Caffeine Fiend: Zumbar Coffee & Tea

     

    Located off of the Sorrento Valley Road exit on I-5, Zumbar Coffee & Tea may go amiss due to its small sign and odd location — but true caffeine fiends would be disappointed if they missed out trying this establishment’s roast, despite its lackluster environment.

    Immediately upon walking into the cafe, you can tell Zumbar’s main focus is on its coffee. It is a small shop that is minimalist in all regards: plain walls, limited seating and a lack of decor. 

    Customers do not linger. The majority of action in the store takes place behind the counter, where the espresso machine is constantly buzzing and friendly baristas are hustling to prepare each customer’s brew. 

    The visual highlight of the shop, a vintage cast-iron roasting machine, lies in plain sight behind the counter.

    A limited menu offers the classic espresso drinks, ranging in price from $2 to $3.85. Zumbar also has individual French presses ($3.85), each featuring one of their signature roasts. They offer delicious pastries, various croissants, muffins and scones, provided by Opera Patisserie ($1.90 to $2.75) and the Vegan Donut Bakery ($1.80 to $2.75), which will please customers looking for an accompaniment to their coffee. 

    The limited indoor and outdoor seating makes it difficult to enjoy Zumbar’s drinks on location. However, if you can snag a seat at one of the few tables, it’s the perfect place to enjoy an individual press with either a book or a laptop courtesy of their free Wi-Fi.

    Zumbar roasts beans every day, except on Sundays, when they’re closed. The type of bean offered on any given day will change, and the variety will keep customers coming back. Zumbar highlights their roasting technique and experimentation that goes into the bean-roasting process, with descriptions like “buttery sweet lemon, floral and spice” and “hints of chocolate spice.” Customers can buy small packages of beans to roast at home; prices range from $10.95 to $12.75. 

    Zumbar may not be the best study space, due to its limited seating and tight quarters, but it is the perfect grab-and-go place for coffee lovers to get their daily fix. 

    With a constantly rotating selection of high-quality coffee beans, caffeine fiends are guaranteed to be continually pleased.

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