Where to buy shade-grown organic coffee?
October 31, 2012 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Coffee drinkers! Can you help me source shade-grown organic coffee (I'm not interested in certification, but rather in those principles) from a US roaster that will roast and ship to me within 24 hours? Your personal recommendations only, please.

I am looking for personal recommendations for shade-grown organic whole bean coffee from a US roaster that will roast and ship either on the same day, or roast one day and ship the next day. I am also in the US. I've found several sources through Google, but would like recommendations from MeFites who've actually used such sources.

I am primarily interested in coffee that is shade-grown and organic. Rainforest-friendly, bird-friendly, fair trade would all be bonuses. I am not looking for certified coffee (although certifications are fine), but with what I've sometimes heard called "relationship" coffee -- where the roaster knows and works with cooperatives in coffee growing countries that follow the above principles. Something like the equivalent of "know your farmer" organics, where the farmer isn't necessarily certified organic.

Even MORE specifically, I am looking for recommendations of medium-roasts of such coffees, but if you can recommend a specific roaster but not a specific coffee, that's great.
posted by OrangeDisk to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
For a one-time order, or are you looking for a supplier? We've been pretty pleased with Just Love Coffee here in TN (right in my back yard, actually) - they order and roast themselves, have a decent organic selection and offer wholesale services too. They're good people to boot - give 'em a shout and see. We don't buy coffee from anyone else any more. I'm in there probably every other week for more Sumatra and Ethiopian.
posted by jquinby at 2:39 PM on October 31, 2012

If you're willing to try an espresso roast, I would suggest Espresso Vivace Dolce or Vita. Both are shade-grown, hippy-approved, and roasted/shipped same day. I'm not the only one making the suggestion and apparently Emeril Lagasse has described Vivace as the best coffee in the US.
posted by saeculorum at 2:41 PM on October 31, 2012

I've really enjoyed the 50/50 Arabica/Robusto from Cafe Justo, and they're pretty much the essence of 'relationship' coffee.
posted by carsonb at 2:45 PM on October 31, 2012

My personal favorite is Gimme! Coffee, which does a lot in the way of relationship coffees. I'm especially loving their Kenya Gatomboya right now, and if they get more Finca San Luis in, I would get it in a heartbeat.
posted by dorque at 2:49 PM on October 31, 2012

Camano Island coffee roasters. I think you'd like their Papua New Guinea medium roast.
posted by bearwife at 2:59 PM on October 31, 2012

Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 3:04 PM on October 31, 2012

Old Bisbee Roasters is awesome. Pretty much all the African coffees are out of this world.
posted by wrok at 3:30 PM on October 31, 2012

some choices from Memphis: Ugly Mug (certain blends and stuff are certified organic though the rest are fairly close, and shade-grown) and a kind or two of McCarter Coffee's items are noted organic and shade grown. Ugly Mug is my brand of choice (either Hardy Passion or Saving Grace, both of which are medium roasts). have heard good things about McCarter but haven't (yet) been able to try it out.
posted by mrg at 3:54 PM on October 31, 2012

Bridgeview Coffee Roasters is my supplier.
posted by partner at 4:34 PM on October 31, 2012

Blue Bottle is the Bay Area standard for geeky hipster artisanal coffee. The whole company started around the principle of brewing no beans more than 48 hours out of the roaster. Every individual cup of coffee I've had out of their retail outfits has been extraordinary, so I don't think you can go very wrong here.
posted by troyer at 6:15 PM on October 31, 2012

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I am looking for a place I can order from for my personal use, not a wholesale or office supplier. I have lots to check out, but please keep the suggestions coming.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:37 PM on October 31, 2012

Ruta Maya in Austin, Tx is roasted right here in town and can be ordered from their website at your leisure. I was turned onto it by a friend before moving here because it is shade-grown (I believe it was a play on my nick when he sent me the first pound).
posted by schade at 7:03 PM on October 31, 2012

Have a look at Goldenvalleyfarms (http://www.goldenvalleyfarms.com). They handle individuals or businesses and have been in the industry for a long time with direct connections to many growers.
posted by Expresso Organics at 8:08 PM on October 31, 2012

Try Kanalani Ohani Farm. Organic, family-run, they roast just before shipping. Excellent kona coffee.
posted by grounded at 9:10 PM on October 31, 2012

Caffe Ladro: Though their web site doesn't seem to mention it, they use beans that are shade-grown, certified organic, and certified fair trade (reference). They offer single-origin roasts based on direct-trade relationships with growers. We buy their coffee at retail here in Seattle, so I can't vouch for their mail-order business; you can ask them if you want to know more since their site is slim on details.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:58 PM on November 1, 2012

Tonx? Delicious.
posted by hukka at 3:25 PM on November 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

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