Really good coffee, not the generic stuff bought in bulk at the big grocery story, but great coffee is a very personal experience. For many people, it serves as a highlight of any day, a taste of blends including bitter, sweet and fruity flavors.
Coffee is not just about a morning sip from a cup, but about an experience that each taste brings and the nuance of the flavors derived from the bean’s origin.
If you appreciate coffee in this deep and rich way, you’ll enjoy the recommendations made in this list of the best coffee roasters in America.
These roasters pay attention to every detail — the farming, the selection, the roasting of their coffee beans They are, in many cases, specialty roasters, in some cases offered only online.
In other cases, they are broader based regional roasters with some offerings seen in local grocery stores. But each represents some of the best flavors available across the country, and most have received their own recognition in the form of national awards for their commitment to the art of coffee roasting.
For those who take their coffee seriously, consider sampling those roasters among this list if you’re not familiar with their products. All of these roasters offer their coffees online, and some even offer cups of their creations in local shops.
These roasters will provide new flavors and combinations that you may never have experienced, but that are beloved in their area and among the nation’s top coffee snobs as some of the best.
This roaster takes all of its offerings just as seriously as its loyal customers do, probably more so. Abracadabra is known for complex and exciting flavors worthy of brewing or chilling.
They have been recognized for their gesha (or geisha) coffees presented seasonally, with most available for purchase online. This is truly a special taste, complete with floral elements that are wildly unique and layered in an outstanding mix of floral and fruit.
The gesha coffee offers rich fragrances with hints of chocolate and tropical fruit, sweet and flowery with full flavors that are enhanced while brewing and evolve as the coffee is left to cool.
These coffees are bold, intense, sweet and rich, with notes of honey and tropical fruits like pineapple and citrus, flavors that expand even more as the coffee cools.
To understand Big Creek Coffee Roasters, you have to understand their philosophy. Fresh roasted coffee tastes best when you drink it within two weeks of its roasting date, not six months or more like so many mass produced products out there.
That principle ensures that their fresh roasted coffee remains vastly superior in flavor and aroma to so many others you’ve tasted, or perhaps never have tasted. To live up to that promise, Big Creek hand roasts their beans in small batches, using their premier Diedrich Coffee Roaster they brag about on their website.
For the uninitiated, the Diedrich is the industry leader in custom-built, American-made, German-engineered coffee roasters. Big Creek’s goal is to highlight the story behind every bean it roasts so that it will add to the coffee drinking experience.
The company uses profile roasting to discover each coffee’s sweet spot, employing an artisan approach to tweak and adjust time and temperature in their process. These are uniquely crafted flavors, a blend of traditional techniques with modern technological advancements used to redefine the roasting process.
Big Creek allows its roast master to create that perfect profile for its coffee and then records the effort in its integrated computer hardware and software so that customers enjoy a consistent product.
St. Petersburg, Florida
After opening in 2015 in Brooklyn, New York, the Eastlick Coffee Company’s owners returned to their native Florida to grow their roasting company known for its specialty coffees sold online to individual consumers and through a wholesale operation to coffee shops.
This roaster specializes in unique flavor profiles, ones that challenge even the most sophisticated of coffee drinkers. In particular, Eastlick boasts about its specialty coffee from Burundi as part of its annual African coffee offerings, which include Kenyan and Ethiopian selections.
While Burundi has not been as popular among African coffee connoisseurs, the region’s East African mountain ranges have experienced a rebirth among roasters of fine coffees, in part with Eastlick’s help in highlighting the flavorful harvests from the area.
The Burundi coffee presents a delicious mix of sweet and tart in a flavor profile rarely found, perfect for home espresso champions.
San Diego, California
Like several of the roasters included here, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters emphasizes its reliance on green coffee beans. It’s a pledge they take seriously, from farming to roasting to brewing.
They set high standards to roast and prepare their coffee, promoting their onsite Q-Grader certified roaster. Bird Rock hires staff from across the world who share their passion for coffee, experts who strive for the perfect latte and the best cup of single-source coffee.
With specialty roasts developed from relationships made directly with coffee bean farmers, Bird Rock promotes its award-winning coffee through special sneak peaks during their in-store weekly cuppings and samples available to all on their website.
Throughout the coffee development process, Bird Rock promotes sustainability through farming, purchasing, brewing and serving its coffees, with a foundation of respect for all who produce and enjoy their coffees.
