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Bump Coffee's Explorer blend instant coffee. Photo by Ryan Woldt
Bump Coffee's Explorer blend instant coffee. Photo by Ryan Woldt
ColumnsFood & WineRoast! San Diego

Bean Journal: Bump Coffee (Cardiff)

Where: Bump Coffee, 126 Aberdeen Dr, Cardiff, CA 92007
Open: 6 a.m. – 12 p.m. Daily
What: Pourover Explorer Blend Medium Roast (Washed, naturally processed coffee beans)
Tasting notes: Smooth, bold, fruity
Find them at:  • @bumpcoffee on Instagram
What I’m listening to: Wilderado, “Morning Light.”

Bump Coffee keeps it simple. Early hours to catch the dawn patrol surf crew, and as the sign says, “Coffee, Empanadas, Juice.” Simple. There is an open roll-up garage door, but I still walk through the traditional entryway door. I wonder what that says about me.

I order a cup of the Explorer Blend, and my wife orders a bacon, egg, and cheese empanada. We’re ticket #11. We sit on a bench out front to wait. It was calm when we arrived, but in moments there was a line out the door. It is bumping — pun intended.

I would note that on the Explorer blend package, it says that the coffee is shade grown, which is another way of saying bird-friendly, but perhaps without the official certification. It doesn’t say where it is from, but Bump’s website describes exploring the remote regions of Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica for the “finest coffee beans.”

They indicate this blend is from beans grown at 1,500 ft of elevation in Costa Rica and Peru. Did you know that the elevation a coffee bean is grown at will significantly impact the final taste of coffee in your cup?

Bump Coffee in Cardiff. Photo by Ryan Woldt
Bump Coffee in Cardiff. Photo by Ryan Woldt

About five minutes after we ordered, my coffee was ready, and a fresh empanada had been passed over the coffee bar. The service came with a smile and good vibes mojo. They don’t accept tips, but the service certainly merited one. My wife’s empanada is crispy, flakey, eggy, and balcony — her words. It’s hot, fresh, and filling, although maybe not traditional depending on the original influence.

My coffee is rich and chocolaty. I call it solid. It is the kind of coffee you want early in the morning when the marine layer fog hasn’t entirely burned off the coastline.

A big parking lot at the strip mall houses Bump, a thrift store, Best Pizza & Brew, VG’s Donuts, and The Cardiff Office bar, but most of the customers we see are on foot. They wander in from the surrounding Cardiff neighborhood with their friends and kids and partners, looking for their regular pick-me-up.

My coffee is gone, and only crumbs remain of my wife’s empanada. We leave satiated. At Bump Coffee in Cardiff, they keep it simple. Coffee, empanadas, and juice are served with a smile.

Want to hear the stories of local coffee entrepreneurs or learn how to brew a better cup of coffee at home? Listen to the Coffee People and Coffee Smarter podcasts featuring local coffee roasters like Crossings Coffee, Mostra Coffee, and Ignite Coffee Company. You can even stream the latest episodes on The Coast News!

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