego, where the windows and walls were all open. The motif was very consistent. It was minimal and utilized workshop style tables, rugged aprons, stools and I think part of the pour over bar was actually a toolbox.
The menu was very basic, which caught me off guard. After I thought about it for a moment, I appreciated the fact that they kept it simple, which matched their motif. There were 2 pour over coffee options and espresso followed a proper progression (sorry, no pic).
When I approached the bar, the first thing I noticed about the place was that the baristas were smiling. Crazy! Right? I ordered a mocha for my wife and asked the barista what she recommended for the coffee. She recommended the Kenya, so I went with it. If there is one thing this shop could do to take it to the next level is to add some flavor descriptions to why she recommended the Kenya.
What really made this place stand out were the people. Everyone there was willing to talk to me about everything. The baristas knew their stuff and was able to answer the ratio right off the bat. She explained how they did their pour overs. Asked about me and what I was doing and I brought up my hope for a cart. We discussed mulit-roaster approach and she recommended their coffee. That’s what an awesome barista does people. Also, the manager (I assume, maybe owner) was talked to me about how they procure their coffee and roasting. The people made this a wonderful experience for me. The best I have had yet.
I got my cup of Kenya (which was about $3.50 for a 10-12 oz cup) and I asked what I should taste (again through those descriptions out there, let people know so they can appreciate your work better). He responded with, “grapefruit citrus and full body.” Ok, sounds about right for a Kenya, and that was what it was. It was a delicious cup of coffee. My wife’s Mocha was very good as well (but how do you mess up anything with chocolate in it?).