22 Great SoCal Coffee Subscriptions From Local, Indie Roasters
It's 6:15 a.m. on Day 350 of the coronavirus pandemic. You wake up groggy and stumble to the kitchen, desperate for the jolt that only coffee can provide. But where are the beans? The grinder? What even is a cup?
Maybe if you had a coffee subscription service, things would be a little easier.
From affordable to exclusive, we found nearly two dozen independent companies in Los Angeles and Orange counties offering coffee subscriptions and clubs. Some have multiple cafes while others sell directly to customers without a brick-and-mortar space. One club features a rotating selection of local roasters, including several that don't offer their own subscriptions. Still not satisfied? Southern California brands Groundwork, Cafecito Organico and Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders also boast bean clubs.
Consider yourself lucky. From Granada Hills to Newport Beach, we have one of the most diverse and active coffee communities in the world. So support a local roaster and may every cup be, like Twin Peaks agent Dale Cooper himself, damn fine.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
House Roots Coffee
Started by a group of friends who were born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, House Roots roasts high-quality, affordable beans while giving back to the 818. Their Valley Blend currently pairs beans from Guatemala and Ethiopia. They also offer single-origin options. In addition to their Granada Hills cafe, their brews are often on the menu at Thank You Coffee in Chinatown.
COST: Subscriptions start at $20 for a 12-ounce bag. You can prepay for three to six months.
Joules & Watts Coffee Roasters
Joules & Watts in the Malibu Village shopping center serves brewed coffee, espresso drinks and Nancy's Fancy gelato (made by Nancy Silverton). For their weekly or monthly coffee subscriptions, owner and roaster Max Gualtieri focuses on variety. Customers are welcome to make specific requests or stick with their favorite coffee. "Some people want the same each time and some want coffee strictly from Guatemala regardless of what region or farm, so they'll get a rotating cast of Guatemalan coffees," Gualtieri says. "My favorite coffee we have right now is the Guatemala, Finca Pachuj. Absolutely delicious."
COST: Subscriptions start at $15/month or $60/week for one 12-ounce bag.
Since debuting Caffe Luxxe in 2006, founders Gary Chau and Mark Wain have opened locations in Malibu, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Long Beach and Santa Barbara. They offer several subscriptions including a Rustic Canyon Family House Blend and a Morning Becomes Eclectic Blend, which combines coffees from Latin America, Africa and Asia to reflect the playlist of KCRW's morning music show (part of the proceeds benefit the public radio station).
COST: $18/week for one 12-ounce bag of the Morning Becomes Eclectic Blend.
Santa Monica, Culver City
With two locations, one in Santa Monica and one in Culver City, Goodboybob offers a full menu of food and wine as well as coffee. The bean subscriptions come in two categories: Classic and Rare. For the former, you choose how much coffee you want and whether you want to receive it once or twice a month. The latter gives you a front row seat to their favorite coffees, such as Cup of Excellence award winners Guatemala El Socorro Gesha and El Salvador Anaerobic Natural Pacamera, which are shipped in jars and a custom wood box.
COST: Their Classic Subscription starts at $15 with options for monthly or bimonthly deliveries. The Rare Subscription costs $130/month for two to four 6-ounce jars.
With backgrounds in music and fashion, Casey Wojtalewicz and Ally Walsh decided in 2016 to launch Canyon Coffee. Their beans are served at Neighborhood on La Brea, among other L.A. cafes, and sold at stores such as Wine & Eggs in Atwater Village and Purre in Costa Mesa. Their customizable subscription lets you choose the kind of beans, the number of bags and the frequency, and you can change it up at any time. They currently offer beans from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala.
COST: Subscriptions start at $66/month for one 12-ounce bag. Subscriptions start at three months or you can pay $572 to receive biweekly deliveries for a year.
Go Get Em Tiger (GGET)
At their headquarters in Vernon, Go Get Em Tiger roasts the beans for their online store, their retail partners, all of their cafes and their coffee subscriptions. For the @Home Club, you'll get as many bags as you want of their seasonal, single-origin medium or dark roast either weekly, biweekly or monthly. Or you can choose their Minor Monuments blend, which is roasted specifically for espresso drinks with milk. Club members get invitations to GGET events, coffee news and brewing tips.
COST: $17.50 for a 12-ounce bag of Minor Monuments and $19 for a 12-ounce bag of single-origin roasts.
