One of St. Louis’ unsung qualities is its coffee.
Today I’d like to encourage you to “buy local” coffee at participating supermarkets (Dierberg’s, Schnuck’s, Whole Foods and others) that stock any of a number of St. Louis roasters big and small.
Local brands to look for on your grocer’s shelves include: Ronnoco, Thomas, Kaldi, Kuva, Stringbean, Chauvin, Goshen, and Mississippi Mud.
There are many other local roasters that you will require you to visit to acquire a bag of beans: Blueprint, Sump, La Cosecha, Shaw’s, Northwest, Park Avenue, Coma, The Living Room or one of the others I’ve missed.
My main point is this… We should all desire to see more local roasts at the grocery store; and on the flipside see brands like Folgers, Maxwell House, Sanka, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Caribou go away.
So which local coffee’s should you try?
I’d recommend surveying the landscape. Both Schnuck’s and Dierberg’s will highlight local coffees at discounted pricing to encourage sampling—usually allowing you to acquire a bag of really good locally roasted coffee for $7.99-9.99.
My household currently has four demanding coffee drinkers: my wife, my daughter (17), my son (21) and myself. We almost exclusively by local for home, work and school consumption. Here are some of the roasters and varieties of beans we have sample recently.
If you like flavored coffee go with the “Highlander Grogg” – it’s a favorite for many. Local grocers may only offer a few blends. Some have 5 or 6 Kaldi’s varieties in bean and pre-ground.
My family has settled on the Colombia Monserrate as our house coffee. It’s great for the morning cup. It’s great for espresso.
Thomas was a surprise for me. I had long passed up their coffees, not even knowing this was from St. Louis. Then on a whim I picked up a bag of their “Premium Blend” and was pleasantly surprised.
Recently a small grocer near our home started stocking their Costa Rican selections. “La Magnolia” in particular stood out.
Thomas coffee’s are reasonably priced and they offer a solid product. A good daily grind.
We often stock up on the “Bona Fide” which offers a bold, chocolate, nutty mouthful of flavor.
It’s not uncommon to see their “Moka Java,” “Ethipia” or “Costa Rica” bags on our shelves as well.
You might settle on one roaster for a year or two and then decide to move on. And that’s okay.
Chauvin offers quite a variety of origins and blends. We typically go with the “House” or the “Full City.”
We also like their “Costa Rican La Minita.”
I first heard of Stringbean at the coffee exhibition at the Missouri History Museum. My favorite is the “Redeye Roast” which tastes like a cup of coffee with a couple shots thrown in. I have also sampled their “Ethiopian True Blue” and the “Malawi Peaberry.” I love that this company was founded by a couple guys who dropped their corporate day jobs to pursue their passon for good coffee.
I just finished a bag of Kuva “Ruwanda a Inzovu” which made for a very smooth cup of joe. I’ll admit this was the first bag of their coffee that I have enjoyed. I will be sampling through their catalog in the months to come.
And lastly for this journey…
We have sampled the “Sumatra” and the “Mocha Java” bagged coffee from Mississippi Mud. This is fairly new in our family’s coffee rotation. But what we’ve sampled to date has been enjoyable.
My point of this short piece is not to offer elaborate reviews of local coffee fare; but to encourage you to sample the wares of our local roasters that are available on your grocer’s shelves and to support our local roaster’s by doing so.
If you know a roaster who is trying to expand their offerings, then by all means write Schnuck’s, Dierberg’s and others to encourage them to stock their shelves with local beans.