The world of coffee roasting is vast and rich. We've come so far from buying freeze-dried coffee granules from plastic jars, with a lot of the general public finally discovering what it means to drink truly great coffee. It's not just about arabica or robusta anymore — no, we've gone down the rabbit hole of coffee beans, learning everything from washed versus natural processing to just how the growing location of the coffee affects what your brew tastes like.
To break down what makes a coffee roaster truly great, we had to come at it from a variety of perspectives. Some are pushing the boundaries with what they're packing whether it's the way they're roasting, who they're getting their beans from or how they're mixing their blends. Some roasters are great because they revolutionized what speciality coffee even is (thanks, George Howell). And sure, some of these roasters are good because of the industry recognition and peer approval. From long-standing coffee roasters to newbies making huge moves, here are the 25 best coffee roasters in America.
Located: Woodstock, Vermont
Coffee to Try: Finca Santa Cruz
Since 2015, a little roaster-cafe hybrid called Abracadabra has been fueling the Woodstock community with magical coffee. Too often, brands hide behind good marketing and branding without paying enough attention to the actual stuff they're selling — but not Abracadabra. The roaster is super transparent with where it sources its coffee, and it's for the best to both the coffee farmers and the consumers.
Located: San Diego, California
Coffee to Try: Peñaherrera AAA
Bird Rock is recognized throughout the coffee world for its high-quality coffee. It was Roast magazine's roaster of the year in 2012, a Good Food Award recipient in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 and consistently receives 90-plus scores from Coffee Review. Bird Rock's dedication to its craft extends beyond roasting coffee, with the roaster giving back to the community as well as engaging in direct trade with farmers.
Black and White
Located: Wake Forest, North Carolina
Coffee to Try: The Future
You can trust Black and White to make some good coffee. Why? It just so happens to be founded by two US Barista Champions, Kyle Ramage and Lem Butler. Combined, Ramage and Butler have spent decades steeped in the coffee world from buying, roasting and, of course, brewing. While the barrier for entry to become a US Barista Champion seems to be way too high for most, Black and White makes sure that everyone has access to high-quality coffee.
Located: Durham, North Carolina
Coffee to Try: La Golondrina
Counter Culture remains a stalwart in the third-wave coffee movement even though it's been around for over a quarter of a century. With its 26-year history, the roaster continues to grow not just in size but in practice. Counter Culture pushes to be as sustainable as possible, while educating the masses on what it means to be a conscientious roaster and better at-home coffee brewer.
Dragonfly Coffee Roasters
Located: Boulder, Colorado
Coffee to Try: Terre Celesti
Dragonfly is a coffee roaster that others should aspire to be like. Roast named it the Micro Roaster of the year in 2019, awarding the Boulder-based roaster for its commitment to its employees, community and coffee quality. It was also recognized for bringing recognition to under-represented coffee regions like Yemen and Myanmar. Its dedication to sustainability is also second to none — almost everything is recycled in some form, and even the coffee chaff ends up in the hands of local horticulturalists, who use it as fertilizer.
Located: Boston, Massachusetts
Coffee to Try: Antigua La Flor
George Howell is the godfather of American speciality coffee roasting. The man literally invented what it means to be a Cup of Excellence. Howell has always treated coffee in the same way a sommelier appreciates the grapes that go into wine; his reverence for coffee terroir is basically the reason why even humble coffee connoisseurs can differentiate between an Ethiopian bean and a Colombian bean.
Go Get 'Em Tiger
Located: Los Angeles, California
Coffee to Try: La Pirámide
Go Get 'Em Tiger founders Charles Babinski and Kyle Glanville are both US Barista Champions, who let their experience with coffee dictate what they roast and sell, as well as appealing to the casual coffee drinker through cold brew and dark roast coffees, two things most speciality coffee roasters look down on. Simply put, you'd be hard-pressed to find something bad from 'em.
