The Bay Area’s 13 Best Artisan Coffee Roasters

|July 25, 2018

If there is one word we could use to summarize San Francisco’s food and drink culture, it would be craft. Our hometown is famous across the globe as a culinary destination for foodies, restaurateurs, wine connoisseurs, coffee drinkers and cocktail lovers. That’s because our local culture, our local creators and our local artists are driven by a love for their community and a passion for their craft.

And that passion has certainly extended into the realm of coffee. With headquarters in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and other regional towns, Bay Area coffee roasters are taking the world by storm. So, whether you’re looking for a new neighborhood cafe or you’re shopping San Francisco from across the country, we rounded up the best beans produced in the Bay Area to encourage you to shop local, shop sustainable and shop craft. Enjoy!

AKA Coffee | Oakland

Online | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

AKA Coffee Roasters Oakland California

Photo courtesy of AKA Coffee

The story of AKA Coffee began back when John, Brian and Björg opened Berkeley-based Supersonic Coffee. Under the name Supersonic, they were consistently ranked as one of the best coffee roasters in the Bay Area. Now operating under a new name, they still promise the same great coffee and plan to open their own brick and mortar cafe!

Andytown Coffee Roasters | San Francisco

Three locations | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Andytown Coffee Roasters San Francisco California

Photo courtesy of Peter Cochrane via Andytown Coffee Roasters

Michael McCrory and Lauren Crabbe originally opened Andytown Coffee Roasters in 2014 in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood. When they started, the team did all the roasting, baking and serving in the quaint, 600-square-foot space. Today, they have three locations — all in Outer Sunset — and they still roast some of the city’s best coffee and bake some of the neighborhood’s best pastries.

Blue Bottle Coffee | Oakland

Fifteen Bay Area locations | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Blue Bottle Coffee San Francisco coffee roasters

Without a doubt, Blue Bottle is the Bay Area coffee giant. In some parts of San Francisco, you can even spot more blue bottles than green mermaids. And that’s definitely okay with us because this giant is still driven by small, local business ideals. Their story begins in the early 2000s in Oakland when the founder, freelance musician and coffee lunatic opened his roaster using just a minuscule six-pound batch roaster. Back then, he promised to sell coffee within 48 hours of roasting and, today, the team is still driven by their knowledge of great coffee and its peak flavor.

Chromatic Coffee Co. | San Jose

Two locations | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Chromatic Coffee Co Roaster San Jose California

Photo courtesy of Chromatic Coffee Co.

Chromatic Coffee began with a small group of friends and a coffee-themed dream. And, since serving their first coffees in 2012, they’ve been earning awards and top rankings from both local and national press outlets. Today, you can find them at the roastery in Midtown San Jose or in their Downtown SJ and Santa Clara cafes. Driven by sustainability and artisan practices, you can taste the love for local in every cup.

Equator Coffees & Teas | San Rafael

Seven locations | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Equator Coffees and Teas Roaster San Rafael California

Photo courtesy of Molly DeCoudreaux via Equator Coffees & Teas

Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell began Equator inside a garage in Marin County driven by a focus on quality, sustainability and social responsibility. Today, their two-person endeavor has grown into more than 500 wholesale accounts, seven cafes and a team of more than 100 employees. But they still produce coffees and teas that combine our local community with growing communities across the globe. Learn more about Equator’s sustainability practices here.

Flywheel Coffee Roasters | San Francisco

672 Stanyan St | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

The Flywheel story begins with founder Aquiles Guerrero who was born in a coffee farm in Nicaragua, grew up picking coffee, was a barista by the age of twelve, a roaster by eighteen, attended Capuchino High School in San Bruno, and began his San Francisco coffee experience at Martha and Bros. Coffee which was owned by his family. Today, Flywheel Coffee Roasters is still family owned and operated in Haight-Ashbury by a team of artists, coffee lovers and San Francisco locals.

Highwire Coffee Roasters | Oakland

Five locations | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Highwire Coffee Roasters San Francisco California

Photo courtesy of Cody Gordon via Highwire Coffee Roasters

Highwire Coffee Roasters is so local that two of their locations are at local, year-round farmers’ markets in San Francisco and Oakland. Their other cafe locations can be found in Oakland, Berkeley and at Flowerland in Albany. But it’s inside the roastery where their artistry and passion begins. Showcasing both the beans’ origins and the roasters’ signature styles, every bag and every cup is an outstanding experience.

Linea Caffe | San Francisco

3417 18th St | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

At Linea, Master Roaster Andrew Barnett approaches coffee like fine wine and chocolate. According to him, the perfect cup should be naturally sweet, balanced, complex and elegant — and he and his team strive to produce the perfect cup with every single bean. Their Mission District cafe is where you can find all things Linea. Or, shop online to get a bag delivered to your door.

Ritual Coffee Roasters | San Francisco

Six locations | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

At Ritual, everyone embraces the craft coffee movement — from the farmers to the roasters to the baristas and even the customers. Since opening in 2005, they’ve been carefully following and controlling the whole process from farm to cafe and brewing your cup however you like it, whether that’s French Press or Hario V60 pour over. You can visit one of five Ritual coffee shops in San Francisco or stop by their wine country location in Napa!

Sextant Coffee Roasters | San Francisco

1415 Folsom Street | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Sextant Coffee Roasters San Francisco California

Photo courtesy of Sextant Coffee Roasters

A sextant is a tool used by sailors and a symbol of how coffee was originally transported out of Africa. Sextant Coffee Roasters uses this inspiration to promote sustainable practices in coffee. For example, they only buy from sources they have built direct and sustainable relationships with — and since Founder Kinani Ahmed is a first-generation Ethiopian many of those farmers are family and friends! Then, the team roasts right in the SoMa headquarters to showcase natural sweetness and flavors.

Sightglass Coffee | San Francisco

Five locations | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Independent and sibling-owned, Sightglass Coffee sources green coffee directly from sustainable farms and practices small production methods to roast the perfect beans. Named after the sightglass — the viewing window on the team’s vintage PROBAT coffee roaster — this coffee company is driven by precision, by the sight, smell and sound of great coffee, and by the intuition gained from years of experience and tons of passion.

Verve Coffee Roasters | Santa Cruz

2101 Market St | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Taking the Bay Area and the world by storm, Verve Coffee Roasters is a Santa Cruz-based company with locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and even Tokyo. But their coffees are still roasted in vintage roasters right in Santa Cruz. The first cafe opened in 2007 and, since then, the team has built an empire or, more accurately, an artistic endeavor that rewards and celebrates sustainability, craft, community and passion. Locally, you can find them at their Market Street cafe in San Francisco or in four Santa Cruz locations just down the coast.

Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters | San Francisco

2271 Union Street | Facebook | Instagram | Buy coffee online

Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters is driven by Director of Coffee and Roastmaster Trish Rothgeb and Head Barista Nicholas Cho. Together, they’re directing their team of coffee lovers to become the most recognized purveyor of sustainably sourced, expertly roasted specialty coffees. And once you try a sip for yourself, you’ll find out they’re well on their way to achieving that goal. You can visit the SoMa roastery by appointment or swing by the Cow Hollow café for freshly roasted coffee and treats from Marla Bakery.  

Do you have a favorite Bay Area bean?

Give them a shoutout in the comments below!

Category Community Guides, East Bay, Peninsula, San Francisco, Silicon Valley

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