The Best Specialty Coffee Roasters in California

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Coffee seems to be one of most popular commodities in the United States. And with the popularity and easy access to coffee, people can find a lot of coffee shops in big cities for caffeine boost.

California is one of the biggest coffee states on the West Coast. So, it’s not a surprise if there seems to be a coffee roasteries and coffee shop on every corner. 

According to statistics, California residents spend the most for their coffee, so this state definitely has the best specialty coffee scenes in America.

In no particular order, we have a list of the best coffee roasters in California. Is your favorite roaster on here? Let’s find out!

1.      Equator Coffees

From their humble beginnings, Equator Coffees has now transformed into a high-impact coffee company that focuses on quality, sustainability and social responsibility. It was founded by three women in 1995, and started from roasting and selling coffee themselves in a garage in Marin Country, CA.

What makes Equator coffees different from others is that they are driven to make people’s lives better through coffee. Their coffees embody great qualities because of improved roasting, brewing and most importantly, sourcing in a way that makes lives better.

To this day, Equator coffees has really grown. It has several cafes in California. Supported by their community of coffee enthusiasts, their idea of making people’s lives better has becoming now a reality.

Location: Mill Valley, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $18 – $22
Shop: Coffees– Equator Coffees

2.      Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle Coffee is a network of cafes across the U.S., Japan, and Korea. But in the early 2000s, Blue Bottle Coffee began as a small coffee roaster in Oakland, California.

Freeman, a classical and freelance musician roasting his own fresh beans, founded this coffee company. He decided to open a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of fresh coffee.

Today, Blue Bottle Coffee has grown to a premium coffee chain driven by the simple purpose of getting great coffee to everyone who asks for it. 

They have gotten more specific about freshness and peak flavor trough roasting the beans to their exacting flavor standards. And through working directly with farmers around the world, they seem to source the most delicious and sustainable coffees they can find. 

Location: Northern California, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $11 – $22

3.      Counter Culture Coffee

Counter Culture Coffee is founded in Durham, NC by Brett Smith and Fred Houk in 1995. In the same year, they started roasting custom coffee blends for some restaurants and sold their first coffee to Pop’s Restaurant in Durham.

Counter Culture take a unique approach to buying coffee. This means they don’t only just offer products and services, but they also share information alongside with their values of quality, sustainability and education.

After decades, the Durham, North Carolina-based coffee roasting company has expanded its operations across the East Coast and beyond.

Counter Culture Coffee has also grown to a sustainable and environmental enterprise. Not only do they work hard to build relationships in their supply chain, but they are also driven to share their discoveries with customers, supply chain partners, etc. to promote transparency.

Location: Emeryville, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $15 – $95

4.      Go Get ‘Em Tiger

Go Get Em Tiger’s love for coffee stretches all across Los Angeles. It began as a ‘multiroaster’, and has turned into a totally coffee empire. Their coffees are sourced from the world’s best coffee regions and roasted in Los Angeles.

They offer a wide variety of products that are critically acclaimed and locally adored. You can try their single origins and signature blend, particularly good in milk + espresso drinks. Their seasonal coffees are roasted to emphasize terroir flavor and highlight sweetness.

Today, GGET has grown to a third-wave coffee chain with locations in Los Feliz, Highland Park, Santa Monica, Larchmont, and beyond. They take pride in their LA root and express their affection by brewing delicious coffee for the city.

Location: Los Angeles, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range : $19.50 – $20.50

5.      Andytown Coffee Roasters

Michael McCrory and Lauren Crabbe want to bring specialty coffee roasting to the Outer Sunset in San Francisco, Ca. And that’s the idea of Andytown Coffee Roasters created.

Being experienced baristas, they both founded Andytown Coffee Roasters in 2014. They started small but with aim of providing a clean, cozy, welcoming, and warm service. With that being said, they did all their roasting, baking, and customer service in their 600 square foot space. 

Andytown Coffee Roasters are constantly working to expand and improve their product.  Through quality, approachability and transparency, Andytown has grown to not only a coffee company but also to a bakery.

Location: San Francisco, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $11 – $23

6.      Sightglass Coffee

Started as a small and independent coffee roaster in San Francisco, Sightglass Coffee has grown into a production company that sources and shares distinctive, quality-focused coffees.

