There has never been a better time in history to buy coffee. With amazing coffee exploding out of virtually every market from Oakland, CA to Miami, Florida and everywhere in between cutting edge coffee shops like ours have the opportunity to tip our hat and salute the craft of coffee.
Southern Grounds has decided to offer our customers the opportunity to taste coffee from the best roasters in the country. We will still offer our exquisite coffee, blends, rare offerings, in season, espresso, direct trade, single origin and black cat from Intelligentsia that you love. However, we invested in more equipment in order to offer selections from other roasters.
In our opinion, companies like Starbucks and Caribou Coffee gave us the inspiration, we think we can push the envelope for the consumer by celebrating world class roasters at Southern Grounds every month. Coffee is more than a commodity, it is an art. For 2017 Southern Grounds is celebrating a handful of great roasters and bringing that offering to you.
Our current roasters are:
Intelligentsia is kind of like coffee’s Harvard, with extensive internal training programs for baristas, roasters, quality control staff and green coffee buyers that include everything from regular cuppings and espresso tastings to one recent class led by a Northwestern University neurobiology professor on the genetics of olfaction. The company’s baristas routinely place high in national and world competitions, and many of its alums have gone on to other exciting jobs in the industry.
As one of the first companies to source coffee via Direct Trade and one of the largest specialty coffee companies operating today, Intelligentsia has been incredibly influential. It also continues to put out great coffees, both by building close relationships with producers and by relentlessly testing and refining blends such as its Black Cat espresso, an undertaking so important that it has the official, covert-sounding name of the Black Cat Project.
“We strive to maintain a high level of education and creativity; to do what we do with knowledge and purpose and ingenuity,” says Kornman. Whether with its innovative coffee bars or thorough coffee research, Intelligentsia is accomplishing all of those goals and setting the pace for roasters everywhere
PT's Coffee -
Today, PT's Coffee is a standard-bearer for the Direct Trade movement, cultivating numerous longstanding relationships with individual farmers and getting involved in their communities. PT's has done everything to help farming communities from handing out soccer jerseys to local kids, to, in one recent case, helping a farmer replace his production equipment after it was stolen by bandits.
With a focus primarily on light roasts and a history of bringing award-winning coffees to the States, PT's also earns its seat at the table with more well-known roasters in the country's coffee hubs, even winning Roast Magazine's Roaster of the Year award in 2009. "I'm not in San Francisco, I'm not in New York, I'm not in Chicago," Taylor notes. "I'm doing a lot of those things [and] then more [that] a lot of the other roasters are doing, and we have a lot of great coffees. I just happen to be located in a small market." That may not be the case for long, though: With a nationwide fan base and a solid reputation.