If you love a good cup of coffee in the morning (or any time of day, really), then you’re in good company; Americans love coffee, and more than half have it with breakfast every single day. But how, exactly, can you get a good cup of coffee, other than overpaying at a corner coffee shop? The trick is buying your beans from the right small business coffee roaster.
When you buy your coffee beans from a small business coffee roaster in your area, you should see an immediate improvement in taste over coffee bought off the grocery store shelves. Local artisanal coffee roasters carefully select their coffee beans, which come from all over the world, and create the perfect roasting profiles to bring out their individual flavors. Larger coffee roasters tend to burn their beans slightly in order to have a more consistent flavor, but it’s a consistently lower-quality flavor.
The Beans Will Taste Better for Longer
In addition to tasting better, beans bought from a small local roaster are less likely to go stale before you can use them. Beans will last only a few weeks after roasting — maybe a month, in a tightly sealed container stored in a dark place — so you want to make sure your beans were roasted right before you bought them. Your local roaster should roast in small batches so your beans are always fresh.
You’re Supporting the Local Economy
Of course, in addition to getting better coffee for yourself, buying from a local coffee roasting business supports your local economy, as well. These small coffee roasters tend to be startups, often growing out of home businesses. These local coffee roasters also tend to be more environmentally and socially conscious than their corporate counterparts, so you have more than one incentive to stay local when it comes to buying coffee.
Note: Don’t Forget Your Grinder
In order to get the greatest possible flavor out of your coffee, you should always grind your beans at home. Ideally, you should only grind what you’ll use in a single day, since ground coffee starts to lose its flavor within hours. A true artisan coffee roaster will probably sell primarily whole beans for this very reason, but you should keep in mind that pre-ground coffee simply won’t be as good no matter where you buy it.
Are you already buying your coffee beans from a small business coffee roaster, or are you stuck on supermarket standards? Join the discussion in the comments.