Four Barrel Coffee Roasters

I hadn't been to Four Barrel coffee roasters in a few years.  In fact, I hadn't been to the Bay Area in over a year and in February of 2018 I got two go twice.  Which meant a stop in at the old Four Barrel stoping grounds.  We popped in an hour before closing and BOY were they inhospitable.  That didn't bother me though.  I walked away with a cappuccino and two bags of beans to enjoy at home.  Plus they'd changed their packaging which is beautiful on the shelf and showcases different artists on different bags.

I didn't realize that their bags were biodegradable too.  You can pop them in your own personal compost pile.  (If you follow the instructions on the bottom of the bag).  Nice touch!

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Four Barrel Coffee
375 Valencia St,
San Francisco, CA 94103

Spearhead Coffee Roasters

I always try and stop in at the General Store when I'm rolling through Paso Robles.  They don't necessarily have a café in the spot.  However, they're always carrying some pretty interesting goods.  The most recent stop in yielded this epic bag of Spearhead Coffee.  Roasted specifically for the General Store in Paso Robles California. 

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841 12th Street
Paso Robles, CA · 93446
(805) 226 5757

The Mill


Gaelyn and I decided to get wild and hopped a plane up to Davis to go to a friend's baby shower.  We stayed the night, and made a fun trip of it.  The next day we rode metro bikes around Sacramento and checked out a couple different fancy coffee spots.  This was the first, and where we ate breakfast.  A wonderful spot downtown, but a bit on the North Eastern side.  An easy bike ride and plenty of great options to eat.  Plus the art for the beans is wonderful.  

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The Mill

1827 I Street
Sacramento, CA, 95811
United States

Cognoscenti Coffee

I've been to Cognoscenti Coffee probably a hundred times.  I had always thought of them as a coffee curation café.  They find some different, new, desirable bean.  Then they serve it to their customers as a taster of what that coffee roaster has to offer.  It's a fun way to enjoy different beans from around the world.  However, apparently over the past year or so, they've started to roast their own bean right here in Los Angeles.  

Typically, I bought a bag just to try it out.  It's a light roast, and it sits right on top of your tongue. It reminds me a lot of a Ritual Coffee roast, which isn't necessarily my favorite, but it'd do the trick.  I'm just glad to have another Los Angeles coffee roaster.  Take Flight, Cognoscenti Coffee, and a few others.  I'm going to do my best to seek out more Los Angeles local coffee roasters.

Cognoscenti Coffee
6114 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

Santos Beans

Santos Beans

If you read this blog you're probably also aware that the family and I spent some time in Los Cabos Mexico this Summer.  While we were visiting we took a day drive up the coast to Todos Santos which was probably our best experience the whole trip.  We found a little 3rd-Wave spot in Todos Santos and had a cup of coffee and I couldn't pass up a bag of beans.  

Take Flight Coffee

Take Flight Coffee

This is a new experience that I hadn't really known about.  I believe I bought this box of coffee at a placed called Go Get 'Em Tiger in Los Angeles.

I looked up the company and got a bit more of a backstory which really intrigued me.  At this point in my life I'm captured by small brands that have a story.  That have an experience they want to share and Take Flight is one of those kinds of brands.

Saint Frank Coffee Roasters

I can’t remember where we were sitting, but from over my tiny cappuccino this giant “F” caught my eye.  On closer inspection I realized it was by a brand I’d heard of before called St. Frank.  In fact, I’m pretty sure this company is owned or run by someone I know personally, though honestly I’m not quite sure anymore.

The packaging is “Wow” and jumps off the shelf.  I was excited to brew a batch of St. Frank out of San Francisco at home.

A few things to note about the roast as realized from the label on the front.  This roast was called the “Las Nubes” from Honduras.  Even more intimate information tells me that it was grown by Alexi Moreno in El Cedral, Santa Barbara Honduras.  How awesome is that?  It truly brings a face to the farmer that created the first thing you drink in the morning.

