7 Emerging Coffee Roasters To Watch
Photo c/o Postern Coffee
This weekend, we're excited to be a part of the Specialty Coffee Expo 2022 in Boston alongside Getchusomegear, an organization putting coffee gear into the hands of marginalized coffee professionals around the country.
Together, we've curated a guide of emerging roasters to watch— all Getchusomegear grant recipients. These up-and-coming coffee brands have captured our attention and are reshaping the future of coffee. Our guest baristas will be serving up these roasts at the Brewista pop-up coffee bar at expo. And if you're missing out on expo this year, here’s a chance to experience these brews at home with these handpicked roasts.
1. Postern Coffee
Metro Atlanta area-based Postern is an idea started by two friends, Andrew Lee and Joshua Owh, who saw an opportunity to integrate their passion for coffee with their backgrounds as Asian-Americans. Although both Lee and Owh have been in the coffee industry for a few years, they began roasting their own fresh coffee and serving coffee-based beverages earlier this year. Through Postern, they hope to contribute to the cultural expansion that is taking place in specialty coffee, and that people can identify with what they represent.
"We have always loved coffee, the community it brings together, the people you get to meet and collaborate with, and the ability to experiment and be creative." ~ Joshua Owh
Roast to try: Il-Cha Blend. Il cha is a term Koreans use to describe the first location when going out for the night. This balanced blend of berry, dark chocolate, and floral notes works as a delicious first round for your day.
Shop | $17
2. Iluminar Coffee
Daniel Gutierrez has been working in coffee for over 8 years in every place he's lived, from New Jersey to Jacksonville and back up to Vermont. He started Iluminar in 2020 as a passion project to further grow his love for coffee and the people in coffee. Gutierrez uses Iluminar as his platform for promoting the causes he cares about, from the producers and importers he works with to the organizations he gives back to.
"Although it may be a cliche answer, my favorite part of working in coffee has been the people I've met. Some of my closest friends that I've shared some of life's biggest moments with have been either coworkers or customers that I've met through the years. I even met my partner, Grace through coffee and couldn't be more grateful for it." ~ Daniel Gutierrez
Roast to try: La Ventolera - Induction Oven Dried. This Colombian roast has tasting notes of red wine, cacao, vanilla, pomelo, and pineapple. With the goal of making great coffee accessible, Iluminar offers sliding scale pricing. You pay what you are able and comfortable with spending.
Shop | From $23
3. Tanbrown Coffee
Marissa Childers and Ethan Darla met through an Asian coffee professionals call. Darla had just recently moved to Atlanta, and he and Childers clicked immediately as they shared the gripes they had with the coffee industry and how it could look different. They both cared heavily about where coffee comes from, how they can source and make coffee better while also changing the landscape of their local coffee community. The idea of starting a roastery together was borne. They called it Tanbrown Coffee.
"Coffee is tan and brown, and we are also tan and brown. It gave a balance of jest and humor as well as a stark reminder and homage to where coffee comes from. We wanted to remind folks that coffee is a black and brown product and seeing our faces in this space is a reminder that we are meant to be here and we are allowed to take up space and treat coffee and people better than we have seen in our time in the industry." ~ Marissa Childers and Ethan Darla
Roast to try: The Mixup: Volume 1. The first-of-its-kind blend of coffees from Papua New Guinea and India brings to the forefront the strengths of each of the coffees. The coffee melds together playfulness and boldness.
Shop | $16
4. Verb. Coffee Roasters
Mir is the owner and Lord of Coffee at Verb. Coffee Roasters, a small roasting company based out of Atlanta, GA. Verb. is so aptly named through Mir's joy of writing and desire to tell a story with their coffee labels.
"Coffee--the industry, the culture and practice is always in a state of evolution that makes it impossible to get bored of. Coffee I will never master, be the best at, perfect... I can strive for it but its an impossible goal and I love that. There will always be new rabbit holes to go down in this business but at the same time its just coffee and I like that duality of it." ~ Mir
Roast to try: Cuchumatan. From Guatemala, this medium roast bears tasting notes of cherry, honey, hazelnut, and cocoa. All coffee is roasted to order.
