10 Small-Batch Coffees You Need to Try
September 25, 2015
These 10 coffees, from some of the nation's top roasters, are a must for the true connoisseur
Boca Java: Hawaiian Kona Extra Fancy Coffee
This coffee from Colorado-based Boca Java is made with 100 percent Kona coffee beans, grown on volcanic slopes on the Big Island of Hawaii (many "Kona" coffees blend the pricey bean with lesser ones). The coffee is smooth and silky taste, with a balanced flavor offering suggestions of hazelnut and chocolate.
Counter Culture Coffee: Idido
Counter Culture Coffee, out of Durham, North Carolina, has been working with the Idido cooperative in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia — where coffee was born— for almost 10 years, and the best coffee from the 200-member cooperative is made into this blend. The end result includes hints of floral and citrus, as well as notes of melon.
Ghost Town Coffee Roasters: Costa Rica Tarrazú ‘Honey’
Located in Bozeman, Montana, this coffee roasting company takes pride in buying coffee at fair-trade prices around the world. One of their top single-origin offerings comes from the Tarrazú region, a high-elevation area in central Costa Rica. It has a medium to full body, and in flavor has a hint of grapefruit followed by a sweet, chocolatey aftertaste.
Intelligentsia Coffee: Los Inmortales
This coffee company’s single-origin coffee from the Montecarlos Estate in El Salvador is new this year. It comes from a farm atop a semi-active volcano, which means fertile soil, a high elevation, and an ideal microclimate. A sip of Los Inmortales brings up notes of Golden Delicious apples and dates, followed by hints of toffee.
Jittery Joe’s Coffee: Nicaragua Matagalpa Selva Negra Estate
Jittery Joe’s philosophy is that their coffee is only as good as the beans they roast, which is why they use a hands-on micro-roasting approach. This single-origin offering from Nicaragua comes from the Matagalpa region’s Selva Negra farm. Look for a medium to full body and intimations of smokiness.
Kéan Coffee: El Bado
The mission of Kéan Coffee is to provide fresh-roasted artisan coffee in a great environment, and one of their prize products is this one, harvested by Maria Etelvino Dias and her family in the Southwest Highlands region of Colombia. This singular coffee is a creamy light-to-medium roast with notes of milk chocolate, honey, and strawberry preserves, followed by flavors of fig and brown sugar.
Madcap Coffee Company: Luis Reinoso
Madcap Coffee Company buys this unique coffee from Luis Reinoso of Colombia. The name of his high-elevation farm, Finca Vista Hermosa, translates to “farm with a beautiful view” in English. The tasting notes include words like “delicate,” “citrus,” and “chocolate,” and the flavor is characterized by notes of plum and cherry.
PT’s Coffee Roasting Company: Simalungun Piso Surit
This Sumatran coffee comes from the northern part of Lake Toba, where 500 producers work with Nila, a collector who hand-sorts, hand-pulps, processes, and exports the coffee. PT’s Coffee Roasting Company describes the blend as having a velvety body and an aroma of baker’s chocolate. There's a root beer flavor and followed by a hint of black pepper.
Shearwater Coffee Roasters: Guatemala Finca Santa Isabel
Stumptown Coffee Roasters: Honduras Finca El Puente
Stumptown Coffee Roasters describes this one as “an every-day, every-person kind of coffee. Welcoming and inviting.” It’s harvested by Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera in the Marcala region of Honduras, the world’s first location to receive a Protected Origin Denomination in coffee. Each sip of this coffee contains a rush of plum followed by suggestions of milk chocolate and toffee.
Thanksgiving Coffee Company: 100% Bolivia
This company is all about fair trade and sustainable farming, and their 100% Bolivia blend comes from a cooperative of 300 farming families living in a lush region east of the Andes, where glacial rivers create valleys. Each family brings the cherries to be depulped, fermented, cleaned and dried in the sun. The final result? A sweet taste like honey with hints of cacao and spice.