Mike Madriaga 9:30 a.m., Nov. 23
Million dollar java
Encinitas coffee shop validates prime real estate with fine espresso
Condominium’s in the lofts at Moonlight Beach (intersection of the coast highway and Encinitas Blvd) were/are being offered for well in excess of a million dollars, or so I heard from a friend up in north county as we hit the Lofty Coffee Company for a cup of java. I’d seen the coffee shop in the corner of the building before, but I had passed it off as a dolled up Starbucks for the nouveau riche who might settle in the gorgeous condos. One look inside Lofty proved otherwise. The sharp design of the interior is almost Art Nouveau for the 21st century and the steampunk-styled cold brew coffee device at the counter would give any mad scientist a terminal case of alembic envy.
I got a warm greeting from the staff and a brief, enthusiastic endorsement of the organic, handmade refreshments on offer. The chipper girl behind the counter claimed that all the syrups, infusions, flavorings, and other tricks of the barista trade were crafted with love and care by people who know what’s best for me. Pretty lofty claims (you see what I did there?!), but I was in a mood to believe as the staff attitude rang truthful to my ears.
My reward? Exceptional coffee. A decaf americano (hard to make agreeable) was better than the full-strength brew at most indie coffee shops. Delicate flavors and aromas, perhaps the hallmark of the handmade vanilla syrup, infused a vanilla latte. Best of all, Lofty keeps prices in line with the competition so all the coffee drinks cost between $2 and $4. Compelling pastries dominated my attention from a glass display case by the counter, but I saved them for next time because I had a Nutella sandwich with me already.
Yeah, that’s right, I carry around Nutella sandwiches.
The patio along the 101 got loads of late-morning sunlight and, as my friend and I prepared to go, one of the workers stuck her head out the door and bid us have a great day.
There are people and business who fake friendly while they chuck out buzzwords left and right and there are people who give a crap and back it up with quality products. Lofty Coffee follows the latter example.
90 North Coast Highway
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