top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Bone Guys

The Best In-House Coffee Roasters in L.A. and O.C.

Updated: May 26, 2020


Photo by Mark Daynes on Unsplash

There are days when it feels like time is just a bothersome construct that exists between cups of coffee. We live for our daily cups of hot, freshly brewed coffee and have a feeling we’re not alone.

So to ensure everyone is getting the best mud to fuel their morning jitters and boost them through their afternoon jags, we’re focusing on the best L.A. and O.C. coffee roasters; cafes and depots that employ different techniques and styles to roast you the freshest beans available from all over the world.

It’s our hope that this guide will not only keep you away from grocery stores shelves in the midst of a pandemic, but also away from coffee beans that have been sitting around for who-knows-how-long.

It doesn’t necessarily mention every single Southland company out there that roasts its own bean, but you will find a giant swath of our neighborhood favorites, encompassing serious knowledge and deep passion for producing excellent coffee.

Because life is too short to go to Starbucks.


LOS ANGELES

Artesia

Solid Coffee Roasters: A six-year-old business specializing in single-origin, direct-trade beans from South and Central America and Ethiopia, with a second location in Bellflower and a third on its way.

Try: Shubuta, a versatile signature blend with notes of chocolate and nuts.

Current status: Online orders and subscriptions are available. While cafes are open for take-away, check hours, as they tend to vary.


Brentwood

Caffe Luxxe: Locally roasted, fair-trade coffee and espresso with an upscale European flair and locations in Santa Monica, Malibu and Pacific Palisades. They also make specialty blends for famous local chefs that are available for purchase.

Try: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, natural process beans sourced from octogenarian producer Bedhatu Jibicho boasting notes of peach, strawberry and pink lemonade.

Current status: Online ordering and subscriptions are available. All cafes are open daily with abridged hours.


Culver City

Bar Nine Coffee: A passion project involving one long-time coffee professional with the shared aim of roasting and blending some of the world’s best beans and making them accessible to everyone.

Try: The “Come Together” blend, a special offering of Ethiopian and Nicaraguan beans with a roast that intends to provide comfort during the Covid-19 crisis, while also raising funds for the staff.

Current status: Online orders and subscriptions are available.


Cognoscenti Coffee: Cognoscenti not only roasts its own, it also offers beans from other prized West Coast roasters at its three cafes.

Try: Las Frutas, a double-fermented, greenhouse-dried Colombian coffee grown at high altitude with notes of Meyer lemon, blueberry and oolong.

Current status: The Downtown and Culver City locations are offering limited morning hours for pick-up, and online ordering is also available.


Downtown

Demitasse: A Little Tokyo-born roaster dedicated to eliminating industry waste while offering coffee and espresso beans with varied fermentation methods and roasting techniques, it also has locations in Mid-City and Santa Monica. The café is also known for experimental lattes like the grapefruit ginger and an orange-thyme-cardamom.

Try: Kenya Mutitu beans wet-milled in one of Kenya’s oldest facilities from a collective of over 750 coffee farmers, said to have notes of black currant, Bing cherries and strawberry.

Current status: Offering online orders and subscriptions, while the Santa Monica location remains open for pick-up and takeaway.


Suits & Knives: An indie roaster employing methods from around the world

on small batches of fair-trade beans every week.

Try: El Salvador, from an altitude of 1,350-1,550 ft. bearing notes of bourbon, sour sop and boule d'or.

Current status: Offers subscriptions and online orders, and also sells bags at Downtown’s No Ghost Bears, the first café opened by the coffee label.


Verve Roastery del Sur: The local arm of Santa Cruz’s Verve roasts single-origin beans daily in-house in small batches and offers them in intriguing blends.

Try: Santa Clara Pacamara Farmlevel Reserve, limited edition washed-processed beans from Guatemala’s Antigua region bearing lively acidity.

Current status: While the café is temporarily closed, orders and subscriptions are offered online.


East L.A.

