Caffeine Crawl ~ Oceanside / Carlsbad

This last Friday, January 20th marked the 4th annual San Diego Caffeine Crawl, the 57th crawl overall, and most importantly, the 1st featuring North County craft coffee and tea purveyors from Oceanside and Carlsbad.

One of my favorite things about North County’s culinary scene is the camaraderie and support the Chefs and Owners show to one another. This is also true for the craft beverage scene up here as well. Everyone involved was excited to be a part of the event and happy to see the Coffee and Tea Scene getting its just deserves.  Trust me this is not true everywhere, even San Diego has its fair share of cut throat competition (though events like the one I just attended at Biga and the chefs involved show that there are exceptions). With the momentum of this years success, hopefully next year will expand to include more participants and probably a 3rd route.

Our guide Pia talking about Caffeine Crawl.

The North County crawl consisted of two routes, starting in Oceanside and Carlsbad and crossing over. Each route had 5 stops and was about 3 miles in length. North County Food covered the Oceanside to Carlsbad route and I enlisted BeersNBytes  (a Carlsbad based food website) to cover the Carlsbad route.

*I will include another link at the bottom of the post to check out their coverage and their great website.

The crawl started at Banana Dang! In Oceanside. In addition to being a sponsor and catalyst for bringing the Caffeine crawl to North County, it was Banana Dang’s! 2 year anniversary.

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Owners Mario and Thanh-Thanh with Chef Beau Bonham goofing off while I tried to get a serious picture 🙂

Prior to the Crawl Banana Dang! thanked their loyal customers for 2 years of support with free bananas, frozen bananas, Vietnamese Coffee Jell-O Shots, and $2 cappuccino.

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Vietnamese Jell-O Shots

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Banana art by Maitu and yours truly.

Banana Dang! gave a presentation on their origin and experience in Puerto Rico as an “at origin” coffee shop

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Thanh-Thanh talking with the Crawl attendees.

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They served 2 different coffees. One from Puerto Rico (Sandra Farms) and another from Nicaragua (Don Isidro) to contrast the mild nature of an “island coffee” versus a high elevation more robust bean. They were both roasted by Manzanita Roasting Company out of Rancho Bernardo.

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To complete the Puerto Rican experience, local Chef Beau Bonham made a classic accompaniment of freshly baked Pan De Agua served with Queso Blanco, and Dulce De Lechosa (Papaya cooked in its own syrup with cinnamon and vanilla)

The Second stop was around the corner at Loose Leaf Tea Bar.

Shane explaining what he would be featuring …

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Loose Leaf Tea’s Mango Ceylon Tea on nitro.

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The group enjoying the offerings and the great mural artwork at Loose Leaf Tea.

Next up was South Oceanside’s Revolution Roasters.

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Revolution demonstrated the same coffee made with 3 different water sources. The first was made using distilled water, the second Oceanside tap water, and the third using Revolution’s reverse osmosis water.

The coffee using the tap and distilled were really close in character but you could definitely tell the one made using the reverse osmosis method.

Afterward we headed down to Carlsbad to Steady State Roasting. Steady State Roasting has been around for about 8 months (I believe). This was my first time there and I loved the small space tucked away off State St. in Carlsbad, which it shares with other artist’s workshops.

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The funky space that is State Street Roasting.

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State Street is entering a roasting competition in Austin later this year and served the Kenyan provided to the roasters. They served the coffee using a 15 min roast and a shorter roast more like the one they would be doing for the competition. The shorter roast definitely had more balance and interesting notes.

The Crawl showed, through the various demos, that so much from what water is used, roasting times, and of course the origin of the bean each have a huge impact on the finished product. That was without even touching on temperature, machines, execution, storage, and on and on.

Final stop on the crawl was Carlsbad’s Baba Coffee.

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My pics did not come out so I used one from my previous visit.

While Baba Coffee does not roast, they make a conceded effort to source from the best local purveyors. Their coffee is roasted by Pannikin who also provides them with scratch made baked goods. They served a delicious mint tea with honey from Tea Gallery out of San Diego.

So, happy to be a part of the event, helping out, and experiencing North County’s first Caffeine Crawl. I cannot wait to see what next year brings. We should be able to expand the number of stops and offerings. If you did not get to attend conduct one of your own. You do not have to do it in one day. Introduce yourself to one of the local craft coffee purveyors and ask questions, trust me they love to talk about this stuff.

Banana Dang!

115 S Coast Highway, Oceanside

The Loose Leaf Tea Bar

408 Mission Ave, Oceanside

Revolution Roasters

1863 S Coast Highway, Oceanside

Steady State Roasting

2680 State Street, Carlsbad

Baba Coffee

2727 State Street, Carlsbad

Caffeine Crawl

BeersNBytes

Caffeine Crawl 2017 ~ North County

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Caffeine Crawl is an event put on by “The Lab”. “The Lab” is a company that helps high-end, craft beverage companies promote their products through graphic design, media, and events.

