This is our list of the best coffee roasters in California in 2021.
There are 30 coffee farms in California. Yes, it may be impossible to believe, but some coffee is produced in the mainland United States.
In 2018, 1 pound of California-grown coffee was selling for $60, and the price of one cup was $18, but this did not hinder coffee connoisseurs—it sold out in two weeks.
While the California coffee industry picks up the pace, let's take a look at where to buy the freshest beans from countries like Ethiopia, Colombia, or Costa Rica.
Let's get started!
The Best Coffee Roasters in California
To make it easier for you to choose from the best specialty coffee roasters in California, we have highlighted their key features. Also, we found the best pick from each roaster so you can start getting to know them. Let's take a closer look.
Location: San Rafael, CA
Certifications: Organic, fair trade, Rainforest Alliance, Swiss Water Decaf
Shipping: Via UPS and USPS. Free from $30 in the US. Delivery to the US and worldwide.
Whole or Ground: Both
Equator Coffees was founded in 1995 in Marin County by three women. Before starting to roast coffee, the women decided to get to know green coffee suppliers and select the best options.
In 2003, they opened their roasting shop in San Rafael, CA, where it is located to this day. Their first café opened in 2013, and in 2016 the company won the "National Small Business of the Year" award.
Equator Coffees now has 8 cafés in western California. The company supports improving the quality of life in coffee-growing regions, in the tradition of fair trade.
At first, Equator Coffees focused on building personal relationships with coffee farmers. The founders of the company traveled to coffee-producing countries, and in 1999 they partnered with Fair Trade USA, buying coffee from the Soppexcca Cooperative in Nicaragua. Since then, the company has been working with many farms.
Close and transparent relationships with farmers allowed the company to receive the most complete information about coffee. You will notice how much detail Equator gives about the history of each coffee, the characteristics of growing and processing, the roasting process, and much more. This provides not only a delicious experience for customers but also an educational one—you are immersed in coffee culture.
Best Offer: Equator Blend
This blend of Sumatran, Kenyan, Colombian, and Brazilian coffee beans is Equator's best seller. It's a medium-dark roast and has a complex flavor with chocolatey, nutty, and spicy hints.
All coffees are roasted and shipped as soon as possible after you place your order.
Shipping is via USPS and UPS and their advanced options such as Priority Mail for USPS and Day Air for UPS. The company offers free shipping within the US for orders $30 and over.
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Certifications: Organic, Swiss Water Decaf
Shipping: Via UPS and USPS. Free from $35 in the US. Delivery to the US and worldwide.
Whole or Ground: Both
In 2007, two coffee enthusiasts, Ryan and Colby, built and opened the first Verve café on 41st Avenue in Santa Cruz, California.
Today, Verve has shops in cities from Los Angeles to San Francisco and even in Japan.
The company is best known for its Farmlevel initiative. This is a way to support small farmers by giving increased wages for their labor. This gives the farmers more motivation to supply the company with quality coffee. In 2021, Forbes wrote an article about Verve and their Farmlevel initiative.
The list of countries from which Verve sources coffee is extensive, but most of the coffee is from South America: El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, and Guatemala.
When you buy coffee from Verve, you not only get high-quality coffee but also support small coffee farmers. The company pays great attention to Ethiopian coffees.
And it's not just because Ethiopian coffee is considered one of the best. Verve worries that the Ethiopian Highlands are under threat from irregular weather, government intervention, and agricultural homogenization.
Verve Coffee Roasters is also strong at blending. Its two best sellers, The 1950 and Buena Vista, are blends of Ethiopian and South American coffee beans.
Best Offer: The 1950
This is a balanced blend of coffees from the finest Ethiopian coffee-growing regions. It's suitable for any brewing method. It has a sweet and complex spicy taste profile.
The company roasts and ships coffee within 1-2 business days after you place an order. Delivery is carried out using USPS and UPS. There's free shipping when you subscribe or order more than $35 worth of coffee.
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Certifications: Organic, fair trade, direct trade, Swiss Water Decaf
Shipping: Via UPS and USPS. Free from $50 in the US. Delivery to the US and worldwide.
Whole or Ground: Both
Klatch Coffee has extensive experience in coffee roasting and preparation. This coffee company began in 1993 as a small coffee shop in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. The company did not open new coffee shops but focused on finding the best coffee beans and expanding its service.
In addition to coffee, Klatch sells coffee equipment and gifts, and offers two coffee subscriptions.
Klatch Coffee was honored with the "Micro Roaster of the Year" award in 2009, earned "Best Espresso in the World" at the World Barista Championship in 2007, and was also honored in 2014 as "Coffee of the Year" by Coffee Review.
Klatch Coffee offers a large assortment of coffees. The company adheres to the Direct Trade model, traveling to coffee-growing countries and choosing the best manufacturers.
Klatch offers a large number of organic and fair trade certified coffees. You can find these by checking the labels on the packaging.
Klatch is especially appreciated for its espresso blends. If you are making coffee in an espresso machine, then we advise you to try the Klatch House Espresso.
