TODAY’S COFFEES roasted in San Diego on 4/9/24:

ACENTO: El Idolo blend.

TORQUE: Costa Rica Las Lajas, slow honey dried process dark roast. Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai varietals. Primitive, but extremely tasty.

BIRD ROCK: Sumatra Mutu Barak light roast; Costa Rica Santa Elena honey process.

BLUE CHIP: Bali Blue dark roast, Bourbon, Typica, Catimor varietals, wet hulled slow dried. Complex, earthy, full bodied.

PANNIKIN: Blue Sky, Sumatra, Colombia, Bali Blue Moon, French, Ethiopia, Costa Rica and Mexico Chiapas. All Fair Trade today there.

MOLLY’S MISSION BEACH: Colombia, Sumatra dark.

THE BLISSFUL BEAN was SD’s smallest coffeehouse. It was run by Cindi Hoang, who among many other great things, was good at remembering names and never failed to introduce her clients to one another as they waited in long lines for their fare from the one-woman micro cafe.
Hoang’s talent for introduction paid off in spades. The place was too small to conveniently ignore others; everybody was almost in everyone else’s lap—so chatting with the table a foot away was a foregone conclusion. The result was that people made friends fast there. Those friendships resulted in Blissful Bean being the preferred place for perhaps hundreds of people. For awhile, the Bean hosted a Friday pizza gathering, with pies from the joint across the street. It was free and everybody addicted to Cindi’s showed up and mingled. Simple, but it was a well loved show.
Eventually, The Blissful Bean provided enough revenue for Cindi to found other hospitality businesses and at last count, the trade has been good to her and her family. The lesson from this is that a fine coffeehouse does not have to be big; it doesn’t have to have a lot of needless detail or over amped menu or offerings. It does have to be well done, consistent and have someone alert enough to help bring the customers together. The customers, like me, will do the rest and eventually provide the means for the next rung up the owner’s ladder and consider the money and time well spent.
And that, lords and ladies, is how a coffeehouse works.


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