Sightglass Coffee offers a wide variety of products, from single-origin, blends, brewing tools, and gifts. But one thing you need to try is their delicious coffee, delivered to your door.

Sightglass Coffee focuses on two things to deliver the highest quality achievable in all aspects of their business. Sourcing the most beautiful and wondrous coffees attainable and employing the most mindful and quality-focused practices possible.

Location: San Francisco, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $16 – $23

7.      Verve Coffee Roasters

Ryan and Colby founded Verve Coffee in 2007. It was the wild idea to start a coffee roasting operation together opened the first Verve Cafe on 41st Ave in Santa Cruz, California.

Even though Verve offers a variety of products, and has expanded in different cities, the company still support every hand that holds their coffee, from seed to cup. Also, their coffee is small-batch roasted in-house daily out of their hometown in Santa Cruz, California.

Their coffee is different and special because they perceive coffee as a craft, ritual and passion. In addition, what makes their coffee great is the use of vintage style and energy efficient, state-of-the-art roasters.

Location: Santa Cruz, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $15 – $80

8.      West Coast Roasting

West Coast Roasting is a specialty coffee roasting company focused on producing single origins. In our opinion, it is by far one of the coffee roasters to try in California.

This coffee company outsource delightful coffee, roast it to the level that allows the flavors to shine, and put it in the hands of costumers as fresh as can be within 2-3 days of roasting. And since 2005, West Coast Roasting have been diligently roasting every batch and order by hand.

What makes their coffee good relies on 3 things: the quality of the bean, the quality of the roast, and how fresh those beans are. While the brewing is on you, you can pick great coffee from their single-origins or blends with their lower shipping rates, discounts, etc.

Coffee is wonderful, wakes us up in the morning, and more importantly, tastes good if freshly roasted. And since freshness is anyone’s main concerns, West Coast Roasting roast to order, and ship the same day using only USPS Priority Mail. 

Location: Los Angeles, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $19 – $58

9.      Klatch Coffee Roasting

Klatch Coffee Roasting is one of the most recognized coffee roasters in the world. They specialize in direct trade to improve the quality of the beans and sustainability for farmers as well.

It is a family-owned coffee company that started in 1993 with one retail store. And even though it has now evolved to 8 retail cafés and a global wholesale coffee roasting business, they still roast their coffee at their headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

What makes their coffee exceptional is the science combined with the artistry of taste. This means each individual coffee varietal is roasted to its unique peak flavor profile. In addition, they only buy Cup of Excellence quality coffee and above, often 90 points or more.

Location: San Francisco, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $15 – $30

10.       Big Mug Coffee Roaster

Big Mug Coffee Roaster was born in a belief that artisan coffee should not only be quality but also should come in quantity. Even though it is known one the favorite coffee shops to stop by, Big Mug offers the best house blend and single origin beans.

Giyeong started her dream of opening a café in June of 2014. She took her passion for coffee and started roasting green beans herself. What contributes to her success is that she personally cups every batch of roasted beans to ensure a quality product.

Blending her own house blend and single origin beans to extract the very best tasting notes from a variety of green beans from around the world.  

After all, what makes Big Mug Coffee Roaster great is that they fresh roast the best quality beans and deliver right to your door.

Location: Santa Clara, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $24 – $28

11.     Mostra Coffee

Mostra coffee is a women, minority, veteran, and immigrant-owned micro coffee roaster based in north county San Diego. 

Mostra is founded by the idea of building a business that could make a difference around the world. From sourcing high-quality beans from the Philippines to empowering employees through education and training, they have created top-quality coffee and products that elevate performance to the highest level.

What makes them special is that they have the best in the coffee business on their counters — baristas, roasters, and brewers who believe that building community and bettering lives starts with a smile. That means a quality cup of coffee that brings people together comes from quality people.

Location: San Diego, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $17 – $26.50

12.      Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters

Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters is a coffee roasting company located in San Francisco, Ca. The founders are Trish Rothgeb and Nicholas Cho. Their experience in the industry that made recognition around the specialty coffee industry assures quality and sustainability.

With that being said, since 2011 the company worked hard to become the area’s most recognized purveyor of sustainably sourced, expertly roasted specialty coffee.

