First off, welcome! We are going to hop right into artesinal specialty coffee roasters on this post, starting off with a top 10 list. More specifically, the list will be composed of small business successes that have just blown up in the recent years! For some, this may be old news but I do not want to assume that everyone here knows what’s up! The goal here is to provide knowledge and insight into bigger and better things in the coffee industry and to create a conversation! First I want to define some terms for everyone.
Artisanal Coffee – This term actually comes from a new movement known as the “third wave coffee movement.” Artisanal just refers to the artistic approach to crafting the coffee into a high-quality coffee.
Specialty Coffee Roasters – These are the above. Just another grouping of words that is more commonly used.
#10 – Counter Culture Coffee
Durham, NC – Est. 1995 – With over 20 years in the business and expansions just hitting the west coast, these guys are doing a great job roasting quality beans. They have their hands in sustainability efforts to support the farmers who farm the coffee plants and assist in providing education and help to continue their relationship with some poorer countries that produce coffee plants. On their site you can subscribe or complete one-time purchases of their coffee. Their Santa Ana, El Salvador and Kochere, Ethiopia beans sound amazing! Counter Culture Coffee
#9 – PT’S Coffee
Topeka, KS – Est. 1993: These two guys have over 25 years of experience and deal direct trade with their farmers. The branding is on point and they modeled their venture after the question “Is the coffee the best it can be?” Definitely going to order some of this stuff soon! They offer subscriptions as well as one time orders. I recommend single origins just because the flavor is centralized to one bean. The panama blue label looks most interesting with notes of lavender, raspberry jam and strawberry! PT’S Coffee
#8 – Blue Bottle Coffee
Oakland, CA – This rad place was founded by a coffee addicted musician who was tired of the monotonous garbage crowding the mainstream coffee scene. He set out to serve the freshest coffee by committing to a 48-hour expiration on his roasts when he started out with his six-pound coffee roaster in the early 2000s. I have personally been to one of their locations in Venice, CA. Excellent coffee. Blue Bottle Coffee
#7 – Onyx Coffee
Arkansas (Multiple locations) – Established in 2012 and priding themselves as owner operated, co-owners Jon and Andrea have focused their coffee behind the science. They have worked hard to use the beans they want in their roasting and also have fun with the drinks they make in-house. They offer educational courses and coffee subscriptions as well! Check em’ out! Onyx Coffee Lab
#6 – Sightglass Coffee
San Francisco, CA – Offering free holiday shipping, subscriptions and even samples, these roasters started out of a cart near a warehouse in the SoMa district of San Fran. They have a lovely story and attitude. I just ordered my free sample to try! 🙂 Sight Glass Coffee
#5 – Parlor Coffee
Brooklyn, NY – This coffee shop sprouted from the humble beginnings stationed in the back of a barbershop. They have a simple message and aim to make amazing coffee with respect to the entire process of how coffee is made. They offer online subscriptions, instant coffee mixes and small batch beans. Parlor Coffee
#4 – Madcap Coffee
Grand Rapids, Michigan – Two guys making it happen with amazing product design and a clothing line to boot! Over a third of the year is spent working closely with their growers to bring the best quality bean to the customers! Roasted coffee ships within 24-Hours or less! Definitely worth a try! Madcap Coffee
#3 – Wells Coffee
This coffee roaster is Kickstarter funded from 2014. They offer limited batches of roasted coffee and ship on Fridays only from what the website says. They have a nice clean image. The website seems overly simple but this may be a good thing! Sometimes a clouded menu means they have a distorted focus. They seem to be doing well as their website already shows sold out coffees for the week and its only Monday! Wells Coffee
#2 – Intelligentsia
NY, LA, CHI – Founded in 1995, out of the love for coffee. This coffee shop has some best dark coffee I’ve ever had. Their blackcat classic espresso is so robust and sweet! I used to live in Venice, CA and I would go here all the time! Intelligentsia has never let me down! Intelligentsia Coffee
#1 – Reanimator Coffee
Philadelphia, PA – This coffee shop holds are dear place to me. Located locally, they craft excellent small batches of beans and offer online subscriptions. If you’re ever in the Kensington location, Saturday and Sunday they have Hello Gourmet Donuts but they sell out quick, so go early. Their Fishtown roast is really good! Reanimator Coffee
The End For Now.
I hope this list gets the movement going in some of you looking for new coffees to explore. Sometimes the local coffee shops aren’t enough and sometimes we are creatures of habit and love to get what we know. The reason I am posting these is that I myself love coffee and love to explore coffee. There are way too many competitors for our taste buds and I think exploration is the best way to live!