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1304 Wood Street
Oakland, CA, 94607
United States

(510)836-3920

We wanted the perfect cup of coffee, so we roasted it. We believe that the future can be humane, sustainable and delicious - so delicious we won't wait for it to arrive. The future is businesses that have a minimal ecological footprint, that are tied constructively to their consumer and producer communities. The future is knowing what is enough and savoring a sweet little spot in a well-balanced world. We serve our customers the future today by providing magnificent, ethically-sourced coffees, medium-roasted and expertly blended for espresso and more that will blow their minds and let their thoughts drift to a future worth working for. It's not science fiction, it's Scarlet City.

Resistance is Futile.

Roasting Philosophy

Roast Style :: Medium Roast

We believe in the righteousness of the medium roast. Yes, for blends crafted specifically for espresso too. “Espresso Roast”? Huh? We develop a distinct roast profile for each bean and never blend before roasting. Our target is always the deep matte mahogany brown favored in Northern Italy*. That's because a Northern Italian roast style allows the natural sugars within the beans to fully caramelize, taking it beyond the sourness or “brightness” of lighter roasts, while allowing the flavors of origin to shine. Yet it stops short of a dark roast, which can yield overly bitter beans, as the sugars seep onto the surface of the bean, where they char and oxidize. Thus, when you grind a portion of Scarlet City beans, all that sweetness, pure coffee aroma, and character is released from safekeeping inside the bean into your cup. All elements in perfect balance.

We roast in small batches on analog machine, which leaves us with total control over every roast. This allows us to react and adapt to the natural variability inherent in green beans. The coffee we ship to you is roasted fresh for your order and the roast date is right there on the front of the bag. You’ll have your coffee in hand within days.

*The scale has shifted somewhat in recent years with lighter roasts proliferating. Some may now consider our roast style “medium/dark”.

 

Signature Espresso Blend :: Warp drive

We love the process of identifying the flavors and textures that we want in a Scarlet City shot and figuring out how to get them in there. We search high and low for beans that have the qualities we're looking for and see how they work together. Beans can surprise you – a bean we love alone might shrink into the background or dominates when sharing a cup with other beans. Sometimes, we're surprised when a bean we love alone recedes or dominates when sharing a cup with other beans. And sometimes we're amazed when a bean that doesn't seem to be anything special on its own turns out to be the thing that brings out the best in its blend-mates. We crafted Warp Drive espresso blend not only to taste rich and complex on the palate with voluminous crema that lasts for days, but to perform well under a variety of preparation conditions, allowing home and pro baristas of all skill levels to prepare great tasting espresso consistently. We think the discernment, engineering and love we give to this process sets us apart from others.

 

Supporting women producers :: Sisterhood is Powerful

Women in producing communities continue to face special challenges as they work to better their own lives and those of their families. We believe we can contribute to a more equitable economy by intentionally seeking out coffees that result from women's work that is rewarded equitably, that comes from woman-owned enterprises or from projects that deliberately focus on advancing women's health, economic development and standing in their communities. We bring these coffees to you in our lineup of outstanding single-origin coffees and also use them as much as possible in our blends. Our commitment to supporting women also means we invest in women's efforts in the social, business, herstorical, and entertainment sectors. During the time we ran our retail espresso bar (2014 - 2019), we worked with so many amazing women-owned businesses, including Bump City Bakery and McVicker Pickles. Past projects we have funded include Women's Initiative for Self-Employment"Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines""Women on the Land", Women Drummers InternationalSFWAR, popuphood Oakland, Feminist Current, and Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project.

 

Decaffeinated Coffees

Decaf drinkers, we take you seriously. We recognize that you are true coffee lovers, pursuing your coffee passion even without the beloved caffeine buzz. Be marginalized unjustly by inferior beans and lackluster blends no more! For you, we accept the challenge of finding great-tasting decaf beans, carefully roasting them to account for their delicate nature and using them to craft elevated blends that will actually wow you. You’re worth it.  All the coffees in our Robot Dreams decaf blend are water processed – a 100% chemical-free process which protects the coffee's natural flavors. Extraordinary coffee, no caffeine.