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Medium to Dark Roast Coffee, Whole Beans

I've been using Black Gold Organic coffee from Groundworks for a while now.
I like medium to dark roast style of whole beans, have a good burr coffee mill at home to grind the beans fresh.

Any suggestions for favorite medium to dark roast whole beans where I can buy anywhere in So Cali?
I'm open to San Diego to Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, local coffee roasters.
Mail order is fine but its nice to visit the location to pick up the beans.

Tried a bag of Old Grandpa organic from Urth Caffe once, it was pretty good but pricey.

I pick up beans in SF from Philz and Blue Bottle when I am up there.

Thanks for any suggestions.


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  1. The Oaks roasts their coffee frequently, and will actually roast it to order. We had a delicious French roasted Sumatra Mandeeling last week. It's obviously a dark roast, very rich and flavorful. They also have other beans and roasts. And as a bonus, the service seems to have improved a little.

    We've also had good luck with The Conservancy in Culver City.

    We've had a couple of bad experiences with Blue Bottle, so we're going local for a while.

    Oaks Gourmet
    1915 N Bronson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068

    1. another vote for the Conservatory in Culver City. they roast their beans in-house, and the employees are helpful and friendly. i'm also partial to the beans at Kings Road Cafe - they roast their own as well.

      Kings Road Cafe
      8361 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

      Conservatory For Coffee
      10117 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

      1. The oldest coffee house in Santa Barbara is Vices & Spices at Ontare & State. I visit daily on my yearly trip to Santa Barbara. They have a very interesting blend, humorously termed Obama Blend, consisting of Hawaiian, Indonesian, and Kenyan. The combo works, and I think fits your requirements.


        2 Replies
        1. re: ArtShapiro

          Want custom roast with single origin beans? Trystero is your friend: http://trysterocoffee.com/

          Small batch, fresh roast, shipped immediately. $19 for 14 oz shipped. Cheaper than NW/Central Coast roasting co (unless you go through ROASTe


          They have a Sumatra Mandheling Red Badger in stock as we speak.

          1. re: TonyC

            Thanks Tony. The Red Badger is pretty nice, more info on the site. I just wanted to note that as of yesterday we've dropped our shipping cost so bags are $17.50 shipped.


        2. I buy and really enjoy the Peerless Coffee - Hawaiian Island Blend (Medium and Dark Roast Beans) I get in 2lb bags at Smart & Final. Flame away...

          Smart & Final
          10113 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

          1. Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa, just off the 405. I'd suggest Kean but he doesn't do dark roast—he's one of the light-roast disciples. (Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.)

            Portola Coffee Lab
            3313 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

            1. What about Diedrich's?


              I think King's Road has the best tasting regular coffee in Los Angeles.

              Whole Foods also does a nice job of roasting a wide variety of beans.

              Kings Road Cafe
              8361 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

              1 Reply
              1. re: scottca075

                Martin Diedrich—the guy originally behind Diedrich's—now runs Kean Coffee in Newport Beach and Tustin and is not affiliated with Diedrich Coffee at all. I don't know if the Diedrich's coffee roasterie is open to the public.

                Kean, as I said upthread, does not do much with dark roast. He believes lighter roasts reveal the coffee's flavour more accurately.

                Kean Coffee
                2043 Westcliff Dr Ste 100, Newport Beach, CA 92660

                Diedrich Coffee
                300 W Lincoln Ave, Anaheim, CA 92805

              2. Kean. I use this page http://www.keancoffee.com/FreshRoaste... to check out what they have at the moment, and the roast level is indicated.

                  1. There is a mini coffee revolution going on in LA, and there are many worthy places to buy beans.

                    Cafe Tomo, West LA
                    11309 Mississippi Ave
                    Los Angeles, CA 90025
                    Recently opened, they roast beans on site

                    Spring for Coffee, Downtown
                    548 S Spring St
                    Los Angeles, CA 90013
                    They carry Stumptown from OR

                    Coffeebar LA, Downtown
                    600 S Spring St
                    Los Angeles, CA 90014
                    They carry a variety of beans from SF and OR roasters: Verve, Sightglass etc

                    Chimney Brick Toast Coffee House, Downtown
                    1100 N Main St
                    Ste B
                    Los Angeles, CA 90012
                    They carry Counter Culture from North Carolina that I love.

