Twenty five U.S. coffee roasting companies have been announced as finalists in the 2017 Good Food Awards.
As with all other GFA categories — beer, cider, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, pantry, pickles, preserves, spirits, oil, and 2017 newcomer preserved fish — the coffee category has a dual focus on quality and sustainable, ethical sourcing and production practices.
It is notable, however, that among all the categories, coffee is the only one in which the primary ingredient can only come from oversees, often from a developing country — Hawaii being the glaring exception on both accounts. This year’s coffee criteria also required proof of specified certification, after the GFA coffee committee announced difficulties in confirming sourcing sustainability claims made in years past.
This year’s list includes a healthy diversity of U.S. states and regions, with roasters hailing from Arkansas, California (5), Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine (2), Michigan (2), Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington (2) and Wisconsin. (Note: Intelligentsia is listed twice with two different coffees, one from its Illinois roastery and one from its California roastery.)
Geographic diversity for the roasted coffees’ countries of origin, however, is nearly nonexistent, with only four countries represented, Ehiopia dominantly so: Nineteen Ethiopian coffees, both washed- and natural-process, are represented, compared to four grown in Panama, and one each from Guatemala and Kenya.
Winners of 2017 GFA awards will be honored at the 2017 GFA Awards Ceremony and Gala on Jan. 20 in San Francisco, while the two days following will include the Good Food Mercantile show and the Good Food Marketplace.
Here’s the full list of this year’s coffee finalists
Anchorhead Coffee, Guatemala Huehuetenango – Codech, Washington
Bard Coffee, Hambela Estate, Maine
BeanFruit Coffee Company, Ethiopia Adame Gorbota Cooperative, Mississippi
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Panama – Hacienda La Esmeralda Noria Lot, California
Case Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Hunkute, Oregon
Craft & Mason Roasting Co., Ethiopia Hunkute, Michigan
Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, Ethiopia Kossa Kebena, Ohio
Equator Coffees & Teas, Panama Esmeralda Mario – Carnaval, California
Giv Coffee, Panama – Boquete – Kotowa Geisha Natural, Connecticut
Higher Grounds Trading Co., Yirgacheffe Idido, Michigan
Intelligentsia Coffee, Ethiopia Kurimi – Angelino Profile, California
Intelligentsia Coffee, Ethiopia Kurimi – Chicago Profile, Illinois
Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Charbanta Natural Process, Wisconsin
Klatch Coffee, FTO Ethiopia Gedeb, California
La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha, Pennsylvania
Lineage Roasting, Kenya – Kagumoini (Kamacharia Coop) & Ethiopia – Bokasso, Florida
Mr. Espresso, Ethiopia FTO Worka Natural, California
Noble Coffee Roasting, Ethiopian Adisu Kidane & Ethiopian Shilcho, Oregon
Novel Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Bokasso, Texas
Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia Konga, Washington
Onyx Coffee Lab, Ethiopia – Hambela Buku, Arkansas
OQ Coffee Co., Kayon Mountain Farm, Ethiopia, New Jersey
Red Rooster Coffee Roaster, Ethiopia – Washed Hambela, Virginia
Speckled Ax Wood Roasted Coffee, Ethiopia Bekele Dukale, Maine
Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia – Kayon Mountain, Minnesota
Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. Feedback and story ideas are welcome at publisher (at) dailycoffeenews.com, or see the "About Us" page for contact information.