Starbucks has officially jumped on the barrel-aged coffee wagon. The coffee gian...
If the extent of your gourmet coffee vocabulary is Starbucks, Tully’s and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, you’re missing out on a whole world of coffee produced and sold by smaller coffee roasters who don’t have a national profile. Not to knock the most visible brands of gourmet coffee, but they’re just the barest tip of the incredible variety of coffee blends and single origin coffees available. These three coffees are some of the best I’ve ever tasted — and I’ve tasted a lot of coffee. They’re all available online, and all ship within 24 hours of roasting so you’re guaranteed to get your coffee fresh and ready to brew up in your favorite coffee brewer.
Dean’s Beans Uprising
Dean’s Beans is a Massachusetts-based coffee roasting house run by Dean Cycon, and my go-to coffee roaster of choice. I love his ethics and the way he runs his business, but most of all, I love his coffee. Dean’s Beans is the place I go to buy green coffee beans for my own home coffee roasting, and I love the ability to create my own blends online for Dean’s Beans roasters to roast up and send out, ready for brewing. Dean’s also sells a couple dozen of their own blends and chosen single origin coffees in whole bean or ground to your order. Of them all, this one is my hands down favorite. Uprising is a smooth, medium roast blend of South American coffees, each chosen for a particular quality – Bolivian and El Salvadoran(hearty), Peruvian (sweet), Nicaraguan (bold and dry). The end result is a bright, smooth, sweet coffee that’s the perfect wake-me-up for your morning. Other notes from Dean’s Beans: Obama Rama Velvet roast, a tasty blend of Colombian and robusta coffee for a bold taste in a medium roast, and No CO2 blend, a Peruvian blend that Dean’s promises is totally carbon neutral.
White Rock Coffee Out of Africa
White Rock Coffee, a micro roaster in Dallas, Texas, roasts its coffee in small batches, each of them hand-crafted and tended. The care shows in the flavor, with a number of White Rock coffee blends ranking up among my favorites. Out of Africa, though, plays into my love of African coffees, especially Yirgacheffe. White Rock is closemouthed about which coffees go into the Out of Africa coffee blend, but the choices are masterful. Just as masterful is their decision to use a lighter roast than is typical for most coffee roasters with African coffees. The result is a coffee that delights all of your senses with an amazing melange of flavors — wine, chocolate, berry and fruit are all present in just the right amounts, held together by the characteristic earthy notes common to the best shade-grown African coffees. It’s a perfect after-dinner dessert coffee for anyone who really loves the flavor of the bean.
Scribblers Coffee Covered Bridge Blend
Scribblers Coffee has been micro roasting artisan coffees in Ohio since 1993, and their experience shows in their coffee roasts. Covered Bridge Blend is Scribblers’ signature blend, an unusual and intuitive combination of Latin American and Indonesian coffee beans roasted to a delicious City (medium) perfection. The Indonesian coffees add an undertone of vanilla and earthiness, while the American coffees sing out with notes of berry flavors that cut the earthiness just enough to keep the coffee from tasting muddy. Scribblers recommends this roast for drip coffee makers or French press, but I love it brewed in a stovetop Moka pot, which really emphasizes the sweet vanilla and berry notes in the coffee.