Best Coffee in San Diego: Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

Photo: Bird Rock Coffee Roasters Shop Sign

Whether you’re a diehard coffee connoisseur or just aspire to be one, here’s a local brewer that makes a cup of Starbucks look like watered down mud from last week’s AA meeting—Bird Rock Coffee Roasters (BRCR).

Located in the family-oriented community of Bird Rock, just north of Pacific Beach, BRCR is San Diego’s premier coffee roaster and wholesaler of socially responsible, certified organic coffee beans. And it’s home to one of the county’s first pour-over coffee bars; offering the best in-house varietals, by the cup, each and every week.

One thing that sets BRCR apart from other coffee houses is its commitment to direct trade and sustainable farming practices. BRCR has built direct relationships with coffee farmers all over the world—Brazil, El Salvador, Peru, Bolivia and other regions—to bring the highest-quality coffee beans into San Diego with emphasis on socially responsible farming and trading.

What you get at BRCR is the perfect cup of coffee, every time. Rich, flavorful, meticulously brewed and absolutely profound—it’s no wonder BRCR has had numerous honorable mentions and awards for its high-quality brews, including an appearance on Coffee Review’s National List of the Top 30 Coffees of 2014; and the 2012 Micro Roaster of the Year Award presented by Roast Magazine.

Bird Rock Coffe Roasters Perfect Cup of Coffe

BRCR has also been featured in a number of prominent publications, such as San Diego Magazine, U-T San Diego, New York Times, ZAGAT, Barista Magazine, USA Today and others. So it’s safe to say their reputation for having some of the world’s greatest coffee is more than just a bunch of steam.

In fact, since its founding in 2002, BRCR has developed a wide and loyal following in La Jolla and the greater San Diego area, with new locations springing up across the city. BRCR recently opened a coffee bar on Kettner Blvd. in the northern section of Little Italy, and will soon open a new roasting facility in the Linda Vista area off of Morena Blvd.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of BRCR is the weekly “cupping” events or pour-overs. Pour-overs are similar to wine tastings—guests have the opportunity to sample fresh, carefully brewed varietals that are made with a precise amount of beans and temperature-perfect water. The brews are evaluated for aroma, flavor, body, balance, aftertaste and other characteristics, and are made fresh, by the cup, right in from of you while you watch.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters Coffee Cupping

But if you’re only interested in having an excellent cup of coffee and some time to relax and unwind, order yourself a fresh cup and hang out in the BRCR art center to admire the work of local artists and musicians, and enjoy the friendly chatter of other guests and like-minded coffee buffs. If you’re in the mood to shop, BRCR sells their fresh-roasted coffee beans in bulk, along with a selection of high-end brewers and brewing equipment.

So stop in and check out Bird Rock Coffee Roasters for yourself, enjoy a nice pick-me-up and perhaps a friendly conversation with one of BRCR’s devotees or knowledgeable staff. You, too, will become a coffee aficionado in no time. And once you’ve experienced true coffee perfection at this unique, warm and genuinely friendly roasting house, you wouldn’t give it up for all the tea in China.

Visit the Bird Rock Coffee Roasters website at to find store locations, merchandise and lots of information about coffee, pour-overs, and direct trade coffee sourcing.