15 Best Coffee Roasters and Shops in the U.S.
For many of us, coffee is a way of life, a substance we actually could not live without. In fact, Americans consume about 400 million cups of coffee a day, and the country imports more than $4 billion worth of the elixir each year!
But true coffee lovers know that merely getting your caffeine kick is not enough. If you think there's an art to coffee and have a strong opinion on which beans are best and how your brew should be poured, we've rounded up and ranked the best coffee roasters and shops in the U.S. for you.
15. Island Roasters Coffee Company
Location: New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Year established: 2014
Must-have brew: Bali Blue Moon
* Our ranking is based on the number of five-star Yelp reviews each roaster has and is ordered from least to most.
Bottom Line: Island Roasters Coffee Company
This small coffee roaster shop got its fateful start when the Clawson family decided to pack their bags and move to Florida from the Northeast in 2013.
A year later, they opened up Island Roasters Coffee to bring organic, freshly roasted coffee to their new community. They have since thrived and, though they have not expanded into multiple locations, they have earned a reputation around New Smyrna Beach, earning the No. 1 spot for their category on Tripadvisor.
14. Mystic Coffee Roaster
Location: Medford, Massachusetts
Year established: 2010
Must-have brew: Mystic Blend
Bottom Line: Mystic Coffee Roaster
Mystic Coffee touts itself as a “community-oriented business” that seeks to help the people of Medford by providing good coffee and donations to local organizations. They also claim to make an effort to procure fair-trade coffee that is good for farmers and the environment. Though their operation is small, this doesn’t stop them from roasting delicious blends. The coffee roaster also sets itself apart for being owned by a woman, which is, sadly, rare in the roasting world.
Because of the pandemic, Mystic Coffee Roaster is currently only selling bagged coffee, both in their store and online, but we can't wait to have them back in full swing.
13. Atomic Coffee Roasters
Location: Beverly, Massachusetts
Year established: 1996
Must-have brew: Space Cadet
Bottom Line: Atomic Coffee Roasters
Besides having an incredibly cool logo, Atomic Coffee Roasters also has the quality to back the logo up.
Started by a duo of brothers back in the 1990s, the company takes care to roast, grind and cold-brew every single one of its products. For this purpose, they have their own roastery in Salem and a cold and nitro cold brew facility in Danvers. Can you tell staying local is one of their core values?
That said, anyone can buy their products online, as their coffee can be shipped nationwide.
12. Revelator Coffee Company
Location: Several states in the Southeast
Year established: 2014
Must-have brew: Misfit House Blend
Bottom Line: Revelator Coffee Company
Sometimes, it seems that the West Coast and the Northeast have all the coffee roasting action going on. The Revelator Coffee Company proves that that's not really the case.
The company has been bringing specialty coffee to the Southeast for a relatively short time, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming well-known within the region and the coffee world at large. Their stores usually have a clean, minimalist aesthetic, inviting people to come in and focus on enjoying each other's company and a great cup of coffee.
11. Dragonfly Coffee Roasters
Location: Boulder, Colorado; Henderson, Nevada
Year established: 2011
Must-have brew: Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Natural
Bottom Line: Dragonfly Coffee Roasters
Voted Roast Magazine's 2019 Micro-Roaster of the Year, Dragonfly Coffee Roasters takes pride in the quality of their blend.
But besides providing delicious coffee to customers, the company tries to be as socially responsible as possible, claiming to have a direct trading model in over 30 countries. Direct models often mean more money for producers, so this way of doing business could benefit the community of countries that produce coffee. Dragonfly Coffee Roasters also claims that their international partnerships support environmental protection and education initiatives.
Giving yourself a coffee break has never felt so good.
10. Peet’s Coffee
Location: Several locations around the country
Year established: 1966
Must-have brew: Major Dickason’s Blend
Bottom Line: Peet’s Coffee
Peet's Coffee claims to be "the original craft coffee." Opening its first shop in 1966, the company was certainly way ahead of the coffee craze and has been credited with actually starting American cafe culture. Its owner, Alfred Peet, who is originally from the Netherlands, claims that he was inspired to start the shop when he came to the U.S. and realized the country had "the worst coffee in the world."
As if changing coffee in the U.S. wasn't enough, Peet went on to play a significant role in changing how the world drinks coffee, by training three entrepreneurs that would go on to found a little coffee stand in Seattle called Starbucks.
All of Peet's Coffee beans are hand roasted to order, meaning that you are guaranteed freshness.
9. Rise Up Coffee
Location: Several locations in Maryland; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Year established: 2005
Must-have brew: Maryland Blend
Bottom Line: Rise Up Coffee
Some consider Rise Up Coffee to be the best coffee roaster in Maryland. Given that the roaster has several locations around the state and that it crossed state lines into Delaware in early 2020, we certainly believe there's a reason for its popularity.
The coffee shop sells a variety of coffees from around the world as well as original blends. All of their products are certified fair trade and organic. And the shop has enough of a cult following in Maryland to warrant selling T-shirts and mugs to its most faithful supporters.
