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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Brady, yes yes, the World spro crawl all in one place. Can't wait to make one.
Actually what crossed my mind was all the cafe's in Portland Oregon that claim to produce good spro. What fun to compare them all in one day and evening with a bunch of BX members and then share all that fun over a couple of great Portland pints of beer? I wish my cafe was in PDX, I'd have my best blend on line.

Brady said:
Joseph Robertson said:
...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.
I would honestly try some samples from local roasters in your area. "The best" is a matter of opinion. Obviously there are better, more experienced roasters then others. However you should look into the different origins of coffees that are available at each roaster, & how consistent they are able to purchase the raw beans.

What are you looking for in a roaster? Then go from there.
Seems like this would be happenin already. Let me look around. There should definitely be a weekly spro' stroll, if not I will get on organizing one. But maybe after the first ;)

Short answer, I'm the only commercial coffee roaster in our small town. Next closest to the east is 30 miles and about 50 miles to the west. The original question was not geographically specific. I'm focusing on private label and small stores not to mention our own. Having a great time with my overly spro amped imagination.
Questions so broad as this one steer most "seasoned coffee veterans" into the silly and fun side of Cafe' chat.
If you read all the posts here you will get the gest, I hope.
Warm wishes this holiday season.
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.

Margo R said:
LOL! Good answer!
Tell us why...

Joseph Robertson said:
Thanks Bry,
Now your talking. A leader in our ranks. I'm in.
Oh, yaa, after the 1st for sure. Way too much happening on my end of the big river too.

Bryan Wray said:
Seems like this would be happenin already. Let me look around. There should definitely be a weekly spro' stroll, if not I will get on organizing one. But maybe after the first ;)

Well I proudly use Stockton Graham in Raleigh, NC. Like others have touched on... it's not just great beans, but also customer service and innovation that matters as well.

If not for Adam Ptasnik I might not be where I am today. He previously worked at Stockton Graham and gave me the invite to attend a one day course there. A basic class that involved the growing, processing, roasting, etc. of coffee. I already knew quite a bit on the home level, but this gave me the confidence I needed to really set my sights high on a commercial level.

This also put me into contact with Brandon Riggs, the master roaster at SG. He goes above and beyond to ensure 100% customer satisfaction and does a fantastic job at what he does. I currently use a Brazilian based espresso because of the nutty, buttery flavor/texture it gives but also would like to add the fruity, winey sort of flavor that I get from my favorite bean for drip, Ethiopia Sidamo. I asked Brandon about this and he is currently working on something to accomplish just that. Want something that I really like and something that will stand out among the many other espressos out there others are currently using.

So I give a big thanks to Adam for what he has done. Later!
Hey Dustin, I would recommend Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co. They were ranked one of the Top Ten Coffee Roasters in the Country by GQ. They have been practicing Farm Direct interactions since 95 and still continue to travel to each source once a year. That way they can write the check directly to the farmer with no middle men. They will reply to emails, phone calls and will send you out some samples. Send me a message directly so i can put you in touch with someone there.

www.CaffeVita.com Good luck!
Hey Im Garrett I have used pt's roasters,intelligentsia, alterra, coffee klatch, and stumptown in my shop. They are big name roasters and great to work with, also people love that earthy feel all of them have. It also matters were you are located because the closer they are to your shop the fresher your coffee is going to be and freshness is everything!!
Cincinnati Coffee Emporium is an amazing, yet often underestimated and/or largely undiscovered, roaster. Their Ol' Black Magic espresso blend is out of this world and their SO selection is solid.
The best roaster is any roaster that meets your quality standards that's reasonably close. Freshness counts for a lot in coffee, and even though you need to rest espresso before using it, it's better to have it in your shop so you can have some flexibility about ordering. (I have the beginnings of a spreadsheet that explains that, but it's in the beginning stages).

1 day of ground shipping is ideal, 2 is not quite as good, and 3 only if their coffee blows everything closer out of the water.

Also, a local roaster can help you with training in a way that a roaster farther away won't be able to. Do you know how to break your grinder apart to deep clean it? Your roaster does, and would be happy to teach you. But if they're 700 miles away, it may be hard for them to help you with it.

There are a lot of great wholesale roasters out there. You need someone who can show up and talk face to face with you regularly more than you need a name brand.
Dustin - go to coffee fest in NJ next month and do some tasting yourself there. While your there, talk to as many of the roasters as you can...be ready to talk about your plan and needs based on your business plan. How much coffee you plan to use in the first month, year...equipment suppliers and manufacturers will be there in numbers too. All of the best suppliers and baristas will be there. It's a great place to start!!!!

Here is what I think. I think you need to do some homework on your own. I think you need to do what I (as a commercial roaster) don't do enough of myself.
First I think you need to work locally. I say this because you can keep better quality control when you work face to face with a roaster. By work, one of the components of this is learning to taste good espresso ( not to say you don't already know what that is.) Taste a lot of espresso, taste bad espresso, taste so so espresso. Know what your espresso tastes like and why. When you work with a local roaster, ( by this I mean one that you can drive to ) you can cup the espresso with him and know just exactly what and why this is what it is. Beans will change season to season so this is something you need to be aware of. Changes are the only constant we have to deal with here. When new batches come in I share this new blend with my customers to make sure we keep the quality to the standard and taste profile they got when we set them up.
Dustin, this is really all about developing a relationship with your roaster built on trust and dependability. As I said above the beans a roaster uses will change for any number of reasons, availability, growing conditions, etc. What you don't want to change is the trusting relationship you build with your roaster. For instance, there are times I need to make adjustments to a blend because of what I have in stock. I contact the customer and run a sample by him first.
Hopefully you will be able to work this close and come up with your own flagship blend. Have fun in the process.
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.

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