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Sep 15, 2007 10:26 AM

Local Roasters

Looking for local coffee bean roasters, fair trade, organic, and a variety of product.

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  1. Peet's. The coffee in their stores is better than most. And they have a roast to order program,

    1. Sundance fits the bill, except for variety of product. Seems like they only sell one type of bean, but when I've had coffee there, it's been very good.

      1. It depends on how far afield you consider "Local," but I'd definitely suggest Barefoot Coffee Roasters in Santa Clara. They've got a lot of organic and fair trade varieties, but just as importantly, they really love coffee. Their roasts are always fresh (and always have the roast date), and going in the shop is a constant adventure if you're a coffee fanatic -- the beans are usually specific not just to a region or country but an estate, many are very limited in quantity, and they have detailed descriptions about most of the estate coffees (and the estates themselves). To date I haven't found a better coffee roaster in the Bay Area; I'd rank them up with Portland's Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which is about my other most serious favorite. (You can get Stumptown's beans in San Francisco at Ritual Coffee Roasters, but I don't know what variety level they have available.)

        Ritual Coffee Roasters
        1026 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        Barefoot Coffee Roasters
        5237 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95051

        1. Two other places worth mentioning:

          Blue Bottle Coffee, where James Freeman roasts organic coffees in small batches and sells them no more than two days after roast. Bluebottle is available at the Berkeley, Temiscal, and Ferry Plaza farmers markets and at their kiosk on Linden Alley near Davies Hall.

          Up in Santa Rosa, Andrew Barnett is sourcing and roasting some of the best coffees in the world at Ecco Caffe. He doesn't have a retail outlet, but you can buy online.

          Re Ritual, I may be wrong, but they're roasting their own these days, and I'm not sure they're still selling Stumptown beans. Still, definitely worth checking out, as is Stumptown.

          Re Fair Trade coffee, it is certainly worth supporting, but if it's quality you're looking for, you're generally better off going with roasters who develop relationships with particular growers and pay them a premium for producing high-quality beans. The New York Times food section had a great article on "relationship coffee" last Wednesday,

          1 Reply
          1. re: TopoTail

            I second the rec. of Ecco Caffe beans. Amazing stuff. I know of three places you can purchase it (in Santa Rosa) besides online: Traverso's Deli, Centro Espresso coffee cart inside Sawyers News on 4th Street (you can place an order for a pound or more and Ecco delivers twice a week, I believe), and I think Ecco still has a booth at the Saturday morning farmer's market at the Vet's Building (where you can taste various varieties, yum.)

            Thanksgiving Coffee Company ( ) and Taylor Maid Farms ( ) are two other local roasters who sell fair trade/organic/shade grown varieties. Before I found Ecco, I was a big fan of Taylor Maid's Goat Rock Roast and the Red Rooster's French Roast.

          2. We've been dealing with Henry's House of Coffee on Noriega St. in SF for over 30 years. Henry Kalebjian roasts his excellent beans (he has relationships with a number of coffee growers in various parts of the world) in 20 lb. batches in a beautiful custom-made (in Reno) coffee roaster. He really knows his stuff -- he's a 4th generation coffee roaster and vendor.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Nancy Berry


              House of Coffee
              1618 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122