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Café Virtuoso’s Continued Growth and Standards for Quality Paving the Way for Specialty Coffee in San Diego

March 31, 2016

The only 100 percent certified organic specialty coffee roaster in the city rapidly expanding while setting the bar for socially and ethically responsible top-rated coffee from harvest to cup


SAN DIEGO, CA  — While San Diegans are blessed to have year-round sunshine, beautiful weather, pristine beaches, an impressive craft beer scene and many more extremely desirable characteristics that make it known as “America’s Finest City, world-class specialty coffee roasters can now be added to the list thanks to Café Virtuoso. The fast-growing coffee roaster in Barrio Logan is leading the charge to put San Diego on the map for roasting some of the finest quality and most highly-rated coffee in the US.

Café Virtuoso has been growing at a consistent and steady rate of 25 percent each year due largely in part to the team’s attention to detail, level of service and all of the coffee having been rated at 90 points and above. Recently this year, its Suke Quito espresso roast received a rating of 94, in addition to its Virtuoso espresso also scoring 94 last year in 2015. This success has also prompted a completion of a 3,000 square feet annexation and remodel of the space next door to the cafe in order to house its new impressive 35 kg Loring roaster and support its increasing wholesale business.

Additionally, the local company has hired an internationally-recognized artisan from Canada to be the new head roaster. Nelson Teskey happens to also be the only licensed Q Grader (the equivalent of a Master Sommelier for the international coffee industry) in Southern California to be roasting coffee, and a lead instructor for the Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA).

“So far, it has been an incredible journey working in this industry to create a company that began with me learning to be a 100 percent certified organic coffee roaster in my garage to what Cafe Virtuoso has become today,” says founder and CEO, Laurie Britton. “I’m very grateful to have this amazing team working with me to craft a product that we’re all very proud to provide for our customers to enjoy.”

Additionally on Laurie’s team leading quality control is her daughter Savannah Britton, a Level 2 Certified Barista by the Barista Guild of America, which adheres to strict standards upheld by the SCAA; Laurie’s husband Greg Luli, an industrial microbiologist by trade converted to the coffee industry due to his fascination with the scientific complexity of roasting coffee, who serves as the general manager; and Rigo Hernandez, a highly-knowledgeable and esteemed coffee industry veteran of more than 20 years, who runs wholesale business development.

Café Virtuoso is currently planning an additional remodel on the cafe side to be completed later this year, and has also begun plans for a new on-site training facility which will expand their training program. This adheres to their highly-personalized and detailed service commitment that also encompasses teaching their clients all of what it takes to make a quality cup of coffee, from correct grinding and brewing techniques, to maintaining proper water filtration and equipment maintenance standards.

An ever-increasing list of top-notch clients where you can find Café Virtuoso coffee being served includes such notable establishments as Little Italy Mercato, Bertrand at Mr. A’s, Mille Fleurs, Kettner Exchange, Bottega Americano, Chez Loma, Cucina Urbana, Hanna’s Gourmet, Cucina Enoteca and more, as well as the local roaster’s coffee beans for sale at Bottega Americano, Frazier Farms Market and Grant’s Marketplace.


Michael Ellis

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