Not being on the sales side of things I seldom have the opportunity to try and experience all the amazing things our clients have to offer. My family and I have been excited to try Gro Cafe since it opened. The concept of this cafe is simple but so inspiring. From being the first cafe to compost in the park to fresh, healthy, and organic foods I knew this was right up our alley. I must say I was blown away.  Maria, the owner of Gro Cafe, has put her heart and soul into creating every aspect of this amazing little place.

My favorite photo from the whole day.

I love the support from our youth.

The freshest, yummiest fruit I have ever had at a cafe. Cut fresh daily. For those of you with children that watch the wigglies you may recognize the saying on the photo to the right. Fruit salad…yummy yummy!!

A case full of goodies…which includes vegan muffins.

Supporting Cafe Virtuoso on the menu.

The first compost to hit Balboa Park. A huge step in the right direction for the park.

Original hand made cups from a local artist.

The very friendly and funny staff of Gro Cafe.

Gro Cafe shares a beautiful building in Balboa Park with the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Model Railroad Museum and The San Diego History Center. Look for the green “A” frame sign with arrows pointing you in the right direction. If you need further assistance check out locations page for directions.

Photos taken by: Julie Rings Photography

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Come find us this Sunday in North Park at the festival of Arts. We will be located on Ray St. in front of Oh My Dog! Photography. This is a great event for families with Art, Music, Great  COFFEE, and Food.

Visit for more information and location.

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Pronounced roy-bos, is Afrikaans for “red bush”.  Growing exclusively in South Africa, rooibos provides a delicious non-caffeinated alternative to traditional teas.   Rooibos, Aspalathus linearis, not being a true “tea” because it does not come from the “tea” plant, however, it is sometimes (and inaccurately ) called red tea.  Not to be confused with red honeybush, which will be covered in a later entry.

Rooibos has a very high level of antioxidants and is said to have various curative properties; I find it soothing before bed as it is a subtly sweet and delicate with a faintly minty aroma.

Most popularly found in its’ oxidized state (red) it is actually green when picked.  Green rooibos is far less popular with a very mild flavor reminiscent of grass or hay.  The freshly harvested needle-like leaves are cut and then lightly bruised to initiate oxidation then quickly fired just as most green teas.  This process is usually referred to as fermentation however, this is completely inaccurate–there is no actual fermentation taking place, only oxidation.  Nevertheless, the result is the light red-amber tisane you will quickly fall in love with as soon as you try it!

Brewing tips:

Rather tolerant of various temperatures, I suggest starting with filtered water at 190-200F and steeping 4-6 minutes.  The flavor is rather delicate, so you need not worry about over-steeping, as it will only become slightly more concentrated without becoming bitter or astringent.  Rooibos also blends extremely well (be creative): add a peel of orange or tangerine or dried cranberry to add a subtle tangy tartness; or add steamed milk and vanilla syrup for a tasty treat.


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