The 15 Best Coffee Roasters in San Diego

The 15 Best Coffee Roasters in San Diego

Did you know there's over 100 coffee roasters in San Diego? The city is a specialty coffee paradise. There's never been more coffee shops offering delicious single origin coffees, quality espresso drinks, and ethically sourced beans. But the city hasn't always been a hub for quality coffee.

In the last 10 years there's been an explosion of new roasters and coffee shops. These shops focus on quality, single origin coffees, and roasting in small batches.

But with so much good coffee, how do you know what to choose? Lucky for you, we've tried just about every coffee roaster in San Diego. These are the 15 best coffee roasters in America's Finest City.

A Quick Overview of Coffee Roasting

Coffee being roasted and exiting from a coffee roaster machine

Most people fall in love with coffee for the energy boost, but don't know how high quality coffee is produced. If you want to be able to hang with the coffee roasters, learn these terms first.

Single Origin Coffees - These coffee beans come from small farmers in a producing country. So for example, a single origin Colombia means it came from one region in Colombia. It's not blended with another coffee. Single origins are a signature mark of craft coffee roasters.

Processing - Each coffee is processed in a particular way that influences the roasted coffee taste. The most common types are washed and natural. Washed processing uses water to remove pulp leftover from the coffee cherry. These coffees are typically more straight forward, with flavor notes of citrus and chocolate. Natural processing requires laying the coffee beans out in the sun and letting it dry. This produces a more fruity cup, with flavor notes of blueberry and strawberry.

Green - When you hear coffee roasters talking about "green" they're talking about coffee in it's natural state. The coffee is a light green before being roasted. Roasting high quality, ethically sourced beans is essential for a delicious cup of coffee.

Now that you're a coffee roasting pro, lets talk about the 15 best coffee roasters in San Diego!


Ultreya Coffee and Tea

Bags of coffee roasted by Ultreya Coffee and Tea in San Diego

Look, it's us! We might be biased, but we take pride in being a San Diego coffee roaster. At our coffee shop we offer a range of fresh roasted single origins, local baked goods, seasonal espresso drinks, and high quality teas. We're a dedicated staff brewing coffee from around the world and treat all of our customers as part of our community. We just love to brew good coffee for good people. Oh and everything is roasted by women!



Cafeina Cafe, a coffee roaster in San Diego

You won't find a better coffee shop in the City Heights community than Cafeina. Owned and operated by Andrew Benavides, they take a Mexican approach to specialty coffee. From quality beans to tasty Mexican dessert, there's plenty to choose from here. Our favorite drink is the iced Mazapan Latte. Perfect for a sunny day in San Diego.


Genteel Coffee

A woman makes coffee inside Genteel Coffee in San Diego

When you walk through the door of Genteel Coffee you'll be greeted by friendly faces. One of our favorite cafes in San Diego, Genteel is dedicated to helping customers find community. They do this by offering phenomenal service and brewing a signature line of single origin coffees: "Off beat" is for the adventurous, "Classic" is nostalgic from the first sip, and "Bright" takes a modern approach to light roast coffee.


7 Seas Coffee

Outside of Seven Seas Roasting in San Diego

When it comes to specialty coffee, 7 Seas has one of the more unique approaches to roasting and sourcing. They travel the world to work with farms in less common coffee producing countries, like Vietnam and the Philippines. In addition to brewing up rare coffee, they're dedicated to giving back. Their signature "Spike's Roast" blend gives 100% of profits to Spike's K9 fund, providing bulletproof vests for police K9.


Caffeine & Green

A bag of coffee roasted by Caffeine & Green in San Diego

Cano Cardenas is the definition of love. He's the owner of Caffeine & Green and he's dedicated to every aspect of his business. Though he recently closed his storefront, you can order his coffee for home on his website. We mean it when we say he's one of the OG coffee roasters in San Diego, and his beans are worth your money.


Coffee Cycle

Chris of Coffee Cycle Roasting stands in front of a coffee roaster

Have you ever heard of a coffee shop on a bicycle? Now you have! Coffee Cycle in Pacific Beach got it's start by pedaling a coffee cart around serving coffee. And now they have a storefront within walking distance to the beach, so bring your flip flops! They source quality coffee from farms in places like Tanzania and Ethiopia and even brew them a handful of different ways for you.


Provecho Coffee

Provecho Coffee bar and espresso machine in San Diego

If you ever find yourself walking around Barrio Logan, a historic community just south of Downtown San Diego, you have to check out Provecho Coffee. Their coffee shop is inside local art gallery Bread & Salt, so can drink fresh beans from Mexico, while you take in some art. This is one of the most exciting cafes in San Diego. Give it a try.


Necessity Coffee

Necessity Coffee roasting coffee in San DiegoNecessity Coffee is one of the newer cafes in San Diego, but they have no shortage of tasty beans to offer. They source fun and exciting coffees with experimental processing. This is the place to go if you want to try a new drink you've never experienced before, like a Black Currant Hibiscus sparkling cold brew.

Jaunt Coffee Roasters

Inside Jaunt Coffee Roasters in San Diego

One of the better kept secrets of the San Diego coffee scene, Jaunt Coffee Roasters have plenty to choose from. You'll find a menu packed with quality beans, acai bowls, empanadas, breakfast burritos, and specialty lattes. Oh and catch them on the right day and you can see them roast coffee right there inside their location.


Acento Coffee Roasters

Owner Luis of Acento Coffee inspects a coffee roaster machine

Acento Coffee Roasters may be small, but they brew up some delicious joe. Offering coffees from Guatemala, Honduras, Ethiopia, and more, this is a must stop if you want to get a taste for craft coffee. The space is beautiful as well, with lots of exposed wood elements and a coffee roaster sitting in the back of the shop.


Compa Coffee Roasters

Inside Compa Coffee Roasters in San Diego


You'll feel the love when you enter Compa Coffee Roasters in Rancho Bernardo. They aren't just dedicated to great customer service and phenomenal coffee, their toast menu is off the charts. Try the regular AVO toast, we're sure you'll love it as much as we do.


Ironsmith Coffee

Owner Matt Delarosa of Ironsmith Coffee Roasters stand next to his coffee roaster in San Diego

Another North County gem, Ironsmith is one of the more highly regarded coffee roasters in our community. They roast high quality beans on their Diedrich roaster in house. Everything done in small batches and with complete attention to detail. Owner Matt Delarosa goes directly to the source, traveling to different countries around the world to find the best beans you can imagine.


Steady State Coffee

Inside Steady State Coffee in San Diego

At the very tip top of San Diego, lies Steady State Coffee. If you're looking to taste fruity, rare, and exotic coffees then this is the place! Steady State offer a line of natural process coffees that bring out the fruit and candy like flavors. They take pride in sourcing rare coffees and perfecting the art and science of roasting. Truly, they are dedicated to the craft.


Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

Looking inside Dark Horse Coffee Roasters coffee shop in San Diego

At one point it felt like there was a Dark Horse Coffee location on every corner in central San Diego. And with good reason. The owners have a background in the music industry and graphic design so you'll see lots of fun retro designs and music references throughout their stores. One of the more fun cafes in San Diego!


Cafe Moto

The outside of Cafe Moto in San Diego

We can't make this list without featuring Cafe Moto. One of the longest standing coffee roasters in San Diego, you can find a more traditional menu here. You can order items like dark roast coffee and white chocolate mochas in addition to fresh baked goods. Oh and their roastery is completely solar powered!


That's all for now! We hope you get a chance to try some of these coffee roasters out. San Diego is lucky to have them and your taste buds will thank you if you give them a shot.

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