Shop | $16
5. Black Girl Black Coffee
Black Girl Black Coffee (BCBG) was born out of the uncertainty of the year 2020. Like millions of Americans, Neichelle Guidry found her life rapidly changing, even as she spent her workdays and weekends in quarantine in her home in Atlanta, Georgia. During that time, she began her coffee journey of learning and experimenting with different brewing methods.
Eventually, Guidry launched an anonymous Instagram page called Black Girl Black Coffee, as a way to document her coffee experiments, tell her personal coffee stories, and connect to a dynamic coffee community. She went on to become the Glitter Cat Brewers Champion, creating a brewing method that she called the "Alice", which she named after her paternal grandmother, MawMaw. It consisted of a Mason Jar and a knee-high stocking, which she wore most times when she left her house. During competition, Guidry utilized her original brewing method to create a delicious, chocolatey cup of coffee, which she served in a vintage cup and saucer that reminded her of the sets her grandmother used to serve coffee in.
Guidry began to hear from more Black girls and women who wanted to learn more about coffee and make more meaningful coffee connections. Guidry began to imagine what BGBC could be, beyond a personal page that traced her personal journey. The BGBC e-commerce brand was borne, to sell coffee produced by Black women.
"My goal is to 'brew a new community' of Black girls and womxn, and our allies, who not only love coffee. I want Black girls and womxn to see themselves represented in this brand, and to demystify specialty coffee because we all deserve some luxury, even if it's just a beautiful cup of coffee." ~ Neichelle Guidry
Roast to try: Burundi Kalico: Be The Light. Hailing from Burundi, the coffee boasts some of its origin's signature qualities: a medium body, bright fruitiness and a chocolatey finish. The bright, citrus notes will wake you up and is the perfect coffee to begin your day.
This coffee was produced, exported, imported, and sourced by Black women. Imported by Phyllis Johnson of BD Imports, this coffee was produced by Angéle Ciza, the owner and operator of Kalico SA, the only woman-owned coffee production, processing and exporting operation in Burundi. This coffee has been certified by the International Women's Coffee Alliance, signifying the empowerment of the women who had a hand in its cultivation.
Shop | $22
6. Cora's Girls Coffee
Cora's Girls Coffee is a New Orleans-based coffee roasting company owned and operated by savvy sisters turned business partners, Mia Patterson and Kiara Smith. Patterson, a full-time nurse and coffee enthusiast, and Smith, a longtime barista and supervisor of locally owned coffee shops, decided to explore their idea of roasting and turned it into what has become Cora's Girls Coffee. Named after their late mother and coffee fanatic, Cora's Girls Coffee is locally sourced, roasted and packaged by Patterson and Smith with a homemade southern flare.
"I started working in coffee at 17, I'm 32 now. It is my passion and something I love. It has connected me with some incredible people in the service industry. Roasting has given me so much purpose and joy. I have end stage renal disease and roasting fulfills that purpose." ~ Kiara Smith
Roast to try: Second Line Sunday. A robust synthesis of Columbia, Guatemala, and Papua New Guinea, this full bodied low acidic blend is accompanied by the sweetness of cane syrup and warm caramel with a smooth finish.
Shop | $15
7. Coffee Beards & Bowties
Eric McWright is a husband, father, retired Navy veteran, professional barber, and small batch coffee roaster. With a deep passion in coffee, the hair and grooming industry, fashion, and community, it was only fitting for him to call his coffee business Coffee Beards & Bowties. McWright is truly a person of many talents. It was his pursuit of learning more that eventually led him to become a home-based small-batch coffee roaster, with the goal of growing into a community space–where his family can continue to serve, meet people, connect and grow.
"From the earliest days of starting our company I noticed that many coffee professionals and businesses have structured their business models around giving back to their communities, providing educational opportunities to those just getting started, and even creating relationships with farmers around the world to ensure ethical & financial equality. My favorite part about working in coffee is having the ability to create opportunities to give back to individuals or organization in need of support." ~ Eric McWright
Roast to try: Ethiopia. Made from a home kitchen roastery, this coffee bears tasting notes of berry, caramel, plum, and red currant. Their beans can be purchased at the Temecula Farmers Market in Temecula Promenade Mall, CA.
Shop | $15
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