There are many varieties available at the local stores and coffee shops, but the best way to buy your coffee is straight from a quality local roaster. Once you have had coffee freshly roasted you may never be happy with store bought coffee again.
But how to know if the local roaster is a good one? There are certain steps you can take. If there are more than one fresh coffee roaster in your area, I suggest checking them all out and then stick with your best one.
And ask your coffee drinking friends if they have recommendations. I found ours through our church pastor, who recommended them highly and I discovered they really are great. (Their information follows after this article.)
First, talk to the actual roaster when possible. Ask for an introduction to the world of coffee roasting. Within the first few moments you should be able to see if this person is a professional roaster who is devoted to the art of roasting.
There may be also coffee roaster certifications hanging on the wall or sitting somewhere easy to see. As in all fields, there may be worthless ones, but seeing there is one is a good place to start. A good roaster would be willing to talk about those too.
Whether or not the roaster is available to speak to when you visit, you can ask the people there about other considerations:
- Ask where the roaster gets the coffee beans. Are they getting the best quality of bean, and is the roaster dedicated to only offering the best?
- Does the roaster roast the type you like often? If you’re not sure what your favorite is, does the roaster help you in find that out? Does the roaster offer samples and taste tests?
- Does the roaster closely manage inventory and roast each on a schedule to ensure that the freshest coffee is always available? If you’re going to order online and have it shipped to your house, ask how long is normal for time between the actual roasting of the bean to shipping.
Lastly, a concern that’s important to me and may be to you is about the roaster’s decaffeinated coffee. I look for decaf coffee that’s decaffeinated using the SWISS WATER method and I now refuse to drink anything else.
Look for a good decaffeinated coffee that tastes just as good as the caffeinated version.
As promised, this is the place I normally get my coffee from.
Anymore, I only drink any other coffee as a back up when I run out and cannot get to their shop. They do ship coffee out to their customers, but I’ve yet to organize myself well enough to take advantage of it. I drive a few hours to get to them.
I’ll be visiting Head Roaster Vince and his team a lot over the next few months for fact checking and information to include in my upcoming coffee series. It was going to be just a nice book on coffee, but each time I go in to the Coffee Roaster, Vince comes up with something else to inspire me to add to it.
Thanks to him, I’m also plan on writing about herbal teas.
Another coffee I recommend that you may be able to find in your grocery aisle, depending on where you live, is PurJava.
Check out their website at PurJava.com and see the store locator. You can also order online from them.
We love their Ethiopia coffee. From their ordering page:
“The popular Kochere (washed) is back! It offers a floral and honeysuckle aroma that will surely brighten up your mood. The bright fusion of candied lemon, pomegranate, lime-citrus acidity with juicy nectarine stone fruit body and white tea undertones are highlighted in this very complex and memorable cup. (Not to be confused with flavored coffee, these are subtle, naturally occurring as the coffee seeds receive its nutrients from the soil)”
We also love using their coffee concentrate in recipes. Especially for marinades for different meats.
Most of the recipes I make are created with the coffee from these two roasters. I will be sure to specify which coffee I used and from where. It sounds like other roasters will send me coffee to do reviews on as time goes on.