Startup coffee roasting company Flor & Seed Coffee Roasters has opened its first brick-and-mortar cafe in Old Town San Diego, offering strong familial and culinary ties to the bordering country just a few miles to the south.
The 640-square-foot coffee shop showcases Mexican microlot coffee offerings, many of which are sourced directly from farmers in states that have sometimes been overlooked, including Nayarit, Puebla, and Guerrero. Coffees from well-known coffee-producing states Oaxaca and Chiapas round out the menu.
Alongside Curtis batch brews and an espresso bar, a slow bar features three different Mexican coffees at all times. Each coffee on the slow bar is assigned a specific brew method that best highlights its unique qualities.
“If you order a Nayarit Black Honey from the menu, that’s going to be extracted the way we previously thought was best,” Flor & Seed Co-Founder Yan Yanez recently told Daily Coffee News. “It could either be AeroPress, or V60, or espresso. We also have a Nimbus H-1500 for reverse osmosis, because we believe water is one of the most important parts of making good coffee.”
Yanez and fellow Flor & Seed Co-Founder Leo Nunez further express their Mexican culinary heritage through house-made chocolate, vanilla and piloncillo syrups for drinks such as cafe de olla, cafe tres leches and more. These are often served alongside pastries, molletes and breads from local Latina-owned bakery Pan Del Barrio, as well as Mexican-style open-face sandwiches.
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Yanez, who was born in Mexico City, and Nunez, born in the United States to Mexican parents, have known each other since their teen years, and both have extensive backgrounds in specialty coffee that includes retail ownership, importing and equipment service.
“We were friends for a long time, and we used to go to Mexico City and other places in Mexico and have Mexican coffee from specialty bars,” said Yanez. “We were just blown away by how good Mexican coffee could be, and how was it that in the U.S. it has kind of a boring connotation? It was just wild for us to not understand why that good coffee wasn’t making it here.”
Large murals, including one depicting a producer friend in Chiapas, add pops of color to the mostly white and streamlined interior of the Flor & Seed cafe. A row of seven pendant lights illuminate the baristas’ handling of beans.
Coffees are roasted by Yanez on the Loring roaster owned by San Diego-based company Dark Horse Coffee in its Mission Gorge facility.
Production has increased with the opening of the coffee bar, more online sales and the company’s twice-weekly presence at farmers markets. Yanez now hopes to ramp up wholesale growth for broader distribution of Mexican-grown coffees.
“Our intention is serve our communities, bring good coffee to Old Town, especially from Mexico,” said Yanez. “We’re just trying to bring something different to the community, not too far away from our roots.”
Flor & Seed Coffee Roasters is now open at 3985 Harney St. in San Diego. Telll DCN’s editors about your new coffee shop or roastery here.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.