Located: Austin, Texas
Coffee to Try: Pick-Me-Up
Another Roaster magazine award-winner (in 2021), Greater Goods is truly doing everything for the greater good. The husband-and-wife duo behind the brand only partners with producers who align with their ethos, which includes sustainability measures and fair wages. It also happens to be a Specialty Coffee Association Premier Training Campus, which teaches people about brewing, roasting and tasting.
Located: Madison, Wisconsin
Coffee to Try: La Perla Chiquita
When a coffee brand has been around since the 20th century, you can assume it's doing something right. JBC is doing something right. Its coffees are always given high ratings on Coffee Review, and it has four Good Food Awards under its belt. As its website states, "We won’t buy a coffee unless we know that it will inspire you." That should be enough to get you to stock up on some of JBC's coffees.
Klatch Coffee Roasting
Located: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Coffee to Try: Old World Venezia
Head roaster and coffee buyer Mike Perry is the reason why Klatch has earned as many high-scoring roasts as it has. Perry's degree in chemical engineering helps him to combine science and artistry when it comes to achieve Klatch's trademarked "Peak of Flavor” roast style. If it's sold by Klatch, you better believe it was roasted to be at the peak of its flavor.
Located: San Diego, California
Coffee to Try: Philippines Garnica Sitio Belis
Mostra was founded by four Filipino-Americans, who wanted to bring more attention to Filipino coffee (they sell the hits, too). Roast named it the Roaster of the Year in 2020, which is probably why so many breweries want to get Mostra to team up with them on beer collaborations.
Located: Kansas City, Missouri
Coffee to Try: Tanzania Songwe Peaberry
Kansas City's Oddly Correct was started as a way to make specialty coffee feel less elitist, which is how they settled on the principle of low-brow, high-quality. OC is committed to doing right by its employees, and the roaster continually tries to improve upon its environmental practices.
Onyx Coffee Lab
Located: Fayetteville, Arkansas
Coffee to Try: Tanzania Lloma Natural
Onyx Coffee Lab has an Everlane-like approach to educating consumers on what goes into its coffee — from the farm origins to the most minute bean details — as well as all the prices that factor into the cost you pay. Onyx baristas are almost always winning, or ranking highly, in coffee competitions, and it's a testament to the brand's trust in its employees as well as the coffee they work with.
Located: Hilo, Hawaii
Coffee to Try: Kona Champagne Natural
Paradise's focus is on the coffees that come from the Hawaiian coffee farms it manages, as well as emerging coffee regions from around the world. Its founder, Miguel Meza, also serves as Paradise's director of quality control, and he's the one who gets a farm-level look at where his roaster's coffee originates.
Located: Topeka, Kansas
Coffee to Try: Flor del Sol
Fred Polzin and Jeff Taylor’s PT's was one of the first coffee roasters to establish a Direct Trade program, and it's also one of the roasters to help develop the US Barista Competition. Its trophy case is filled with accolades, which would fill up too much space in this story.
Located: Floyd, Virginia
Coffee to Try: Papua New Guinea Kabiufa
Co-founder Rose McCutchan used to roast coffee in the back of her mother's book store. Now she has Red Rooster, a family-run roaster that puts sustainability and gender equality (and coffee) at the forefront of its mission. It's won three Good Food Awards since its founding, and Coffee Review has given over 40 of Red Rooster's coffees a score of 90-plus. Red Rooster also needs to get a shoutout for being the only coffee company in the US to have an onsite daycare for its staff's children.
Located: Brooklyn, New York
Founded: 2017 (2014 as Lofted Coffee)
Coffee to Try: La Casita
Located in the back of its airy Brooklyn cafe is Sey's roasting facility, which consistently churns out exceptional coffee. Its transparency on souring and pricing is almost unparalleled in the industry, which lets consumers know they're shopping good. Sey also takes incredible care of its employees with pay that is way above minimum wage, as well as attainable opportunities for career growth.
