HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Where do you go to buy roasted coffee beans?

I prefer roasters that have a "roasted on" date.

I'm too far from Klatch, Intelli, and lamill to just go pick it up. I live in WLA, and need great espresso beans. If Caffe Luxxe's Vivace beans are anything like how they serve it, I don't want them. I was wondering if some of the small, gourmet shops carry beans? Maybe the Wine House or Wally's, which are close enough to me, or Surfas is close enough to go once a week or two weeks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Surfas has Monkey and Son which Jonathan Gold recommended.
    What about Groundworks? I enjoy their espressos when I go to the Hollywood one.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Surfas also has the Cafe Umbria stuff - which is quite good - though not every variety.


      1. re: Chowpatty

        I second GROUNDWORK. They also have places in Venice and Santa Monica. I get their Bitches Brew blend.


      2. I grew up in West LA. Whenever I go back and visit friends, it is WORTH IT for me to drive to Silverlake and go to Intelligensia. Period.

        HOWEVER, in Berkeley (where I live now), I order my beans from Espresso Viviace Roasteria -- http://www.espressovivace.com/

        The coffee is packaged in half-pound zip-lock plastic bags with one-way gas valves, and DO carry "roasted on" dates. I order two pounds at a time, and they arrive on the second day after being roasted (e.g.: I order on a Monday morning, they are roasted Monday and arrive via US Priority Mail on Wednesday). For a two pound four ounce parcel, the USPS website says Priority Mail costs $8.75, and that's what Vivace charges me (that is, they don't charge extra to make additional profits under the guise "Shipping & Handling").


        1 Reply
        1. re: zin1953

          I guess a lot of people like Vivace, but I'm not one of them. Too bad, since there's a source in Santa Monica.

        2. speaking of good beans in wla area, does anyone know when the intelly on abbot kinney is going to be open?

          4 Replies
          1. re: alkylyou

            Oh, you're right. I guess I won't have to wait too long, then. It is supposed to open middle or end of November.

              1. re: zin1953

                as of today, abbot kinney opening is scheduled for mid-january

                1. re: arkestra

                  sad, sad, sad. I have Italian friends visiting in November, so I was really hoping for it to be open then.

          2. Graffeo on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills might suffice until Intelligentsia opens on AK.
            Just north of Il Fornaio at the corner of Dayton Way.

            3 Replies
              1. re: carter

                I second Graffeo. Love their coffee.

                1. re: carter

                  I would brave through rain and traffic just to get to Graffeo.

                  Word has it they want to start offering espresso shots on the spot.

                2. I always enjoyed the beans from The Conservatory in Culver City. The roasters are right there at the front of the store, they roast daily and pack to order. They're at 10117 Washington Blvd., web site at www.conservatorycoffeeandtea.com

                  1. A simpler everyday solutions would be wholefoods. They offer a selection of beans, labeled with the roasting date, which is always within a day or two of sale.

                    1 Reply
                    1. cafecito organico booths at the silverlake and hollywood farmer's market sell the best coffe e- organic, free trade, local, and delicious. i like their guatemala beans and they make their barrista drinks with agave syrup. they aren't at the SM farmer's market yet but will be selling online soon.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tastycakes

                        thanks for the headsup.

                        I was here today and decided to try the cafecito and got some beans as well.

                        preferred this little stand over groundwork by a HUGE margin

                      2. Funnel mill on 9th and broadway in Santa Monica has a good funnel mill blend and one of the coolest ways of preparing coffee i've seen if you 'drink in'- funnelmill.com

                        1. I have the same problem finding good fresh beans, although I'm in Hollywood. We used to have Victor's Deli right here, and you could actually watch him roast the beans and then take some home.

                          But when he closed, I've been driving all over town trying to find good coffee. I've been to LA Mill (you get a very nice tin with this one), Intell, Sabor y Cultura, Coffee Roasters, etc.

                          But we've just 2 weeks ago received an order from Blue Bottle coffee that we ordered online. We received it one day after it was roasted (date on the package). This is by far the best coffee we've had since Victor's closed. We got the Bella Donovan type, and it's rich and delicious.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: lil mikey

                            Blue Bottle is a little pricey for me. Lucky you. Enjoy!

                            1. re: lil mikey

                              I've been to ALL of the various purveyors of coffee that have been listed on CH in recent years and while I return to some for in store coffee and sometimes beans, none within the boundaries of the LA board come close to Blue Bottle Coffee Co. for quality of beans, individual drip coffees, Kyoto vacuum coffee (so wonderful!) and their espresso/cappuccino!
                              In LA folks seem happy to linger in a CharBucks with a cup of their foul tasting offerings in one hand, a smoke in the other and just don't have a clue about how good it can be from an independent like BBCC who cares deeply about their product.

