Coffee Fest, one of the nation’s largest coffee- and tea-centric conventions, is widely known for its competitions, specifically surrounding espresso and cold brew. It can also be very judgemental and, turns out, its judges for America’s Best Cold Brew believe that North Long Beach’s Black Ring Coffee serves the nation’s best cup of cold brew on nitro.

Launched in 2012, the competition—split between straight-up cold brew and its creamier cousin, cold brew on nitro—was held this year in Los Angeles. Black Ring, opting for a Colombian bean farmed by Eduin Hernandez in Tolima, Colombia, successfully fought off 2018 winner geN Brewing and Los Angeles-based chain Klatch Coffee.

(Fun fact: Recreational Coffee has competed in its Best Espresso competition and placed high.)

“We went head-to-head against competitors and it was judged by industry professionals as well as the public—to say the least, we’re thrilled and honored,” said owner Juliette Simpkins.

Black Ring Coffee’s rise to recognition has been one doused in the Long Beach spirit: bottling cold brew by hand and selling it out of their home and MADE by Millworks, the success of their individual bottle sales led to their brick-and-mortar at 5373 Long Beach Blvd., making it the north side’s first independent coffeeshop—a stark contrast to Downtown and Alamitos Beach’s heavy saturation of well-known coffeeshops such as Steelhead and Portfolio along with roasters such as Rose Park and Lord Windsor.

Black Ring Coffee is located at 5373 Long Beach Blvd.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.