When you think of California, you immediately think of wine, surfing, and Hollywood. But did you know that California is filled with talented specialty coffee roasters? You can do a caffeine crawl from Napa all the way down to San Diego. Here are some notable ones you should check out, and our favorite beans!
1. Verve Coffee Roasters
One of the leaders in the third wave coffee movement, Verve is transforming coffee drinking into an extraordinary daily ritual. The guys at Verve are committed to giving an authentic experience. They have a beautiful new space in Melrose that’s worth checking out. Don’t miss their Kenya beans, it is fantastic and has a super complex flavor profile from watermelon, peach, and bubblegum.
2. Entimos Coffee
Two coffee guys from Portland brought together by good coffee, and a couple years later Entimos Coffee was born. They love what they do and their passion is reflected in every cup. Our favorite from them by far is their Kenya from last season. Top notch cup where you get lots of peach, cranberry, and apple!
3. Augie’s Coffee Roasters
This little red building house the coolest guys and delicious coffees in SoCal. Augie’s love the coffee adventures they have and want to share it with all of us. They are meticulous about their coffees and is all about teaching you to see the hidden glories of each cup. The Guatemala Hunapu is excellent. It is rich, nutty and sweet, almost like you are eating some peanut brittle.
4. Holy Schmidt Coffee
This husband and wife team is doing some amazing stuff with coffee. Everything about Holy Schmidt is clean, modern, and beautiful like their website and Instagram feed. Try their Ethiopia Sidamo Natural. It is a blueberry and Fruit Loops bomb in your mouth!
5. Insight Coffee Roasters
Sacramento is getting a dose of some great coffee thanks to Insight Coffee Roasters. They are committed to educating people about good beans and work hard to bring the best in their cafes. Their new cafe is in a beautiful space, perfect place to enjoy their comforting and delicious brews.
6. Barefoot Coffee Roasters
One of the pioneers of Direct Trade Roasting, the Barefoot team travel to origins a lot to build relationships with the farmers and producers. They hand select the best and most breath-taking coffees they could find to bring back home. Try their Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere. It is juicy and taste like sweet, succulent honeydew and peaches and berries come out when it cools. Yum!
7. The Westbean
Located in gorgeous San Diego, The Westbean Coffee Roasters are spreading the coffee love to SoCal with delicious single origins and showing people that black coffee is indeed colorful and complex. Check out their Papua New Guinea beans right now. It has fall spices shining through, nice and chocolatey with a hint of hickory.
8. West Coast Roasting
Nate and Melissa were one of the first third wave coffee roasters in Los Angeles. They have been roasting every batch by hand way before all the other third wave roasters popped up. They take pride in the process and are doing some good for the world by donating part of the proceeds to the International Medical Corps. The Tanzania Kanji Lalji Farm they offer is sweet with brown sugar, spices, and stone fruit. It is like you are eating a fresh baked peach or plum pie!
9. Four Barrel Coffee
Four Barrel is definitely a favorite and one of the best in California, and they have die-hard, dedicated customers. They take coffee very seriously, from the process of choosing the right beans to roasting. The team’s roasting style highlights the best qualities of each bean so that we can enjoy a great cup every time. Go to one of their beautiful cafes and enjoy a cup of Ethiopia Biftu Gudina. Like a nice bouquet of flowers, strawberry and cherry pop tarts, with hints of peach soda. Delicious!
10. Portola Coffee Lab
Roaster of the Year 2015, this husband and wife team have been doing some great work from sourcing coffees, building lasting relationships with farmers and handcrafting the beans intricately to serve the very best. What you taste in every cup is the hard work of everyone involved from the farmers to the talented roasting team.
11. Ritual Coffee Roasters
Another favorite among coffee enthusiasts, Ritual Coffee Roasters started the coffee revolution in San Francisco. To this day, their careful process is unchanged and seek to continue changing peoples lives through coffee. Don’t miss their organic Hama Ethiopia. You’ll enjoy a cup filled with floral notes like lilac and jasmine, with hints of white grape.
12. Honey Co.
Nestled in beautiful San Luis Obispo, Honey Co. was started by Jon and Sara Peterson. They strive to offer a range of coffees that everyone can love and enjoy. The duo is still involved in every step of the business, from production to roasting and they are really stepping up the coffee game in this quaint town.
13. Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
Wrecking Ball Coffee is quickly becoming San Francisco’s most recognizable specialty coffee roaster these days. They have a top notch team and are known for amazing service in their cafe. Visit their space and enjoy a cup of their Guatemala Huehuetenango, one of their most elegant and sophisticated offering.
14. Equator Coffee
Equator Coffee & Tea has been around since 1995 and the brainchild of Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russel. Brooke and Helen knew that they had to translate the hard work of the coffee farmers all the way into our cup by striving to roast the best way possible and bring out the great characteristics of each bean. Don’t miss their Panama Elida Estate Natural a rich coffee with flavors of plums and brandy. Also check out the elusive La Esmeralda Gesha and Rusty’s Hawaiian Natural!
15. Temple Coffee
Temple Coffee Roasters is another great one in Sacramento that always has fantastic offerings and high rated coffees. They seek to form a strong coffee community through education and serving consistently great coffees. Step into their cozy modern space and have a cup of their Panama Don Pepe Gesha, it will rock your world!
Angels’ Cup is an online coffee tasting club where subscribers get to blindly sample up to 208 different coffees per year, from over 100 top 3rd wave roasters. Small samples sizes mean you get to sample more coffees for less money. Tasting flights start at only $8.99!