One such event is the Caffeine Crawl. Exactly as the name implies caffeine Crawls are events that allow coffee lovers to experience craft coffee houses and roasters in their area. The first crawl was held in Kansas City in 2011 and multiple events have since been held nation wide.

This coming  January 20th to 22nd , caffeine crawl will hold it’s fourth San Diego based event with ten routes through out San Diego county. The best thing is that for the first time two of these routes will be held in North County.

The routes will highlight seven of Oceanside and Carlsbad’s best purveyors of craft coffee.

North Coast:
Baba Coffee
Banana Dang
The Loose Leaf
Revolution Roasters
Sleeping Tiger Coffees
Steady State Roasting

Succulent Cafe

The routes are bikeable or driveable and cover about 3 miles. In addition to great coffee, there are educational demonstrations at each stop. Wether its roasting styles and how choices as a roaster effect the end product or talking about what it is like to run an “At origin” coffee shop in Puerto Rico, there is a lot to learn about the craft and what  goes into producing a great cup of coffee.

Here are the outlines for the two North County routes…

s851142438705973840_p432_i20_w222  Purchase Tickets Here

This is a 3.5 mile biking route that visits 5 different stops. It begins at Succulent Cafe (505 Oak Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008) at 1:00pm, sharp!

Other stops include Sleeping Tiger CoffeesSteady State RoastingRevolution Roasters, and concludes at Banana Dang. This route ends at 4:00pm. You provide your own transportation shop-to-shop. This is a suggested biking route, but driving as your form of transportation is also fine.

This is a 3 mile biking route that visits 5 different stops. It begins at Banana Dang (115 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054) at 2:00pm, sharp!

Other stops include The Loose Leaf Revolution RoastersSteady State Roasting and concludes at Baba Coffee. This route ends at 5:00pm. You provide your own transportation shop-to-shop. This is a suggested biking route, but driving as your form of transportation is also fine.

Below is ticket and event info…
Important details pertaining to your ticket :
– New to Caffeine Crawl? Here’s a fun FAQ for you to learn more.
– You will receive a confirmation email from one of us within 24 hours after your ticket purchase. Be sure to check the email you bought the tickets from.Your physical ticket(s) will be mailed to you (unless within 4 days of the event, in which case they will be held for you at will call at the start of the event).
– Tickets include an event bag with Crawl goodies and souvenirs, and admittance to all stops on your selected route (includes a drink sample, and short, educational presentation at each stop). You will receive the event bag at the start of your route. 
– You will receive an electronic route schedule the week of the event via email, as well as a program that is a printed route schedule, at the start of the event. Be sure to check the email you bought the tickets from.
– Children are welcome (must have a ticket), and there are sometimes caffeine-free options. There are occasionally alcohol-based coffee drinks. All drinks are at the discretion of participating shops. If wanting to bring a child under 7 years of age please contact us first. 
– Each stop along the route has a set start and end time that was confirmed with that business, and will be provided to you before the event. This is to keep the event organized, and give each ticket holder the best experience possible. Please be prepared to stay on schedule and follow cues from your tour guide, as there will be multiple routes in operation at once. 
– Tickets are non-refundable. Same situation as a concert, sporting event, or any other event.
– Biking and walking routes can drive if weather is bad to day of the event. Caffeine Crawl and The LAB will not be held responsible for any travel-related incidents while attending Caffeine Crawl. By purchasing a ticket, you agree to the Terms & Conditions, maintaining full responsibility for your personal and vehicular safety, and your own items, while traveling between shops by foot, car, bus, or bicycle.

 

So, embrace your chance to be part of the first North County based caffeine Crawl. Yay North County. Represent!

Caffeine Crawl Website

#northcounty #coffee

 

 

 

 

Sleeping Tiger Coffees ~ Carlsbad

Just as with the restaurant growth of the last few years, Carlsbad and Oceanside have also seen a rise in premium speciality coffee shops recently.

A new player in the game comes to us in the form of Sleeping Tiger Coffees.

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Sleeping Tiger Coffees is located at 2906 Carlsbad Blvd. where they share the space with Witch Creek Winery.

If you are trying to place the address or wonder about the name….

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Right next to this famous mural on Coast Highway in Carlsbad.

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The interior takes on the same pallet as the winery tasting room (Located just to the right of me just out of shot.) The building is big with high ceilings and also has a pretty good-sized outdoor patio.

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A coffee head friend of mine tells me always get a Cappuccino or Mocha to gauge a place and their baristas.

Sleeping Tiger delivered on taste, coffee, and roast.

The roaster Fallon said she would describe the roast she strives for as a City Roast to Full City Roast.

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Roaster Fallon and the tool of her trade, a Primo Roaster..

Sleeping Tiger Coffees

2906 Carlsbad Blvd

#coffee #northcounty

 

 

Banana Dang! Coffee adds Cravory Cookies ~ Plus Milk & Cookies Wednesdays

One of my favorite coffee shops has started selling the best cookies in the cookieverse.

Banana Dang! Coffee, 115 South Coast Highway, is now selling incredible and unique cookies by San Diego’s Cravory Cookies.