Best Offer: Klatch House Espresso
This is an excellent coffee blend for brewing espresso. This full-bodied coffee has flavors of orange zest, milk chocolate, and cinnamon.
The company delivers freshly roasted coffee via USPS and UPS. There's free shipping on orders over $50 or upon subscribing. You can also get coffee delivered to other countries.
Location: Sacramento, CA
Certifications: Swiss Water Decaf
Shipping: Via UPS and USPS. Free from $25 in the US. Delivery to the US and worldwide.
Whole or Ground: Both
Temple's first coffee shop opened in 2005 in Sacramento. Its founder is barista Sean Kohmescher, who was inspired to create a coffee temple while traveling in Southeast Asia.
Temple Coffee Roasters has since become a symbol of coffee culture in downtown Sacramento. The company now has 7 coffee shops in and around Sacramento.
Temple Coffee Roasters uses a personalized coffee roasting experience to highlight the characteristics of different locations. Therefore, its single-origin coffees are very popular. Of particular note here are Burundi, Colombia, and Peru.
But Temple's very best coffees—from Honduras, Mexico, and Peru—have been combined in the Three Pillars blend.
Best Offer: Three Pillars
This coffee is named for Temple's commitment to social, economic, and environmentally sustainable business practices. The coffee is ideal for morning drinking. It has a medium body, ripe-fruit flavors, and virtually no acidity.
All orders are shipped via UPS or USPS within a day of roasting from Monday to Friday. For orders over $25, shipping is free within the United States. There is also international delivery.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Shipping: Via USPS Priority. Free from $35. Delivery to the US only.
Whole or Ground: Both
Sightglass was opened in 2009 by two brothers, Jerad and Justin Morrison. In the beginning, it was a small rickety service cart in San Francisco's SoMa district. The brothers brewed coffee in a Chemex and a vintage espresso machine.
Two years later, the company took over a nearby warehouse, which became a coffee roasting station, coffee shop, and headquarters all in one.
Sightglass now has a second coffee shop in Los Angeles. The company runs courses on barista skills.
For the best result, the company roasts coffee in small batches. This makes it easier to control the process and change the parameters if something goes wrong.
Sightglass provides single-origin coffee beans from Ethiopia, Burundi, Colombia, Peru, and Papua New Guinea. The company also sells blends. These countries are considered the best coffee-growing regions, where predominantly organic coffee is grown. Sightglass's range also includes instant and decaf coffees.
Many people note the packaging design as a pleasant detail. It is made in earthier tones and each color corresponds to one of three types of coffee—blend, single-origin, or espresso.
Best Offer: Ethiopia Worka Chelbessa Yirgacheffe
Yirgacheffe is an Arabica variety that only grows in Ethiopia. It became popular after Starbucks started using it in their coffee shops. This coffee is known for its rich floral flavors, juicy acidity, and full body.
The coffee is roasted from Monday to Friday. The company includes on its website a description of when you can order and receive coffee.
Shipping is via USPS Priority within the US. There's free shipping for orders over $35. International shipping is not available.
How Can I Find Specialty Coffee In California?
Coffee isn't just a drink—it's a whole world of vivid taste sensations.
One of the main factors that impacts coffee is the freshness of the beans. Beans stay fresh for two months after roasting, but finding fresh coffee in stores can be difficult.
There's a solution: Buy specialty coffee in California from local roasters.
Roasters' goal is to create a product that will help you experience all the facets of the coffee's taste.
Local roasters select the most interesting, aromatic, delicious varieties from North and South America, Africa, India, Indonesia, and other coffee-producing corners of the world. Then they blend and roast the beans.
To give your cup of joe notes of caramel, chocolate, nougat, cookies, berries, flowers, or citrus, coffee roasters experiment with roast profiles and degrees of roasting. They highlight the beans' strengths and mask their weaknesses.
Unlike large coffee producers, local roasters work directly with farmers.
Their main priority is the quality of the coffee. This is why local roasters work with reliable suppliers. They support the best manufacturers with a transparent and fair supply chain.
What does this mean? The farmers get a great price for their coffee, and you get the best product.
How can you buy beans from local coffee roasters?
If you find a roaster near your home, you can buy beans they day they're roasted.
Small-batch production means you always get fresh coffee. Beans are usually roasted twice a week and are immediately shipped to fulfill orders.
Many roasters allow you to subscribe to a coffee delivery plan. Every month, the right amount of your favorite beans will arrive at your doorstep.
Coffiery.com will help you find the best coffee roasters among the huge number of offers in California.
You Can Contribute!
There is a wide range of coffee roasters in California. While we reviewed our favorite roasters, there's always a chance we missed some good ones.
If you have favorites and want to share, leave a comment below. We'd love for you to give us the name of your favorite California coffee roaster and their best coffee so we can give it a try!
This way, you can become part of our coffee community and contribute to the improvement of the coffee roasting industry.
We'd also love for you to leave a comment describing your experience if you visit any of the roasters on our list!