Written by Pablo Lara, SDCN Staff Writer
Photos provided by Jose Lopez.
Some people think shopping can be as uneventful as brewing a cup of coffee. I refuse to think accordingly. I love shopping and brewing coffee is as eventful to me as a Karl Lagerfeld runway. As most coffee lovers understand, brewing coffee at home can become a cherished ritual. Therefore selecting the right tools for brewing is just as important as taking the time to find that special bag of coffee. San Diego has hidden spots where shopping for home brewing equipment can translate into a delightful experience.
The following five places have been selected because of their well stocked retail, unique merchandise, great service and fun environment for that retail therapy over-caffeinated individuals deserve.
This San Diego roaster is a local institution. The minute you walk into their retail section you will encounter a vintage industrial tea mixer, shipyard windows and a 1930's Jabez Burns & Sons roaster. Retail experts, Marisa and Bucky, will guide you through the three aisle, 400 sq. ft. retail space.
At Moto you will be able to find an extensive selection of coffee brewing equipment, including Hario plastic, glass and ceramic V60 cones, metal and plastic pour-over stands, syphons and all the filters necessary for Hario equipment including the syphons.
Moto also carries Chemex brewers in three different sizes and the coveted reusable stainless steel Chemex filter. You can also invest in a Baratza grinder, maybe you will be starting out with the Encore or going all out with the Virtuoso. For the San Diego weather nothing beats a batch of home made Toddy, and here at Moto you can find the home Toddy system for $34.95.
The standout piece for me was the elegant Yama water dripper, for cold brew priced at $235.
Walk out with your new toys and enjoy a delicious single origin Papua New Guinea cappuccino made with care by Adriana, or any of Cafe Moto's friendly Baristas.
The recently opened roasting facility of Lofty Coffee Co. hosts a luxurious retail shelf with carefully selected brewing equipment. Espro French Presses share space with Hario Electric Kettles, V60 Arm Stands, and a gorgeous Hario Water Dripper. But the beauty queen at Lofty has to be the Buono, a beautiful Hario copper kettle with wood detail priced at $170.
Lofty's owner, Eric, told me that he patiently awaited the arrival of the Buono kettles directly from Japan. They are a great complement to his Modbar as-well. And while you gaze through the gorgeous selection of retail, sip a cup of Lofty's dry processed Aricha, Ethiopia great through a V60.
Home of the Amaro Gayo and those velvety cortados, Cafe Virtuoso has recently expanded their retail selection after much demand from its devoted customers. This Barrio Logan roaster now carries Baratza grinders (both Virtuoso and Encore), glass V60 Drippers, Hario Beehive Decanters, Hario scales, the Aero-press, Hario's V60 Iced Coffee Maker, and a simple yet eye-catching Olive Wood Pour-Over Stand also by Hario.
Virtuoso also offers electric kettles by Bonavita and stove tops in two sizes from Hario. And if you want to add extra sweetness to your organic Bali they carry a great selection of organic Monin syrups too!
This store carries Fullcircle cleaning supplies for your coffee machine, Breville “smart” coffee grinders, the hard to find re-usable Hario coffee filters, the classic Chemex and my personal favorite, the MoccaMaster by Technivorm! If you are going to invest in an automatic coffee maker this bad boy from the Netherlands will make you a Gold Cup Standard brew every morning in a classic mid-century design.
Another San Diego institution, Caffe Calabria provides home brewers with a great retail selection accompanied by a delicious Viennese. While walking back to their retail area you can catch a glimpse into their green coffee room, the vault reminds us of the building's past as a Bank of America.
Lindsey can answer all your questions and give you plenty of brewing tips with her enchanting charisma. Calabria carries both the plastic and olive wood Hario pour-stands, Chemex, Bodum french presses, Aero-press, Hario scales and glass V60 cones.
The retail shelves at Coffee & Tea Collective may be small, however they have all the tools necessary to home brew their delicious coffee. Want to brew their chocolatey Malawi at home? Well these guys have the wood collar Chemex, AWS 2kg Scales, the Hario Kerton Grinder, V60 filters and Hario ceramic cones and glass decanters. Their branded d'Ancap cups made with Italian porcelain go great with that wood collar Chemex don't you think? Owner, Daniel, gave us a heads up on new canteens coming soon!
Balance your checkbooks and make yourself that much deserved cup of coffee. Did you decide on a Chemex? Or an Aero-press? No matter what you purchase, supporting your local roaster allows their passionate and knowledgeable staff to do what they love. As for Williams-Sonoma, well, shopping for Italian shoes and Dutch coffee makers sure sounds like an excellent time.