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They will carry a rotating array of unique flavors.

In addition, every Wednesday is Milk & Cookies Day. Buy a Latte get a free cookie all day long (while supplies last).

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Milk & Cookie Wednesdays at Banana Dang!

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Banana Dang! Coffee

115 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

7am till 5pm Daily

Carlsbad Update & Newly Opened.

Was in Carlsbad and figured I would Check in on where projects stood and try out a new coffee bar / roaster.

First, on the 2700 hundred block of State street, Baba Coffee is just awaiting final sign-offs on permits and looks ready to start serving.

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The space is cute with a nice open front. As the sign says they are still hiring Baristas. Email stevesd@gmail for hiring info.

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Baba Coffee has a great store front. Campfire continues to press forward …

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Still, a long way  to go. They do have a floor poured :0

How I feel about Campfire:)

Also stopped by the recently opened Sleeping Tiger Coffees.

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Sleeping tiger Coffees is located inside Witch Creek Winery in Carlsbad Village. The owner who also runs Paon, 83 degrees and Barrio has been roasting his own coffee for those establishments for a while. They recently opened up Sleeping Tiger Coffees, serving their own roasts.

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Huge coffee roaster.

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Still in early stages, no menu except their roasts for the day. I asked for an Iced of one of their roasts but for some weird reason, that was not available. Pour over coffee, shaken with ice is pretty standard for a serious coffee shop. Instead, I settled for an espresso over Ice. The coffee was fine, I had it black as I do when tasting a coffee for the first time. The roast was a bit bitter. There are about 10 things that can attribute to this from water to temp and roast time. I’d give them some time before comparing them to revolution, banana Dang!, or Lofty. Not bad by any means, though.

Sleeping Tiger Coffees 

2906 Carlsbad Blvd. Carlsbad

Inside Witch Creek Winery

Campfire

2725 State Street

Baba Coffee

2727 State Street

 

 

 

Carlsbad Updates and News

So, went down to Carlsbad for lunch and to check in on a couple projects. I ended up finding more stuff popping up.

Went by Campfire on the 2700 block of State street to see where they were at and man…still a long way to go. Campfire will focus on locally sourced, sustainable food cooked over their 48″ open flamed grill. The location used to be an automotive shop and I heard oil contamination under the floor has set them back.

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campfire exterior

Campfire Exterior

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Campfire Interior Work In Progress.

Next door to Campfire, Baba Coffee is poised to open soon. They are currently hiring Baristas and probably about 90% complete. Baba Coffee will serve an array of coffee drinks, pastries. salads,sandwiches, and oddly enough craft beers.

baba coffee exterior Baba Coffee Exterior

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Baba Coffee Interior

Behind Baba Coffee Carruth Cellars has opened their tasting room. I actually checked them out and will write more about them in a stand alone post.

Baba Coffee

Walking around I saw Barrel Republic is building out their Third location mid-downtown on State street a few doors down from Vigilucci’s.

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New Barrel Republic.

Most interesting is Peter Loyola who owns Succulent Cafe is expanding to Carlsbad with a much grander space at the end of state street. With the amount of space I would guess it will be more than just coffee and smoothies. The space is beautiful and once Peter gets done with it I am sure it will be another little Oasis.

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Three of the four exterior walls are made up of succulent planters. The exterior design has an almost Japanese tea garden feel to me.

succulent cafe intI’m sure the large interior will also feature a ton of plants and sculptures.

Yeah, so lots going on. Go go North County:)

 

 

Coming Soon ~ Carlsbad

The north end of State Street is starting to transform. Two promising looking businesses are moving into the 2700 block. Well three actually.

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Artist rendition.

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Good job on the render, pretty spot on.

Baba Coffee will also serve Teas and beer funny enough. Plus pastries, sandwiches and the like. Here is a description in their own words.

“Baba coffee bar is situated in the village of Carlsbad, a beautiful open air outpost for food and drink. We pull espresso shots, lattes, mochas, and make a rotating variety of drip coffees as individual pour overs. We also offer iced coffee, tea, a selection of pastries from the amazing VG’s donuts shop, and sandwiches, salads and an array of craft beers.”

The adjoined Carruth Cellars are an “Urban Winery” currently with a location in Solana Beach in the design district. They have great reviews online.

Campfire I have talked about before and my kid like giddiness for them to open. They are currently hiring front of house and back of house (line cooks, dishwashers and the like.) Hopefully they spend three or so weeks training and open mid August-ish. Here is the skinny from them.

“We are a live fire restaurant and cocktail bar focused on using local sustainable ingredients” Ok I had to piece that together for them but it’s their words.

Baba Coffee 2727 State St. Carlsbad (same for Carruth Cellars)

Campfire 2725 State St. Carlsbad.

 

 

Baristas you need to follow on Instagram

I received this from Phil La Rosa at Espressoworks.com.au . Phil works in Perth Australia at Espresso Works and sent this infographic listing some of the world’s top Baristas to follow via instagram.

If you love coffee (Mario) I would check it out.

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espressoworks.com.au

Perth, Australia