If you are a coffee drinker, you know that there are a mountain of options to choose from. From local roasters to nationwide distributors, there is a wide selection of coffees that claim to be anywhere from coffee catering to those with common palates to the boutique or gourmet coffee for the discerning drinker.
However, it can be difficult to sniff out the best coffees available. Luckily for you, we have done the legwork! To find the most honest reviews for the best coffees, we have gone to Reddit for our research. Specifically, coffee-dedicated subreddits like /r/Coffee and /r/cafe. This article will give you the pros and cons of coffees that are generally praised on Reddit, as well as general information about the brands discussed.
So sit back, relax (perhaps with your favorite cup of joe), and maybe you will end up finding a new favorite!
The small, homebrew roasting establishment started with the passion of two people who simply loved coffee. Based out of Coatsville, Indiana, they offer a limited selection of highly-praised coffees.Visit Site
S&W Craft Brewing specializes in single-origin coffees which average around $15 a pound. They also have a “Roaster’s Select” program where they will occasionally have extremely small batches of coffees the roasters have been testing. It is a great way to grab something new, though the category is frequently empty. They also offer bags of “ugly beans” that still provide great flavor at discounted prices.
The variety of coffee they sell is enormous, from espresso, single-origin, blends, and flavored coffees. However, all of their coffees have key items in common. They are all organic and sourced ethically.Visit Site
This wholesale coffee roaster is located in Northwestern, PA, where the majority of their business is to coffee houses, restaurants, and other wholesale buyers. However, they do sell unroasted beans to other roasters of varying sizes, including small home roasters. They give the option to either sell under their own name or to utilize private labeling.
Not a roaster or wholesaler? Worry not, as they also sell bags of coffee at retail. It is a fantastic one-stop-shop for coffee business.
Counter Culture Coffee is a roaster founded in North Carolina with a focus on providing coffee that is both environmentally friendly and from sustainable sources.Visit Site
Counter Culture Coffee offers an impressive variety of coffees, which not only include single-origin and limited-releases, but also year-round coffees. If you are looking to get a discount, they offer a subscription service that gets you bags at a 10% discount. They sell all their coffee in 12 oz bags. They also sell their beans at wholesale as well.
Taking its name from the first coffee house in Central Europe, Blue Bottle Coffee’s mission has been to allow people to drink coffee when the taste is at its peak.Visit Site
Blue Bottle Coffee has several retail locations where you can stop in for a cup, but they also specialize in a coffee-delivery service. Their coffee can be purchased as whole beans or “perfectly ground,” a proprietary method that they claim brings you the best-tasting coffee possible.
Intelligentsia Coffee is a large roaster that operates out of five major U.S. cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and Boston. Though they are a large operation, they continue to purchase Fair Trade coffee and develop meaningful relationships with their farmers.Visit Site
With Intelligentsia, you can choose from their “Direct Trade” coffees, which are a result of those direct relationships with small coffee-farmers, or one of their many varieties of coffees. These include single-origin, blends, and more! They also offer subscription services, which will generally come to around $15 a bag, though it will depend on what specifically you choose. If you prefer a coffee-bar experience, Intelligentsia has several coffee houses to grab some coffee and relax.
This roaster is based out of Oregon, and they offer both coffee shipping and in-house coffee experiences. Like many roasters on our list, working directly with coffee farmers is a company goal. Their overarching goal is to be 100% sourced directly by farmers, a goal they grow closer to every year.Visit Site
Most of Heart Coffee Roasters coffees are single-origin, though they do sell a proprietary coffee blend. You can also purchase a sample pack to get a feel for which of their coffees you may like best.
They offer all kinds of coffee-making tools, and like many other roasters on this list, have a subscription option. However, unlike other roasters on this list, though there may be some savings in participating, the details are somewhat obscured.
Stumptown is a roaster that has several coffee-house locations in a number of major cities, including Portland, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Chicago. They describe their coffee as “medium-roasted,” and they offer coffee from all kinds of different places.Visit Site
Stumptown offers single-origin and blends, as well as a subscription service. The subscription is simple, you can choose from a limited selection of beans for $16 a shipment, or you can let them pick high-end beans for you at $20 a shipment. If ethically sourced beans are a priority, then you have yet another option to choose from. They claim that they buy 100% directly from coffee farmers.
Onyx Coffee Lab is one of the smaller roasters on our list, operating out of Northwest Arkansas. Established in 2012, it also makes it one of the youngest, as well. Their mission is simple: provide great tasting coffee to as many people as possibleVisit Site
Onyx Coffee Lab offer single origin, proprietary blends, and if you happen to be in a coffee-shop location, they offer coffee shakes for those just getting used to the taste of black coffee. Their blends are usually around $15 a bag, and their single-origin around $20. They offer a subscription service which, while it does not appear to offer any discount, does waive the cost of shipping, which can be a large discount in and of itself. Though their product is 100% farm direct, a large majority of it is, and they strive to offer coffee that has been ethically sourced.
George Howel is another smaller roaster out of Boston that strives for both excellence in coffee and where it comes from. All of their coffees are from either regional farmers or small, local farmers, and the buy directly from them in order to maintain the quality of their cup of joe.Visit Site
George Howell have one of the largest variety of single-origin coffees amongst the roasters on this list, with nearly 15 unique varieties out of four continents. They also sport limited-run coffees, as well as drip, espresso, decaf, and a blend they call “alchemy espresso.”
Their subscription option is one of the most flexible of roasters on our list with one of the largest options to choose from. While their service aims to educate you as much as possible about the coffee you are drinking, it does not appear to offer any substantial discount.
Peet’s arrives on our list as both the oldest and largest roaster on our list. While starting with humble beginnings in 1965, they have grown into a nationwide brand with dozens of coffee shops across the country. Even if a shop is not near you, it is likely that a local grocery store or local coffee shop serves their product.Visit Site
In terms of ethically sourcing their coffee, Peet’s come in as one of the most thorough as well. They seek for their coffees to have “sourcing certification,” which not only means that they are direct trade coffees, but that they are also Fair Trade, USDA Certified Organic, and Rainforest Alliance certified.
In terms of offerings, they have small-batch roasts, single-origin roasts, as well as offerings from their signature blends. Their subscriptions also cater to those same categories, with savings on each subscription and a special offer for first-time subscriptions.
As you can see, there are all kinds of roasts and coffees for all different kinds of people. Each kind of coffee has its strong points and places where they can improve. If you did not notice the trend, here are some general characteristics to expect from coffee roasters in general (including the ones on our list):
The bigger the roaster, the lower the quality of taste goes: Making a lot of beans on a huge scale is a difficult process. When a roaster becomes a nationwide distributor, they often lose quality control of their beans. Small batch roasting is also harder to maintain, meaning the likelihood of you getting quality roasted, fresh beans go down.
The smaller the roaster, the more often coffee types go out of season or retire: With smaller roasters, you may find a coffee you fall in love with, but that coffee might someday be gone forever. Even if it is not titled “limited roast” or another similar label, small roasters lack the buying and roasting power to keep consistent flavors available. And, if they focus on farm-direct sourcing, it may be impossible.
Overall, you have got a lot to consider in regards to what kind of coffee you end up buying. However, Reddit users have done you a favor and have performed a lot of the research on some of the best coffees in the country!