As a kid, I used to go to an organic farm with my mother and pick fresh produce for our kitchen. Through this experience I saw the importance of buying local. Today, a huge emphasis is put on buying fresh produce from your local farmers. It not only is healthier but keeps local money, local!
Coffee beans do not grow locally…but they are roasted locally !
The same concept applies to buying local coffee! However, instead of thinking locally grown coffee, think more locally roasted coffee. Roasting is the process by which coffee beans are transformed physically and chemically from a green coffee bean to a light, medium, or dark roasted bean.
In contrast with industrially roasted beans, locally roasted beans are fresher and are more flavorful. This is why many local coffee shops choose to roast their own beans right in the shop!
Local vs. Corporate
Coffee is one of the top traded commodities in the world. Coincidently, its my top choice of beverages ESPECIALLY in the morning. One of my favorite things is drinking a frothy, vanilla latte, in a special mug, while sitting in a unique coffee shop (my personal favorite is Common Grounds in Lexington, KY). I will admit, though, that in my time of need (between the hours of 7am-11am) a fast cup from Starbucks is always welcomed.
With the increasing number of Starbucks, competition between gourmet, local coffee shops and the popular chain has risen. However, its not just Starbucks that is included in this competition. Major chains like Dunkin Donuts have costumers running on Dunkin, as well.
Although, it seems that these major corporations have a hold on the market, local stores are finding ways to break through. Local stores have acquired a certain “identity” and with this identity there are a few characteristics that are used attract their costumers…
- Quality over quantity – Many coffee shops have perfected their roasting technique to have a unique flavor of bean that has a rich taste. This roasting technique is done locally which means fresh coffee, too!
- Focused on the basic drinks – Although, a citrus mocha latte sounds interesting…I am going to have to stick with the latte. Local coffee shops focus more on the traditional Italian drinks and have created an identity known for expertly creating these classic drinks.
- Coziness is a major key – While every Starbucks around the world has the same feel, local coffee shops are uniquely decorated and designed. This unique design creates a more “homie” feel that just makes you want to stay!