Over the past few years, roasters from across the globe have brought their beans to the City of Angels as part of the continuing coffee boom. That includes nationally known names looking to expand — Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle, Stumptown, Verve and Counter Culture, for instance — as well as coffee shops like G&B, Blacktop and Dinosaur Coffee, which source their coffee beans from highly regarded roasters from across the country.
That's all good news, but what if you want to support local roasters?
In that case, we've compiled a list of some of our favorite beans roasted fresh in Southern California. Downtown might have lost Handsome Coffee to Blue Bottle back in 2014, but we still have a rich scene of ambitious and often unorthodox roasters creating fantastic coffee. Some of the places below sell their products at cafe locations, while others distribute only through other retailers or online. Either way, if you're looking to pick up a bag of coffee to stash at home, consider giving some of these local upstarts a whirl in your grinder.
10. LAMill Coffee
One of the pioneers of craft coffee roasting in Los Angeles, LAMill has held it down as a reliable source for single-origin beans and killer espresso roasts. It might be best known for its stylish Silver Lake café, but you can also find LAMill beans at more than 300 locations (including LAX) all over the country.
9. Rose Park Coffee Roasters
Andrew Phillips, a former roaster at Tustin's acclaimed Kean Coffee, teamed up with friend Nathan Tourtellotte to launch this specialty coffee roasting outfit in 2009, which later led to the opening of a brick-and-mortar shop in downtown Long Beach in late 2014. Rose Park offers a handful of stellar, light-roast, single-origin beans, as well as a few house blends. As a bonus, they'll even deliver your beans via bike if you live in the LBC.
8. Café Demitasse
With four locations across the city, including the flagship Little Tokyo shop and a new roastery and restaurant in Hollywood, Demitasse has long been a favorite among coffee geeks looking to pick up some Kyoto-style iced coffee or a well-crafted latte. But owner Bobby Roshan and his team put a lot of work into their proprietary, single-origin beans, too, which are roasted daily on their Hollywood location's shiny new Probat roaster.
7. Portola Coffee Lab
Located down in Costa Mesa's OC Mart Mix, Portola has been serving what it unabashedly calls “the best fresh-roasted coffee in the world” since 2011. Owner Jeff Duggan and his wife are ardent coffee obsessives, outfitting the staff at their shop with white coats to emphasize their exacting approach. Portola uses a low-emission, eco-friendly Revelation roaster, but all you really need to know is that the stuff coming out of it is spectacular, and might include anything from rich Latin American blends to rare honey Geisha beans.
6. Suits & Knives
At Coffee CoLab, a small, quirky coffee shop on the edge of downtown's Fashion District, barista-turned-roaster William Miyazaki sells beans under his own micro-roaster label, Suits & Knives. Miyazaki roasts his beans in a slower-cooking Japanese style, which results in coffee that's a bit darker than the light roasts favored by many third-wave roasters but still exceptionally balanced and flavorful. You can occasionally find Miyazaki's beans at coffee shops like Chimney Coffee in Chinatown, but the best call might be to visit Coffee CoLab or shop online.
5. Bar Nine
Owners Zayde Naquib and Jereme Pitts debuted this ambitious Culver City roaster in 2014 with the goal of supplying Westsiders with top-tier coffee. Bar Nine is housed inside an expansive warehouse outfitted with a Probat roaster in full view and a long, wooden coffee bar equipped with high-tech brewing systems. We're big fans of Bar Nine's bright and fruity African coffees in particular, but since Bar Nine roasts twice a week, selections can change quickly.
4. Compelling & Rich
Kian Abedini, owner and roastmaster at Compelling & Rich, might be best known in some circles as the guy who introduced the world to cannabis-conditioned coffee, but he roasts some amazing non-weed coffees, too. Abedini has plans to open a coffee shop space in Westlake in the near future, but for now you can find his offbeat coffee beans for sale online.
3. Copa Vida
Headquartered in Old Town Pasadena, Copa Vida opened in 2013 under owner Steve Chang and former Café Dulce managers Frank La and Sam Hong. It wasn't until recently, however, that Copa Vida got into the roasting business — and yes, the results have been promising so far. For now, you can find Copa Vida's beans at its location in Pasadena or at one of its two locations in San Diego.
2. Cognoscenti Coffee
Former architect Yeekai Lim's Culver City coffee shop has been an unofficial headquarters for many coffee fanatics since it spun off from an Atwater Village pop-up in 2012. Previously, Cognoscenti was known to source from a variety of small-batch roasters, but in the past few months the shop has begun to roast its own coffee in limited quantities. Visit the shop for a taste of sweet, floral Kenyan peaberry coffee or whatever else is available that day.
1. Trystero Coffee
One of L.A.'s best-kept coffee secrets involves Greg Thomas, a bicycle and literature enthusiast who launched a small roasting business out of his garage in 2014, distributing his beans via bike. Trystero is slightly larger in operational scope these days, but the only way to get your hands on Thomas' stellar, reasonably priced coffee is to order via email (delivery range is limited) or stop by Trystero's Atwater Village garage on roast days. Even then, it's best to reserve your coffee beforehand. Trust us, it's worth it.