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Review of Lofty Coffee Co

My second coffee experience was at Lofty Coffee, more specifically Lofty Roasting Works. The location provides a really cool opportunity. On one side of the street the Lofty Coffee shop has a line out the door. On the other side, the roaster has a coffee shop in it. I wanted to see where they did their roasting so that's where we went.

As I'm sure you picked up in my Review of Ironsmith Coffee, I absolutely love Encinitas. Lofty Roasting Works scored an awesome location up on the hill. I could spend days on that patio.

We snuck in just before closing, so the baristas were busy cleaning up. The baristas were nice, but not particularly interested in us as customers. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and attribute that to the fact we were sliding in before closing and not because the shop was snooty. (I will say that the nit caps and nose piercings were strong arguments for the latter though.)

I remembered to snap a picture of the menu this time. We went with the baristas recommendations of the Costa Rica Golden Honey and the Sweet Blue Blend. This will officially be the most I have ever spent on two black coffees. It was worth it though.

I hovered around the bar asking all my annoying questions about ratio, technique and sourcing. The answers were not particularly confident in regards to the sourcing, but it sounds like they purchase direct from the farms. I like that. They also use a 14:1 ratio, a bit stronger than what I am use to.

Once it looked like they were sufficiently tired of answering questions, I wondered around the shop a bit. It was gorgeous. They spared no expense, copper kettles, glass v60s, copper Moscow Mules to weigh the beans in (a bit capricious, but it looked nice). They had the sci-fi looking cold brewer going int he back and a glass paneled back wall that showed the roaster.

Before I get to the coffee, I have to point out that this place was clean. The cleanest I have ever seen a shop. The roasting and storage areas were immaculate, the baristas were constantly cleaning every little nook and cranny. I mean really freaking clean.

Ok, now to the coffee.

They served the coffee on bamboo slats that had pre-set slots for a Hario carafe and a small hand shaped ceramic mug. This, to date, is the fanciest coffee I have ever had. I started with the Costa Rica. It was sweet and smooth. It had the caramel notes they listed on the menu, but I didn't taste the raisin (I may not be fancy enough for that). The Sweet Blue Blend had a nice berry flavor, but it was slightly muted. I was expecting a berry bomb, but it was subtle and probably more drinkable in larger quantities. Both excellent coffees.

Overall, this is a definite place to visit when you raid my once-secret vacation spot. I still think it was a bit snooty, a genuine smile would have been nice, but the quality and cleanliness was head and shoulders above most places here in Phx.

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