Flickr/ Paul R.J. Muller Caffienation
Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Whether we wake up in the morning with one cup, or have three throughout the day for bursts of energy, we all have our favorite, go-to blends. We usually resort to the same beans, often from a chain coffee store or local supermarket. But to help you let go of the so-so coffee beans you’ve grown accustomed to drinking, we’ve compiled a list of the best coffee roasters in America to open your eyes to delicious beans at a wide range of prices. We know it might be difficult to vary from your morning routine, but these beans are worth the variation!
Coffee doesn’t magically grow ground, in a bag, ready to have its flavors extracted by your home brewing system. Instead, coffee is made from the small seeds of a fruit. Mill workers meticulously remove the dry beans, which are then cleaned and graded. They later travel to the roasters, who use machines to extract the best flavor profiles for their customers. A roaster’s environmental and social impacts (not to mention its reputation) can be improved by certain certifications, and we tried to choose roasters for our list who truly take every step of the sourcing and roasting processes into consideration. For example, many of the roasters on this list have Certified Organic or Rainforest Alliance coffees available. Others are fair trade, and many try to maintain direct trade relationships with coffee farmers. To preserve freshness, great roasters roast in small batches, meaning they only prepare a certain number of beans at a time — that means no waste.
Our list contains the best coffee roasters from around the country, some of whom also have an affiliated coffee shop, like Café Grumpy. Legends, such as Dallis Bros. Coffee, have been roasting beans for decades and have perfected their crafts with time. Newcomers, like Dogwood Coffee (formed in 2010), have had less experience, but have made strides to become well-respected in the industry. Whether old or new, from Atlanta (Batdorf & Bronson) to Seattle (Victrola Coffee Roasters), these coffee roasters all have the same goal: to provide consumers with the best tasting beans.
We hope this list will allow you to make educated decisions about the coffee beans you buy, and to give back to the smaller, talented roasters out there. Click ahead to find who's the best of the best in the coffee industry, and what coffees to try.