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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.


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.


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.


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


Mon-Fri 6 am - 6 pm

Sat-Sun 6:30 am - 6 pm

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