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Chicago’s coffee scene rivals anything on the east or west coasts. Roasters in the windy city played a pivotal role in the early days of the specialty coffee movement, and they still produce some of the best coffees in the world.
In this list, you’ll find some of the best coffee roasters in Chicago, including many that you can purchase on Amazon, or through single orders and subscriptions on their sites. Most of these roasters also have local cafes in the Chicagoland area, in case you want to get up close and personal with the midwest’s best premium coffees.
Dark Matter Coffee
The Mothership – Established in 2008, Dark Matter Coffee is one of the best Chicago coffee brands for many reasons. Not only do they offer incredibly unique and eye-catching packaging for their products, but their coffee is extraordinary and incredibly delicious.
Fans of Dark Matter Coffee have the option to purchase a coffee subscription that enables them to receive their favorite coffee monthly, right in their mailbox, either in 12-ounce containers or even 5-pound bags.
Intelligentsia Coffee Bar
Intelligentsia was one of the early leaders in the third-wave coffee movement. They were huge proponents of direct trade practices, one of the most important social aspects of third-wave coffee.
Intelligentsia Coffee Bar is unique because they freshly roast the coffee beans after you place your order. While customers must wait a bit longer to enjoy their cup of coffee, they’re going to be so impressed that they’ll realize that it’s very well worth the wait. This coffee roaster only hires professionals, which helps them to provide customers with the best overall experience. Their prices are somewhat high, but a majority of customers don’t mind a bit.
Buzz Coffee Roaster & Bakery LLC
Customers often enjoy the intoxicating smells inside this cute, little coffee roaster and bakery, as much as they like the coffee and accompanying treats. Not only does Buzz Coffee Roaster & Bar LLC have some very delicious muffins, scones and other baked goods, but their freshly roasted coffee has a very unique flavor.
Buzz even has a cafe where you can get fancy tea and other wonderful choices. Customers love the fact that their prices are pretty affordable, considering the high quality of their coffee and other menu items.
Sparrow Coffee Roastery
Sparrow coffee roasters pride themselves on their unique bean roasting technology. They have been roasting coffee beans for over three decades, and they have experience roasting over 100,000 different artisanal coffee roasts. Customers have the option of ordering coffee beans or grounds online and having them shipped to their homes, or having a freshly brewed cup in their cafe.
They offer nitro coffee, batch brew, cold brew, and more. If, for some reason, a customer isn’t in the mood for coffee, Sparrow Coffee Roastery offers herbal teas, delicious smoothies, tea lattes, and more.
Jimmy Beans Coffee
This highly-rated Chicago coffee roaster is popular, because not only is their java tasty, but it won’t cause you to go broke if you choose to stop in every morning before work. Customers also appreciate the fact that the owner, Jimmy, is seen on most days roasting coffee beans right there in the coffee shop.
Jimmy and his staff are friendly, down-to-earth and very helpful. Customers can even get a free cup with the purchase of coffee beans. Jimmy Beans Coffee also has some of the best cold brew in the entire city.
Coffee Lab & Roasters
Open since 2018, Coffee Lab & Roasters pride themselves on serving great-tasting coffee in an environment that makes people feel welcome and comfortable. Customers have the option to place their orders online before picking them up, and they can also purchase gift cards or even have coffee beans shipped to their home or office. Customers enjoy this coffee roaster because their coffee is tasty and inexpensive.
Big Shoulders Coffee
Big Shoulders prides itself on offering the best tasting artisan coffee in Chicago. The owners aren’t only passionate about the coffee that they roast, but they’re also passionate about exceeding their customers’ expectations, and that’s exactly what they do on a daily basis. Big Shoulders Coffee offers a relaxing atmosphere for customers to enjoy their coffee, and a free gift is provided with every coffee bean purchase.
Ipsento partners with bean growers from around the world in order to provide customers with a huge selection of international coffee choices from various countries. Whether a customer is in the mood for Colombian coffee, Ethiopian, or something completely different, this coffee roaster likely has it. The coffee is rather pricey, but customers don’t mind paying higher prices for great coffee and friendly service. For customers who are just learning about the differences between coffee beans, this roaster will even give them a lesson.
Grounds Well Coffee Roasters
Grounds Well Coffee Roasters is another great choice in Chicago for various reasons. This coffee shop is always packed, because they bring their customers a variety of different choices from Honduran coffees, Costa Rican brews, Ethiopian beans, and more.
Customers are also impressed with the excellent customer service that they receive, as workers are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure all their customers are satisfied. In addition to coffee, this roaster offers some delectable bakery items, melt-in-your-mouth paninis, and more.
Coffee connoisseurs from everywhere will absolutely adore this coffee roaster. Not only is their shop attractive and offers outdoor seating, but their Guatemalan coffee tastes absolutely magnificent.
Colectivo Coffee offers snacks and cold beverages, which can complete anyone’s experience. Their prices are also quite affordable, which customers really appreciate.
This roaster is often packed on the weekends and finding parking is impossible. That’s because it’s such a desirable place to drink delicious coffee. People love not only the ambiance and the coffee but also the fact that they offer a great number of different coffee bean choices.
Metric Coffee offers friendly service and wonderful coffee, and they even offer espresso classes once a week!
Passion House Coffee
This unique coffee house offers cold brew coffee all year that comes in cans and kegs. Passion House uses an all-cast-iron roaster to give their beans the absolute best taste. These special roasters contain a special technology that is able to extract as much flavor from the beans as possible.
Passion House received its name because the owners are so passionate about making the absolute best coffee possible as well as enabling each and every customer to have the ultimate experience.
Sometimes, enjoying a cup of freshly brewed coffee at a local roaster can be a great way to discover a new favorite that you’d like to make at home. If you can’t make it out to Chicago, though, you can always bring the taste of Chicago’s specialty coffee scene into your home, wherever you live.
To get the most out of these premium coffees, all you need is a good coffee maker, for which I suggest either an automatic pour-over coffee maker or an espresso machine, depending on your preferred coffee brewing method. I’d also suggest a coffee grinder since whole-bean coffee offers a much fresher, tastier coffee experience.