Americans have an intimate relationship with their coffee. It’s the drink that gets them going, the first hit of flavor in their day. It’s the steaming (or iced) cup that sets the tone for what’s to follow. And at a time when tastes have evolved past watery, gets-the-job-done brews into the bold, the origin-specific, and the fair trade certified, it had better be good. With so many interesting coffee roasters out there, including many who have set up shop in just the past few years, selecting the best one in each state was quite difficult. We researched our picks carefully, with an eye for detail that honors the studious methods of coffee innovators across the country.
ARIZONA // CARTEL COFFEE LAB
Cartel’s methods are no secret: Just stop by their Tempe warehouse for a tour, or browse their website for ratios and other nitty gritty details. Transparency aside, Cartel’s sophisticated roasting process isn’t easily duplicated. The same goes for its direct sourcing program and stringent barista training, which suffers no slouches. Taken together, Cartel’s process has helped the roaster and café become one of Arizona’s premiercoffee destinations.