Tierra Mia: With 17 locations throughout L.A. and O.C., Tierra Mia’s Latin-influenced, homegrown coffee shops are a destination for fans of pronounced sweetness and bright acidity, as well as delicious curios like the horchata latte and Mexican mocha.

Try: Hacienda La Esmeralda’s Geisha, a prized bean raised in the highlands of Boquete, Panama.

Current status: Drive-through and in-store pick-up available.


Fairfax

Green Maya: A locally founded, internationally renowned roaster of 100% organic, single-origin coffees from Mexico, Central America and Latin America that you’ll just happen to find at a new location in the Original Farmers Market on Fairfax.

Try: Palto Peru Amazonas Association

Current status: Shop is open for takeaway. Online ordering and shipping are also available.


Frogtown

Trystero Coffee: A roaster as mysterious as its Pynchon-derived name, Greg Thomas closed his pop-up shop and is no longer taking on new customers, but the light and medium roast coffees he prepares in his own garage is available just around the corner at Spoke Bicycle Café.

Try: The espresso-style Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

Current status: Only available at Spoke, which is currently offering takeout and delivery, and Burbank’s Handy Market, which is offering online deliveries.


Hollywood

Sightglass: This brand-new 12,300-square-foot roastery and restaurant opened just as everything was shut down, though that hasn’t stopped it from serving Hollywood.

Try: Blueboon, a blend of East African and Central American beans with mandarin, honeysuckle and milk chocolate flavors.

Current status: Free nationwide shipping online, online subscriptions, curbside pick-up at the location and delivery through third party apps including Postmates and DoorDash.


Compelling Coffee: A two-time Good Foods award-winner, this roaster made headlines when it debuted its cannabis-infused coffee, though its single-origin coffees are what you’ll lean to if that isn’t your bag.

Try: Rwanda Dukunde Kawa, which produces a honeyed and tea-like cup highlighting an exciting and relatively new growing region in Africa.

Current status: Accepting online orders and offering subscriptions.


Koreatown

Andante: Including locations in Echo Park and Downtown, this KTown-based roaster has a reputation for great toasts that veer towards the lighter side of the force.

Try: Ethiopian Natural, with flavors of dark chocolate, apricot and ginger ale

Current status: Cafes are open for take-away orders.


La Cañada Flintridge

Forge: A micro-roaster that pops up at farmers market with sustainable, single-origin coffee.

Try: Shokunin, an experimental, ever-changing blend of Rwandan, Ethiopian and Guatemalan beans that strives for complexity.

Current status: Online orders and subscriptions while farmers markets are closed.


Long Beach

Lord Windsor: A California café with a sense of local history and beach culture, you can watch beans from all over the world get roasted in front of you while drinking a cup.

Try: Great Lakes Coffee from the slopes of Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains, with notes of black cherry cola.

Current status: Limited café hours, online ordering and local delivery


Rose Park Roasters: A focus on lighter roasts, home brewers and sustainability sets this local roaster of single-origin, gourmet beans apart.

Try: Kenya Kiandu, with distinct and interesting fruit flavors, and a chocolate backdrop.

Current status: Online shipping, subscriptions and delivery by bicycle are all available, while both locations of the cafe are open for takeout.


Mar Vista

Alana’s Coffee Roasters: Mar Vista local Eric Stogsdill is as committed to the naturally processed coffee he roasts just about daily as he is to the people who plant and raise it.

Try: The Ethiopian Sidamo Ardi, which goes big on blueberry flavor.

Current status: The Venice Boulevard café currently offers online ordering and pick-up-and-go.


Pasadena

Copa Vida: With a team that is steeped and certified in farming, milling and roasting, this Old Town (and San Diego) café takes its role in the lifecycle of coffee beans very seriously, with excellent roasts and cups to prove it.

Try: Kiniyota Burundi, from small farms near the Tanzania border.

Current status: Online ordering available for delivery and takeaway available at the café.


Jones Coffee Roasters: A tried-and-true roaster with access to proprietary, family-raised Guatemalan beans and a deep-seated belief in offering fair-trade coffees and intriguing blends.

