More of Our Favorite Roasts

By Elizabeth McNamara

Published on September 8, 2008

In choosing the coffees featured in "9 Great Coffees" in our October issue, we sampled more than a hundred brews from nearly 60 different (and very generous) roasters. We narrowed down the selection to nine favorites, but there were still many other coffees that made for a tasty, satisfying cup. Here are 14 more that were too good to keep to ourselves.

Allegro Hand-Roasted Coffee Co., Allegro Blend (Thornton, Colorado; $11.99 for a 12-ounce bag).

If you prefer something salty in the morning, like a toasted bagel smeared with butter, this coffee will provide the ideal complement. Its slightly bitter flavor softens with a bit of cream or sugar.

Crimson Cup, Morning Commute Blend (Columbus, Ohio; $9.05 for a 12-ounce bag).

A smell reminiscent of cream soda's and a bright taste followed by a smooth finish characterize this coffee, which pairs well with toast slathered in raspberry jam. A touch of milk will add pleasant notes of cinnamon to this very accessible blend.

Dallis Coffee Roasters, Nicaragua Selva Negra (Ozone Park, New York; $11.99 for a two-pound bag).

The Selva Negra, a Vienna-roasted coffee, has a wholesome, comforting smell that evokes rainy Sundays you've spent in bedroom slippers; when brewed, the coffee mellows agreeably. Add sugar, cream, and a pinch of nutmeg to make this single origin shine.

Dunkin' Donuts, Original Blend (Quincy, Massachusetts; $7.99 for a one-pound bag).

Though coffee aficionados may scoff at the thought of Dunkin' Donuts, millions of Americans swear that the orange and brown bag o' beans brews the very best. With a woodsy, cedary smell and a full, balanced taste, the original blend is a classic, simple choice.

Ecco Coffee Co., Brazil Daterra Reserve Espresso (Sonoma County, California; $16 for a one-pound bag).

An aroma of chocolate and mint and a bright, acidic taste define this espresso, which has a long, lingering finish. The Daterra goes as well with a rich dessert as it does on its own.

Equal Exchange Coffee, Fair Trade Organic Peru Medium (West Bridgewater, Massachusetts; $47 for a five-pound bag).

This dark and syrupy coffee hints of molasses and raisins and has a deep, toasty flavor. A dribble of milk or cream rounds off the Peruvian medium roast nicely.

Equal Gillies Coffee Co., Yemen Mocha & Indonesian Java Blend (Brooklyn, New York; $15.50 for a one-pound bag).

A smell of graham crackers makes this coffee especially tempting. Its bright taste and pronounced acidity soften with the addition of milk, making for a round and appealing all-purpose coffee.

Gorilla Coffee Co., Brazil (Brooklyn, New York; $11.99 for a one-pound bag).

These French-roasted coffee beans smell like ripe strawberries and bubble gum, but once brewed the coffee takes on a deep, aggressive aroma. This is a great coffee for fans of dark, heavy roasts.

LaMill Coffees, Kenya Gichi (Los Angeles, California; $16 for a one-pound bag).

Notes of peach and nutmeg distinguish these beans. The coffee has a smooth, dark chocolatey taste and a long, spicy finish and would go well with toasted, buttered banana bread.

Peet's Coffee Company, San Sebastian (San Francisco, California; $12.95 per one-pound bag).

A smoky aroma and a slightly metallic taste with a hint of tobacco set this coffee apart. Like most of Peet's coffees, the San Sebastian is deeply roasted, so it makes an ideal brew for those who need a jolt in the morning.

PT's Coffee Co., Kenya AA Peaberry (Topeka, Kansas; $12.37 for a one-pound bag).

These beans smell of ripe tomatoes, and the coffee has a concentrated, bright tartness that finishes with a toasty, caramel flavor. Coffee cake and a shot of orange juice would couple well with this single origin.

Pura Vida Coffee, Ethiopia Sidamo (Seattle, Washington; $9.95 for a 12-ounce bag).

This deeply roasted coffee has a surprisingly light, vanilla fragrance, and when brewed it adopts a slightly floral character with traces of apple.

Terroir Select Coffees, La Minta (Acton, Massachusetts; $12.95 for a 12-ounce bag).

Redolent of blackberries and chocolate, La Minta takes on a light, honeyed color when brewed. A delicate, tealike flavor and a light, lemony finish make this a great coffee to drink black.

Zoka Coffee Co., SHB Las Trojas Superior (Seattle, Washington; $13.95 for a one-pound bag).

The beans' smell is reminiscent of buttery popcorn's, but the brewed coffee emits a tempting, almond aroma. Mild and uncomplicated, with a smooth finish, this single origin would accompany a sweet Danish nicely.

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