Fine Grind: 3 Local Coffee Shops to Get Excited About

These homegrown shops are changing the city’s coffee game

There’s never been a more exciting time to be a craft coffee fan in Los Angeles. Whether you’re a barista, roaster, or drinker looking to experiment and expand your horizons, this summer has been particularly noteworthy, boasting three locally-based coffee shop openings sure to shape the way Angelenos enjoy their joe. Check out the details below.

Bar Nine Collective
What: A sprawling Hayden Tract coffee complex which houses a giant Probatone roaster and a sleek, high-tech Modbar counter system used for espresso and Chemex pour-overs. In addition to lattés with housemade hazelnut milk, you’ll find a selection of beans by the bag. You can order breakfast or lunch from the attached kitchen too.

Who: Owner Zayde Naquib was behind the MOCA Transmission coffee pop-up and worked at Espresso Cielo and Two Guns Espresso, while roaster Mitchell Tellstrom arrived from Barrett’s Coffee in Austin.

Why: Bar Nine Collective is pulling terrific espresso shots that are long, smooth and wonderfully acidic. Their space is beautifully laid-out and the free Sunday cuppings are a treat for both coffee experts and neophytes. In the words of Jurassic Park‘s John Hammond, they “spared no expense.”

Blacktop Coffee
What: A small but stylish Arts District coffeeshop (with ample patio space) which uses Sightglass Coffee from San Francisco. The menu is segmented into White (milk-based espresso drinks), Black (straight espressos and Americanos), Chocolate (mochas), as well as rotating brewed coffees, chai, and teas. All drinks are served in adorable Heath ceramic mugs.

Who: Tyler Wells, one of the co-founders of Handsome Coffee Roasters, left to launch his own intimate coffee bar after Handsome was sold to Oakland’s Blue Bottle Coffee.

Why: Just like at the former Handsome, Blacktop makes one of the best cortados around, using Straus organic milk. Just don’t ask for sugar or soymilk. Also, the Guerrilla Tacos truck parks outside on Thursday through Sunday mornings. ‘Nuff said.

Coffee Colab
What: A reclaimed-décor coffee shop located near Downtown’s bustling Fashion District. You’ll find a concise menu of pour-overs, cold brew and espresso drinks pulled on a La Marzocco, as well as pastries from Sugarbloom Bakery.

Who: Co-founders and co-friends William Miyazaki of Suits & Knives Coffee Roasters, Leon Li of Humble Cup, and Sonny Mediana of Arcadia’s Taza Coffee combined to form an L.A. coffee supergroup.

Why: Not only is Coffee Colab the only place to score bags of locally-roasted Suits & Knives beans in L.A. proper, the shop also plans to serve coffee from other small up-and-coming local roasters. Call it a coffee incubator.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to L.A. Coffee Bar Nine Collective, 3515 Helms Ave., Culver City, 310-837-7815 Blacktop, 826 E. 3rd St., Arts District, 213-488-9182 Colab, 305 E. 8th St. #3, Downtown