Some will look back at 2011 as the year of sweeping political change in the Middle East and Egypt, or as the year that a 9.0 earthquake killed at least 16,000 people and triggered a dangerous nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, or even as the year that the U.S. military put a bullet in the head of global terrorist Osama bin Laden — but in Los Angeles, it will be remembered as a year that coffee sucked much less.

In addition to the continued growth and popularity of local favorites Klatch Coffee, Caffe Luxxe and relatively recent immigrant Intelligentsia, 2011 saw the introduction and rise of some new local players. Most visibly, new kids on the blog Handsome Coffee Roasters became the city’s most popular coffee roaster and bar, even before roasting a single bean or serving a single shot.

If the trend continues to build in 2012, I predict that the aspiring actors in L.A. sipping iced chai tea on their Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf patios will someday switch to something more deserving of a true coffee lover… perhaps an iced latte.

Read: The Year in Coffee: The Revolution Will Be Caffeinated