Located: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Coffee to Try: Colombia Cauca
Sparrows didn't start as a roastery, initially acting as a gathering place for local Michiganers to congregate and collaborate. Sparrows got into the coffee roasting game in 2016, and it gave even more of a reason to pop by the coffee shop for a cup of joe.
Founded: Brooklyn, New York
Coffee to Try: Supernova
Superlost's approach to coffee is to treat it less like a commodity and more like an art. You can trace each coffee back to its source thanks to Superlost's transparency. Most may be drawn to the roaster for its tasteful and creative coffee bags. Those illustrations are designed by aspiring artists who draw the illustrations based on the name of the coffee and the feelings the coffee evokes. So if you like what you see, you're pretty likely to like what you taste, too.
Located: Portland, Maine
Founded: 2017 (2014 as Lofted Coffee)
Coffee to Try: Astrid Medina
Before they founded Tandem, founders Kathleen and Will Pratt were busy working in specialty coffee shops from coast to coast. They settled in Portland, Maine, for Tandem, and their history in coffee is evident when you try any of the coffees in their ever-rotating list of single origins and blends.
Located: Sacramento, CA
Coffee to Try: Peru Tambopata
Sean Kohmescher founded Temple after traversing Indonesia, during which he became immersed in the community gatherings in the country's plentiful temples. Kohmescher uses a farm-to-cup mentality, which means he sees as incorporating thee three pillars of sustainability: social, economical and environmental. You'll find high reviews for Temple on Coffee Reviews, and you'll just have to try it yourself to find the hype to be real.
Treeline Coffee Roasters
Located: Bozeman, Montana
Founded: 2016 (2013 as Little Red Wagon Coffee Roasters)
Coffee to Try: The Innovator
The female-founded Treeline Coffee Roasters came to be after co-founder Natalie Van Dusen met coffee farmer Don Eilas in Colombia. Eilas taught her about growing and roasting, and she brought that knowledge back home, where she experimented with at-home roasting. It led to the inception of Little Red Wagon Coffee Roasters in 2013, which would later become Treeline Coffee Roasters, co-founded with friend (and bean ambassador) Deejay Newell. Treeline sells everything from single origins to blends and eveen ready-to-brew pour-over kits for delicious coffee on the go.
Triple Coffee Co.
Located: San Francisco, California
Coffee to Try: Pacamara Natural
Triple Coffee was around for about a year when it took home the highly covetable Good Food Award in 2021. Founder Tim Melano and team constantly travel the world in search of good coffee, and as Melano told Daily Coffee News, Triple Coffee only sources from regions and farms it has visited. While the pandemic forced most people indoors, Melano and Triple Coffee coffee lessons to people virtually to continue to give consumers the ability to socialize over coffee whether it be with each other or coffee farmers.
Located: Santa Cruz, California
Coffee to Try: Montenegro
As Verve mentions in its about me page, "Verve came to be through the serendipitous union of surf, sweat and a love of life and living." You can't taste the surf and sweat in its coffee (thank god) but the love of life and living is evident. Co-founders Colby Barr and Ryan O'Donovan have created a coffee roaster that's a mainstay in Verve's home state of California, but is also present in Japan with a cafe in Tokyo.
Located: San Francisco, California
Coffee to Try: Ethiopia Gedeb
Wrecking Ball's coffee has no right to be this damn good, but here we are. You can chalk it up to co-founder Trish Rothgeb, who is a licensed Q-Grader (which means she knows her stuff) and a former member of the Specialty Coffee Association’s Roasters Guild Executive Council. Not enough cred for you? She's also a charter member of the World Barista Championship Board of Directors, a founding member of the Barista Guild of America, the first American woman to become a Q Grader, and she's credited with coining the term "third wave coffee." Wait, but there's also Nick Cho, who's served on those same boards, and is the winner of a bunch of barista championships. OK, so Wrecking Ball's coffee really does have a right to be this damn good.