Roast Magazine’s 2007 Roasters of the Year

by JulieCraves on November 3, 2007

The November/December issue of Roast Magazine includes their picks for roaster of the year. (You can check out my posts on previous winners here and here.)

In the micro-roaster category (annual output less than 100,000 pounds) is Higher Ground Roasters.

Last May, C&C reviewed three of their selections and I discussed how impressed I was with their wide-ranging and thoughtful sustainability efforts. Roast was also impressed, especially taking into account the considerable challenges faced by Higher Ground on their home turf in Alabama, where specialty coffee is still a bit of a novelty.

The Roast article notes that because the company doesn’t have a retail location,

“Perhaps the biggest challenge Higher Ground faces is getting the coffee into people’s hands for the first time.”

Let me give them a hand and tell you that this is a great small company that deserves this honor, and you should certainly give them a try.


Roast awarded their macro-roaster award to Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Co. We have not reviewed any of Zoka’s coffees yet here at C&C, although I have tried a couple of them. Whereas all Higher Ground coffee is certified organic and Fair Trade, and shade-grown, Zoka does not restrict itself to certified coffees. But Zoka does carry a number of certified organic coffees (7 right now), strives for full traceability, and the Roast article goes on to say,

“…the buyers do make a conscious effort to visit farms and verify firsthand that the producers: 1) maintain a diverse and multi-level shade canopy (when appropriate) on their farms; 2) use natural, worm-generated compost made from cherry pulp at a micro-mill; 3) when necessary, use only parabolic dryers fueled by renewable sources rather than timber from surrounding forests; and 4) safely neutralize all the wastewater from wet mills.”

Congratulations to both of these worthy roasters!

Revised on December 11, 2018

Posted in Retail and specialty roasters

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