Great Coffee houses/Roasters (Non-Gigantic Chain)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Dining' started by QSG, Feb 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

?

Do you prefer Single origin or Blend coffee?

  1. Single Origin

    66.7%
  2. Blend

    38.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. QSG
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    QSG Gold Member

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    Perhaps my favorite coffee of late has been bought from Intelligentsia in Chicago. I have also been enjoying some beans from 49th Parallel in Vancouver. For the most part I lean towards single origin and not blends.[​IMG]

    Outstanding coffee houses are too many to count, but a few that stand out are Intelli in Venice Beach, and an old favorite Balzac's in Stratford, Canada.
     
  2. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    Off the top of my head and really west coast centric -

    Seattle - caffe vita, vivace, caffe lladro, Zoka, lighthouse roasters and the larger caffe appasionato come to mind. Lladro has a great outlet near the olive 8, grand hyatt, Sheraton and convention center. This has been a godsend for my colleagues who are stuck downtown and need decent coffee.

    Portland - stumptown, bien sur. Now they have a NY outlet.

    Bay Area - bluebottle - I am sure they have a retail outlet, I have only seen them at a few farmer's markets.

    Southland - I just was sent a package of beans and need to check out the roaster. Beans were tasty.

    The other coast -
    Ellsworth, ME - perhaps my favorite roaster listed here. I love this place and am happy to stop there once a year to pick up my beans and almonds that they roast in the coffee roaster. The roadwork is pretty much done going into town, so the diversion off of 95 S from Bangor to Ellsworth is much shorter. They do mail order as well.

    Great thread. Let's try to populate each state and province. We can take on the world too!
     
  3. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    Here's my sad story... I drink decaf, so I am not given tons of options for coffee varietals v. Blends.
     
  4. QSG
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    Well then, what kind of decaf do you prefer?[​IMG] That is a great idea to map this out on state/province/country wide basis, as there is a ton of great coffee out there!
     
  5. Lalala
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    Blends. Limited varietals for those with weaker dispositions.
     
  6. bk3day
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    My coffee tastes change constantly but so far the coffee roaster/cafe that has captured my attention longest is Raging Sage located in Tucson, AZ.

    http://www.ragingsage.com

    They both roast their own, and serve up tasty brews. Currently, I'm drinking Monsoon Malabar.

    They also serve up delish scones & other baked goods most if not all are baked on-site
     
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  7. bk3day
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    Usually, I stick with Indonesian area blends but I did have an excellent single origin espresso (not positive but likely an Ethiopia Amaro Gayo) at the SteamDot in Anchorage, AK
     
  8. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    My local favorite is Misha's in Alexandria, VA. They really focus on two blends--a Full City roast and a French--but do both fabulously. They also roast on site on a daily basis and turn over their stock quickly, so if you stop in you're getting beans that are at most a day old.
     
  9. Lalala
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    Forgot about Mishas. Like them too.

    Here's another central Wa roaster we visit on our way to the 509 - pioneer coffee. Great coffee house in Cle Elum and great whole beans.
     
  10. bk3day
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    fwiw, Stumptown's NY outpost is in the Ace Hotel on W. 29th St (btwn 5th Ave & Broadway)
    & Blue Bottle also has a retail location in Brooklyn, NY (160 Berry Street)
     
  11. joanek
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    You beat me to it! I'm a decaf drinker and have to cross a bridge to get to Misha's, so I'm not there often--- but I have a few musician friends who always ask me to take 'em over there when they've got a Birchmere gig. They stock up on beans and ground coffee, most of which goes straight into a cargo bay on the bus.
     
  12. ddrewboy
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    Stumptown was the roastery (real word?) that turns me into a coffee lover. In my hometown, Savannah, there is a new outfit called PERC. They also do a pretty good job. I buy green beans from them to roast at home :)
     
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  13. joanek
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    I think "roaster" is the usual business term. And is home roasting a lot of work??
     
  14. ddrewboy
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    Nope, not hard nor time consuming at all. I use an air popcorn popper to roast. Each batch is about a half cup of beans makes about 2.5 Litres (80 oz.) of coffee and takes about 5-7 minutes to roast. I roast about 3 batches at a time and takes about 30 minutes total. That's enough daily coffee for two for a week. Roasting does generate a good amount of smoke. I would recommend either doing it outside or open the windows. Hit me up via pm if you have any more questions.
     
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  15. FlyinHawaiian
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    She-who-is-to-be-my-wife is quite the espresso fanatic. Here's some of the places from her list:

    NYC - Abraço Espresso in the East Village
    SFO - Blue Bottle and Four Barrel
    ORD - Intelligentsia
    LAX - Intelligentsia (the one in Pasadena over the Venice location) and Jones
    FLL - Brew
    HNL - Downtown Coffee
     
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  16. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    FH, you wife to be have excellent taste in coffee and in future husbands.
     
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  17. essxjay
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  18. bta
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    gotta go with Milwaukee's own Alterra Coffee. Its available in 2/3 of the airport terminals at MKE as well as the main terminal land side
     
  19. gradientdescent

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    SFO-area options already mentioned (Blue Bottle, Four Barrel) are very good. Original Blue Bottle outlet in SF is a stand in Hayes Valley (near Hayes @ Gough), still open and pulling great shots... at the shiny retail outlets (Mint Plaza, Ferry Building) try the affogato, made with Humphry Slocombe ice cream.

    Also good: Ritual Roasters, Philz
     
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  20. Bizi
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    ddrewboy, I wish there was a bigger version of LIKE that I can attach here.

    How about LOVE? I love the home roaster who has taken the trouble to do it right.

    Yes, it's about the source of the bean, once you can master the roast.

    My favourite is currently Yemen. Probably not the most US-friendly state, but the beans are unique.

    Have you been able to source these? They cost double almost any other bean but end up with an oh-so-creamy crema! You see the crema for seconds AFTER the end of the shot!

    How about that? :)

    Experimenting with sources worldwide and self-roasting. Excellent!
     
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  21. tommy777
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  22. Bizi
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    Definitely a good resource, if we can identify great roasters and cafes near airports we use.

    SYD Airport has several big-name, well-credentialled roasters, so is well served.

    A quick Sydney survey of the best coffee sources.
    First, some publications:
    Timeout http://www.timeoutsydney.com.au/restaurants/sydneysbestfood/sydneys-best-coffee.aspx
    YourRestaurants http://yourrestaurants.com.au/user/...-to-sydney's-best-coffee&profile_list_id=3750
    Sydneyism http://www.sydneyism.com/where-is-sydneys-best-coffee/

    Now for the FlyerTalk of Aussie Coffee! CoffeeSnobs http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?catselect=GoodCoffeeWhere
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=NSW
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=VIC
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=QLD
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=SA-NT
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=WA
    and worldwide picks incl NZ, Asia and further afield http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=NotAU
     
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  23. DrG
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    My vote goes to Intelligentsia in Chicago.
     
  24. Fredd
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    Fredd Gold Member

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    Upwards of 20 years ago I visited Thetis Island, one of the more northerly of British Columbia's Gulf Islands, a short ferry ride from Nanaimo. I'd forgotten about the tiny coffee company I saw there - at the time it was a husband and wife who selected and imported the beans and roasted them in a big old-fashioned looking coffee roaster - and this thread inspired me to search and find that the Pot of Gold Coffee Company is still in business. Their product was excellent.

    I just might order some coffee from them. :)
     
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  25. QSG
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    The story of her husbands life was very uplifting!
     

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