Category Archives: San Diego

Caffé Calabria’s Espresso Concoction

Pietro Ferrero was an innovative man. Double fist pump to this former pastry maker for fashioning the chocolate + hazelnut concoction famously known as Nutella.

The Italian household staple has been around for more than five decades. Its inception dates back to World War II, when cocoa was rationed. To extend the supply, Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts, found aplenty in Northwest Italy.

Use of this genius creation is practically limitless—on bread, in a crepe, with fruit, even spoon-fed. It’s an especially good baking ingredient (for some delicious Nutella recipes, check out A Hungry Spoon). The hazelnut spread even pairs well with espresso. Add a little steamed milk and you’ve got a “bicerin” (pictured below).

The layered trio, served in a small glass, makes for a great after-dinner drink. Where to find it? Try San Diego’s Caffé Calabria, which serves a wildly good version. A single-shot is just $2.45, and it tastes like liquid gold. This drink alone makes the trip to 3933 30th Street well worth it.

Here, you’ll spot seasoned baristas creating many exceptional drinks, like the Caffe Viennese, a combo of espresso, honey, steamed milk and a dash of cinnamon. Or, the Caffe Mexicano, featuring espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Sure, it seems a little cavity-causing, but decent if you can’t do coffee or espresso solo. If you’re a step ahead of amateur status and want your order a little more raw, go for the Hammerhead, a coffee + espresso combo that easily slaps you awake.

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SoCal Coffee

Just returned from a much-needed Southern California rendezvous. While there, I hit up some of the best coffee spots SoCal has to offer. Preview a few favorites posted below. Words TK.

Intelligentsia, Venice

Caffe Calabria, San Diego

Pannikin Coffee, Encinitas

Bird Rock Coffee, La Jolla

Caffe Luxxe, Santa Monica


How Well Does San Diego Do Coffee?

California. My second home last year, and after a several month intermission, I’m breaking the hiatus for some much needed San Diego sun. I’m lucky that my wonderful friend, E.C., loves exploring just as much as I do. It took about five minutes to plan the trip. Plane ticket. Check. Itinerary. Check. The snippet: kayaking in La Jolla Cove, surfing, a t.b.d. winery, Balboa Park, and a visit to L.A. for Umami Burger. The apparent mouthgasm was voted “Burger of the Year” by GQ’s Alan Richman. I don’t even eat red meat, but I will make the sacrifice because, as my brother and friend claim, “You.Need.Umami.”

There will, of course, be a number of coffee stops (word on the street, Umami serves LAMILL). L.A. is full of hotspots, but what about San Diego? Does the land of loose have a decent cup of Joe? SoCal’s are much too chilled out to be doped up on caffeine, unlike myself. I’m slightly skeptical, but I’ll find out next month. E.C., the SoCal native that he is, doesn’t even drink coffee, so I will be sure to force feed him all the best I can find. San Diego coffee suggestions are welcome. Let’s hear it.