                    Cognoscenti Coffee at Proof Bakery, Atwater Village
                    3156 Glendale Blvd
                    Los Angeles, CA 90039
                    They carry Four Barrel from SF

                    Broome St General Store
                    2912 Rowena Ave.,
                    Los.Angeles, CA
                    Gimme Coffee from NYC

                    Coffee Commissary, West Hollywood
                    801 N Fairfax Ave
                    Los Angeles, CA 90046
                    They got Coava!! From Portland

                    And last by not least, Handsome Coffee Roaster, they literally just started but it's fantastic based on what I've tried. Actually that's what I'm drinking right now.

                    Coffee Commissary
                    801 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: keepon

                      Cafe de Leche (serves Stumptown Hairbender and a couple of single origins) is very worthy of being a part of this list, too. I'm usually a coffee purist but I can't resist their Horchata con Espresso.

                      Cafe De Leche
                      5000 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

                      1. re: scarmoza

                        Yep, I love Cafe de Leche and Cognoscenti. And I need to check out Broome St since they're right up the street.

                      2. re: keepon

                        Nice list, will check them out. Thanks

                      3. I get all my coffee beans from Jones Coffee in Pasadena. They carry a variety of beans of various origin for their blends, and a lot of beans from their family's own plantation in Guatemala. All roast levels available.If you order early enough in the day on their web site, UPS will be delivering the beans the next day.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: ChinoWayne

                          Now that is a true coffee Jones... ;-D>

                          1. re: ChinoWayne

                            Thanks for the tip on Jones. Along the same lines, TiGeorge imports coffee from his family plantation in Haiti. We've tried it in the restaurant, and it was pretty good. But I haven't bought any beans. I'm glad you reminded me. I'll try some and report back.

                            1. re: ChinoWayne

                              Jones isn't bad, but if you're picky about fresh roasts, be careful. On two occasions, I asked when the beans were roasted, and both times the person helping me dodged the question (and I'm pretty sure the surlier of the two was one of the owners).

                              1. re: badmeow

                                and if in Pasadena, the alternative to Jones would be Jameson Brown. They've been ambiguous about their roasting date.

                            2. I would definitly take a look at the Funnel Mill in Santa Monica, they have a great selection of rare coffee strands. You could also buy them buy the cup and try them out while there.

                              Funnel Mill
                              930 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA

                              1. i can't rave enough about cafecito organico coffees. they are absolutely delicious, not to mention organically and sustainably grown, with very distinct flavor profiles in each variety. my favorites are the el salvador and ethiopia. plus they have a location next to scoops so you have an excuse to drop by and get some chocolate guinness ice cream to go with your espresso.


                                1. I sampled some "Dark Roast" at Trader Joe's last week. I'm no coffee conoisseur, but it tasted pretty darn good to me. It was billed as "100% Arabica". Maybe a blend?

                                  1. Conservatory for Coffee Tea and Cocoa in Culver City. They have a variety of beans and roasts, they do all the roasts themselves in house, in smallish batches. I've never seen them sell beans older than 2 days (2 days can be good because some/most beans time to degas).

                                    1. Intelligentsia (any location) and Spring for Coffee (which carries Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle, Stumptown, Ritual, and possibly others) are the places I recommend for picking beans up in person. I will also note that you can also purchase great beans, roasted recently, online from a few top-notch purveyors. See, e.g., http://www.terroircoffee.com/ Let me also mention another useful site: http://www.coffeereview.com/

                                      1. If you want the easy bean fix, go to Intelligentsia or Jones. I've also had some great Thai beans at Jameson Brown.

                                        If you're willing to wait a bit, do it yourself...www.sweetmarias.com
                                        You control the roast...it's easier than you think.