You probably know some coffee gourmands who buy their beans from a local artisanal coffee roaster as well as grind them at home and brew their coffee in a Chemex. But if you haven’t been drawn into this trend yet, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Does where you buy your coffee beans really matter? The simple answer is yes. Here’s a breakdown of what you’re getting when you buy your beans from an local small coffee roaster, rather than your local supermarket:
- Fresher Batches
Artisanal coffee roasters will tend to use smaller coffee roaster machines to make smaller, more frequent batches, as opposed to pumping out high quantities in giant commercial coffee bean roasters. This is better for you because the beans will have been freshly roasted when they come to you — and since coffee loses flavor within a week of the roasting process, that’s a huge step toward better-tasting coffee.
- Detailed Attention
Not all coffee beans should be roasted the same way. Big companies put the goal of consistency at the forefront; if you buy from the supermarket, your brand of coffee will always taste the same. But smaller roasters tend to use their experience to choose a roasting profile that’s tailored to the exact batch of green coffee beans they’re working with, meaning you’ll get the chance to try out a wider range of carefully highlighted flavors.
- Local Involvement
When you buy from artisanal coffee roasters, you’re supporting your local economy. These small roasters are normally part of a small community that puts quality, sustainability and relationships first. That’s a mission almost anyone can get behind.
- Free Education
When you choose coffee from the shelves of the grocery store, you’re relying purely on labels to find something you like (labels written by professional marketers). But when you buy from a local coffee roaster, you’re gaining access to all of their knowledge about coffee — and it’s generally just included in the price you pay for the beans. Tell a roaster what flavors you enjoy, and you’ll get personalized advice on the best blends for your taste. Over time, you’ll probably start to pick up more general coffee knowledge, too. You might even find yourself buying a Chemex or expounding on the virtues of cold brewing.
Where do you buy your coffee? Tell us why in the comments.