Cutting-Edge and Wildly Experimental Coffees Are Coming Out of This Sacramento Roastery

Sacramento is a hub for coffee enthusiasts, offering a unique and exciting experience in the form of Opal Coffee Club, an offshoot of Camellia Coffee. The club, which is technically a separate business entity, focuses on co-fermenting coffee, introducing other strains of micro-organisms like Japan’s koji mold to create bold, specific coffees. These black coffees have insane flavors, more than the pleasant blueberry notes of single-origin Ethiopians. Cammila Yuan, Camelia’s director of coffee and roasting, is one of the main minds behind Opal and craves these bold, specific coffees.

Opal sells micro-lots, similar to small-batch winemaking, which highlight techniques considered uncommon in the coffee market. The club offers rotating coffees from emerging markets, such as a Guatemalan coffee inoculated with pineapple yeast, which is anaerobic-processed, deprived of oxygen to create crazy chemical reactions and flavors. This results in an electrifying black coffee meant for the nerds, the purists.

Opal under the Camelia umbrella is new but may be an inevitable outgrowth of the business’s trajectory. Camelia, founded by Ryan Harden and Robert Watson in 2016, opened a cafe in the WAL building on R Street in downtown in 2022. Since then, the city has grown as a food and drink destination, with multi-roaster cafes and even more mom-and-pop shops. As long as the business keeps connecting with farmers who are pushing the boundaries, the roasts should get weirder and more elegant at the same time.

One example of a Guatemalan coffee called Concepion Buena Vista is farmed and produced by Eddie and David Solano, who are third-generation coffee farmers and researchers and engineers. Yuan says that the Guatemalan coffee scene in Sacramento is cool and exciting to see how it develops and where it’s going.

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