Where: Bump Coffee, 1302 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Open: Daily 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.
What: Single Origin Pour Over – Brasilo Reserva Washed
Region: Nayarit, Mexico
Tasting Notes: Citrus, Chocolate, Nutty
What I’m listening to: James Brown and the Famous Flames, “I’ll Go Crazy.”
Bump Coffee’s Leucadia location is cozy — small to the layperson. If it were a bit more worn in and harder to see from the road, you might call it a hole-in-the-wall.
As is, it’s clean and new and easily visible from the Coast Highway. The cafe shares the patio with Haggo’s Tacos, so I show up late, intending to follow my coffee with one of my favorite burritos.
It’s after 11 a.m. when I arrive, and the coffee crew is already getting started on some end-of-shift cleaning. I always forget they close earlier than most cafes, so I wrote myself a note to tell you. I order a pour-over coffee.
At Bump Coffee, ordering is effortless. Your choices are small or large. The current coffee on order is the Brasilo Reserva from Mexico. The barista lets me know this will be the roast they are serving in the cafe for the foreseeable future.**
Your cup of coffee is made to order, and if you feel so inclined, you can add cream, oat or coconut milk, or a CBD tincture. Also on the menu is iced cold brew, fresh squeezed orange juice, and a single coffee cocktail—the CBDream.
Want a snack with your coffee? You can choose from a selection of empanadas, which are long gone when I arrive.
The “Vibe” at Bump is focused on surf and simplicity. I capitalized the letter “V” intentionally because it is a vibe. You can feel it in the small size of the space. The hand-lettered black on the white menu board. The painted and framed surfboard fins on the wall, and the merch that mostly says, “Bump.”
I only wish I could be so efficient when trying to clear a path through the tangled mess of thoughts accompanying the Bean Journal’s writing. The simplicity extends to the shared patio, where I get very little cell reception, inspiring me to pull a book out of my bag.
This is my third cup of coffee at as many shops today, and it is easily the best. Batch-brewed coffees are my typical go-to, as readers of this column know, but they can’t compete with a handcrafted pour-over. Since they only offer one roast, Bump Coffee has wisely chosen one with broad appeal.
The chocolate and nutty notes will appeal to traditionalists looking for old-school coffee that is roasted but without a lot of bitterness. The coffee nerds who know just enough to be dangerous — myself included — will enjoy the balancing fruit flavors. They add texture and a nuanced mouthfeel without being overwhelming.
It takes about four minutes to brew a pour-over coffee.
I have my pick of tables on the patio when it is finished. For a few brief moments, I experience the calmness I remember loving about Leucadia while living less than a stone’s throw from this very patio.
One can almost imagine what it was like here during the good old days. That may be more true now than a few years ago. This section of the Coast Highway has benefited from efforts to slow traffic and create some semblance of organization to the parking across the road by the railroad tracks.
I’m not alone for long. As the team from Bump finishes cleaning up, the Haggo’s lunch rush starts to arrive. A few arrive on beach cruisers toting surfboards, and others walk down from the houses on the hill behind the restaurant.
I finish my coffee, order a burrito, and lean back to enjoy the breeze while watching too-cool-for-school classic cars roll down the 101 at cruising speed.
*I freakin’ love the Veronica Corningstone burrito at Haggo’s Tacos. The perfect lunch is this burrito covered in salsa verde and a cold Mexican-style lager.
**Bump does roast other coffees. They are available for purchase to take home from the Leucadia location, or you can visit their Cardiff-by-the-Sea cafe to try a different roast.
Always tip your baristas, and be sure to drink good coffee. Get more Bean Journal on roastwestcoast.com or listen to the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast on Spotify. Follow @RoastWestCoast on Instagram.