This is our list of the best coffee roasters in Chicago, IL in 2021.
There are 38 coffee roasters in the city that roast beans daily. This means that getting fresh coffee is super easy.
But which roasters are the best?
One, The Coffee & Tea Exchange, has been roasting coffee since 1975. For decades, its roasters have matched roasting profiles to make your cup of coffee taste unique.
We've selected the best coffee roasters in Chicago and are sharing this list with you.
Let's take a look.
The Best Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL
Each of Chicago's best coffee roasters can ship coffee that you order online. Let's take a closer look at them.
OUR TOP PICK
Lifeboost coffee is one of the healthiest and smoothest coffees we've ever tried. Its ultra-low acidity is ideal for people with stomach or digestive problems. Combine this with a rich, full-bodied taste, and Lifeboost coffee is a pleasure that you will look forward to every day.
• 100% natural inadvertent low acid Arabica beans
• USDA organic, mycotoxin and pesticide free certified
• All roasts available
Location: 2021 W Fulton St, Suite K-101B, Chicago, IL 60612
Coffee Subscription: Flexible subscription terms. Starting at $18.
Shipping: Delivery via UPS and USPS. Free shipping on orders over $40 and on subscriptions throughout the continental US.
Metric Coffee isn't just one of the best local roasters in Chicago. It is a community of people who know coffee is more than just a drink.
Everyone matters here, from the farmers to the customers. The company constantly publishes reports on working with green coffee suppliers and supporting their work and on participating in charity events. Metric Coffee also hosts a podcast with interviews with professionals in the specialty coffee industry.
When you order coffee online, you get freshly roasted coffee shipped straight to your address. Metric's range of coffees is represented by the finest coffee beans from Ethiopia, Peru, Guatemala, Kenya, and Honduras. You will find both single-origin coffees and blends.
In addition to coffee, the company sells brewing equipment, provides wholesale coffee to cafés and restaurants, and even brings a Cold Brew motorcycle to outdoor events.
Metric Coffee was named the best coffee in Illinois in 2018 by Food & Wine magazine.
Location: 738 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60612
Coffee Subscription: Starting at $17
Shipping: Delivery via USPS Priority Mail. No free shipping.
This is the most extraordinary coffee roaster in Chicago. A psychedelic aesthetic is present in everything at Dark Matter Coffee, from the design of the local coffee shop to the coffee bags.
But the roaster's main feature is its relationship to coffee processing. The company classifies its single-origin coffee beans according to three main processing methods as well as one experimental method.
Coffee processing is the process of turning a coffee cherry into a green coffee bean. Different processing methods reveal coffee's flavor in different ways, take different amounts of time, and require different amounts of effort. The processing of coffee affects its flavor profile and balance.
Processing comes directly after harvesting and often takes place on the coffee farm. To know which processing method is used, a company needs to maintain direct relationships with coffee farmers. Dark Matter Coffee has long worked with farmers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, and Mexico to provide them with good pay and support.
Location: 1105 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
Coffee Subscription: Starting at $20
Shipping: Shipping via UPS and USPS. Delivery to Canada and Puerto Rico is available.
This company was founded by Tim Coonan after he traveled to various coffee-growing areas. He studied coffee roasting techniques and roasted coffee on his own. Later, this spilled over into a chain of cafés throughout Chicago.
Big Shoulders has a large selection of coffees from the best coffee-growing countries, including Ethiopia, Colombia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. It sells both single-origin beans and coffee blends. Many of its coffees have been highly rated by Coffee Review.
For lovers of cold brew, this roaster has a special coffee blend as well as a ready-made drink sold in cans.
The company was voted the best coffee in Illinois by Food & Wine magazine in 2019.
Location: 1850 W Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60612
Certifications: USDA Organic, direct trade
Coffee Subscription: 3 subscription types. Starting at $15.
Shipping: Free shipping from $40 within the United States. International delivery available.
Intelligentsia Coffee is a pioneer third-wave roaster. It opened in Chicago in 1995 and now has coffee shops in multiple major cities.
Throughout its history, the company has repeatedly been included in lists of the best roasters not only in Chicago but also across the US. They have been lauded by such publications as Food & Wine, Good Food Foundation, Eater Chicago, and others.
Intelligentsia Coffee has a large selection of coffees from 9 countries, and the company offers over 20 varieties of Arabica. For your convenience, Intelligentsia's website offers a quiz to help you find the best option.
The espresso coffee is especially worth noting. The company offers four blends that each brew a great espresso but have different flavor profiles. There's also a decaf espresso blend.
Intelligentsia also runs specialty coffee brewing trainings with its baristas. Here you will learn how to brew the coffee properly in a Chemex and with other brewing methods.
Location: 3101 S Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60608
Certifications: USDA Organic, fair trade
Coffee Subscription: None
Shipping: Free shipping from $59. Delivery to the continental United States only.
This company was founded on Chicago's South Side in 2004 as a local roaster and supplier of freshly roasted coffee to cafés and restaurants.
Bridgeport Coffee Company partners with USDA Organic- and fair trade-certified coffee farmers. The company has a good selection of both blends and single-origin beans.
In addition to the standard sizes, Bridgeport sells coffee in large 5-pound bags, which are delivered free of charge. This is convenient if you want to order coffee for an office or a large family.
Another feature of Bridgeport Coffee Company is that, unlike many other local roasters, they do not use a drum roaster. Instead, they use a fluid-bed coffee roaster. Such roasters are well suited for more developed roasting profiles, so you'll notice that this coffee is different from other companies' coffee.
How Can I Find Specialty Coffee In Chicago, IL?
Coffee isn't just a drink—it's a whole world of vivid taste sensations.
One of the main factors that impacts coffee is the freshness of the beans. Beans stay fresh for two months after roasting, but finding fresh coffee in stores can be difficult.
There's a solution: Buy specialty coffee in Chicago from local roasters.
Roasters' goal is to create a product that will help you experience all the facets of the coffee's taste.
Local roasters select the most interesting, aromatic, delicious varieties from North and South America, Africa, India, Indonesia, and other coffee-producing corners of the world. Then they blend and roast the beans.
To give your cup of joe notes of caramel, chocolate, nougat, cookies, berries, flowers, or citrus, coffee roasters experiment with roast profiles and degrees of roasting. They highlight the beans' strengths and mask their weaknesses.
Unlike large coffee producers, local roasters work directly with farmers.
Their main priority is the quality of the coffee. This is why local roasters work with reliable suppliers. They support the best manufacturers with a transparent and fair supply chain.
What does this mean? The farmers get a great price for their coffee, and you get the best product.
How can you buy beans from local coffee roasters?
If you find a coffee roaster near your home, you can buy beans they day they're roasted.
Small-batch production means you always get fresh coffee. Beans are usually roasted twice a week and are immediately shipped to fulfill orders.
Many roasters allow you to subscribe to a coffee delivery plan. Every month, the right amount of your favorite beans will arrive at your doorstep.
Coffiery.com will help you find the best coffee roasters among the huge number of offers in Chicago, IL.
You Can Contribute!
There is a wide range of coffee roasters in Chicago, IL. While we reviewed our favorite roasters, there's always a chance we missed some good ones.
If you have favorites and want to share, leave a comment below. We'd love for you to give us the name of your favorite roaster and their best coffee so we can give it a try!
This way, you can become part of our coffee community and contribute to the improvement of the coffee roasting industry.
We'd also love for you to leave a comment describing your experience if you visit any of the roasters on our list!