We are excited to announce that our featured roaster for May 2019 is the acclaimed City Bean Roasters. This family owned operation was born and raised in Los Angeles and is proud to be serving up locally roasted coffee since 1992.
City Bean imports nothing but the highest-quality beans – grown sustainably and humanely – and roasts fresh to order in Los Angeles. They’re passionate about their coffee, and everything about their roastery shows it. City Bean uses two vintage roasting machines, one originally built in 1926 and the other in 1963. The 1926 Probat roaster is the oldest one of its kind! Because metal from the early and mid-1900s is superior in quality to modern metal, these old-school roasters give City Bean's head roaster more precise control over the roasting temperature, ultimately helping each coffee reach its optimal flavor.
Even though they don’t have a coffee shop, you can find their coffee throughout the city. Linked here is a list of all the locations you can try their beans at! They also uniquely offer a “wholesale to the people” program at their roastery where you can stop by, meet the team, and buy a bag of beans at wholesale price. This is the only place in the city where you can get such high quality, freshly roasted beans at such a low price.
By now you know they've been taking their coffee seriously for almost 30 years, but we were happy to learn that they take their company values just as seriously.
City Bean is intensely committed to sustainability, relationships, and transparency. They are proudly zero waste – all their bags are compostable and they donate byproducts of the roasting process to local gardeners for composting. They make sure to purchase their coffee from farms with verifiable environmental standards that treat their workers humanely. City Bean verifies farm and working conditions with a combination of visits to origin and third-party certifications. And for each coffee they source, they build a fact sheet with thorough information on the country and region of origin, altitude, co-op / farm designation, certifications, processing methods, farm conditions, and any other data they can get their hands on.
On top of their great coffee and values, City Bean fosters an incredible work environment for its employees. When you walk into the roastery, you're greeted by a massive mural of a yellow submarine painted by the owner's daughters. The Yellow Submarine is a theme that City Bean has been utilizing for years - they even drive around in a Yellow-Submarine themed van. If you're ever driving around LA and notice a submarine beside you on the road, now you know it's captained by some of LA's best coffee roasters.
Unlike most companies, City Bean is fully transparent with the use of their profits. 20% of its after-tax profits gets paid out to staff without any consideration of position! 5% goes to worthwhile causes (The Muonde Trust, EcoLogic, and Garden School Foundation). 75% gets reinvested in the business.
When you buy coffee from City Bean, you can be confident that you'll be getting incredible coffee beans roasted with passion on vintage machinery, sourced from a sustainable farm that treats their workers humanely, and roasted/packed by people who love doing what they do.