Like pizza, even a bad cup of coffee is still a pretty good cup of coffee, but while the average cup of Joe is generally perfectly fine, we believe you deserve something better than average. You deserve a coffee grown and processed with care; a coffee which, after roasting to perfection under the watchful eye of a master roaster, renders a brew so luxurious that you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re really awake. This is no joke, no tall tale meant to seduce mere mortals such as we – such a cup of coffee does exist, and this week, you can find it for yourself among the local coffee brands at Oliver’s!
The hunt for the perfect cup of coffee is an old and storied one, stretching all the way back to ancient times and centered in the heart of Ethiopia. Legend tells of a goat herder named Kaldi who noticed how energized his goats become after eating some mysterious red berries; he shared his knowledge with a monastery, and gradually, the knowledge of the energizing properties of these wonder berries began to spread. Coffee went through a number of iterations over the years, using both the fresh fruit and the bean itself, but the version we know and love originated in the Arabian Peninsula sometime in the 13th century. The bean was separated from the fruit and, for the first time, roasted before being brewed into a dark, rich beverage called qaveh or khaneh. It was so popular, entire shops popped up dedicated to producing the drink, and these early coffeehouses became favorite haunts of both the local Arabic population and travelers alike. It wasn’t until the 1600’s that coffee finally made the leap to Europe, where coffeehouses quickly became centers of conversation and a hub for new ideas with coffee powering many of the great minds who would come to influence history. When Europeans began to colonize the Americas, they brought coffee seeds with them, and the plants quickly became one of the major cash crops in both the Caribbean and South America, where they continue to be big business to this day (second only to the oil trade).
So, does buying local coffee really make that big of a difference to quality? In a word, YES. Before you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee, the beans must first go from their raw, unprocessed state to a roasted state. This is achieved by exposing the beans very quickly to high heat and then rapidly cooling them once they reach the correct temperature. The roasting process transforms the beans, taking them from bland and relatively flavorless to a caramelized, nuanced product worth brewing. While modern technology means it’s possible to achieve a perfect roast every time, coffee roasting gains a real artistry when it’s done in small batches by skilled and creative professionals, and there are as many roasts as there are roasters. Lighter roasts will offer a less intense flavor with an increased kick of caffeine, while darker roasts won’t pack the same amount of energy but do come with increasing levels of a pleasant bitterness. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you prefer, there are some real advantages that come with purchasing any locally roasted coffee.
When attempting to achieve the perfect brew, time is of the essence, and reducing the amount of time between when the beans are roasted and when they end up in your coffeemaker is key to a flavorful cup. A roasted coffee bean will only retain its full range of flavors for around two weeks; after this time, the beans will rapidly lose any of the subtleties rendered during roasting. In an industrial coffee operation, coffee beans are roasted en masse, packaged, and then stored until being sent to stores. This means the beans won’t have quite the same level of flavor when you bring them home, and they’ll only continue to lose flavor as they sit on the shelf. Local, small-batch roasters only order what they can sell quickly, meaning freshness is always guaranteed, and since it’s locally roasted, you lose no time to transport! Additionally, remember the artistic element to roasting we mentioned before? Mass-produced coffees are grown, harvested, and roasted to create a consistent flavor every time, but small-batch producers can play by their own rules. This means a wider variety of roasts, farms, and countries of origin to choose from, including specialty roasts unique to that brand and that roaster. Plus, we always love an opportunity to support the local economy and keep our dollars in Sonoma County!
This week, find your new favorite local coffee brand with Oliver’s! Whether you’re whipping up a batch of homemade cold brew, taking your time with a classic pour-over, or leaving it up to the coffeemaker, we’ve got dozens of roasts from the best of Sonoma County’s coffee roasters so that you can always enjoy the perfect cup. Bring the café into your kitchen, and start enjoying the best of local coffee today – check out our featured brands below!
(12oz – $9.99/ea)
“Acre Coffee works exclusively with coffee growers who support sustainable farming and business practices, and our expertly roasted coffee has been awarded ‘Best In Sonoma County’ for the past 2 years. Their dynamic flavor and roast profiles deliver something special for everyone. Their cafes offer full breakfast and lunch menus that highlight local farm partnerships and like-minded businesses throughout Sonoma County.”
Flying Goat Coffee
(12oz – $9.99/ea)
“Since 1994, Flying Goat Coffee has been sourcing, roasting and serving the best coffees in the world. We work at every stage of the supply chain — from farm to roaster to cup — with the twin goals of quality and responsibility driving us at every step. Most of the coffee we buy comes from farmers we work with directly. The coffee they produce for us is the result of long-nurtured relationships based on trust, fairness and a genuine respect for the day-to-day challenges coffee farmers face.”
Petaluma Coffee & Tea
“Independently owned and operated since 1989, Petaluma Coffee & Tea Co. opened as a small retail coffee roaster, dedicated to raising the spirits of all who enter. From the beginning we have insisted on using high quality, carefully selected Arabica beans imported from the source, and custom roasted in our local shop. Today our company maintains the same dedication to quality and the business of roasting coffee and brewing great conversation.”
Land & Water Coffee
“Proudly roasting in Santa Rosa, Land and Water Coffee is dedicated to unearthing exceptional coffees to share with you. All of our coffees are ethically and sustainably sourced, and meticulously roasted for balance. Enjoy a bag of our coffee at home or come have a cup with us at our new cafe in Downtown Santa Rosa!”
(12oz – $9.99/ea)
“Bringing high quality and approachable coffee to the fine people of Sonoma County for over 3 decades! Nick and Natasha are pouring their passion into every aspect of the business as the second generation continues the legacy of this local company. Your hunt for great, local, organic coffee is over!”
Bella Rosa Coffee
(12oz – $8.99/ea)
“Bella Rosa Coffee Company quietly opened their doors in 2011 and have been winning over fans with their low acid coffees ever since. 100% Organic with a focus on working with progressive farms and coffee co-ops with an emphasis on quality of life for their grower members. Bella Rosa Coffee Company is the Bohemian’s 2021 Best Local Coffee Roaster for Sonoma County.”