I finally got a shot at trying the new Holsem Coffee this weekend. It’s the newest coffee shop in North Park, located near University Ave and 30th Street, less than a block from your “neighborhood” Starbucks. Walking by the Starbucks I saw there were plenty of people still partaking so I’m sure Starbucks was in no way worried about Holsem Coffee opening up next door. As you soon as you walk into Holsem Coffee (where, annoyingly, there are handles on the outside of the door for pulling even though it says “PUSH”) you can see how the vibe is different here.
Holsem Coffee is in an open space with white walls, high ceilings, marble counters, and a bit of a minimalist feel. Bits of decor are here and there such as the backsplash behind the main counter.
There are wooden shelves displaying bags of their roasted beans and this area for adding creamer/milk/sugar to your coffee with a few flowers. It’s tasteful and not overbearing.
My main desire to visit Holsem Coffee was to try out their “Creations”. Specifically the cold brews! That Baklava drink might be calling my name very soon though (date syrup sounds awesome).
[nutella cold brew / $5]
For my first visit, I decided to get the Nutella Cold Brew.
I love these dark chocolate shavings on top of my drink.
The Nutella is made with cold brew coffee, dark chocolate syrup and homemade hazelnut milk. For someone who adores hazelnut anything, I have to say this didn’t really have much hazelnut flavor to it. The hazelnut milk is an excellent substitute for regular milk (especially since I’m trying to avoid dairy) but the chocolate and coffee flavors are the ones that really shine through here, leaving the hazelnut flavor behind. I’d say this tastes more like a dark chocolate mocha than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, the drink was very good; the chocolate flavor is light and not too sweet and it’s creamy enough for my liking. But if you’re hoping for something with a strong hazelnut flavor, this drink won’t do it for you and you might feel disappointed. If you’re wanting a dairy free mocha though, then this is definitely the drink to get!
In addition to making drinks for you, you can also buy bags of whole beans.
They also have a case full of baked goodies, such as cookies, breads and muffins.
Along with eggy toasts and strawberry tarts. I was very close to getting a strawberry (I just noticed it says “Stawberry…) tart but resisted because I knew Jake and I would be having lunch soon.
Here’s the full menu. They also have porridge bowls, sandwiches, and boards full of meats and cheeses. Tea and more classic coffees are also available if you’re not feeling too adventurous. You still have alternative milk options (homemade almond or hazelnut milk plus organic milk) and even sugar options (honey, agave, date syrup, maple syrup or evaporated cane sugar) to customize your drinks. It doesn’t look like it costs extra to swap out for the other options, either.
I was here on a Sunday afternoon and every seat in the place was taken with people studying, reading, and just hanging out. I’ll be back to try out more of these coffee creations – I’ve got my eye on that Banana Bread Cold Brew for my next visit!
2911 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104