8. Luce Coffee Roasters
Location: Houston, Texas
Year established: 2017
Must-have brew: Pan Pacificopeia
Bottom Line: Luce Coffee Roasters
Originally named Luce Ave Coffee Roaster, Luce Coffee Roasters was revamped and rebranded in 2020. But while its name changed, what makes the brand special didn't.
The company has made a name for itself in Houston by offering its customers the unique experience of seeing the coffee-roasting process with their own eyes. Rather than roasting behind closed walls, the shops open up the curtain and invite the public to see what roasting is really like.
Luce Coffee Roasters is also an example of the rare case of a coffee shop owned by a woman and has taken care to come up with its own brand products, like its Luccinos, which are blended soft drinks.
7. La Colombe
Location: Several locations around the U.S.
Year established: 1994
Must-have brew: Brazil Beleza
Bottom Line: La Colombe
When you've been in the game for more than 27 years, you are able to play with your product more, which often leads to innovation.
That has been the case with La Colombe Coffee, which was one of the first specialty coffee companies to use a direct trade business model to source its coffee. It also offers draft lattes at its stores, a concept we really wish more coffee shops would adopt.
Besides improving lattes, the company founded the Haiti Coffee Academy, which seeks to improve the livelihood and provide economic stability to coffee farmers in Haiti.
6. Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
Location: Southern California
Year established: 2013
Must-have brew: The Champ
Bottom Line: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters
A relative newcomer to the coffee game, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters opened in 2013. In less than a decade, they have managed to open five locations in Southern California.
Unlike most companies, which strive to have a singular brand-defining aesthetic in every shop, Dark Horse does something different in every location. The ambiance changes, but the brews stay the same — and it works! If you really love their coffee, you can even buy a pack of some of their cold brews to take home.
The shop also uses a direct-trade model and works with smallholder farmers to get their quality beans.
5. Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Location: Several locations around the U.S.
Year established: 1999
Must-have brew: Hair Bender
Bottom Line: Stumptown Coffee Roasters
As its name suggests, this specialty coffee shop got its start in Portland, Oregon, right at the end of the last millennium.
From the beginning, it has set itself apart for being willing to spend the time and money it takes to guarantee only the highest quality beans will be brewed in its stores. This includes paying a stable price to coffee producers regardless of how the product is valued in consumer markets. They also send out people to meet with producers directly and offer price incentives that are directly tied to quality.
The company claims to pay well above the fair trade standard, which means you can feel very good about supporting them.
4. Panther Coffee
Location: Miami, Florida
Year established: 2010
Must-have brew: Legacy blend
Bottom Line: Panther Coffee
Started by a husband-and-wife team who realized there was a huge gap in the market for specialty coffee in Miami, Panther Coffee is now a true staple of the city.
While it's rare for a fully local business to rank this high amongst national brands, that only speaks to the quality and popularity of the company, which now has two coffee shops and several retail stores around the city.
The coffee is delicious, as you would expect, and is often roasted using vintage Probat Perfekt roasters from the 1920s — that's definitely something you don't see every day!
3. Klatch Coffee
Location: Several locations in California; Ontario, Canada
Year established: 1993
Must-have brew: Onyx Blend
Bottom Line: Klatch Coffee
This award-winning coffee roaster has been operating out of Southern California since 1993. Klatch Coffee is proud of having gone from a small family-owned business to a global wholesale roaster.
The micro-roaster claims to place importance in having direct and open contact with their producers and taking the time to pick only the best coffee beans for their blends.
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters
Location: San Diego, California
Year established: 2002
Must-have brew: Mungano
Bottom Line: Bird Rock Coffee Roasters
If Bird Rock Coffee Roasters hasn't expanded beyond San Diego since it first opened in 2002, it's not because of lack of popularity. On the contrary, its blends have won several awards, including the 2012 Roaster of the Year award given by Roast Magazine. However, the roaster places high importance on being grassroots and has held onto its values for almost two decades.
Bird Rock also boasts having farm-to-cup coffee, with their website giving extensive details about their labor practices and how their partnership with coffee farmers is economically and environmentally sustainable. Before the pandemic, the roaster supported local bands by showcasing their talent through live music events at their shops around San Diego.
1. Blue Bottle Coffee Company
Location: Several locations in the U.S., Japan and South Korea
Year established: 2002
Must-have brew: New Orleans cold brew
Bottom Line: Blue Bottle Coffee Company
Blue Bottle Coffee Company is known for being a fairytale of the coffee world.
Back in 2002, its owner was a clarinet player struggling to make ends meet when he decided to take out $15,000 in loans and sell his home roasts from a cart in farmers' markets in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Almost 20 years later, Blue Bottle Coffee is all over the U.S. as well as in Japan and South Korea. The company is known for only selling fresh coffee, even opening roasteries near its cafes to make sure no more than three days pass between roasting and brewing. Besides ensuring quality, the model is also environmentally friendly.