Coffee is perhaps the most ubiquitous beverage in America, but not all coffees are created equal. Where coffee beans are grown, how they’re roasted and the method used to brew them all contribute to the difference between the acidic caffeine jolt you get from the breakroom pot and a smooth, flavorful cup of gourmet coffee. Of all those processes, roasting contributes most to the final flavor and aroma of a cup of coffee. With that in mind, here are three benefits of buying your coffee from an artisanal coffee roaster, rather than grabbing a container at the local grocery or drugstore:
- Fresher Coffee
An artisanal coffee roaster or local roasting business is far more likely to roast beans in a small batch coffee roaster than in the commercial coffee roaster machines used by major companies. This means that they’re less likely to develop a back-stock, and you’ll end up with coffee just out of the roasting machine. The longer coffee is stored in between roasting and brewing, the more flavor it loses.
- More Individual Flavors
Major companies get large quantities of beans from several crops. In order to make those beans taste consistent and predictable, they often must over-roast them (that’s one reason Starbucks tends toward darker roasts; they want to make sure your coffee tastes the same all across the country). But since small roasters aren’t under any obligations to make every batch taste the same, they can roast in ways that bring out the individual characteristics of the beans in each batch.
- Supporting the Local Economy
When you buy your coffee from a local roaster instead of a major international company, you’re supporting startups and small businesses right in your own backyard. Many coffee roasters start off small, working out of their homes and selling online or at farmer’s markets. But increased buyership can allow them to open storefronts and increase production (which could lead to better coffee in your local coffee shops, too, if roasters and cafe owners can do business together). That’s a win-win situation for your palate and the local economy.
Do you get your caffeine fix from an artisan coffee roaster, or just pick up any old blend from the grocery store? Share your coffee preferences in the comments.