Their coffee will be roasted and shipped within 24 hours from the time of roast. And to maximize the beans’ freshness, all their coffees are bagged and sealed in compostable air-tight bags with one-way degassing valves. They do it usually within one hour from the time it comes out of the roasting machine.

Location: East Bay, California
Whole or Ground: Whole Bean Coffee
Price Range: $20 – $23

13.      Red Bay Coffee Roasters

Red Bay Coffee Roasters was founded in 2014 by Keba Konte, a renowned artist and successful food entrepreneur with deep roots in the San Francisco Bay Area specialty coffee and hospitality industry.

Red Bay Coffee is committed to ensure coffee production as not only high quality and sustainable, but as also a vehicle for diversity, inclusion, social and economic restoration, entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, etc.

Their coffees are roasted in small batches and shipped out immediately to ensure peak freshness upon arrival. Roasted with love, their artisanal coffee beans to create your morning brews guaranteed to brighten your day. Over all, Red Bay Coffee Roasters strive every day to develop beautiful coffees, fair relations, and delicious approaches to living.

Location: Oakland, California
Whole or Ground: Whole Bean Coffee
Price Range: $14 – $88

14.      Timeless Coffee Roasters

Timeless Coffee is a plant-based bakery and coffee roaster in Oakland and Berkeley, CA. Founded in 2012. This business provides a product and experience unlike anything else. And as being the only 100% plant-based coffee roastery and bakery in the industry today, the company’s mission has been to share its passion for great coffee and expose customers to the positive benefits of being and eating vegan.

What makes Timeless unique is that their products are made in-house and are always fresh. And in the end, the company acts as a good steward not only in the coffee and food industry but for animals, people, and the planet.

Location: Berkeley, California
Whole or Ground: Whole Bean Coffee
Price Range: $17 – $19

15.      Kaveri Cofee

Kaveri Coffee Kaveri (kah-ve-ri) Coffee Works is a third-generation family business specializing in high quality Indian coffee. Tanya Rao, owner & roaster, continues their coffee legacy and family tradition in the U.S. The original India Coffee Works founded in 1941 by his grandfather (Venkat Rao) in Bangalore, India. The business pass from generations and ran for well over 50 years.

What makes Kaveri different from others is that they are proud to showcase and share their heritage. They source the finest quality coffee from the highlands of South India and delicately roast it in small batches in Berkeley, CA.

They strive to showcase the distinctive characters and flavor profiles of Indian coffee that are exclusively shade grown and hand-picked, enhancing the intrinsic flavor in the bean. 

Location: Berkeley, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $17 – $30

16.      Highwire Coffee Roasters

Highwire Coffee roasters started with a belief that a coffee company can be a force for good. Rich Avella, Eric Hashimoto, and Robert Myers founded this company which they believe a place to where people can connect over coffee. Highwire Coffee aims to build a company that provides a great coffee shared in a space where everyone feels welcome.

Highwire roast, brew and share the coffee they love; this translates into a great tasting cup. They don’t only think in terms of dark or light – there’s more to it than that. With that being said, their sweet spot is balance. The signature of the farmer in balance with that of the roaster. Brightness and body in balance with each other.

They now serve our customers in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, Montclair Village and Alameda. They roast next door in Emeryville and are fortunate to share their coffee with folks outside the Bay Area. 

Location: East Bay, California
Whole or Ground: Both
Price Range: $17 – $20

17.      Flywheel Coffee Roasters

Flywheel Coffee Roasters is family owned and operated in San Francisco’s historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. They are located directly in front of Golden Gate Park and right next door to Whole Foods.

Even though the founder, Aquiles Guerrero, started this business with a deeply rooted experience, their delightful cup of coffee is the result of two things; excellently roasted coffee, and good brewing technique.

In addition, their secret of having a great tasting coffee lies with a team of talented individuals. Combined with a lifetime dedication, relentless pursuit of perfection and passion to the craft of coffee bring you a cup of excellence.

Location: San Francisco, California
Whole or Ground: Whole Bean Coffee
Price Range: $18 – $24

Wrapping it Up!

As we reviewed some of the best roasters in California, there’s always a chance I missed some good ones. There’s a wide range of coffee roasters in California, so I suggest to take a look on the ones that are not mentioned.

In the end, all the coffee roasters that we have shared in this article are worth to try even once in a while.

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