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Lofty Coffee Company's new shop in Carlsbad Village. Photo by Ryan Woldt
Lofty Coffee Company's new shop in Carlsbad Village. Photo by Ryan Woldt
Carlsbad Cities Columns Food & Wine Roast! San Diego

Lofty Coffee Company opens cafe in Carlsbad Village

Where: Lofty Coffee Company Roasting Works, 97 N. Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024
Open: Daily 07:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
What: Morning Dove Blend Batch Brew
Tasting Notes: Cocoa, Sweet Citrus, Lemon, Caramel
Price: $3.50
What I’m listening to: Atta Boy, “Shade”

It is too early to be thinking clearly when I arrive at Lofty Coffee’s newest cafe in Carlsbad Village. I order my standard batch brew drip coffee, black, with no room for cream before looking at the menu and seeing all the shiny single origins on offer.

Full disclosure, I know the Lofty’s head roaster, Siri Simran Khalsa, from her many appearances as a Coffee Smarter Expert on the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast, and she had previously mentioned how loaded the single-origin menu would be this summer.

Alas, I forgot. Thankfully the Morning Dove Blend is a staple on the counter next to my grinder at home, and it never disappoints. There are four baristas behind the counter this morning. They all have sincere, we think it’s too early too, but we’re all in this together, smiles turned on.

While I wait for the coffee, I glance down into the pastry case and see my kryptonite — sea salted chocolate chip cookie. Thankfully, I’m an adult, and I can eat cookies for breakfast if I want to.

The new Lofty is the sixth location in the empire. A slide-open door makes the space entirely open air. The predominant color scheme is steel, black, and gold. The patio table umbrellas are a bright lime green, bringing much life into the space.

A look at the modern interior of Lofty Coffee Company in Carlsbad Village. Photo by Ryan Woldt
A look at the modern interior of Lofty Coffee Company in Carlsbad Village. Photo by Ryan Woldt

About a half dozen other psychos…errr…customers beat me to the cafe and chat over lattes or wait for breakfast. In addition to the craft coffee and tea, Lofty Coffee C-Bad has curated breakfast and lunch menus featuring everything from organic french toast to ancient grain bowls. The breads, pastries, nut milks, and juices are all made in-house.

I take a seat at a concrete bar overlooking State Street. This shop is in the heart of Carlsbad Village. It is noisy here. In front of me, trains stop or fly by. Street cleaning trucks pass in both directions.

A garbage truck beep-beeps as it backs up. Construction crews start work down the street. Supplies get dropped off at Pure Taco next door. Behind me, milk is steamed, and coffee beans are ground.

Music filters down from the overhead speakers completing the coffee shop soundtrack. This one block of the Village evokes memories of living in a bigger city, and I smile because, despite the din, I know this is still a sleepy beach town at heart.

The outdoor seating area at Lofty Coffee in Carlsbad. Photo by Ryan Woldt
The outdoor seating area at Lofty Coffee in Carlsbad. Photo by Ryan Woldt

I get a refill on my coffee. The first had disappeared somehow. The bar is exceptionally clean, with plenty of Lofty Coffee roasted coffee beans on display. A Kyoto Cold Brewer towers over a stack of strategically placed brewing equipment on a table next to the cooler of fresh-squeezed organic juices.

The entire space is deceptively large. Any other shop of the same size might feel a little Covid-claustrophobic, but with wide-open doors, high ceilings, and an oversized patio, I’m more than comfortable here despite the lingering PTSD the virus continues to wreak on whatever neurons control my anxiety levels.

I move down to one of the tables on the sidewalk, but I’m at no risk of getting wet with the oversized umbrellas. I take a bite of the cookie. Oh my, oh my, oh my. This cookie is unbelievable.* I dip the next bite into my coffee, which melts in my mouth. Oh my.

My coffee has disappeared once again. That keeps happening before I have time to take any notes on the flavors. I’ve failed my coffee resolution to drink with more intentionality this morning, but that’s okay. I’ll be back. Those single origins are calling my name.

*I brought half the cookie home to my wife, a true cookie connoisseur, who declared it, “Maybe, the best cookie I’ve ever had.”

The Bean Journal is a new column by Ryan Woldt, host of the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast, which can be streamed at: TheCoastNews.com. Look for features on North County coffee shops, cafes, and coffee roasters.

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