The relationship with our coffee roasters is one of our defining features. They provide us with our central and most dynamic ingredient. They are our link to the farmers who grow the coffees and to the importers, exporters and others who help coffee move from origin to the U.S. We have settled on the lineup of roasters we are going to use for the foreseeable future. Obviously, it starts that we love the their coffees, but there is always another driving reason we choose to partner with a roaster: shared values. We will be rotating in the newer partners over the next couple of weeks, so we wanted to take a minute to talk about why we chose each one.
Counter Culture Coffee (Durham, NC)
Counter Culture Coffee is from Durham, NC. I have a long relationship with Counter Culture, and I owe these folks a lot. They taught me my first coffee class in 2006, where I was introduced to the potential of coffee. Some of my formative coffee experiences came through CCC events and classes. Counter Culture has done much to lead the way in direct purchasing from farms and co-ops. They support many projects to improve conditions in origin regions, as well as promoting sustainability and transparency in the supply chain, helping us to know more about how much money returns to coffee farmers and farm workers. There is still so much work to be done in this area, but companies like CCC are investing in improvements.
Máquina Coffee (West Chester, PA)
Máquina is a very small operation, and they started around the same time we opened our shop. Gabriel Boscana has been very giving with his time to answer questions, even calling in via video call to answer customer questions. We love the simplified life approach they are following in their business, and the personal care they take in every detail. And have no doubt, Gabriel is an amazing roaster. Máquina focuses on highlighting the seasonality of coffee, keeping a fresh rotation and purchasing small lots from small farmers, and developing relationships through the chain.
It is great to grow our business along with another new business, supporting folks as passionate about coffee as we are. They are feeling their way through developing a new venture, just as we are doing the same thing.
Ruby Coffee Roasters (Nelsonville, WI)
Ruby, like Máquina, is a small company started by someone with massive roasting expertise moving to a smaller community. Jared Linzmeier took the green buying and roasting experience gained at Intelligentsia and Cafe Ladro, and moved home to Central Wisconsin to do his own thing.We like to support people who are working outside the cool places with the happening coffee scenes, building up their local communities.
Cat and Cloud Coffee (Santa Cruz, CA)
There is a lot to say about Cat & Cloud. I have been watching Chris Baca and Jared Truby from afar for years. They recently launched a roastery and cafe, but may be best known in coffee circles for their eponymous coffee podcast. They are some long-time coffee celebrities. That’s cool and all, but we are drawn to them for a different reason. The values they express in terms of buying and serving coffee with hospitality really jibe with us. If I had to pick one thing that made us want to work with them so badly, it is their program for creating sustainable coffee careers for their staff. They are focused on helping staff grow, and then investing back into their employees. For example, they set up from the beginning a profit sharing program and a plan for staff joining the ownership over time. I love this approach to making coffee careers sustainable. Something needs to change in the coffee company model to bring the right people into the industry and give them room to grow, and I am watching C&C as an example of what is possible for Journeyman in the future.
PT’s Coffee (Topeka, KS)
PT’s has long-term relationship with many growers, which give them access to many different experiments that push the boundaries of coffee production. They focus on these Direct Trade relationships to build a reliable supply chain that can create a stable livelihood for farmers and their staff.
We want to quickly thank everyone at these roasters for doing what they do, and for trusting us enough to establish wholesale relationships with us. We will do our best to bring their coffees to you in the best manner we know how. There are so many great roasters out there, these choices are very difficult for a shop. We hope you like where we have focused our efforts. We are always on the lookout for exceptional coffee partners, but we are looking forward to working with these roasters for the long haul. As always, we would love to talk to you about it. Thanks for reading!