10 Best Coffee Brands From All Over the Country
Your morning latte deserves a better bean.
While it’s hard to argue with the exquisite hit of serotonin that comes with visiting your favorite coffee shop (not to mention the joy of supporting a small business), I’d argue it’s still worth having an at-home caffeinated beverage set-up that doesn’t require you to put on shoes, a coat, or even pants. For many of us, that means investing in a decent pour-over and keeping a carton or two of dairy-free milk –– I’m partial to Minor Figures Barista Blend –– in the fridge for foaming purposes. For others, it might look like a high-end espresso machine that can deliver a flawless cortado or latte (no art included). Regardless of how involved your home coffee station is, you’ll need beans, ideally ones that your barista would approve of.
Read on for nine of our editors’ favorite coffee roasters from all over the country, and make your home brew situation a little fancier for tomorrow morning.
“I first learned about Intelligentsia coffee when buying a Christmas gift for my brother — I did a deep dive into good quality coffee beans, and landed on a selection of their blends. He can confirm that it was an excellent gift, and after trying the coffee myself I can confirm it is fantastic. Founded in 1995, Intelligentsia was a notable player in the third-wave coffee movement (essentially, a shift towards emphasizing better sourced and quality coffee). Their house blend is my preferred roast, and it’s everything I want in my first cup of coffee. It’s well balanced, not overly acidic, and the most prominent tasting note (for me) is milk chocolate.” –– Merlyn Miller, Social Media Editor
“A 787 Coffee shop recently opened in my neighborhood and it has immediately become essential to me. (I’m not usually one for novelty espresso drinks, but their horchata latte is now an integral part of my afternoons). The company grows, processes, and roasts all of their beans from their coffee farms in Maricao, Puerto Rico — without outside distributors or roasters involved. In addition to being fresh, delicious, and sustainably sourced, 787’s beans can now be ordered by anyone on a monthly subscription basis.” –– Maria Yagoda, Senior Editor
Related:The Best Coffee Roaster in Every State
“My vote goes to my Aussie pals at Partners for their quality, roast, and commitment to sustainable farming and production. They source their beans from direct farm relationships and their single origin beans are hard to beat. My favorite is the El Ramo, a beautiful medium to light roast (lots of roasters tend to want to roast the shit out of dark roast coffee in the US, burning the roast). They roast to order and offer the grind you want, if that's your thing.” –– Melanie Hansche, Deputy Editor
“When in the mood for a beautifully bright, acidic, yet balanced cup of coffee, Sey is my go-to. This Nordic-style roaster is not only producing incredible light roasted coffee, but is clearly passionate about the sustainability of the coffee industry. Their seasonally sourced beans are packaged in gorgeous sleek boxes, each clearly stating both the source and the producer for full transparency. If you’re able to visit their Brooklyn cafe in person, I highly recommend it for a nice pour-over coffee, prepared in front of you by their friendly and knowledgeable staff. For a fun at-home experience, Sey also offers a monthly coffee subscription, where you can get anywhere from one to four boxes of their curated seasonal beans shipped right to your doorstep.” –– Elsa Saatela, Senior Digital Producer
“In the dog days of the miserable pandemic, but once travel was remotely possible again, I was headed off to Rome to take my daughter to her first year of college there — except that three weeks before I was supposed to leave, I realized my passport had expired. Not good! Through application of absolutely panic, some questionable passport expediting services, and way more cash than was reasonable, I ended up with a last-minute renewal appointment in St. Albans City, Vermont, at 8:30 a.m. on a Wednesday, a nifty 18 miles from the Canada border — and an even niftier seven-hour drive from my Brooklyn apartment.
You know what you need at 8:00 a.m. when you arrive in a dinky Vermont town after seven hours of pre-dawn driving? Coffee. Really good coffee. And, lots of it.
Luckily I stumbled into local brew-house Catalyst Coffee Bar, and treated myself to a pour-over, extra-large. I took a sip and angels pinwheeled through my brain. You could chalk it up to extreme stress and/or exhaustion, but honestly in a few more sips I had to admit, this was killer coffee. It came from Burlington, VT’s Brio Coffeeworks — their single-origin Ethiopia Kochere — and while I doubt the Brio folks know how stupidly happy their superlative beans made me, the radioactive happiness I was emanating may have helped me twenty minutes later in the grim government passport office, because I walked out with a new passport.” –– Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor
Related:11 Best Coffee Cocktails to Make This Winter
Blank Street Coffee
“I’m a creature of habit, and Blank Street Coffee, with its seemingly endless, remarkably efficient locations across Brooklyn and Manhattan, is definitely now a habit. Their Speed Dial medium roast –– which is definitely on the lighter side of medium, just how I like it –– shines in my coffee drink of choice, an Americano with oat milk; I’m also fond of their collaboration blend with OnlyNY, which is pleasantly acidic with a kick of milk chocolate. Plus, their locations are dog friendly. What’s not to love?” –– Oset Babür-Winter, Senior Drinks Editor
“Birmingham, Alabama, might not be an obvious source for amazing coffee, but believe you me, it is. Birmingham-based Domestique Coffee is a third-wave coffee purveyor that roasts some of the most nuanced and satisfying coffee I've ever had. Their roasting process is individually calibrated to draw out the flavors and specific aromas of each variety of coffee beans (a list that includes single-origin coffees from Haiti, Ethiopia, and Guatemala). The terrific coffee drew my loyalty, but their socially responsible practices cements it: they source sustainably and ensure a fair-wage supply chain from production to distribution. As a resident of Birmingham, I've been able to buy a bag of their beans at the local Piggly-Wiggly, as well as at their hip counters at Saturn (a local concert venue) and at a local cycling shop. Lucky for the rest of the country, they recently started offering national shipping.” –– Karen Shimizu, Executive Editor
“I came of age in North Carolina in the 1990s where Counter Culture Coffee was brewed in the best restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. Three decades later I continue to grind, brew, and drink their ethically-sourced coffee, especially Big Trouble, an easy-drinking caramel-y, nutty-tasting whole bean varietal that is made up of 25% Cafe del Pueblo, Mexico beans and 75% FECCEG from Guatemala. My allegiance to Counter Culture isn't about nostalgia. It's about quality.” –– Hunter Lewis, Editor-in-Chief
Related:Your Morning Coffee Is Probably Made With Arabica Beans
“It’s hard to pinpoint how or why, but a cup of Congregation coffee, named after what a group of alligators are called, does taste like coffee from New Orleans. Don’t think chicory, think more of a feeling, that everything is gonna be ok, life is good, and that you should go out and enjoy the world and take it easy. I came across Congregation this last summer when it was shipped to me as part of a coffee subscription service. While all the coffees that I got were good, Congregation was the first one to make me really pay attention to what was sent. Their Spots roast is especially good to make cold brew with.” –– Matt Taylor-Gross, Photo Editor
“Flat Track is a roaster, coffee shop, and bike repair shop on the east side of Austin. It’s the sorta place that makes me just a little nervous to go to because I feel slightly uncool and under-tattooed, but I power through to grab a cup of coffee. All of their roasts are tasty, but if your morning needs a slap across the face to shake any bad decisions from the night before or to jump start your soul, I recommend their Kenya Kiambu Handege AA roast. It’s bold with notes of peach, caramel, and lime.” –– MTG
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