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21 Trailblazing New Coffee Roasters in 2021

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Roasted coffee hitting the cooling tray. Image courtesy of Loom Coffee Co.

While no business is “pandemic-proof,” 2021 yet again proved that the business of coffee roasting remains relatively low risk while allowing for online sales and incremental growth.

The proliferation of local co-roasting facilities throughout the United States helped to lower the startup capital barrier for many new businesses, while online roasting education, including Roast’s own Roast summit, continued to make information and skills-building more accessible.

Beyond the mere roasting of quality specialty coffee, the U.S. coffee industry saw a major shift in 2021: An influx of new roasting business and brands were led by people of color — some explicitly seeking social change within the industry or their own communities, and others simply reflecting an overdue correction in the industry.

Among the dozens of new U.S.-based roasted coffee brands we reported on in 2021, here’s a look back at just 21 of them, nearly half of which feature people of color in positions of ownership and leadership.


[Editor’s note: This feature is part of our ongoing 2021 year-end coverage. Click here for additional stories, updated daily through Dec. 31. You can also tell our editors about your new coffee shop or coffee roastery here.]


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Image courtesy of Be Bright.

LA Roasting Startup Be Bright Wants Coffee to Be Easy

Offering an online subscription model with wholesale capacity from a shared roasting facility with a Loring S35 Kestrel in downtown Los Angeles, Be Bright was the creation of Los Angeles coffee veteran Frank La and scientist-turned-actress Michelle La, the star of the 2018 movie “Searching.”

On The Go Jo Coffee is Making Moves in Chicago

The Black women-owned and operated company that made its mark providing stylish catered coffee service for corporate and community events throughout 2019 has maintained some service on the go, but it’s also now catering to the stay-at-home crowd through a new line of roasted coffee and related products.

Princeton’s First Black Female Police Officer Launches BLM Brew Co.

While there are regrettably few Black women’s faces in the crowd of coffee business owners, there has only ever been one in the police department of Princeton, New Jersey. It belongs to Toni Mitchell, who is now standing tall in both crowds through the launch of her e-commerce coffee business, BLM Brew Co.

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Images courtesy of Banyan Coffee Co.

Banyan Coffee Co. Makes Seriously Good Coffee Fun in Florida

A new specialty coffee roaster on Florida’s Gulf Coast called Banyan Coffee Co. has been making its presence known in the Bradenton and Sarasota area through a converted 1984 Cushman Truckster.

In NC, Queen Coffee Bean Gives African Coffees the Royal Treatment

Queen Coffee Bean focuses primarily on roasting and selling coffees grown in various parts of Africa through online sales, pop-up events and local markets, with the specific goal of supporting producers from the continent.

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Mutima Coffee Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Sharon and Sheila Kasasa. Image courtesy of Mutima Coffee.

With a Focus on Uganda, DC-Based Sisters Launch Mutima Coffee

Two sisters born in Uganda and raised in the United States have launched Mutima Coffee, an online retail company offering high-quality coffees grown in the East African country.

Canvas Coffee Roasters Applies the Finishing Touches in Newport News, VA

The roasting operation found its start about a year after Canvas founders Daniel Haskett and Alex Hoyes opened the Canvas cafe in 2019. The duo went back to the easel, so to speak, creating a new vision for the business in broad strokes.

From Washington D.C., Black & Brown Coffee House Seeks to Empower Black and Brown Producers

Two friends from humble beginnings who met while working white collar jobs in Washington D.C. have launched Black & Brown Coffee House, a minority-owned roasting brand with a focus on empowering coffee producers.

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Image courtesy of Jaguar Coffee.

Illinois Startup Jaguar Coffee Offers a Celebratory Connection to Michoacán

Now on the prowl for customers from its Illinois home base is Jaguar Coffee, a pandemic-propelled startup whose freshly roasted coffee also opens a window into the shared Mexican heritage and personalities of its co-founders Juan Vargas and Mario Estrada.

Longtime Caffe Ibis Roaster Stirs Up Shooke Coffee Roasters in Utah

Former head roaster for Logan, Utah-based Caffe Ibis Shawn Passey has jolted into a new venture with partner Brooke Salt called Shooke Coffee.

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Image courtesy of Coffee Support.

For B2B Roasting and Cold Brew, Coffee Support is On its Way in Phoenix

A roasted coffee production, packing and cold brewing service provider called Coffee Support is setting up shop in a 40,000-square-foot industrial facility in Phoenix.

Women-Forward Soulside Coffee Blends Vintage Gear and Fresh Roasts in Sacramento

Sacramento, California-based Soulside Coffee has expanded its dual missions of preservation and progress, offering refurbished vintage espresso machines alongside freshly roasted coffee and fervent support for women in the coffee industry.

In Southern California, the Curtain Goes Up for Stage Right Coffee Co.

Beans and drums are now sharing the spotlight with strings and amps under the direction of professional guitar technician Robert Ortiz, who has launched Stage Right Coffee Co. (SRCC) in Southern California.

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Aquarela Coffee Co-Owner Otávio Shih cupping coffees. Courtesy photo.

Aquarela Brings Brilliant Brazilian Coffees to LA in Living Color

Southern California’s Brazil-connected S P L A Coffee has emerged from a transformative pandemic period with a new brand name, Aquarela Coffee, a new roasting operation and a renewed focus on single-origin Brazilian specialty coffees.

Now Roasting and Brewing in Danville, CA: Goat Racer Coffee Co.

The founders of the California coffee equipment service company ABCEE have teamed up with the former head roaster for German coffee company Rahorik to launch Goat Racer Coffee Co.

Symphony Musicians Give Little Blue Trailer Coffee Its First Movement

A duet of professional musicians has launched Little Blue Trailer Coffee, a boutique specialty coffee roasting company based in Spokane, Washington.

Beans Speak Volumes at Memoirs Coffee in East Tennessee

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, Memoirs Coffee was launched in September by longtime coffee professional Rich Stone, whose own memories include scenes from the coffee production centers of coffee giants Keurig Green Mountain and Peet’s.

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Image courtesy of Loom Coffee Co.

Greensboro Startup Roaster Loom Coffee Weaves in Support for Workers

“As former baristas ourselves, we know that there’s not often a voice to advocate for the lowest wage earners, even in a small business,” Loom Coffee Co. Co-Founder Christopher Pierce told Daily Coffee News. “As a roastery, we hope to use our position to encourage cafe owners to pay a living wage, and also to realize the benefits that can bring to their business.”

Daysol Coffee Lab Brightens the Coffee Landscape in Birmingham, Alabama

A new day has dawned for coffee lovers in and around Birmingham, Alabama, with the opening of Daysol Coffee Lab. The small-batch roasting operation is inviting walk-in guests for samples or full cups of pure, unadulterated coffee, with an equally unobscured view of the roasting operation.

Terrain Coffee Project Lands in Historic Downtown Vancouver, Washington

Seasoned coffee roaster Marty Lopes is exploring new turf with Terrain Coffee Project, which last month opened the doors to its first coffee shop in downtown Vancouver, Washington.

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Image courtesy of Oconee Coffee Roasters.

Now Roasting in Madison, Georgia: Oconee Coffee Roasters

The family business comes from Jenny and Wee “Jin” Chiew, the latter possessing more than 15 years of experience in high-level specialty coffee. A certified Q Grader and recent U.S. Cup Tasters competitor, Jin Chiew was a barista-turned-roaster at Maryland-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters before accepting the title of head roaster at renowned Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters in Colorado.

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