This roast is “YEOWZA”.  A very light roast that almost hits you like a ton of bricks.   Usually I’m slightly offended by flavor like this, but for some reason in St. Frank’s capacity, it was wonderful.  Sure it had me bouncing off the walls making my 3 year old say “whats up with papa?”  But he wasn’t complaining when I was ready to play with him all day.

This thing is great, and hopefully some day I’d like to enjoy St. Frank in it’s natural habitat.  The city by the bay.

Saint Frank Coffee
2340 Polk Street,
San Francisco, CA 94109

49th Parallel

I picked up this 49th Parallel “just add creme” blend during my staycation out in the central/eastern side of Los Angeles at a Coffee spot called “Go Gett’em Tiger”.

I’d seen this brand around from time to time.  They’re based out of the Great White North in Vancouver B.C.

This specific blend was roasted exclusively for Go Gett’em Tiger, and a spot in the Los Angeles Grand Central Market called G&B.   While I’ve never been a HUGE fan of G&B for a variety of reasons.  Brewing this blend at home yielded excellent results.

It was a calm light roast that didn’t offend, and worked well with cream and agave which is my go-to right now.  The price tag isn’t terrible, but it’s on the high end.

Tasted great!

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters
2902 Main Street
Vancouver BC Canada V5T 3G3

Coffee: Brújula Specialty Coffee Roasters

I got this pound of coffee from my in-laws who spend quite a deal of time in Mexico.  They found this tiny Café while on their trips and said that they fell in love with the coffee and brought back as much coffee as they could.

I must say that this bean was quite incredible.  I brewed it first in a French Press an it had a beautiful swirling top layer of coffee oils.  I knew it was going to be pretty tasty. 

I also had this in our coffee maker a few times before using the pound up and it was great!  I wasn't hoping for an online ordering presence like my in-laws, but if they go again, I'll definitely ask them to grab me a bag.  Yum!



Coffee: The Infamous Kopi Luwak Coffee

Oh here it is... a few months back my sister took a trip to Thailand and she asked if there was anything I wanted.  Obviously I mentioned coffee and happened to have mentioned something about this rare/expensive kind of coffee called Kopi Luwak.

If you're interested in learning about what exactly Kopi Luwak is, follow the link above.  Regardless of how you feel about how weird the method of roasting is, or if you think it's gross or not.  I just had to try it.  Because I'm a fan of food.

Let me tell you, it's a very very good bean.  Mild and smooth, the acidity is wicked away and it is very easy to drink.  However, the price/value ratio is way off.  For how much this coffee costs, and the extensive process that this coffee takes to create, it's really not worth it.

Yet, if you're a foodie, you have to try it. 

Coffee: Knight Owl Coffee

I'd seen Knight Owl Coffee at different events around Los Angeles over the past year or two.  I've picked up a bag, or a bottle of coffee concentrate occasionally.  I am super happy that they appear at a Farmers Market not too far from my home.  I really get frustrated with the coffee selection at most farmers markets and having Knight Owl there is a refreshing surprise.  I love that being based in Los Angeles they focus on having an Iced product and over all I feel like their beans are two thumbs up.  Give them a try if you see them at Unique LA or Renegade Crafts Fair or a local farmers market.  You won't be disappointed.


Knight Owl Coffee

Coffee: Steep Organic/Fairtrade Coffee

Over the summer we had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time in the WAY WAY Northern California region.  Of course while up there, I was on the lookout for some local coffee roaster/brewers and I happened to have found one in the tiny town we were staying in.

This is Steep Organic/Fairtrade Coffee out of Hopland, California in Mendocino County a roast that is packaged by Thanks Giving Coffee which I believe is based in Fort Bragg.

This is a delightful roast, bold, but not a completely dark roast with a flavor that goes well both as an iced coffee and as a hot coffee in pour over method.  If you're in the area, go pick yourself up a pound to enjoy.