Try: Chuck Roast, a blend of light and medium-roast Strictly Hard Bean Guatemalan coffee –the highest grade available— from the family-related Finca Dos Marias.

Current status: Online ordering, coffee subscriptions, plus drive-through pickup and abridged hours for takeaway.


Redondo Beach

Klatch Coffee Roasting: A family-owned business offering direct-trade, single-origin coffees at its six Southern California locations. Roast-master Mike Perry travels the world to appraise every harvest before applying his patented “Peak of Flavor” roasting techniques, winning numerous awards for the effort.

Try: Panama Camilina Geisha Natural, rare, prized beans with a fruity, floral flavor from a finca in the highlands of Candela, Chiriquí. The price is considerably higher than most of Klatch’s offerings.

Current status: All cafes are open with limited hours, and online ordering and subscriptions are available.


The Boy and the Bear Coffee: With both its origins and a foot still in Colombia, this three café-strong roaster is committed to sharing Latin America culture through its small batch-roasted coffee beans.

Try: Yellow Caturra, a naturally raised bean from Tolima, Bilbao, Colombia.

Current status: Online orders are available for shipping while all three locations are currently closed.


Santa Monica

Goodboybob: A hidden café serving an industrial stretch of creative agencies and production houses in Santa Monica, Goodboybob recently opened its own Torrance-based roastery to handle its Central and South American and African beans, including prized micro-lots making exceptional and award-winning coffees.

Try: The Guatemala Las Macadamias COE #1, a naturally raised bean from an experimental farm located 1,829 miles above sea level. At $58 a share, it may not be everyone’s every day cup, but a splurge if you’re truly seeking the extraordinary.

Current status: Coffee is sold online, through a subscription program and also through twice-a-week deliveries of market provisions.


Silver Lake

Cafecito Organico: A specialty roaster dedicated to small family-farm growers and social justice.

Try: Mujeres Blend, a Honduran micro-lot coffee that comes from a group of women growers, with notes of stone fruit, honey and tamarind.

Current status: Online orders and subscriptions are offered, while the café is open daily for take-away orders.


La Mill: A game-changer when it debuted in 2008, La Mill takes pride in its streamlined operation and single-origin coffees and blends. There’s also a location at the Tom Bradley Terminal at LAX.

Try: David Ceron, originating at a small farm in Narino, Colombia, with Castillo beans undergoing a washed process, 24-hour fermentation and 11-day greenhouse drying.

Current status: Online orders are offered, while curbside pickup is available at its Silver Lake location.


Venice

Groundwork: One of SoCal’s first certified organic roasters, the specialty is peak-roasted, fairly traded, single-origin beans, with equal concern for both local and coffee-raising communities.

To try: Bugisu Sipi Falls Project, Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee raised near an ancient volcano in Uganda.

Current status: Online orders with free shipping when using the code: Coffeeison


ORANGE COUNTY

Costa Mesa

Moongoat Coffee Roasters: This small café offers a nice range of international beans roasted in-house.

Try: Mexico Natural Red Bourbon Variety, lesser seen Veracruz-raised beans said to impart a “super funky” flavor.

Current status: Pickup and delivery are available, as well as online shipping.


Portola Coffee Roasters: A lauded laboratory and widely awarded micro-roaster, Portola uses innovative methods to serve third-wave coffee heads at its six O.C. locations, spread across Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange, and Costa Mesa.

Try: Las Delicias Geisha, a pricey Panamanian rarity with notes of rose, passion fruit and chocolate.

Current status: All locations are open for takeout, with online ordering and shipping also available.


Wilson Coffee Roasting Co.: An old-school, family-owned organic roaster of single origin beans and blends who single-handedly helped establish the practice in the area, long before any of this was considered cool.

Try: Bali Blue Moon RFA Organic, handpicked, wet-hulled, sun-dried Bourbon beans from small farms in Indonesia.

