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swell cafe


SD Coffee Club Roast of the Month: James Coffee's White Owl Blend

Photos & Writing By J.D. DiGiovanni, SDCN Staff Writer

The entire time I was at James Coffee to taste the shop’s White Owl Blend, owner David Kennedy, and barista Sarah Girdzius were giving Matt Barahura notes on his espresso shots.

In-between working on the pour-over, David and Sarah would stop to give Matt their thoughts on the espresso he kept handing to them; “good”, “worse”, “harsh”, “boxy”, and when Matt hit the mark - “better - but do it again twice as good”.


James Coffee is home to an intentional and measured play coupled with the high personal standards of its staff. Try things out, measure what you’re doing, taste, and then try and make it better. That’s the environment that the SD Coffee Club's February Roast of the Month comes out of.

David Kennedy, owner of the cafe located in San Diego’s Little Italy, described his shop’s White Owl roast as an attempt to make a better blended drink. He explained that the combinations of beans for the White Owl, the directly traded Honduran and an Ethiopian Mokamba, came naturally. To David, the tasting notes from each separate bean can exist like ingredients that work together in a cup; the trick is not drowning out either bean's tasting notes. Instead, both should come together to create something new. James Coffee most definitely achieved that with their White Owl Blend.

The sweet berry notes together with the creamy vanilla mouth-feel and dark-chocolate finish make a fantastic roast. Not too bright or acidic - it’s a really fun cup to drink and an example of how to do a blend really well.

To join the Bag A Month Club, and receive the roast of the month, visit The SD Coffee Club is an affiliate of the San Diego Coffee Network. The SD Coffee Club ships a different locally roasted coffee fresh to your door each month.

If you're a local San Diego roaster, and you would like to see your coffee featured here, please contact Jessica Percifield at SD Coffee Club is a discovery service whose mission it is to shine a light on specialty coffee being locally roasted in San Diego.


Stay tuned for featured roasts by Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, The WestBean Coffee Roasters, and Mission Beach's Swell Coffee Roasting Co. all coming to a mug near you!