The Coast News Group
Luckie Coffee in Poway. Photo by Ryan Woldt
Luckie Coffee in Poway. Photo by Ryan Woldt
ColumnsFood & WineRoast! San Diego

Bean Journal: Luckie Coffee (Poway)

Where: Luckie Coffee, 14039 Midland Rd, Poway, CA 92064
Open: 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday
What: Pour over High Noon, plus a bonus pour over of the Twin Peaks
Tasting notes: High Noon: Light-Medium roast, bright and balanced.
Find them at: • @luckiecoffee on Instagram
What I’m listening to: Ray Charles “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”

Poway is not on my way — it’s not on my way home or work. It is not near the markets I frequent nor the lagoons I like to float in. I have almost no reason to leave my usual routes to head towards Old Poway. But I have one excuse for the out-of-the-way adventure today — Luckie Coffee.

I spoke to owners Tom and Kayte about a year ago for an episode of the Roast! West Coast podcast (now Coffee People). At the time, they were committed to opening their coffee shop in the Old Poway Village Shopping Center but still waiting for the keys. They outlined their planning process and hoped to open a cafe in their hometown. Their dog snored in the background.*

Luckie Coffee in Poway. Photo by Ryan Woldt
Luckie Coffee in Poway. Photo by Ryan Woldt

Luckie Coffee is a small shop with ample open floor space. Some seating, a shelving unit of western-themed knick-knacks and old records, the coffee cart, and a piano (gifted from a customer) line the walls. A picture window lets in natural light at the front of the store. Tom mentions how the open space and layout encourage customer interaction by subtly arranging people in a circle.

Kayte brews the coffee. My first is their High Noon blend of beans from Ethiopia and Peru. They’ve roasted in the past — and may again in the future, but work with a local roaster to produce exclusive roasts for their cafe. The coffee is easy to drink with an effervescent zip on the tongue.

If you are wondering what is important to Tom and Kayte, look around Luckie Coffee. You’ll see well-cared-for vintage items, music, and family photos. A collage of old photos hangs over the piano. Kayte curates the images on a regular, rotating basis.

This morning both owners are in the shop. Between chatting about the coffee industry, Tom pecks out a song on the piano. Known customers wander in and snag a chair or a bench seat while Kayte starts to brew up their regular order. It is often a cold brew or one of their specialty offerings, like the Silver Dollar or the Old Gold. I’m seeing the circle grow in real time.

An old piano located inside Luckie Coffee in Poway. Photo by Ryan Woldt

An old piano located inside Luckie Coffee in Poway. Photo by Ryan Woldt
An old piano, vintage photos, and Western-themed knick knacks inside Luckie Coffee in Poway. Photo by Ryan Woldt

My coffee disappears quickly, and it is insisted that I try their Twin Peaks Sumatra Dark Roast. I don’t remember if they insist or if I do. It is rich but with a pleasant bitterness that I like in a black cup of coffee. It is warm and comfortable inside Luckie Coffee.

I retake my seat, and chatting begins again, now about a changing Poway. Tom and Kayte are passionate about their community and relay stories of growing up near the spot we sit now. I mention that I’ve never been to downtown Poway. I’m usually just passing through, and they quickly provide me with many events that might entice me to return. The cute park down the street and beer bar on the corner will likely be enough. If not, perhaps their willingness to walk drink orders out to customers on horseback pulling up out front.

Poway is not on my way, not today or tomorrow, but no matter. In the future, Luckie Coffee in Poway will be my destination.

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 lots of local coffee roasters like Crossings Coffee, Mostra Coffee, and Ignite Coffee Company. You can even stream the latest episodes on The Coast News!

Leave a Comment