The Better Bean

By Alia Akkam / September 7, 2011

Caffe Ibis

If your travels ever take you to Logan, Utah, pop into Caffe Ibis Gallery/Deli for a freshly brewed cup of organic coffee. Owners Randy Wirth and Sally Sears have been custom roasting mountain grown beans since 1976, and use only top grades from 26 different countries to make their triple-certified coffee. The technologically savvy couple have introduced the first-ever Cablevey gentle handling system to place green coffee in humidity and temperature-controlled tempering bins before roasting; coffee is air-cooled after roasting to ensure each cup is at its freshest. One blend to try: Cafe Femenino, crafted by Peru’s female coffee farmers.


Small-batch roaster Klatch out of Upland, California, offers a number of organic and Fair Trade varieties. The Sidamo Schilcho, made with Ethiopian beans grown in the shade of trees native to the Sidamo province, flaunts uplifting notes of citrus and Bergamot tea. Next up for Klatch: Coffee from Helsar de Zarcero, South Africa, a certified organic micro farm in Costa Rica.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

This well-known Northern California-based roaster, combines coffee from Central America, East Africa, and the Pacific to create soothing organic Gaia. Following the cycle of the seasons, the blend incorporates the most exceptional crops of coffee as they are harvested—maybe Guatemala, perhaps Papa New Guinea—so each new release bursts with distinct flavor.


Up until the 17th century, the Middle East was ground zero for coffee production. Yemen’s port of Mocha, home of the original mocha bean, is back in the limelight thanks to Tariq Ausaf, who has reintroduced the luxurious single-origin coffee to consumers as Sanani. Still using the same chemical-free cultivation methods from the 16th century, Ausaf’s farmers also set their own prices, making this brew naturally organic and Fair Trade. Strong, smooth, and flavorful, Sanani is one coffee for the connoisseurs.

Sun Coffee Roasters

The industry changed dramatically through the years, but one thing coffee biz veteran Keith Lemnios noticed was that farmer salaries remained the same. This disparity led him to launch all-organic Sun Coffee Roasters, a favorite among the vibrant college scene, dedicated to the Fair Trade movement. The Plainville, Connecticut-based company uses a high-tech, computer-controlled roaster, the only of its kind in the country, to evenly roast beans supplied by a dozen farmers’ cooperatives across the globe. Look out for the Winter Spice blend debuting late this fall.

Alia Akkam
Alia Akkam

Latest posts by Alia Akkam (see all)