What is an Artisan Roaster?
Think freshly baked artisan bread from your local bakery vs. the processed junk at a megastore.
Artisan roasters work with smaller batches of coffee beans, allowing them to be more selective about where their beans come from. They can also roast each batch to a level that perfectly brings out the flavors unique to each coffee variety, and even each farm.
Whether large or small, local or national, the roasters we use share a few key characteristics. They:
Have a national reputation for attention to detail in each cup they produce
Educate consumers (including our team at Workplace Hardware) on coffee growing, roasting and taste
Have years of expertise and history
Were first to build relationships with farmers and work with them on growing practices to produce better coffee
Lead the pack with new coffee trends & products (like small-batch cold brew)
Just a taste of the roasters we work with...
Caffe Vita has been roasting coffee in Seattle since 1995. They are an independent, locally-owned company. From their beginnings at the base of Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, Caffe Vita now operates nine cafes in the Pacific Northwest, a roasteria cafe in New York City and Portland, and a cafe in Los Angeles.
They are pioneers of the Farm Direct movement, meticulously sourcing the best coffee available while developing long-term, mutually fruitful relationships with coffee growers in more than 11 countries. They work with and invest in farmers who are committed to sustainable practices.
By creating an environment where the customer can see, touch, and taste the coffee they purchase, they provide a unique learning opportunity that allows their coffee to speak for itself. Caffe Vita is always fresh, imported directly from the farm and roasted on-site.
Their story begins in 1995 - a story not so different from many other entrepreneurs and dreamers. At the time, finding great tasting, fresh roasted coffee was surprisingly elusive. So, Doug Zell and Emily Mange decided to do something about it. They didn’t set out to change the world, just a small corner of it.
Relocating from San Francisco, they opened their own coffeebar and retail store in Chicago’s eclectic Lakeview neighborhood. Roasting their coffee in-store, with equipment that was more antique than state-of-the-art, they honed their craft, seeking nothing less than perfection in every aspect of the experience. Little did Doug and Emily know that what started as a way to connect with people and the community in an intimate, personal way would blossom into something that would help shape an entire industry.
Now a Seattle coffee institution, Caffe Ladro opened their first location on Upper Queen Anne in 1994. People ask about the company name origin. Caffe Ladro is Italian for coffee thief. When they opened up right next to Starbucks, they intended to pinch their customers with the best Seattle coffee and staff we could find.
Ladro has always valued sustainably and ethically produced coffee. In 2000, they were the largest chain in the country serving only Fair Trade coffee. Later, in 2011, they launched Ladro Roasting. That division of the company sources green coffees through relationships with coffee farmers and millers. Then it also roasts all the coffee it purchases at their Seattle coffee roastery. Our cupping lab and training program ensure customers always receive perfection.
Since 1991, this family-owned business has experimented with flavor to create a coffee experience indicative of the finest wines. It is this passionate pursuit of quality and refinement that guides them in creating unique and unforgettable tasting sensations. You can experience their work at any LAMILL retail location, at one of our wholesale partners (which may be your neighborhood coffee shop or Michelin-starred restaurant), and now... in your very own workplace!
They source from the finest coffee and tea producing estates and regions in the world. Less than 1% of all coffee beans and tea leaves produced annually meet their exacting standards.