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California has some of the most amazing coffee roasters in the world, whether you are looking in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, or anywhere in between. They source coffees from sustainable farms and care deeply about the quality of their beans. Many offer freshly roasted coffees in-store and (for us non-Californians) at their online shops.
Let’s take a look at a few of the best coffee roasters in California, with a focus on specialty roasters that ship across the country or around the world.
1. Verve Coffee Roasters
Primary Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Verve Coffee Roasters has locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, and Japan. The owners have traveled the world, searching for sustainable beans and new vendor partnerships. Their roasts use heirloom coffee from Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Columbia.
The store sells several blends using two types of beans, Ethiopian and Columbian, called Verve Wild Bender, which has the flavor of cherry, honeysuckle, and cantaloupe. Other Verve coffee varieties are made from seasonal coffee and have various flavor notes: molasses, dark chocolate, nuts, red apple, clementine, brown sugar, nectarine, and key lime.
Their espresso is made from single-origin beans or a blend of different beans. The store sells Verve Flash Brewed Coffee brewed hot and flash frozen to highlight the sweet and acidic flavor of the blends.
You can order coffee beans on their website, whole bean or drip grind, instant coffee blends, flash brewed coffee, and espresso. The store sells several types of coffee makers on their site, too, including AeroPress Coffee Brewers.
2. Insight Coffee Roaster
Primary Location: Sacramento, CA
Insight Coffee Roaster is located in Sacramento and sources its organic coffee from Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, and the Indo-Pacific. Their coffee house serves coffee, breakfast sandwiches, tea, and baked goods. In the store, they sell organic coffee and unroasted coffee beans that consumers can roast at home.
The store has specialist items like coffee roasters, coffee pots, grinders, and accessories. Their coffee beans can be ordered through their website or at the store. Their coffee shops are open daily, and I’d highly suggest stopping if you have the chance.
3. Equator Coffees
Primary Location: San Rafael, CA
Equator Coffees is located in California Mill Valley, Sausalito, Larkspur, Fort Mason, Lake Merritt, Round House, and Culver City. They source coffee from countries around the world and sell fair trade coffees from different countries for a cause or to raise money for nonprofit organizations. Equator Coffees’ specialty coffees are espresso, mocha java, and French Roast.
The store sells single-origin coffees from Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, and Columbia. Several brands of specialty espresso are sold at the store. Their beans can be bought whole or as a fine, medium, or coarse ground coffee. In addition, they sell instant coffee and cold brew you can make with filter bags.
Equator also offers coffeemakers, grinders, and coffee accessories. You can order online, use the app, or visit their coffee house. If you do stop by the coffee house, they sell hot and cold coffee, hot and iced tea beverages, baked goods, waffles, breakfast sandwiches, salads, and bottled water.
4. Sightglass Coffee
Primary Location: San Francisco, CA
Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco offers a free class on the basics of brewing coffee. Their other classes, Pour Over Brewing and Making Espresso at home, charge a fee. Their stores are in three locations in San Francisco and one in Los Angles. The owners take an active role in sourcing, roasting, and brewing the coffee.
They started the business in 2009 with limited equipment serving neighbors in a garage housed in a rickety warehouse. At the stores, they sell single-origin coffee, blends, espresso, and organic coffees from Columbia, Honduras, Central America, Africa, and Ethiopia.
You can order their coffees on their website or at their stores. Sightglass Coffee Roasters also sells coffee pots, grinders, and accessories at their stores. The coffee bars serve coffee, tea, cold drinks, baked goods, and salads. Menus may vary according to location.
5. Red Bay Coffee
Primary Location: Oakland, CA
Red Bay Coffee, located in Oakland, California, was started by an artist and food entrepreneur who wanted to open a coffee business that focused on sustainability and diversity. Their coffee house serves as a community hub and hosts community events. On their website, they list where their coffee is sold in stores and restaurants in California.
The Oakland Store is located at 3616 International Blvd and sells whole bean coffee in 12-ounce packages, with your choice of single-origin roasts, standard blends, and espresso blends.
They even have single-serve coffee bags that can be steeped in a cup or used with the pour-over method. Some of the most famous Red Bay Coffee single-serve options include Motherland, Slow Burn, and Brazilian Cake Lady.
They sell coffee makers, cups, and coffee accessories online and at their store. Online brew guides listed on their website tell you how to use each of their types of coffee makers.
The cafe serves coffee, tea, cold drinks, and assorted baked goods from local vendors and is working on developing a more extensive menu. The Oakland location has three floors and plenty of seating for customers. You can order online or visit them at their Oakland location.
6. Klatch Coffee
Primary Location: Rancho Cucamonga
Klatch Coffee, found in Ranchero Cucamonga, CA, offers classes in making espresso, latte art, brewing coffee at home, barista skills, and roasting coffee beans. All classes charge a fee. Do you know the difference between how espresso and lattes are made? The owners source coffee beans from sustainable farmers, and they work closely with their vendors to ensure that their quality and values are maintained.
Their stores have won awards for their coffee, roasting, their coffee house menu, and excellent customer service. In the store, they sell organic and blended espresso and a three-pack for espresso lovers.
They also offer coffees from Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Kenya, Brazil, and the USA. Their coffee beans are sold whole or ground for cold brew, percolator or French press, auto drip, Chemex, and espresso. Coffee beans come in three different sizes.
They sell upscale coffee makers from Baratza, Breville, the Chemex Pour Over Coffee Pot, and a variety of cups and mugs. Klatch Coffee has gift cards and subscriptions that you can buy or give as gifts. You can buy items online or at the store. Klatch Coffee cafe serves coffee, lattes, specialty coffees, cold-brewed coffee, tea, sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and dessert. You can order online or go to the cafe to order.
These are just a few of the many amazing California coffee roasters. Residents of the state have several cafes and local shops to choose from. For the rest of us, it’s a good thing they ship their beans fresh and fast.
Want to step outside the golden state? You could head further west toward Hawaii’s Kona coffees, some of the most prized beans in the world. Or, maybe the midwest is more your speed. That’s where you’ll find the Chicago coffee roasters that played a major role in the third-wave coffee movement.