City Bean Coffee Update: Renovated Roastery + Wholesale Now Open to the Public

outside City Bean's Jefferson Blvd. location
outside City Bean's Jefferson Blvd. location
A. Scattergood

City Bean Coffee, the Los Angeles coffee company that Sol Salzer began in 1992 as a small retail shop in Westwood Village, last Monday quietly opened the doors of its newly renovated micro-roastery on Jefferson Boulevard. The location, previously home to a cabinet maker, now houses City Bean's restored 1926 Probat roaster (bought from Starbucks and, according to Salzer, the oldest of its kind still in operation) and a R&D cupping room where the staff brews experimental cups of Flores Bajawa Ngura and Sulawesi Sapan Minanga.

Salzer does not warehouse his coffee, but roasts it -- he estimates he roasts about 2,500-3,000 lbs. a week -- to order, which coffee geeks can now benefit from through City Bean's new wholesale-to-the-public program. Each day's coffee selections, sold in one and five pound bags and priced 30-50% off retail, are tweeted out (@citybeancoffee) and posted on the company's Facebook page.

And if you go to the roastery, be sure to ask to see the roaster: Salzer and his kids, neither of whom are old enough to drink their dad's coffee, painted a huge yellow submarine on the wall. (The portals are windows into the roasting room.) No, you can't buy copies of Beatles CDs with your beans; it'sSalzer's daughter's favorite song.

"We've been flying under the radar," says Salzer. "We figured it was time to re-emerge."

City Bean Coffee: 5051 W. Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles; (323) 734-0828.

City Bean's yellow submarine
City Bean's yellow submarine
A. Scattergood
City Bean latte + beans
City Bean latte + beans
A. Scattergood
City Bean's 1926 roaster
City Bean's 1926 roaster
A. Scattergood

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