I go through a lot of coffee each month; sometimes as much as 30lbs or more. Sometimes a lot more. The coffee is used for a variety of purposes:
- testing machines, brewing methods
- photography purposes (I sell a lot of coffee related photography)
- exploring the wide variety of coffees out there.
- personal enjoyment / tasting
I (well, "CoffeeGeek" the website) buys a lot of coffee each month - probably around 10lbs on average. I buy mostly from local businesses in Vancouver, but these places usually bring in the best coffee from around North America.
I also get coffee via subscriptions or occasional shipments from a variety of roasters around the US and Canada. Some are through deals I worked out (ad spots on CG in lieu of payment), some of them are roasters want to send me their coffees. I'm incredibly thankful for these roasters (both the ad trade ones and the no-cost ones, since both don't cost me anything out of pocket really). But I don't acknowledge these folks nearly enough. I should do this more often, because these are literally some of the best coffees available in North America. So here's a roll call of sorts:
49th Parallel - http://www.49thparallelcoffee.com
Absolutely fantastic coffees; every few weeks I get to see where Epic, their signature espresso blend is going, plus a choice single origin. One of the best roasters in North America, IMO.
Counter Culture Coffee http://www.counterculture.com
Every few months, a care package comes form CCC; always so tasty, and my window into what one of the most progressive farmers in the world (Aida Battle) is doing.
Batdorf and Bronson http://www.dancinggoats.com
I get a lb of coffee from them every month; What I love most about B&B is that they are price and consumer friendly, but producing some really great coffees. Fantastic bargains to be had.
Transcend Coffee http://www.transcendcoffee.com
Definitely in the top five roasters in Canada, probably the top three. Poul Mark and co work closely with origins, cup of excellence, cuppers competitions the works, and they source some fantastic coffees. Every month I get a subscription coffee with a wonderful data sheet talking up the coffee, the farm, the process.
Social Coffee Company http://www.socialcoffeecompany.com
Another roaster I'd put in my top five for best roasters in Canada; I like them so much, I actually arranged a deal to get my Dad (in Pembroke, Ontario) a subscription from them as well. Every two weeks, three 12oz bags arrive - two espresso blends and a single origin. Steve (co-owner)'s taste buds must be in exact tune with mine, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE their Espresso II blend.
Coffea Roasterie, http://www.coffearoasterie.com
Small roaster in Sioux Falls, South Dakota that is really trying to make a difference in their area. Sources some interesting coffees, everything is small-batch roasted. I get coffee from these folks randomly once or twice a year. Always a great exploration and the prices are nice!
Fratello Coffee Roasters http://www.fratellocoffee.com
Every once in a while, the Prefontaine brothers will send me some of their offerings. I just got one in a few weeks ago, and it's probably the best coffee I've ever had from them. I highly recommend the Mama Cata :)
PT's Coffee http://www.ptscoffee.com
Haven't had PT's for almost 9 months now, but every once in a while, out of the blue, Jeff Taylor sends me his offerings. I love the coffees they produce. I wish Jeff had a Canadian subscription program in place - USPS has a nice 4lb Intl Priority box for $12 which takes only 5 days to get to Canada; I'd sign up for a monthly 2lb subscription if they used this service!
I know I'm missing a few, and I apologise; I'm typing this from a cafe. I do also get a range of coffees from a wide variety of other roasters, sometimes just one offs to let me get a chance to taste what they're doing. In the past year or two I've gotten coffee from Intelligentsia (I used to get Intelligentsia regularly thanks to Brad Ford, the Canadian importer), Square Mile, Stumptown, AIR roasters (Australia), Macap Coffee, Detour Coffee, Coava Roasters, Ritual Coffee, Phil and Sebastian, Fernwood Coffee, Discovery Coffee, 4 Barrel, Zoka Coffee, Vita Roasters... oh man, the list goes on.
I feel extremely fortunate that I get so many chances to try so many great coffees.