Coffee Shop Review: Hawthorn Coffee

Location: 3019 Adams Ave., corner of 30th
Hours: Monday-Sunday: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Rating:5stars

A terrifically livable city, San Diego has spoiled us all. Mainly known for its unique paradisiacal microclimate, the city does not cease to amaze tourists and locals alike with its abundance of food and drink establishments. Last December, San Diego’s gastronomic cornucopia was topped up by Hawthorn, a new coffee shop on Adams Avenue. Opened by Dylan and Kevin Redmond, a professional father-son duo, this coffee-serving location places its stake on high-quality shots, brews and pour-overs, and honest, open-hearted customer service that makes you feel like part of the Redmond family.

Once you get to Hawthorn, you cannot help the feeling of deja vu — it instinctively fills you when you see the shop sign that looks similar to Heartwork Coffee Bar’s grey and white lettering. The minimalistic, geometric interior of Hawthorn with its simple wall tiles, wooden tables for two and a distinctive counter, in turn, resembles the inside of Holsem Coffee and Coffee and Tea Collective, two widely-known North Park coffee shops. The simplicity of this shop on Adams, however, is free of the aesthetic snobbism and unsettling emptiness that make you feel foreign at other third-wave coffee shops. The tables, accurately aligned next to each other, successfully fit 17-20 people, while making enough room for a long customer line and allowing for both surprise conversations with strangers and productive study sessions (Hawthorn’s Wi-Fi will not fail you).

Focusing on the community role of a neighborhood coffee shop, Hawthorn provides excellent customer service. Attentive baristas not only enthusiastically explain the specifics of every drink to their picky customers, but also make sure every one of them has everything they need throughout the visit. If the shop is not particularly busy, the employees will have a short chat with you making you feel welcomed — no wonder why the majority of people at Hawthorn are their regulars. You can also see the owner, Kevin Redmond, pouring espresso shots himself, being always in control of the quality of served caffeine beverages.

Hawthorn’s menu is the main evidence of a thoughtful approach to coffee and tea developed by the owners through their extensive experience working at coffee shops, bars and restaurants. It maintains a perfect balance between classic, flavorful espresso drinks made from Flying Goat Coffee beans, including double-shot espresso ($2.50), macchiato ($3.00) and cappuccino ($3.25), and original drinks served in 8-ounce and 12-ounce cups — vanilla latte with homemade syrup ($4.00-4.25) and Parliament mocha ($4.25-4.75) are their specials. Pourovers and cold brew made at this friendly establishment are worthy of special attention. Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Mexico and Ethiopia? You may not be able to visit all these countries, but you simply must try the single-origin Hawthorn pour overs and cold brews ($3.50-4.00).

While prioritizing coffee, Hawthorn treats other popular drinks with due respect. When away from coffee equipment, baristas make sophisticatedly served oolong, green and black teas ($3.00-4.00), chai tea lattes ($3.25-3.75) and sodas made with Nostrum tonic blends ($4.00). In addition, unlike many other coffee-oriented joints, Hawthorn will not let you starve. With an extensive variety of pastries, a so-called toast bar that features almond butter, berry jam, nutella and cinnamon sugar toppings and recently introduced empanadas from Papa Luna’s Empanadas Argentinian Restaurant, Hawthorn is a decent breakfast and lunch option.

Optimal for studying and hanging out, Hawthorn is a great addition to the family of Adams Avenue businesses. Come for their coffee, stay for the people — Hawthorn’s owners and baristas will surely improve your day with sincere smiles, witty jokes and drinks that never disappoint.