Nine Indie and Small Specialty Coffee Roasters to Shop and Support Now

local does it


coffee date for one

Small businesses are the backbone of America and the world. Shopping small goes a large way to keeping our beloved cultural coffee fronts, eateries and institutions afloat during all times, including ones like Covid-19. While we miss sitting in, and having a cuppa with ourselves and others, these times call for a social change in our lifestyles – which we’ll adhere by despite its massive blow economically, socially and emotionally.

Therefore, I’ve made a short list of nine small and independent coffee roasters whose doors and digital retail stores are open that we can support.

1.Cafe Demitasse

A proprietor of three locations, Cafe Demitasse – also a partner to the Coffeetographer – holds it down from the West to the East. Roasting locally, the brand has done much for the Los Angeles coffee community while also taking documented measures to make its coffee print more sustainable.

During Covid-19, its Santa Monica location is its only brick and mortar that is still open. Visit the there, or support your coffee and brew habit with a virtual purchase from their site. Who loves ya, the little guys do. Shop here.

2. Canyon Coffee

Powered by a duo couple, whose brand aesthetic is unapologetically Los Angeles, their admittedly from the ground up business can be found around town on shelves at some of the cities coveted eateries. If you follow their Instagram – I do – they also pop up at outdoors events, at general stores and in other countries like Paris.

Yes we can – click that link – still support them as the the team is still brewing and accepting orders.

3. Cognoscenti Coffee

If you know, you know. Cognoscenti Coffee is a gem to the independent coffee culture community of Los Angeles. From its Atwater Village pop-up days to consciously building its brick and mortar coffee print – three and counting – the multi-roaster carrying coffee shop includes its recipes in the mix with its own signature roasts.

Its Culver City and DTLA locations are currently open as well as its online shop. Uncork your coffee habit here with roasts from Colombia, Costa Rica and Kenya.

4. MadLab Coffee

I won’t lie. Coffee, or the lack of it, could induce a sort of madness. Madness for it or the lack of it. However, there’s mad passion for the bean, the resulting labor of taking a coffee cherry from seed to cup by the Los Angeles based MadLab Coffee.

With an ethos that focuses on being a good neighbor through coffee and fostering the human dynamic of community through conversation hopes that your coffee addiction is better because of them. Shop here.

5. Maru Coffee, Los Feliz, Arts District

Framed by clean exteriors, Korean design and a color palette that is as two tone and perfectly warm as a cappuccino, Maru Coffee is a coffee shop, operating as a multi-roaster storefront that also carries a roasting label after its namesake.

True to its meaning, Maru’s coffee does take you to the mountaintop in sourcing,   extracted flavors and presentation. Being disappointed here seems impossible, because so far, I haven’t. My next order is Kenya Kahuhia for its listed notes, which are always a pleasure to read, of blood orange, plum and tomato. Ummm yea, you can find me on that mountain. Shop here. 

6. Lord Windsor, Long Beach, CA

If there’s one thing that’s comforting about checking in on the Long Beach coffee culture is seeing long-time roaster Lord Windsor exist and thrive despite all kinds of tides in specialty coffee culture.

They have coffee. They have milk. And they have smiles doggone it as their Instagram reports. Also find one of the smoothest, well-brewed, cold coffee options in town here for all of those indoors self and familial quarantine crews you might be joining. Shop here.

7. Patria Coffee, Compton, CA

Welcome to coffeeville. Housed in a stand-alone building whose roasting operations occurs back of house, Patria Coffee, is run by Geoffrey Martinez who roasts small batches of coffee with a focus on groups of all shades.

It makes provisions for its customers by hiring locals, offering community resources, communal tables for office hours and coffee spirited roasts in the name of its Latin roots. Shop here.

8. Tectonic, Los Angeles, CA

Be moved.

By nature of coffee’s properties, it activates endorffeines and gets you moving. Tectonic, founded by Deaton Pigot, a veteran coffee roaster understands what a bean needs to be because he roasts with the beans character in mind.

From Australia to here, the breadth of Picot’s coffee knowledge is a package in a bag. Find it where I drink it, at Coffee Coffee LA and Coffee Commissary or buy a collection bag here.

Correction: Super Domestic was originally mentioned as a coffee shop that used Tectonic roasted beans. That is incorrect. Super Domestic’s beans are roasted by Super Domestic. March 24, 2020

9. Saint Frank Coffee, San Francisco, CA.

I’ve saved one of my favorite California roasters for last. They are a saint to the coffee industry with their roasts bordering something from the heavens. Its operating as still open across its three locations with kiosk space and a walk up counter at respective locations.

Known for relationship coffee – sourcing from farmers with whom it fosters a direct and personal bond – St. Frank is a coffee brand to watch over us all or at least from a corner in our coffee cupboards. If in Southern California, find them where I drink them at Long Beach’s Wolf Brew.  Shop here.

Together, let’s coffee.