                              1. re: sel

                                I pick up Blue Bottle at the Berkeley Farmer's Market, when I'm there. Great stuff indeed! http://www.bluebottlecoffee.net/

                                The problem for me is that they ONLY ship on Tuesdays, and you need to order by Sunday AM to make sure your order gets processed. Since the prices on the website INCLUDE shipping, they are no more expensive than Espresso Vivace -- http://www.espressovivace.com/ -- and actually less than places like Intelligensia -- http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/ -- or Counter Culture -- http://www.counterculturecoffee.com/ -- that ship via UPS or FedEx Ground (with rates that vary by distance, and can take up to five WORKING days to travel coast-to-coast).

                                1. re: zin1953

                                  Oh, I didn't know the price included shipping. Great news!

                                2. re: sel

                                  Love Blue Bottle coffee, but remember their philosophy of roasting, which sel alludes to indirectly. They deliberately roast their beans on the light side so that taste is determined more by brewing process. This is in contrast to places like Peet's and Starbucks, which rely more on the roast for flavor. As a result, you have to be really precise to get the best out of Blue Bottle beans when brewing at home. I ordered their beans a couple of times on-line, but eventually gave up because I couldn't get the same kind of consistent and flavorful brew you do with a Clover.

                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                    While it's true that few people have Clovers at home, the fact is that virtually EVERY (serious) coffee demands proper attention to brewing techniques. Obviously I am not speaking here of Maxwell House and other commercial mega-brands. Indeed, I am barely including *$ . . .

                                    Which is part of the problem. Starbucks (aka "Charbux" aka "*$") makes the classic Southern Italian roast look pale, let alone the typical Northern Italian style. Speaking strictly for myself, I have a difficult time tasting any worthwhile distinctive notes between various types of Starbucks blends. For me, it's "Why bother?"

                                    But I have no problem with coffee beans from Blue Bottle, Vivace, Ecco, and several other small roasters. Sure, I need to "dial in" the right temperature, dose, and so on, but within 2-4 shots, I'm usualy dialed in and good to go.

                                    (I have an Elektra T1 at home.)

                              2. I buy most of my coffee, Kenya, unground but roasted, from Zabars in New York. Best coffee in the world, never burnt or French roasted, brown in color from medium roasting, excellent arabica, fantastic flavor. I also buy their Kona-style and Jamaican Mt-style and their house dcaf. Price is always reasonable, even with shipping. Sometimes I'll buy Melitta Columbian in their big can, already ground and also very good with a wonderful Columbian flavor, available from their website. Strangely enough, Dunkin Doughnuts also has good decaf on their site. Almost all of the other coffees that I've bought were over-roasted and tasted like French roast, with one local exception and that is Martin Deitrick's Kean in Costa Mesa; but his prices are higher than any that I've mentioned.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: EclecticEater

                                  Folks, we removed a few posts recommending coffee from roasters outside the L.A. area. We ask that everyone help keep this discussion locally focused by recommending roasters who are based here in the L.A. region. Thanks for keeping us on topic.

                                2. I mail order mine from Peete's in Berkeley. They roast every Wednesday, and even if you ship it to LA via ground transport, you usually get the beans by Friday. I also know people who swear by Chuck's coffee roaster in Pasadena.


                                  1. Jameson Brown Coffee Roasters in Pasadena. Coffee roasted on the premises, you can also order online, there is always the date it was roasted stamped. I believe Mike and Ann's restaurant in South Pas is now serving their coffee.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: lehickey

                                      Also in Pasadena: Jones Coffee Roasters (626) 564-9291
                                      537 S Raymond Ave Pasadena, CA 91105

                                      1. re: yinyangdi

                                        I surely hope their beans are better than their products served to you in the store when just wanting to get a cup of ...
                                        Drinking the stuff poured daily is no better than Starbux, sometimes worse.
                                        And their website's name is more than a bit pretentious, don't you think!!!

                                        1. re: carter

                                          I'll agree that the drip coffee Jones serves on location is mediocre at best, but the whole bean products are totally different when you brew it yourself. Really a night and day difference.

                                          1. re: carter

                                            I've never had JCR's in-store brew; only got the beans to go and used melitta pour-over method to great satisfaction.

                                            as for JCR url: just for the heck of it I typed in http://jonescoffeeroasters.com/ thinking it would lead to a different store's site, but, funnily enough, it went to JCR site, aka thebestcoffee.com kinda amusing that JCR has TWO urls leading to same place...