SD For Free: Coffee Cupping at Cafe Virtuoso and Bird Rock Coffee Roasters

coffee roastngtools A weekly column dedicated to sharing the best sights and activities in San Diego at the best price – free! We have a great city and you don’t need to break the bank to experience it.


  • Cafe Virtuoso – 1616 National Ave, San Diego, CA 92113 (Barrio Logan),

Date and Time: Friday mornings at 8:30

Date and Time: Friday mornings at  10:30

Best For: Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy, and Bashful

CafeVirtuosoSan Diego has a number of coffee roasters and you can try their goods at area restaurants, farmers markets, and in the on-site cafes that accompany most of the roasting locations.

Two of my favorite roasters, Cafe Virtuoso in Barrio Logan and Bird Rock Coffee Roasters (BRCR) in Bird Rock, also offering complimentary cuppings on Friday mornings for those interested in learning more about coffee and roasting.

Birdrock exprsNot familiar with coffee cupping? The website for each roaster gives an idea of what to expect:

  •  “Coffee cupping, or coffee tasting, is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee”
  • “Cupping – it’s like a wine tasting, only more energetic.”

BirdRock CoffeeRoastrsBRCR was named the 2012 Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine and features an open-front cafe on La Jolla Boulevard that is both cozy and sunny. The staff is very friendly and there is a near-constant line at the counter. Whenever I head to La Jolla along the coast I stop by on my way and sit for awhile to relax.

Cafe Virtuoso has a focus on sustainability while providing great tasting coffees and teas. Their coffees are organic and certified fair trade so you can enjoy both good flavor and good karma while enjoying your morning (or afternoon) cup. You can find Cafe Virtuoso at the Little Italy Farmers Market on Saturday mornings as well.

To reserve a spot for either cupping call ahead. You can reach Cafe Virtuoso at (619) 550-1830 or Bird Rock Coffee Roasters at (858) 551-1707. Call by Thursday at the latest but earlier in the week is better to increase your chances of snagging a spot.


John P. Anderson

John was an accountant in a former life and now devotes his time to child-rearing, reading, writing, and working to ensure that San Diego is truly America's Finest City. Interested in environmental issues, John enjoys connecting with others that want to improve the health of our world and community. You can find John at or on Twitter (@j_p_a_). Comments, suggestions, wisdom, and complaints are enthusiastically welcomed.