Where: Seaborne Coffee, 332 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
What: Batch Brew Black Coffee: Single Origin Guatemala from Revolution Roasters
Tasting notes: hazelnut, milk chocolate, creamy
Price: $3.52 after tax
What I listen to: Fruit Bats, “Cazadera”
The threat of rain mingles with the musk of the marine layer of fog. Clouds waver over the precipice between breaking and condensing into dark mountains. It’s a gloomy spring morning in Southern California. Perfect for stopping at a cafe to warm up.
Seaborne Coffee is part of The Rising Co. Co-Op. Along with a dozen independent merchants and a Roark clothing store, they inhabit a bright white concrete building on Coast Road, just south of downtown Oceanside. The interior is welcoming, warm and comfortable.
Surf photography covers the back wall. A merchandise display occupies one corner. Indoor houseplants hang from the edge of the shelves, and potted succulents are the centerpieces of the casual seating that fills the center of the space.
I walk over to the counter. The menu is painted in block letters on the wall behind the counter. I order a batch brewed cup of coffee. Curtis, a barista, pours it into my cup, chatting sweetly. This is an original Guatemalan roast from Revolution Roasters just down the road.
There is an oversized window. The base is a half-moon shaped table with stools inside and outside. I’m tempted to sit watching the strategically placed garden boxes filled with lavender blocking passing cars and providing the illusion of privacy.
Instead, I head to the round patio table painted in two tones of muted gold drips that remind me of the lava lamp that lit up my college bedroom.
A pelican holding a cup of coffee (the Seaborne logo) glares at me from a window. At 9:30 a.m., it looks like the morning rush is over. A handful of people and dogs come in and out. Some have laptops. Some have clearly just finished their morning walk along the beach.
My coffee is quite enjoyable with a big, bold flavor with smooth milk chocolate, a hint of caramel and a subtle nutty finish. The clouds decide that separation is in their best interest. The sun is breaking through, flooding the patio with warmth.
The Seaborne Cafe features a modern yet relaxed design – soft woods and warm lighting complement the raw wood shelving and thoughtful color palette. The cafe is cozy, but you know someone pays attention to detail. It works, and it’s easy to imagine me as one of the regulars hanging around with a laptop until Pacific Coast Spirits opens for happy hour.
After I finish my coffee, I walk around the cooperative. One of the vendors waters and photographs the plants. The selected products make me want to subscribe to one of those fancy architectural design magazines. I take a handmade greeting card to look at the art. I put it back when I see a book on back roads in California. I admire the cover, look across the building and see that a line has accumulated in the cafe. The sun woke up some late risers. I’m heading for the door, but I’ll be back. Soon.
Roast! San Diego is a new column from Ryan Woldt, host of the Roast! Western coast coffee podcast, available for streaming on TheCoastNews.com. Search for features on North County cafes, cafes, and roasters.