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Pro sports to pro coffee

Aha! coffee moments for Cory Withrow and Elliot Reinecke

A latte served at Steady State Coffee, which competes for the national roaster championship in April.
A latte served at Steady State Coffee, which competes for the national roaster championship in April.

The Chargers may have left San Diego, but former NFL center Cory Withrow is here to remind us most of the athletes on the team would have preferred to stay. “I feel for the players,” he says of the team’s move to Los Angeles, “I promise you that 99 percent of them want to be here.”

Withrow is a case in point. “We came out here in 2006 when I signed with the Chargers, and have been here ever since.”

Though he played his last game for the St. Louis Rams in 2008, the Spokane, Washington native settled permanently to Poway when his playing days were over, and in September he opened a specialty coffee shop there — the city’s first.

Place

King’s Craft Coffee Co.

14530 Espola Road, Poway

The King’s Craft Coffee Co. sits at the entrance of the North County Soccer Park in east Poway, serving espresso drinks, cold brew, and pour over coffee with proprietary King’s Craft beans that tend towards Withrow’s fondness for medium roasts and bright, washed-process beans.

Place

Global Coffee Trading

11585 Sorrento Valley Road #108, San Diego

Most of these beans are contract-roasted at Black Velvet Coffee in Mammoth Lakes, where Withrow experienced his specialty coffee aha! moment a few years ago. However, in January, he began supplementing this supply with beans he roasts himself at Sorrento Valley’s Global Coffee Trading.

King’s Craft shares a cofounder with Global Coffee in partner Mark Schellhase, so Withrow’s been tapping that company’s roasting and educational resources to develop his skills. “We roast about 50 pounds every other week as I try to learn the craft,” he says. He’s already contributed to a coffee beer collaboration with Santee’s BNS Brewing, and plans to eventually acquire equipment to roast all King’s Craft coffee on site.

Withrow chose Poway for its “small town feel,” and notes he’s glad to trade in his local status as “NFL guy” for his new role as “coffee guy.”

Place

Steady State Coffee

2562 State St., Suite G, Carlsbad

Another retired athlete has embraced specialty coffee in Carlsbad. Former pro mountain biker Elliot Reinecke has been roasting coffee in a 250-square-foot shop called Steady State Coffee.

Reinecke experienced his aha! moment during a four-year biking career. In Massachusetts for a race, friends introduced him to Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, which spurred an interest that turned into a hobby. “I was retiring from racing bikes, and my wife and I bought [a roaster] on eBay,” he recalls. Pretty soon, “I was roasting in a shed on our alley in Cardiff for fun.”

Place

Steady State Coffee

2562 State St., Suite G, Carlsbad

Called Boogie Beans at the time, Steady State opened in June, selling beans three days per week. Reinecke has grown the business incrementally since, and now offers full coffee service six days a week while he looks for a larger location.

Already, Steady State Coffee has garnered major accolades. In February, Reinecke earned the third highest score during the regional round of Specialty Coffee Association’s annual roasting competition, and in April will be one of 12 roasters in the nation competing at the U.S. Roaster Championship in Seattle.

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A latte served at Steady State Coffee, which competes for the national roaster championship in April.
A latte served at Steady State Coffee, which competes for the national roaster championship in April.

The Chargers may have left San Diego, but former NFL center Cory Withrow is here to remind us most of the athletes on the team would have preferred to stay. “I feel for the players,” he says of the team’s move to Los Angeles, “I promise you that 99 percent of them want to be here.”

Withrow is a case in point. “We came out here in 2006 when I signed with the Chargers, and have been here ever since.”

Though he played his last game for the St. Louis Rams in 2008, the Spokane, Washington native settled permanently to Poway when his playing days were over, and in September he opened a specialty coffee shop there — the city’s first.

Place

King’s Craft Coffee Co.

14530 Espola Road, Poway

The King’s Craft Coffee Co. sits at the entrance of the North County Soccer Park in east Poway, serving espresso drinks, cold brew, and pour over coffee with proprietary King’s Craft beans that tend towards Withrow’s fondness for medium roasts and bright, washed-process beans.

Place

Global Coffee Trading

11585 Sorrento Valley Road #108, San Diego

Most of these beans are contract-roasted at Black Velvet Coffee in Mammoth Lakes, where Withrow experienced his specialty coffee aha! moment a few years ago. However, in January, he began supplementing this supply with beans he roasts himself at Sorrento Valley’s Global Coffee Trading.

King’s Craft shares a cofounder with Global Coffee in partner Mark Schellhase, so Withrow’s been tapping that company’s roasting and educational resources to develop his skills. “We roast about 50 pounds every other week as I try to learn the craft,” he says. He’s already contributed to a coffee beer collaboration with Santee’s BNS Brewing, and plans to eventually acquire equipment to roast all King’s Craft coffee on site.

Withrow chose Poway for its “small town feel,” and notes he’s glad to trade in his local status as “NFL guy” for his new role as “coffee guy.”

Place

Steady State Coffee

2562 State St., Suite G, Carlsbad

Another retired athlete has embraced specialty coffee in Carlsbad. Former pro mountain biker Elliot Reinecke has been roasting coffee in a 250-square-foot shop called Steady State Coffee.

Reinecke experienced his aha! moment during a four-year biking career. In Massachusetts for a race, friends introduced him to Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, which spurred an interest that turned into a hobby. “I was retiring from racing bikes, and my wife and I bought [a roaster] on eBay,” he recalls. Pretty soon, “I was roasting in a shed on our alley in Cardiff for fun.”

Place

Steady State Coffee

2562 State St., Suite G, Carlsbad

Called Boogie Beans at the time, Steady State opened in June, selling beans three days per week. Reinecke has grown the business incrementally since, and now offers full coffee service six days a week while he looks for a larger location.

Already, Steady State Coffee has garnered major accolades. In February, Reinecke earned the third highest score during the regional round of Specialty Coffee Association’s annual roasting competition, and in April will be one of 12 roasters in the nation competing at the U.S. Roaster Championship in Seattle.

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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
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