Current status: Pick-up and to-go orders offered at the shop, online orders available for shipping.


Fountain Valley

Delta Café Roasting: A wholesaler that is happy to sell directly to the public, you’ll find a whole range of 100% shade-grown roast options here from light to espresso-dark and more than a few stages in-between.

Try: 100% Pure Hawaiian Kona Islands

Current status: Online orders and shipping available.


Garden Grove

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters: A direct-trade fanatic from San Diego, Dark Horse touts is connections with small coffee farmers and is praised for its cold-brew.

Try: There are some great single-origin beans available, but it’s sort of hard not to go for the “Social Distancing” blend with its Social Distortion logo parody and 100% of proceeds going to employees.

Current status: Cafes are closed, but online ordering and shipping are available.


Huntington Beach

The Blue Flame Coffee: A resuscitated brand from 1893 that maintains relationships with global coffee farmers, the specialty here is freshly roasted blends.

Try: The espresso blend, which aims to hit all the classic notes of the Italian original.

Current status: Online orders available to ship, roastery open for pick-ups only.


Newport Beach

Herst Coffee Roasters: Formerly known as Honor, this high-end Lido Village shop offers in-house roasting.

Try: Marina Blend, the house dark roast from Latin America.

Current status: Café open for pick-up only, bags of coffee are also available online and can ship to you.


Orange

Bodhi Leaf: A supplier of specialty green beans to numerous national roasters, Bodhi Leaf is known for its relationships with farmers and a proprietary brewing device known as “steampunk.”

Try: While they offer many wonderful packages of single-origin beans, they also offer prized green beans from Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to Colombian Geisha. Maybe this is a chance to try your own hand at roasting?

Current status: Curbside pickup is available as well as online ordering and shipping.


Placentia

Golden State Coffee Roasters: This eight-year-old roaster also has its own picturesque Old Town café serving single-origin beans and blends.

Try: Ethiopian Harsu, washed-processed beans from an elevation of 2,000-2,100 meters above sea level.

Current status: Takeaway service with hours from 7am-4pm daily. Online ordering is available for pick-up.


Santa Ana

Hopper & Burr: This modern café from a Portola vet doesn’t roast its own, but does source from mini-roasters all over the world, making it a worthy concept to be acquainted with if you’re interested in roasting and the myriad of styles and flavors that result from different minds and hands.

Try: Primary from Color Premium Roasters, a balanced seasonal blend from a roastery and café in an Eagle, Colorado.

Current status: Takeout drinks and bags of beans available daily at the café.


San Clemente

High Tide Coffee Co.: A small-batch craft roaster that roasts weekly and never sells a bag of its Arabica beans that are older than a week.

Try: Ethiopia Guji Natural, a light roast of natural process beans said to deliver blueberry muffin notes.

Current status: Pre-orders for take-away only, plus free delivery to Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Nigel with the Code: Buylocal


Tustin

Kéan Coffee: A fourth generation coffee professional with roots in Guatemala, Martin Diedrich first created the influential chain Diedrich Coffee in the family garage before going his own way and opening Tustin and Newport locations of Kéan in O.C. where a culinary approach is applied to roasts to craft organic, fair-trade and seasonal beans we hold in the highest regard.

Try: Papua New Guinea Peaberry, where intact whole beans are sorted from the collective bounty of indigenous farmers and given a medium roast.

Current status: Beans are sold and shipped online, locations are open daily for pick-up, face-masks are requested for all who enter and car pick-ups are available.


Old Town Roasting: A community-minded business that offers the unique option of roasting its small, farmer-raised and collective-farmed beans to order, ensuring superior freshness, with 20% of all profits to charity. The hand-stamped bags are pretty rad, too.

Try: Voodoo, a New Orleans-style blend made with chicory. If you insist on whole beans, of course, they have a mighty selection of single-origin beans from intriguing small growers in Africa and Central America.

Current status: Online ordering/shipping and subscriptions are available. Bags also sold at nearby Black Markey Bakery.

398 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page