Subscriptions at Compelling Coffee come in four categories: Blueprint dark roast, Brown Betty espresso, Copperhead light roast and Roaster's Choice. For that last option, founder Kian Abedini might feature La Concordia from Mexico, Chelelektu from Ethiopian or Arabidecool from India. Each bag of beans comes with a card explaining its geography, flavor notes and brewing recommendations.
COST: The Roaster's Choice subscription starts at $18/month for one 12-ounce box. Multiple boxes and five-pound bags are also available.
La Cañada Flintridge
What began as a home roasting project focusing on sustainable, transparently traded coffees has evolved into a micro-roastery. Forge Coffee sets up shop at the La Cañada Flintridge Farmers Market. You can also find it at Poppy + Rose in DTLA and at Cake Monkey in West Hollywood. For their subscription, choose from their rotating single-origin beans, their Hold Fast Espresso blend or decaf.
COST: Weekly recurring subscriptions start at $14.50 for a 12-ounce bag.
Downtown L.A., Culver City
Yeekai Lim started Cognoscenti Coffee as a multi-roaster coffee bar inside Proof Bakery in Atwater Village then opened cafes in Culver City and DTLA. He now roasts at his Fashion District HQ, where his knowledge of beans from around the world informs his ethos. Cognoscenti's coffee club, called Longitude North-South, offers a global coffee journey in two bags of seasonal beans from featured coffee producers. Those might include Sumatra Trogon from Indonesia and Rwanda Butembo from Nyamasheke.
COST: $34.05 for two 12-ounce bags/month.
Patria Coffee Roasters
After a few years of roasting and selling subscriptions, Geoffrey Martinez opened Patria Coffee in Compton. He found a space next to a few hair salons and put together a small-batch roasting set-up in the back room of his coffee bar. Now that he has a larger Probat Roaster, Martinez has been able to increase production. For the subscription, Patria offers, "Coffee on repeat like your favorite song." Fill out a form stating your roast preferences and whether you want whole beans or ground. You'll get a 12-ounce bag or up to five pounds per month. If you're stopping by in-person, Patria is one of the site-specific locations for the Hammer Museum's Made in L.A. Biennial. Inside the cafe, you'll see screens showing Kahlil's Joseph's two-channel fugitive newscast BLKNWS.
COST: Subscriptions start at $18 for one 12-ounce bag/month. You can order up to five pounds per month.
Rose Park Coffee Roasters
The Roaster's Choice Subscription at Rose Park Coffee Roasters runs through an array of single-origin coffees such as Peru Cajamarca, Ethiopia Arsosala, rare examples from Kenya or Yemen and off-menu or limited edition coffees. About two-thirds of subscribers are locals who get their coffee delivered each week by bike. The rest are shipped throughout Southern California and the rest of the United States.
COST: Subscriptions start at $17 for a 12-ounce bag and can be prepaid for up to a year.
Black Ring Coffee Roasters
At Black Ring Coffee Roasters in Long Beach, once you fill out an online form noting how much coffee you want and how often you want to receive it, you'll get an email describing their beans and setting you up with a customized plan. One of their current coffees is from Finca San Jacinto in the La Paz region of Honduras. There, Isaura Martínez, daughter of Antonio Martínez, a farmer who is known for his skill at cultivating and processing coffee, continues the family legacy of growing high-quality coffee.
COST: Subscriptions start at $16.20 for a 12-ounce bag.
Seven Syllables Coffee
Roscoe Aquilo and Tim Hasta of Seven Syllables call their subscription service Trustfall and it offers exactly what the name promises — sign up and trust them to send you delicious coffee. Their current offering, an Ethiopia Warqa from the Sidamo region, was developed for making filter coffee and has tasting notes of lime, honey, vanilla and kiwi. "My philosophy for roasting is pretty minimal," Aquilo says. "I focus on highlighting balance and sweetness while still keeping acidities playful and inviting without being too bracing. But really, I just want to roast and share coffees that people at every level of their own coffee journey to love and enjoy."
COST: Subscriptions start at $17 for a 10-ounce bag with deliveries every two weeks.
The Reverse Orangutan
With a third location opening soon in Pomona, The Reverse Orangutan is currently available at Union Cowork in Glendora and Tro Coffee inside Laemmle Theatre 5 in Claremont. Started in 2018, the name pays homage to particular move in a 1924 chess match (Tartakower vs. Maróczy). For their Coffee Club, you get one 12-ounce bag of freshly roasted coffee with various freebies such as t-shirts. Currently. they are roasting Gudina from Gomma in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, Nala from Houaphan in Laos, Xam Tai in Laos, and Elgon from Sironko in Eastern Uganda.
