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Mission Beach’s Better Buzz: But from oatmeal?

While Mad Scientists from The Lab make your coffee, ask about their jar of oatmeal.

Huh.

Wandering up Mission Boulevard when I pass by a bunch of laptoppers sitting right next to me at a plank counter that’s open to the sidewalk.

None

None

None

Then the Big Question: “Did you know? The lighter the roast, the HIGHER the caffeine! We roast our coffee less to give YOU more flavor and a BETTER BUZZ!”

None

Lord: so dark isn’t stronger? On the other hand, it makes sense that the more you bake those poor innocent beans, the less oils and caffeine they give up. Hey! Coffee’s joining the Raw movement?

Suddenly I’m curious.

Plus this is when I remember: This is Better Buzz Coffee Lab (3745 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach, 858-858-488-0400). Ian Pike came in here last month and survived a cup. Discovered the “Kyoto Drip,” the room temperature drip thing that you can go into a deep Zen trance by just watching all day as it makes its way through the Dr. Frankenstein lab equipment into your cup. (Okay into a beaker first.)

None

None

Kyoto coffee: It's alive!

Me, I don’t need trance, I need wake-up, the strength to make it through the rest of the day. Plus now I’d like to see if there’s reality behind the “buzz” buzz.

None

Inside: woody, plus fifties "lab" tiles

But here’s the funny thing. I make my way past 32 different term papers all being written at the same time to the counter and order a straight joe, but light-roasted, to test the theory.

It’s while the barista, Michael, is working on that that I spot the “Eat” menu. Hmm. Usual suspects: like, acai bowls with hemp Granola and bee pollen ($6.50), or toast with cranberry/orange/walnut ($3.50).

Or organic oatmeal ($3.75) with choice of “brown sugar cinnamon, brown sugar, almonds, cranberries, raisins.”

Don’t quite get what the choice is, and anyway, oatmeal? This time of day?

Then I think why not? I mumble cinnamon and order the danged thing.

The other barista, Sarah, brings it all.

None

Michael, Sarah

The coffee's in the usual paper thingy, but the oatmeal comes in a little square preserves jar with that spring-wire-sealed lid.

I take everything up to the plank right on the sidewalk.

None

The glass window has been hauled up like a garage door, and if you can handle the knifey little chill breeze, it’s the perfect people-watching spot.

I open the oatmeal carefully. Steam pours out. It’s beautifully hot, spicey and crunchy with the slivered almonds.

None

None

Michael says these guys are part of a local chain, but one that's into really good coffee, first and foremost. "We get a students coming here to work because we're open after three. Lot of places nearby close after lunchtime," he says.

Long and short: coffee’s great, but it's the oatmeal. By the time I’ve spooned down this oatmeal I feel the energy surging back. Spring in the heels. Leave feeling lighter than when I came in. A miracle!

If this is a back to the future thing going on, I'm for it.

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Huh.

Wandering up Mission Boulevard when I pass by a bunch of laptoppers sitting right next to me at a plank counter that’s open to the sidewalk.

None

None

None

Then the Big Question: “Did you know? The lighter the roast, the HIGHER the caffeine! We roast our coffee less to give YOU more flavor and a BETTER BUZZ!”

None

Lord: so dark isn’t stronger? On the other hand, it makes sense that the more you bake those poor innocent beans, the less oils and caffeine they give up. Hey! Coffee’s joining the Raw movement?

Suddenly I’m curious.

Plus this is when I remember: This is Better Buzz Coffee Lab (3745 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach, 858-858-488-0400). Ian Pike came in here last month and survived a cup. Discovered the “Kyoto Drip,” the room temperature drip thing that you can go into a deep Zen trance by just watching all day as it makes its way through the Dr. Frankenstein lab equipment into your cup. (Okay into a beaker first.)

None

None

Kyoto coffee: It's alive!

Me, I don’t need trance, I need wake-up, the strength to make it through the rest of the day. Plus now I’d like to see if there’s reality behind the “buzz” buzz.

None

Inside: woody, plus fifties "lab" tiles

But here’s the funny thing. I make my way past 32 different term papers all being written at the same time to the counter and order a straight joe, but light-roasted, to test the theory.

It’s while the barista, Michael, is working on that that I spot the “Eat” menu. Hmm. Usual suspects: like, acai bowls with hemp Granola and bee pollen ($6.50), or toast with cranberry/orange/walnut ($3.50).

Or organic oatmeal ($3.75) with choice of “brown sugar cinnamon, brown sugar, almonds, cranberries, raisins.”

Don’t quite get what the choice is, and anyway, oatmeal? This time of day?

Then I think why not? I mumble cinnamon and order the danged thing.

The other barista, Sarah, brings it all.

None

Michael, Sarah

The coffee's in the usual paper thingy, but the oatmeal comes in a little square preserves jar with that spring-wire-sealed lid.

I take everything up to the plank right on the sidewalk.

None

The glass window has been hauled up like a garage door, and if you can handle the knifey little chill breeze, it’s the perfect people-watching spot.

I open the oatmeal carefully. Steam pours out. It’s beautifully hot, spicey and crunchy with the slivered almonds.

None

None

Michael says these guys are part of a local chain, but one that's into really good coffee, first and foremost. "We get a students coming here to work because we're open after three. Lot of places nearby close after lunchtime," he says.

Long and short: coffee’s great, but it's the oatmeal. By the time I’ve spooned down this oatmeal I feel the energy surging back. Spring in the heels. Leave feeling lighter than when I came in. A miracle!

If this is a back to the future thing going on, I'm for it.

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Here's something you might be interested in.
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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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