4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Coffee vs. cupcakes on restaurant row

Popular dessert stop yields a surprising winner

Eye candy, but the coffee was the best thing on the table.
Eye candy, but the coffee was the best thing on the table.
Place

Heaven Sent Desserts

3001 University Avenue, San Diego

I'm not often a dessert guy, and will often walk right past Heaven Sent without a second thought about what kind of cakes might be on display within. However, I am a coffee guy, and will usually fall for a simple bait and switch. So, "meet for coffee" becomes "meet for coffee at a pure butter bakery." At which point, resistance is futile, and I'm getting a cupcake.

Many are familiar with the cakes, tarts, bread puddings, éclairs and other sugary delights of this shop on the southeast corner or North Park's liveliest intersection. Looking inside one of its counter cases will shake anyone's resolve, and even the most determined "no dessert for me" will turn into "let's just keep it to one if we can, then maybe take a couple home for later."

I managed to keep it to a Boston Cream cupcake, this time, lured in part by its ornamental chocolate crown and low price.

This counter case speaks for itself.

Less well known may be how good the coffee is at Heaven Sent, and one brew in particular: the Kyoto Cold Drip. At $3.50, it cost more than my cupcake, and I regret none of it.

Whereas my cupcake was presented on a refined ceramic plate with an attractive dusting of powdered chocolate and a caramel swoosh to match that chocolate crown, the $3.50 iced coffee came out in a cheap plastic disposable cup, with a straw.

But that's okay, all the fancy stuff took place behind the scenes. The so-called Kyoto cold drip process involves the type of equipment you might expect to see in a chemistry lab. Water slowly drips through tubes onto a bed of coarsely ground beans. A filter even spreads the drip out so it doesn't so much as trickle through the grounds as it does moisten them. The coffee is drawn down through more tubes into perfection.

It's incredibly slow — 8 hours or more — and yields a richly flavorful, brew with very low acidity. It's ideal for iced coffee, even in a plastic cup. In fact, this Fair Trade-certified coffee tasted good enough, black, to stand up to the extraordinary sweetness of my dessert.

No complaints about the Boston Cream, but butter and sugar don't leave a lot of room to appreciate the sort of nuance good coffee beans can deliver.

It's a pretty phenomenal iced coffee, and potent, so next time I probably won't order it at 8 p.m. on a weeknight. Instead, I'll embrace some sunny afternoon when caffeine sounds like the perfect excuse to allow a little sugar into my life.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Five from the Fourth Annual Joyce Forum Jewish Short Film Festival

Short and sweet and sour
Eye candy, but the coffee was the best thing on the table.
Eye candy, but the coffee was the best thing on the table.
Place

Heaven Sent Desserts

3001 University Avenue, San Diego

I'm not often a dessert guy, and will often walk right past Heaven Sent without a second thought about what kind of cakes might be on display within. However, I am a coffee guy, and will usually fall for a simple bait and switch. So, "meet for coffee" becomes "meet for coffee at a pure butter bakery." At which point, resistance is futile, and I'm getting a cupcake.

Many are familiar with the cakes, tarts, bread puddings, éclairs and other sugary delights of this shop on the southeast corner or North Park's liveliest intersection. Looking inside one of its counter cases will shake anyone's resolve, and even the most determined "no dessert for me" will turn into "let's just keep it to one if we can, then maybe take a couple home for later."

I managed to keep it to a Boston Cream cupcake, this time, lured in part by its ornamental chocolate crown and low price.

This counter case speaks for itself.

Less well known may be how good the coffee is at Heaven Sent, and one brew in particular: the Kyoto Cold Drip. At $3.50, it cost more than my cupcake, and I regret none of it.

Whereas my cupcake was presented on a refined ceramic plate with an attractive dusting of powdered chocolate and a caramel swoosh to match that chocolate crown, the $3.50 iced coffee came out in a cheap plastic disposable cup, with a straw.

But that's okay, all the fancy stuff took place behind the scenes. The so-called Kyoto cold drip process involves the type of equipment you might expect to see in a chemistry lab. Water slowly drips through tubes onto a bed of coarsely ground beans. A filter even spreads the drip out so it doesn't so much as trickle through the grounds as it does moisten them. The coffee is drawn down through more tubes into perfection.

It's incredibly slow — 8 hours or more — and yields a richly flavorful, brew with very low acidity. It's ideal for iced coffee, even in a plastic cup. In fact, this Fair Trade-certified coffee tasted good enough, black, to stand up to the extraordinary sweetness of my dessert.

No complaints about the Boston Cream, but butter and sugar don't leave a lot of room to appreciate the sort of nuance good coffee beans can deliver.

It's a pretty phenomenal iced coffee, and potent, so next time I probably won't order it at 8 p.m. on a weeknight. Instead, I'll embrace some sunny afternoon when caffeine sounds like the perfect excuse to allow a little sugar into my life.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Skateboarding toward a musical horizon

Urethane, the Lyrics, Belladon, Plosivs, Stephen Bishop
Next Article

Why did Faulconer get so much cash from farmers and oilmen?

San Diego looking to replace Patton Boggs as D.C. lobbyist
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close