Ok coffee people, I want to hear who you think the best supplier is of roasted coffee beans out there. I want to open a coffee shop in the next year, but i dont want to mess around with roasting my own beans just yet. Ive looked online a little bit. But I want to hear from people who have tasted there stuff and know its good. So whatcha think...?

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Dustin,
One would think that shipping costs and distance from the roaster might be a factor in freshness and your over all business costs. Not so much really. Delano's in Seattle ships all over the county as do I. Bry who posted on this subject here told me he used Delano's in a cafe' in MI. ( forgive me Delano's if I miss spelled your name )
For me being close to your supplier is nice because I like developing a face to face relationship with my customers. So do check out John Elfords offer.

John Elford said:
Dustin- My name is John Elford and I would like to be a candidate. I roast in Jackson, TN -so I should be as close as anyone. I would invite you to call me at 731-697-8080 to discuss your needs. I look forward to hearing from you.
Many of us commercial roasters are actively seeking clients like you Dustin so do cup the coffees and choose your supplier wisely. Costs can add up if you have to change too often.
JoeR
I am the roaster and owner of Kuma Coffee out of Seattle, WA.
We only choose the top specialty coffee available. Our customers are very happy and we have great reviews.
Check out this review: http://www.wallyhood.org/2009/12/kuma-coffee/
We would be happy to send you samples.
You can email me at mark@kumacoffee.com
i would highly suggest that you ask any of your candidates about any coffee and espresso education that they offer. the coffee that you get is only as good as the skill of the people who are serving it.
there are many routes to consider...
are you interested in "relationship" coffees? fair trade? organic?
are you interested in sustainable business development?
sustainable business practices?
philanthropy through business practices?
cost vs. quality? how low or high will you go?

i would suggest both batdorf and bronson (two roasting facilities, one in olympia,wa and another in atlanta,ga). i worked with them as a wholesale client for years and was very satisfied. i now work for them in olympia and i think they are the bee's knees. they are ready and willing to accomodate wholesale clients ( which is the bulk of their business), and offer very comprehensive training and certification program for baristas. (www.dancinggoats.com). they also abide by extremely sustainable business practices ( wind and solar power, composting, regular donations to coffeekids, etc. etc)
also counter culture coffee out of durham,nc. i have also worked with them as a wholesale client for several years. they offer alot of wholesale client education and are very involved with the SCAA. I love their series of single origin espressos! they had a sidamo this summer that was superb.
Awesome man, thanks!

Bryan Wray said:
Alright... I dug through my posts on CoffeeGeek for almost *checks clock* 1 hour and 15 minutes to find this thread. I pretty much asked the same question like 5 years ago over on that site and I remembered that I had asked it, but unfortunately it was sandwiched between like 800 other responses. The search feature on that site could really use a helping hand... or twelve.

Regardless... here is the link to what are some of the greatest blends and roasters around:
Clicky.

Oh... and Nor'West Coffee Company is pretty good too... :0)
HTH
-bry
Dustin,

No offense, but how far along are you in your plan? "Tasting coffee" (don't we all love to do that?) and narrowing down your search are way down the list when setting up a retail shop. There is no shortage of great coffee available.

We (roasters) all want and need to sell coffee, but when I'm asked for samples, I end up asking lots of questions myself--why you are interested in my coffee, what equipment you are using, what your goal is, etc.

There is no excuse for a roaster not replying to your request, one way or another, but you need to remember that roasters are business people, as you will be yourself, and sending samples costs real money. I really like getting my coffee in the hands and on the tongues of interested and invested coffee folks--they don't even need to be potential customers, necessarily--but terse e-mail requests out of the blue from people in the planning stages are a dime a dozen. Again, no disrespect.

Cheers,
Matt

Dustin DeMers said:
It seems like every 10 roasters i contact for samples, 4 of them respond and 2 will send samples. I guess I need to start hunting down the locations of there warehouses and demanding samples. I love tasteing new coffees. I was just hopeing to narrow down the search a little. Thanks everyone.
Obviously we're the best;Any more questions? Great wholesale pricing too!

Best ,
David

As Always, In Loving Memory of Juan Valdez.
I think anybody who says thiers is the best, is a liar. That would entail having compared EVERY roasters coffee out there. It's your tastebuds, you rely on them, not somebody elses. Your cafe is going to be a reflection of you, not your coffee roaster. My advice is to find some local roasters within driving distance, try their coffee and then visit the shops of the ones you like the most. Share your ideas and goals with them and then make YOUR decision based off of those factors. It's not the easy way, but the best way often isn't.
Thank you for this:)

Steve Stoneking said:
I think anybody who says thiers is the best, is a liar. That would entail having compared EVERY roasters coffee out there. It's your tastebuds, you rely on them, not somebody elses. Your cafe is going to be a reflection of you, not your coffee roaster. My advice is to find some local roasters within driving distance, try their coffee and then visit the shops of the ones you like the most. Share your ideas and goals with them and then make YOUR decision based off of those factors. It's not the easy way, but the best way often isn't.
Pretty sure that everyone who has said theirs was the best did so in a joking manor... Obviously it's up to Dustin, it's his shop. If each shop wasn't an individual reflection then we would all be using the same blend, which would be mine of course because mine is the best ever. I'm sure he already knew it was his call. ;)

-bry

Steve Stoneking said:
I think anybody who says thiers is the best, is a liar. That would entail having compared EVERY roasters coffee out there.
Bry,
Thanks for bringing us all back around to the "tongue in cheek" world of coffee. This business would be no fun at all if we all took ourselves seriously.
''''Forget about it""" I'm the only one here that knows anything about blending spro. hahaha yaaa right.
If that was true I wouldn't have to check with shops like Mike's now and then to taste his espresso. I am such a spro blending Padawan it's not even funny. It's one thing to turn beans brown by roasting but blending for spro, now that it talent.
I just tasted his two spro blends the other day, now that is something to shoot for.
Hey, I just had a brain flicker,,,Have you heard of a "Pub Crawl" ?? Wouldn't it be fun to have a spro tasting tour?
Sorry for the OT drift. Late night spro does it to me every time.
Joe

Bryan Wray said:
Pretty sure that everyone who has said theirs was the best did so in a joking manor... Obviously it's up to Dustin, it's his shop. If each shop wasn't an individual reflection then we would all be using the same blend, which would be mine of course because mine is the best ever. I'm sure he already knew it was his call. ;)

-bry

Steve Stoneking said:
I think anybody who says thiers is the best, is a liar. That would entail having compared EVERY roasters coffee out there.
Joseph Robertson said:
Bry,
...Hey, I just had a brain flicker,,,Have you heard of a "Pub Crawl" ?? Wouldn't it be fun to have a spro tasting tour?


Yup... its called the WBC bar at SCAA-EXPO. As I recall, there were something like 20 different espressos pulled by competition-caliber baristas over the couple of days that it ran. Awesome.

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