Coffee & Tea Collective

Coffee, Culture

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A few months back we discovered the Coffee & Tea Collective in North Park and it instantly became my favorite coffee shop in San Diego. As I walked through the door it reminded me of the artisan coffee houses in the Pacific Northwest and made me wonder how it had taken me so long to find it.

The Coffee & Tea Collective is where I fell in love with the pour-over. Although I usually take cream and a little bit of sugar with my coffee, these pour-overs have such a clean taste that they don’t need any help. The minimalist atmosphere has become my favorite place to reflect, plan and write.

The Coffee & Tea Collective was recently ranked by Eater.com as one of “The 21 Hottest Coffee Shops Across the US” and for good reason. Here’s a collection of photos to celebrate a pleasant environment and some of San Diego’s finest coffee.

1000 Cups Coffee House

Travel

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There are a few moments in life where you make profound discoveries that change your life forever. Although long in the making, these defining moments are what we remember when looking back. One of moments occurred to me six years ago at the 1000 Cups Coffee House in Kampala, Uganda. This discovery for me was not of deep spiritual importance but it did help to refine what became one of my most enduring interests, enjoying a good cup of coffee.

Attracted by a flyer offering a coffee safari, I figured that a place that could introduce you to the coffee process probably makes some pretty good coffee. My boda boda driver (motorcycle taxi) struggled to find the place from my vague description. Stepping through the door I liked the place instantly. It looked like what an artisan coffee shop in Africa should look like, complete with a rustic wooden setting and well arranged sacks of fresh roasted coffee beans.

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Spontaneity and the Merchant of Venice

Culture, Travel

One of the things I love about travel is the increased openness I feel to see and respond to daily opportunities. Travel is an invitation to spontaneity. It is a chance to live how we would like to live if we didn’t feel too busy to do so. In this way it also reminds us to dust off the interests and passions that we have allowed to lay dormant and to live more fully by focusing again on what we love.

Pouring over lists of hostels last week my only concern was to find a place to stay somewhere in between Crater Lake and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Realizing that I would probably leave Crater Lake in the evening I thought it might be nice to have a place to crash after a few days of camping. I also love hostels and jump at opportunities to discover new ones. Finding a hostel in Ashland, Oregon looked perfect for my route.

Planning merely to pass through I discovered that I had stumbled across a gem of a town in Ashland. The hostel proved to be a warm and friendly place. It was an actual home right on Main Street with large common areas to relax and converse with other visitors. While talking with Eric and Roger, two road-tripers from Northern California, I learned that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is not just an event as I had supposed, but that it is ongoing. Curious, I looked up the list of current plays and decided that the Merchant of Venice looked the most interesting. To my delight, it just so happened that this was to be the featured play the following evening.

Coffee Siphon Service

Travel

Visiting the wonderful Noble Coffee Shop in Ashland, Oregon I decided to try something new and ordered the “Siphon Service.” This alternate process for making coffee is not only intriguing to watch but it also produces the cleanest cup of coffee you will ever taste! Here is a video that demonstrates the process!