5. Giv Coffee
Created with a sense of community, Giv Coffee follows a philosophy revealed in its name. It promotes sustainability practices and a shared sense of community throughout its coffee production process.
Started with a mission of providing education and enjoyment, Giv offers customers an opportunity to witness its process of bringing green coffee beans through the roasting stage to packaging and into delicious cups of coffee.
Giv buys the green beans from carefully selected farmers after scrutinizing their crops and works with importers to secure samples of the best crops, including micro-lots and farm direct coffees. With beans in hand, Giv focuses its attention on the roasting and freshness, identifying the beans’ perfect roast level, temperature and time for the ideal cup of coffee.
As part of its business philosophy to serve, Giv commits to its fair trade practices of buying responsibly from farmers offered a fair price and donating proceeds from each bag sold to those in need.
Another home-grown coffee roaster, Modest Coffee’s founders are proud, self-described foodies celebrating the flavors and taste of specialty coffees.
This is all about enjoying the complexities of a rich and lasting flavor profile, the product of a chef’s finely honed palate and sensitive nose. Modest treats the coffee roasting process as a creative outlet, a way to redefine flavors produced from the expert selection of coffee beans.
As a craft coffee producer, Modest Coffee promotes and supports global coffee growing communities by buying coffees from specially selected farmers.
It’s line of collector coffees includes one from the Adado region of Yirgacheffe in Ethiopia with a dominant taste of dark chocolate, hints of hazelnut, and a combination of bitterness and sweetness built on a foundation of nuts.
Modest Coffee also is known for its selection of coffees that express fruity notes, with bold flavors and a gentle balance of chocolate, nuts and fruit.
Vashon Island, Washington
The flavors offered by Blossom Coffee Roasters comes from an ongoing commitment to provide sweeter, more impactful and better tasting coffee to its customers.
Since 2003, this pledge is met through sourcing of the highest quality green coffee beans available and respecting it through a roast philosophy designed to enhance and present the delicate flavors that its coffees have become known for over the years.
Blossom Coffee uses beans that are grown and harvested to maintain quality and consistency, from their cherry ripeness color to density, and then uses a roasting process to create a sweet, clean, and flavorful cup of coffee.
Blossom Coffee relies on two roasters as part of a small staff committed to its specialty products.
This quest for flavor includes the continuous pursuit of new experiences, as Blossom Coffee owners taste 500 coffees a year from all over the world to find the best possible beans for their coffees, including small batch, micro-lots that are picked and processed intentionally for their most selective customers.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Great coffee starts with the selection of the best cherries, handpicked when they’re perfecty ripe to guarantee the beans are the most flavourful they can be.
That’s the Campos Coffee philosophy that the roaster argues allows for their coffees’ natural characteristics to blossom and to be preserved.
Campos Coffee focuses its attention on expert selection of the highest standard beans, consistently using only these specialty grade beans in its single origin and unique blend coffees.
The company uses expert roasters to carry out the commitment to the highest quality flavors, with testing, cupping and assessing along the way to ensure the perfect balance and delicate flavor profiles.
The rigorous process pursuing perfection is maintained throughout the selection and roasting process to produce these rich, layered flavor profiles in each cup.
The basic philosophy at Gracenote Coffee Roasters focuses on adventure, inspiration and fascination. This comes from the belief that a good cup of coffee should be an adventure. This roaster emphasizes incorporating a number of tools and methodologies in its process.
A combined use of traditional testing and tasting, along with the use of modern metrics and analytics to ensure that the coffee bean roasting process meets or exceeds the company’s standards.
Gracenote has been recognized for its careful, skillful coffee bean roasting, carefully selecting each coffee bean at harvest and consistently applying its exacting roasting standards for its coffees.
Don’t let the funky name fool you. There’s more to Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters than the unusual twist of flavors suggested in its name.
This is an expert coffee roaster that specializes in unique flavors through deliberate selection of the top crops and microlots to craft the most flavorful coffees.
The best, most unique coffee experience comes from Chocolate Fish’s direct relationships with the passionate farmers who provide their very best beans.
The result is an extraordinarily complex cup of coffee that presents nuance of flavor, either bittersweet cocoa and tart blueberry with depth; or lemony and fruity with a bold, heavy taste; or notes of dark chocolate and hints of fruit in a rich blend of texture and body.
Johns Creek, Georgia
This Georgia-based company promotes the production of sustainable coffee made from an environmentally aware and socially responsible crew committed to the mission. But its the unique flavor profiles this roaster produces that have earned its national reputation.
