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Roast Magazine, a Portland-based trade journal that focuses on the technical side of the specialty coffee business, recently named Bird Rock Coffee Roasters their 2012 Micro Roaster of the Year.

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It’s a cool, laid back place, just what you’d expect in Bird Rock. Local art adorns the walls, on Saturday mornings there’s live music. Sunday is open mic day from 10:00 am till noon. There’s free wifi too, and a little walled area with benches for kids to play in.

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They serve two varietals and a decaf daily, four coffees at a brew bar, using Hario B60s and Chemex. There are a few baked goods and some fresh fruit to enjoy with your coffee.

I stopped in to purchase beans, selecting the Ace of Spades Espresso. A blend of coffees from Burundi, Brazil, Ecuador and Sumatra, it’s BRCR’s tribute to Motorhead. At $16.75 for 12 oz., it’s pricey. I’d expect to pay that much for a pound of beans, not 12 ounces.

As part of the deal, I was offered a free cup of the daily brew. I asked for an Americano instead, and got a buck off my drink. Cool.

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Well, maybe not. My Americano had a bit of crema still floating on top, so evidently a shot was pulled, but it was incredibly weak. So weak that after three sips, I tossed it into the garbage can.

When I got home I pulled a shot of the Ace of Spades, using 22 grams at 20 seconds (the directions on the bag recommends 25-27 seconds, I saw later). I was surprised by the color of the beans – they were much lighter than I’m used to seeing for espresso beans. The resulting cup had good crema. Still, it was less robust than I prefer and too acidic. Next time I’ll try their suggested brewing time and see if it’s any better.

I’ll give them another try – it seems a nice place to hang out. But I’ll ask for half as much hot water in my Americano.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

5627 La Jolla Blvd

La Jolla, CA 92037

Hours:

Mon-Fri 6 am - 6 pm

Sat-Sun 6:30 am - 6 pm

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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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