Food trends come and go and it is no less true of coffee. From the 19th century “Folger’s coffee on every table” to the Starbuck’s cup-to-go, the long tail of coffee bean evolution looks like roasting with respect. The revered bean is getting a makeover at independent cafes across the country and Southern Oregon’s coffee entrepreneurs are riding that wave, too. Read on to learn more about the best coffee roasters in Southern Oregon.
“We are now in the third wave of coffee connoisseurship, where beans are sourced from farms instead of countries, roasting is about bringing out, rather than incinerating, the unique characteristics of each bean, and the flavor is clean and hard and pure.” Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly
Slaves to the bean tend to get creative when crafting a beverage. The cartoons and jokes glorifying highly-hyphenated hot latte drink-descriptions don’t exaggerate! What’s out there besides the blended drinks made from scary processed powders? Coffee lovers want to know: Where’s the best spot to capture true country of origin flavor?
Luckily the Rogue Valley has more than its share of high quality cafes, and these serve locally- or Oregon-roasted beans, sourced from sustainable, fair trade small farms. Southern Oregon cafes have you covered.
Open weekdays 7:30am-4:00pm; Saturday 9:00am-4:00pm; Sunday 8:30am-2:00pm
Medford’s only third wave coffeehouse opened in 2013 to a crowd that was hungry for “good coffee”. Owner Clint Orchuk is a self-ascribed coffee head and equipment geek who roasts 100% of the small-farm beans on site. With the exposed brick wall and hip, urban feel, Limestone Coffee is home to highly knowledgeable baristas who deliver cups of true bean flavor unique to their origin…freshly ground and pour-over to order.
Ashland-based Noble Coffee Roasting gets three mentions today – the first is their excellent and spacious cafe on 4th Street in Ashland’s gallery-rich Railroad District. The converted dance space has a big-city warehouse feel with highly professional and friendly staff. (The cafe used to be housed in a garage -see pictures of the conversion here!) Their organic handcrafted coffee is roasted on-site by dedicated coffee-nerds. Try the cold brew coffee or the ice drip; both are made with single origin coffees that change frequently.
Open Weekdays 7am-6pm and Sat 8am-4pm
After several years of roasting beans from several countries, Case Coffee Roasters has narrowed its favorite selections to Guatemala, Colombia, Kenya and Ethiopia. This friendly and sleek coffee shop, located across the Boulevard from Southern Oregon University provides an excellent iced brew! Owners Tim and Katie Case enjoy mixing it up a bit by incorporating other roasters as well. They use an ice-drip system to make their cold brew fresh daily.
Open every day 7:00am-4:00pm
This Jacksonville classic is a multi-roaster cafe that fits right into the charming old mining town. Iced lattes, made with Stump, have long been a local favorite – get one before cruising downtown shops. Or sit in the cafe, located in the old Table Rock Billiard and Saloon building, circa 1852. They serve Stumptown Coffee every day and offer a rotating selection direct-trade single-origins from Coava (co-vuh), Nossa Familia, Ritual, and Case.
Top image: Barb Magee
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