Its award-winning flavors include citrusy and floral coffee with deep tobacco tones, along with a blend of cocoa, pink grapefruit and sandalwood. These are bold, distinct flavors alternating between sweet and tart, light and juicy, and definitely unique.
Other flavors include coffees from the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra that are valued for their complex earth and fruit tones. This flavor is acquired through Peach Coffee’s unorthodox fruit removal and drying practice known as “wet-hulling.”
There is also a Southern Ethiopia coffee that relies on a wet-processed or “washed” version, which removes the fruit skin and pulp from the beans right after harvesting and before drying.
The result is subtle, complex flavors with hints of licorice, mango, spearmint and frankincense.
12. Community Coffee
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Started as a family-owned, regional coffee company specializing in robust Louisiana dark roast and chicory flavors, Community Coffee long has specialized in coffea canephora, commonly known as robusta coffee, based on the coffee industry understanding that arabica coffee is of higher quality than robusta coffee based on the special way arabica coffee is grown and processed.
While this standard led to its signature deep Dark Roast coffee, Community Coffee expanded its offerings that have stretched for four generations to even more sophisticated single-origin coffees from Brazil, Mexico and Guatemala.
From the bright and full-bodied beans of Guatemala, to the rich and nutty flavors of Brazil, to the smooth, sweet chocolate notes of Mexico, Community offers these coffees in addition to their signature lines.
Brazilian coffee comes from fields set in high elevation, where the plateaus seem to stretch on forever. The natural coffee process includes drying the bean while it is still in the fruit, helping to develop a rich, creamy finish with toasted, nutty notes.
Mexico’s tropical terrains provide the unique flavor for this coffee, with beans grown in high elevation along hilly mountainsides. This leads to a smooth, deep cocoa flavor coffee that is complimented with hints of cinnamon and honey.
Like others on the list, Crimson Cup Coffee boasts that its award-winning flavors come as the result of its strong relationships with the farmers who grow their coffee.
With specialized roasting and expert processing, Crimson Cup features coffees that are delicately rich, juicy, smooth and supple.
There are floral-toned flavors, crisp cacao and nut varieties, fruity blends with strawberry guava and tangerine aromas, and musky, rich, nutty offerings that helped Crimson Cup earn numerous national awards for its specialty coffees.
These coffees layered with the flavor produced from the Caturra and Catuai trees are the product of a micro-roasting process that is known for its unique brews, offered for the demanding consumer who seeks a more subtle experience from their coffee.
Burlington, New Jersey
Evermore Coffee Roasters began as a husband and wife team’s home roasting operation, committed to offering what the company calls approachable coffee flavors.
While the roasting and brewing process is steeped in a scientific methodology that has evolved through testing and tasting, this roaster is more known for its comfortable and accessible mix of specialty coffee that can be appreciated by the masses and the most elite of coffee drinkers.
There are single-origin coffees offered for the more sophisticated customers, and small house blend offerings available for those seeking that special flavor.
Evermore continues its commitment to that roaster built from a small batch, home-based operation that offers coffee flavors to customers who are eager and excited for what bold option is coming next.
15. Onyx Coffee Lab
Taking an extra step in its commitment to transparency of the coffee production process, Onyx Coffee Lab lays out its unique selection and roasting process openly on its website.
This includes everything from the models of roasters used (rebuilt Diedrich IR-12 and IR40s) to the tedious process used to taste and test the product.
For example, Onyx tastes its coffees at day two, five and 10 to best learn how its product ages.
They also describe extensively all there is to know about their blended coffee offerings, which include a mix of the quality beans used in their single-origin coffees, including their Ethiopian coffee marked by its layers of dark chocolate, early grey, berries and sweet cream.
While popular among its stores in its home state of Arkansas, Onyx is growing as a nationally recognized roaster with offerings online for its customers.
This roaster in the great plains of Wyoming prioritizes sourcing coffees that enhance the lives of the workers who are part of a long production journey and customers who appreciate the finer points of an amazing cup of coffee.
This philosophy celebrates the entire life cycle of coffee, with H&S offering selections that include single-origin and blends that serve every taste. H&S offers single-origin roastings designed to enhance their inherent flavors, including smooth, sweet and fruity flavors.
These single origins are roasted very lightly, with some featuring medium roasts, and produce exotic flavors, some intense acidity, complex florals and distinct sweetness.
The blended coffees mostly are medium to dark roast, with more balanced chocolatey tones, with rich, smooth and syrupy flavors.