Where: Seaborne Coffee, 332 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
What: Batch Brew Black Coffee: Single Origin Guatemala from Revolution Roasters
Tasting Notes: nutty, milk chocolate, smooth
Price: $3.52 after tax
What I’m listening to: Fruit Bats, “Cazadera”
The threat of rain mingles with the musk of the marine layer fog. Clouds waver on the precipice between breaking up and condensing into dark mountains. It is a gloomy morning spring morning in Southern California. Perfect for stopping into a coffee shop for a warmer.
Seaborne Coffee is part of The Rising Co. Co-Op. Along with a dozen indie merchants and a Roark clothing boutique, they inhabit a concrete building painted bright white on the Coast Highway just south of Oceanside’s downtown. The inside is inviting, warm, and comfortable.
Surf photography covers the back wall. A merchandise display occupies a corner. Indoor house plants hang off the edge of shelves, and potted succulents are the centerpieces of the casual seating filling the center of the space.
I step to the counter. The menu is painted in block letters on the wall behind the counter. I order a batch brew cup of coffee. Curtis, a barista, pours it into my mug with some kindly chatter. It is a single origin Guatemala roast from Revolution Roasters just down the road.
There is an oversized window. The base is a half-moon-shaped table with stools both inside and out. I’m tempted to sit looking out at the strategically placed garden boxes filled with lavender blocking out the passing cars and offering the illusion of privacy.
Instead, I head to the round patio table painted in two tones of muted gold blobs that remind me of the lava lamp that illuminated my college bedroom.
A pelican holding a coffee cup (the Seaborne logo) gives me the side-eye from a window. At 9:30 AM, it appears the morning rush is over. A smattering of people and dogs wander in and out. Some have laptops. Some clearly just finished their morning power walk along the beach.
My coffee is quite enjoyable with a big, bold flavor featuring smooth milk chocolate, a hint of caramel, and a subtle nutty finish. The clouds decide parting is in their best interest. The sun breaks through, flooding the patio with warmth.
Seaborne Coffee features a modern yet casual design — soft woods and warm lighting complement the raw wood shelves and well-thought-out color scheme. The cafe is comfortable, but you know someone is paying attention to the details. It works, and it is easy to imagine myself as one of the regulars hanging out with a laptop until Pacific Coast Spirits opens for happy hour.
After finishing my coffee, I wander through the co-op. One of the vendors is watering and photographing plants. The curated goods make me want to get a subscription to one of those fancy architectural design magazines. I pick up a handmade greeting card to look at the art. I put it back when I see a book on California’s back roads. I admire the cover, look back through the building and see a line has built up in the cafe. The sun has brought out some late risers. I head for the door, but I’ll be back. Soon.
Roast! San Diego is a new column by Ryan Woldt, host of the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast, available for streaming at TheCoastNews.com. Look for features on North County coffee shops, cafes, and coffee roasters.