Evolving from a mobile espresso bar, Genteel Coffee has laid claim to one of many refurbished warehouses in San Diego’s ever evolving East Village. They pour a variety of caffeinated drinks with the simplicity and purpose of the bean at the forefront of their craft. Be sure to keep the corner of 13th and J on your ‘maps’ cause you don’t want to mistakenly walk by this spot.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Ben Hitch Contributing writer
Revamping a beat-up warehouse into a usable space – it’s been done here, it’s been done there, it’s been done everywhere. The trick is curating a space inviting to all walks of life with a remarkable product and a comfortably hip environment to work and lounge. Genteel has done so and adapted to the wifi workforce while providing a humbling atmosphere. It’s simple, refined and allows the mind and soul to focus and enjoy the cup of joe.
take a break from your phone and glance up at the suspended flora offsetting the b&w color schemed bar and industrial architecture – the precursor to an urban jungle.
The barista lab is clean and reflects the exterior metal siding. White on black on marble with a suspended stained wood accent hovering over the workstation. All of which was handcrafted by owner Justin Esselstrom and his grandfather with the “do it yourself” model. The menu is straightforward, offering what any specialty coffee shop should with the addition of the Cortado, One & One, London Fog and the charcoal activated Vixen Tea. Not sure it will help whiten your teeth, but it will certainly have your taste buds running to the zoo with Captain Kangaroo. And if you’re one to spice up your latte, the Foxtreat is must try. After you order, take a break from your phone and glance up at the suspended flora offsetting the b&w color schemed bar and industrial architecture – the precursor to an urban jungle.
The 4500 sq ft space is populated by a few roundtops and two huge benched tables separated by a handful of planted trees on wheels. Keep an eye on them, they’re not exactly Ents, but they seem to follow the light around the room. This spot is huge, the monstrous walls are broken by huge rolling doors of tin siding opening the cafe to the consistently present San Diegan sun. The large skylights beckon the SoCal shimmer, highlighting two wardrobes housing neighboring and local brands Bradley Mountain and Original Grain. They corner the space, seemingly acting as the doors to Narnia with the leathered goods and wood watches perfectly coinciding with the refined and respectable character of the warehouse.
The entrance is tucked away in a makeshift alley – keep an eye out for it as this place demands your attention. Oh wait, get back in line. They have a few assorted baked goods AND the CCC – chocolate chip cookies.
Genteel – adjective – polite, refined, or respectable, often in an affected or ostentatious way
Grab a cup to go and #hittheconcrete, East Village has a few surprises
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