Swell Coffee – Del Mar, CA

The Flower Hill Mall, wait…that dates me. The Flower Hill Promenade as it is now called has had major renovations. There’s now a Whole Foods where the movie theater used to be, a Starbucks, and where Pannikin used to be next to Crown Books is now the home of Swell Coffee.

Swell Coffee is a local San Diego roaster and the shop is pretty nice looking, and the people behind the counter were extremely nice. However, if I wanted burnt nasty coffee, I could have gone to Starbucks.

Since it was hot today, I chose to have an iced latte. But, before my drink, there were 2 cappuccino orders. The woman filled 2 portafilters without cleaning them first. She engaged BOTH portafilters, but only started one. The espresso rocketed out and poured the double shot, split into 2 cups in about 15sec. She then carefully frothed 2 pitchers of milk using thermometers, and then just dumped the frothed milk into the cups… absolutely zero attempt to “construct” the drink.

Then my drink was up. She filled another portafilter, again without cleaning it. She engaged it and then started it AND that other one that had been engaged but never used for the 2 cappuccino…but only caught 1/2 the output. So, my iced latte ended up being a triple shot of yuck. Burnt yuck.

San Diego is home to many craft roasters and shops that serve a variety of 3rd wave style coffee. But, Swell seems content to just serve Starbuck style crap with a local marketing campaign. Bummer.

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