Roast Your Own

Three coffee companies go DIY

Specialty coffeehouses Caffé Luxxe, Demitasse and Tierra Mia Coffee weren't satisfied with buying beans from other companies anymore. So all three started roasting their own, guaranteeing maximum freshness and precise flavors.

Caffé Luxxe: Mark Wain and Gary Chau embrace an Italian aesthetic at their Westside coffeehouses. So it's fitting they dubbed their new Gardena coffee roastery Il Laboratorio. Wain's using a 1993 Probat roaster to mimic the milk-friendly Testarossa blend they previously sourced from Seattle's Espresso Vivace, and to fuel expansion..

Demitasse: Little Tokyo impresario Bobak Roshan has plenty of coffee toys, including Kyoto cold-brew towers and an illuminated siphon bar. It follows, then, that he and roasting partner Greg Thomas of Atwater Village's Trystero planted their Dietrich coffee roaster in Downtown's Toy District. Ethiopia Adado displays floral notes, and espresso blends, like Cat's Cradle, named after the Vonnegut book, have a bright acidity. When the pair nails the ultimate blend, they'll call it "The Sound and the Fury."

Tierra Mia Coffee: Founder Ulysses Romero planned to delay roasting, but his Latin coffee concept grew so quickly that the investment suddenly made sense. Now roast master José Rodriguez and a 1957 Probat supply Tierra Mia's five coffeehouses. Recent offerings include Finca La Lagunilla, an earthy Mexico Cup of Excellence winner from Oaxacan farmer Andres Martinez Leon.