Today is National Coffee Day. Which for some may as well be National Water Day or National Breathing Day. Whether consumed fervorously in the morning, enjoyed over a long afternoon break or devoured as a decadent nightcap, coffee is a staple in many people’s days. And Utahns are no exception.
If you don’t normally equate coffee production with Utah, it might be time for another shot of espresso. Several charming local shops have been opening up and the Beehive State is also home to many elite coffee roasters supplying top-notch beans. These roasters work with farmers directly and place a high importance on where the beans come from – both in terms of quality and sustainability – while phrases like single-origin, direct trade, fair trade and shade-grown guide their philosophies.
This emphasis on the sourcing of beans in known by coffee connoisseurs as third-wave coffee, the first wave being in the 19th century when Folgers made the product a household commodity, and the second-wave coming in the 80s and 90s when companies like Starbucks introduced designer espresso drinks to the mainstream.
Here’s a look at five third-wave coffee roasters in Utah. Some have been around for decades, while others are fresh on the scene. In honor of National Coffee Day, perk up your coffee break by visiting one today.
Charming Beard | Salt Lake City (and beyond)
Charming Beard is the brainchild of Levi Rogers, founder and Head Roaster, who moved to Salt Lake City from the coffee capital of Portland in 2010. In the short time since then, Levi has grown Charming Beard into one of Utah’s premier coffee roasters, providing coffee to restaurants and coffee shops all over Salt Lake City and the greater Mountain Region. Levi even offers Cupping Classes for those who want to learn more about the fine art of coffeemaking.
Mason Jar Coffee Roasters | Ogden
Locally owned and operated since 2012, Mason Jar Coffee Roasters offers five different types of coffee roasted in house, fresh each week. Their name comes from the fact they sell the coffee in mason jars instead of traditional coffee bags. In addition to their unique take on packaging, Mason Jar employs several different brewing methods, including hand-brewing, French press and a German siphon method.
Millcreek Coffee Roasters | Salt Lake City (Main Street & Salt Lake City International Airport)
Millcreek Coffee Roasters was born in the heart of Salt Lake City in a small building on Broadway when the appropriately named Brewster family started out with just one 12-Kilo roaster back in the early 90s. Today, Millcreek remains family owned by the Brewsters who sell both wholesale and retail beans, along with operating shops and a subscription service.
Publik Coffee Roasters | Salt Lake City & Park City
Publik (Dutch for “community”) believes coffee and community go hand in hand, hence their name. As their website says, “We chose the name Publik because it means community. We believe that coffee breeds community and coffee houses are the anchors that ground them.” To further breed community, their Salt Lake City location is a 13,000-square-foot coffee hub where one can easily linger for an entire day. Publik is also one of the greenest roasteries in the West with solar panels, an afterburner that contributes to clean air (the only one in SLC) and a full line of eco products.
Salt Lake Roasting Co. | Salt Lake City (downtown and Library Square)
Salt Lake City’s oldest coffee roaster, Salt Lake Roasting Co. has been a longstanding staple for university students and coffee lovers. Offering 30 types of coffee beans, including green beans which you can roast yourself, owner John Bolton travels the globe searching for the best beans and shares his travels on their website.
Do you have a favorite local coffee roaster or coffee shop? Please share it with us in the comments!