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Best coffee city in the world? Los Angeles

Find the best cafes, freshest brews and your favorite beans in the coffee-shop capital of the world.

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L.A. might not boast the world’s most legendary micro-roasters, bleeding-edge brewing techniques or centuries of coffee tradition. But it is home to countless vibrant coffee shops that are the pulse of our neighborhoods and the foundation of a burgeoning community of cafe owners, roasters and baristas dedicated to excellent brews and service. You can find a great cup of coffee — maybe it’s a perfect pour-over at Endorffeine or a rose-cardamom latte named after Cardi B. at Sip & Sonder — around just about every corner.

In Copenhagen, I visited roasters who are coaxing every nuance of terroir from coffee. In Tokyo, the shops are pristine and the obsession with brewing methods might be unmatched. Seoul’s cafe scene is exploding. Is there a more sublime espresso experience than at a fourth-generation cafe in Rome? In Los Angeles, you can tap into all of this. Buzzy Koreatown coffee bars, Australian-style cafes, expertly pulled espressos, heady café de olla, Vietnames ca phe sua, Turkish coffee service, the Ethiopian jebena buna ritual. Not to mention our espresso martinis (served at a different kind of bar) and even instant coffee made with beans from local roasters.

A renaissance of Black-owned coffee shops in L.A. is pushing to reclaim the origins of coffee, rooted in Black, brown and Indigenous cultures. Our coffee shops are reflections of our communities, sprawling and diverse. And they’re our neighborhood hubs — a place to start our day, park our laptops or geek out over roasting styles. Drink it all in.

Here are essential L.A. coffee stories from The Times Food staff:

Head to these coffee shops in L.A., Hollywood, Culver City, Santa Monica and beyond, for great espresso drinks, lattes and pour-overs and options for remote work.

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A community-led renaissance is brewing at Black-owned coffee shops.

May 11, 2023

What should we expect from a cup of coffee in Los Angeles? Almost anything, our critic learns.

Mexican café de olla is black coffee infused with cinnamon, piloncillo and orange peel. Here are some of the best spots in Los Angeles to enjoy it.

June 28, 2022

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Light, medium or dark roast? Notes of apricot, chocolate, pecan? Arabica or robusta? What’s the ‘L.A.’ style? All your coffee bean questions answered.

Credits

Writers: Bill Addison, Jenn Harris, Betty Hallock, Danielle Dorsey, Stephanie Breijo, Lucas Kwan Peterson, Astrid Kayembe, Julie Wolfson
Editors: Laurie Ochoa, Daniel Hernandez, Betty Hallock, Danielle Dorsey
Lead art direction and digital production: Brandon Ly
Art direction: Faith Stafford, Kay Scanlon
Illustrator: Brandon Ly
Photographers: Allen Schaben (Los Angeles Times), Jason Armond (Los Angeles Times), Oscar Mendoza (For The Times), Stephanie Shih (For The Times), Jacob Cummings (For The Times)
Prop Stylists: Sofia Branco Kraft, Nick Torres
Photo Editor: Angeline Woo
Copy editors: Lisa Horowitz
Audience engagement: Amy Wong, Katie Miller
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