COST: Their Seriously Gourmet Shit subscription starts at $18/month for a 12-ounce bag.
West Adams, Los Angeles
This modest, employee-centered company has been roasting coffee in Los Angeles since 1992. From Trejo's to Fred 62, you'll find City Bean all over L.A. They are committed to zero waste by using compostable bags and donating roasting byproducts to community gardens for composting. They currently have more than two dozen coffees and they offer Light, Dark or Mixed Roast subscription packages. with
COST: Subscriptions start at $40 for three 12-ounce bags, which can be delivered monthly or bimonthly.
Founders Tony Konecny and Sumi Ali started Yes Plz to offer subscription-based coffee optimized for making coffee at home. You can order 8.8-ounce or 12-ounce bags for weekly or monthly deliveries. They offer single-origin and blended roasts. They name each week's coffee on their website with a release number and date, sharing the origin of the coffee beans and tasting notes. Want to try their coffee before committing? You can get a free sample for a small shipping fee.
COST: Subscription range from $17 for 8.8 ounces of coffee to $23 for 12 ounces. They can be sent weekly or monthly.
Think of Be Bright, an online-only retailer that sells coffee beans as individual bags or subscriptions, as a dating service that aims to match coffee drinkers with their ideal cup. Founders Frank and Michelle La divide their beans into four categories: Dark & Bold, Rich & Smooth, Bright & Lively and Unique & Surprising. Frank, a champion barista who previously worked at Café Dulce and Copa Vida, brings his considerable experience to selecting and roasting beans.
COST: Beans cost $16 to $20 for a 12-ounce bag. Free shipping for subscribers.
LA Coffee Club
Adam Scott Paul and Antone Hall started LA Coffee Club by hosting tastings, tours, meet-ups and educational sessions. They've built relationships with dozens of Southern California roasters, many of whom don't offer their own subscriptions. The LA Coffee Club line-up recently featured Alana's Coffee Roasters, Kindness & Mischief, Sip & Sonder , Lord Windsor Coffee and Unity. For those who like variety and want a chance to support local companies, their subscription should be a good fit.
COST: Subscription start at $19/month for one 12-ounce bag.
Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
Garden Grove, San Diego
With locations in Garden Grove and San Diego, Dark Horse Coffee offers a tiered subscription — one, two or three bags sent once or twice a month. They're currently roasting Hambell Guji from Ethiopia, Santo Thomas Pachuj from Guatemala and El Indio Presiga Family from Ethiopia. They share info about each coffee on their website with photos and videos of the farms from coffee-sourcing trips.
COST: Subscriptions start at $23.99/month for two 8-ounce bags.
Stereoscope Coffee Co.
Buena Park, Newport Beach
Stereoscope Coffee Co. just released its first gesha coffee of 2021. (The prized varietal originated in Ethiopia's Gori Gesha forest and is now grown throughout Central America.) They describe the Guatemala Finca Santa Sofia, another popular coffee, as having tropical notes of vanilla, cacao and watermelon. The subscription plan highlights their single-origin roasts, which come from all over the globe. Online, they offer beans you won't find for sale in their stores, such as espressos and decaf. Stereoscope also hosts virtual tasting classes and is planning to open a cafe in Echo Park later in 2021.
COST: Subscriptions start at $60 for monthly deliveries of one 12-ounce bag for three months. You can also opt for weekly deliveries and longer subscription periods.
Common Room Roasters
For subscribers, Common Room Roasters chooses two complementary coffees each month. Pairings have included a fruit-forward coffee and a rich, deep one or one natural and one washed coffee. Each week, they roast fresh-to-order for subscription boxes that include tasting cards, stickers and the occasional surprise gift from a partner brand. New coffees include Mas Moreno from Santa Barbara in Honduras and Gute Sodu, a washed Ethiopian coffee.
COST: Subscriptions start at $16/month for one 12-ounce bag.
Rancho Santa Margarita
Clement Au-Leung opened Elissimo Coffee & Roasting in 2017 and offers three subscriptions — Silver, Gold and Platinum level. Depending on which option you choose, you'll receive one, two or four pounds of beans sourced from nine regions around the world. Some of Elissimo's current beans come from the state of Chiapas in Mexico, the Kayanza province of Burundi and the Lintongnihuta region of Sumatra.
COST: Subscriptions cost $15 to $44/month for one to four 16-ounce bags.