Steep Organic Coffee & Teas
UNIT 7 / 13275 S Highway 101
Hopland, California 95449

Coffee: Lucky Jack "Sweet Thing"

This is LUCKY JACK coffee...  Here in Los Angeles, we have stints of fall and winter punctuating what commonly is referred to as "perpetual Summer".  Which means that almost year round you can find a few days to enjoy iced coffee and this is one of my favorites.

The last two of my major professional jobs have been fueled by this stuff, and whether or not my clients appreciate my bursts of enthusiasm that come from me consuming this beverage is yet to be determined.  However, this stuff is wonderful.  The top perks include that it is pre-sweetened.  Meaning you can open the bottle and it has the right amount of sweetener to make this the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.  The best part about it, is that the small co-op across from my current work place keeps these things stocked.  I just have to be careful about how many I drink so I don't get that dreaded caffeine migraine.

I prefer this drink poured over ice with a little bit of half and half, but that's my personal preference.  I think you should give it a try and let me know how you like.


Lucky Jack Iced Coffee

Slate Coffee Roasters

I was up in Seattle last year attending a good friend's wedding and I had a day where no one was really available to hang out, so I did some Seattle exploring.  I happened upon the small store front that Slate operates out of.  Had a great cappuccino and picked up a small bag of their beans.  Expensive for the amount offered, but still a good bean if you're in the area.  

Slate Coffee Roasters
5413 6th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

Handlebar Coffee Roasters

If you're at all like me, and every town you visit you try and find that local roaster or brewer.  Something slightly unique that hasn't completely been wiped out by big chains.  Then you've probably already found and been to Handlebar Coffee Roasters.  Located in downtown Santa Barbara.  It's one of my favorite spots, and a constant for my family and I when we're up that way visiting Grandma.  They have an espresso "Milkshake".  It's 8$ which is a bit steep, but it's pretty much the most amazing thing ever.  Seriously... no joke.

Handlebar Coffee Roasters
128 E Canon Perdido St,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Kicking Horse Coffee

I happened across Kicking Horse by accident.  We were strolling down the coffee aisle at Target in Culver City and the bag caught my eye. The coffee was a little cheaper than Intelligensia's a shelf below, and I'd never heard of them, but they seemed to pride themselves on a dark roast which is not necessarily all the rage right now.  I picked up a bag and it's been a staple in our house since.  

At this point, I'm buying even larger bags and having them delivered to me via which is pretty much the most amazing thing ever head over to Amazon and try it out.  Or you can be all old fashioned and stop by.  Let me warn you though, even their own website says "Invermere is halfway between heaven and the center of the universe.  Which puts us precisely in the middle of nowhere."  If you go, take pictures, and send them to me.  Seriously.

491 Arrow Road
Ivermere Canada

Chameleon Cold Brew


At the Target near our new home they just started carrying all sorts of iced coffees including one that I'd seen around but in a variation I hadn't tried.  Chameleon Cold Brew in a Mocha variation is working really well for me right now as I try to wake up and get motivated to finish the little bits and pieces I need to do here around the house.    At a hefty 10$ a bottle you're supposed to get about 8 glasses of iced coffee out of the bottle. I'm getting about four so it's not the most economical but it's tasty.  So as for the bottles I already own, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it.  Then probably go back to something a little less tough of the pocketbook.  

Iron and Resin / Beacon Coffee Company


A while back for my wife gave me a pound of this blend created via partnership between Iron and Resin, and Beacon Coffee Company.  I've always loved what Iron and Resin have been doing over the past few years.  They've created a brand, aesthetic and foundation in a relatively unlikely place.  It's not in a major metropolitan area.  They've created this in Ventura California, a place with it's own special blend of perfection.  I was happy to be able to try a new roaster in Beacon Coffee company, and this delighted as expected.   I've talked a lot about Iron and Resin on the blog here, but unfortunately I haven't yet been by the shop in Ventura.  Everytime we're up visiting my mom we plan on making a side trip to stop in and see the shop, but for one reason or another we get held back well past their closing time.  Hopefully one of these day's we'll get in there, and hopefully also stop in at Beacon and have a brew.  Enjoyed it.