Here’s a list of Black-owned coffee shops in L.A., inspired by #BlackinBrew
LaNisa Williams remembers the cup of coffee that ignited her passion for brewing. She made a cup of Ethiopian-origin coffee using a pour-over method and tasted blueberries.
“It was mind-blowing,” she said. “That’s when I was, like, this is really what I would like to do. I want to be able to pull flavor notes out of coffee.”
Her career in coffee began with a job as a barista at Starbucks and then Peet’s Coffee, where Williams worked her way up to be a manager and trainer. Today, she works with coffee businesses across the city through her own independent training and home demonstration business, Barista Life LA.
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She’s also working to bring attention to Black professionals in the specialty coffee industry. In the midst of the recent George Floyd protests and movement for Black lives, she and her partner came up with a hashtag: #BlackinBrew.
Williams has been using the hashtag to share short profiles of Black baristas, roasters and other coffee professionals on her Instagram. Her efforts are getting attention: She’s received over 60 submissions so far and some from as far away as the United Kingdom.
“Within the last three or four years, I’ve seen the amount of Black-owned coffee shops and Black-owned coffee companies rise,” she said. “They’re doing amazing things in the coffee industry, and I just like to give credit where it’s due.”
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Despite a growing community of Black professionals, Williams says the industry suffers from pay inequity and a lack of representation at major coffee associations and competitions. She’s hoping that a spotlight on the community can help change that.
And the number of local Black-owned coffee businesses in Los Angeles has been an inspiration and supportive network for Williams’ dream of opening her own bricks-and-mortar coffee business some day.
“This is the happiest that I’ve been in the coffee industry in a long time,” she said.
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As part of our series on Black-owned businesses in Los Angeles, we’ve started compiling a resource guide that highlights Black-owned coffee shops and coffee businesses. (To bring a business to our attention, send us an email at email@example.com.)
All of these businesses have takeout and/or delivery options, and many will get back to in-store service soon as coronavirus restrictions continue to be loosened in L.A. County.
Bloom & Plume Coffee
Co-founded by Maurice Harris, the Los Angeles-based artist behind Bloom & Plume, a bespoke floral design studio. The Echo Park-adjacent location is open for takeout. 1638 W. Temple St., Westlake, bloomandplumecoffee.com
Boketto Cold Brew
Boketto delivers cold brew coffee directly to homes, offices and restaurants. It also has artisan teas and a cold-brew nitro bike that can be rented for events. bokettocoldbrew.com
Flower Boy Project
A cafe, flower shop and boutique by designer Sean Knibb. Open for takeout. 824 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, flowerboyproject.com
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Harun Coffee is a coffee shop, gallery and select shop in Leimert Park. The gallery hosts art shows, and the shop features goods from local and artist-owned brands, which are also found in its online shop. Open for takeout and delivery. 4336 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park, harunintl.com
Hilltop Coffee and Kitchen
Founded by L.A. natives Yonnie Hagos and Ajay Relan, Hilltop has breakfast and lunch foods, as well as coffee and juices.
Open for take-out and delivery. Two locations: 4427 W. Slauson Ave., View Park-Windsor Hills, and 170 N. La Brea Ave., Inglewood, findyourhilltop.com
Hot and Cool Cafe
Founded by chief brewer Anthony Jolly, it has coffee, juice, smoothies, and food with vegan options. Open for personal local delivery within 3 miles and takeout. They are also on Grubhub and Seamless. 4331 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park, hotandcoolcafe.com
A Harry Potter-inspired cafe with themed coffee drinks and decor. Open for takeout. 1115 S Hope St., downtown Los Angeles.
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Small-batch coffee roaster with sustainable coffee roasted on site to order, with Yoshawn Smith as lead barista. Open for takeout. 108 Alameda St., Compton, patriacoffee.com
Founded by Jack Karuletwa, Silverback sources its coffee from farms in Rwanda, where he grew up. A portion of proceeds are donated to Rwandan organizations. The Echo Park location is open for takeout and limited dine-in. 1712 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, silverbackcoffee.com
Sip & Sonder
Two lawyers, Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas, became friends and launched Sip and Sonder, an entrepreneurial and creative hub that also houses a coffee house. Open for takeout. 108 S Market St, Inglewood, sipandsonder.com
South LA Cafe
Founded by Joe and Celia Ward-Wallace, who grew up in the area, South LA Cafe serves food and coffee in a community hub. 1700 Browning Blvd., Exposition Park, southlacafe.com
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Undergrind has a variety of flavored lattes, coffee drinks and breakfast foods. Open for takeout and delivery. 2713 S Robertson Blvd., Beverlywood, undergrindcafe.com
Vanessa Butler’s small coffee shop in Echo Park has a variety of coffee drinks including a “vanilla bomb” and vegan food options. 1825 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park.
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