Dragonfly Coffee Roasters and Peerless Coffee & Tea have taken top honors in Roast magazine’s 15th annual Roaster of the Year competition. The two coffee roasting companies are featured in the trade publication’s November/December 2018 issue, available online at roastmagazine.com.

Roast magazine’s Roaster of the Year awards recognize companies that roast coffees of superior quality, exemplify a dedication to sustainability, promote employee and community education, and demonstrate a strong commitment to the coffee industry, among other criteria. The magazine awards top honors in two categories: Micro Roaster of the Year, for companies roasting fewer than 100,000 pounds of coffee each year; and Macro Roaster of the Year, for companies roasting more than 100,000 pounds annually.

Dragonfly Coffee Roasters

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The Dragonfly Coffee Roasters team in its flagship Boulder, Colorado, tasting room. (From left: Kelvin Martinez, Lindsay Parisien, Max Blaustein, Alex Liethen, Tamas Christman, Hilary Clark, Tracy Ane Brooks. Not pictured: Rick Stephen, Kent Weber, Emma Clark.)

Dragonfly Coffee Roasters, with headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, was selected as Roast’s 2019 Micro Roaster of the Year, with a total output of 87,500 pounds of roasted coffee annually. The company earned top honors for its commitment to environmental sustainability; support for coffee-producing communities in emerging origins such as Myanmar, Yemen and Timor-Leste; generous employment practices; and outstanding coffee quality. To further advance its commitment to environmental and social responsibility, Dragonfly is working toward becoming certified as a B Corporation, a third-party certification that help companies of all sizes and in all industries measure and manage their social and environmental impact.

Virtually nothing that passes through Dragonfly goes to waste. The chaff that flakes off the beans, for example, is donated to local horticulturalists as fertilizer, or to a local research lab for use as a substrate for pore cultivation. The burlap from coffee sacks is reused by the community in a variety of ways, the wood from pallets is recycled and repurposed, and even the cardboard green coffee pallet boards are recycled by the company into packaging filler.

Peerless Coffee & Tea

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The Peerless Coffee & Tea leadership team at the company’s Oakland, California, headquarters. (From left, front row: Rebecca Wenrich, Toby Savage, Dindo Lahip, George J. Vukasin, Kristina Vukasin Brouhard, Christine Cano; back row: Eric Eubanks, Lon LaFlamme, Kirstin Orman, George Kechriotis, Jeff Woods. Not pictured: John Ziegler, Scott Huber, Greg Torres, Andy Olah, Bonnie LaMountain.)

Peerless Coffee & Tea, headquartered in Oakland, California, took the top prize for Macro Roaster of the Year, with an output of 3.9 million pounds of roasted coffee per year. Founded in 1924, Peerless is celebrating its 95th anniversary as a family-owned and -operated company in 2019. In recent years, with a third generation at the helm, the company has made remarkable strides in minimizing its environmental impact and providing innovative offerings for its hospitality customers, such as nitro cold-brew draft latte units and cold-brew cocktail recipes developed with leading Bay Area mixologists. It has also expanded its long-standing focus on supporting communities at origin and at home, and sourcing and roasting exceptional coffees.

Peerless continually seeks out new direct sourcing relationships while maintaining established ones, many of which date back more than 30 years. In 2018, the company had more than a dozen single-origin roasted coffees for sale that were sourced directly from farms, including multiple women-owned farms. In selecting its direct farm and co-op partners, Peerless prioritizes those that are either already implementing environmentally sustainable practices or are committed to working with Peerless to further develop water and energy conservation efforts, plant and animal ecosystem preservation and restoration, and more.

About Roast magazine:

The 2013 Maggie award winner for best specialty trade magazine, Roast is a bi-monthly technical trade journal dedicated to the success and growth of the specialty coffee industry. Roast addresses the art, science and business of coffee roasters by covering the issues most important to them, with quality editorial content focused on the technical aspects of coffee. For more information, visit roastmagazine.com.

Past ROY Winners

2005 winner | Counter Culture Coffee
2005 runnerup | Taylor Maid Farms

2006 winner | Stumptown Coffee Roasters
2006 runnerup | Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea
2006 runnerup | Dillanos Coffee Roasters

2007 winner — Micro | Metropolis Coffee Co.
2007 winner — Macro | Intelligentsia

2008 winner — Micro | Higher Ground Roasters
2008 winner — Macro | Zoka Coffee Roasters

2009 winner — Micro | Coffee Klatch
2009 winner — Macro | PT’s Coffee Roasting Co.

2010 winner — Micro | Kickapoo Coffee
2010 winner — Macro | Equator Estates Coffee

2011 winner — Micro | Conscious Coffees
2011 winner — Macro | Dillanos Coffee Roasters

2012 winner — Micro | Bird Rock Coffee Roasters
2012 winner — Macro | Portland Coffee Roasting

2013 winner — Micro | Olympia Coffee Roasting Company
2013 winner — Macro | Gimme! Coffee

2014 winner — Micro | Pilot Coffee Roasters
2014 winner — Macro | Coda Coffee Company

2015 winner — Micro | Portola Coffee Lab
2015 winner — Macro | Reunion Island Coffee Roasters

2016 winner — Micro | Propeller Coffee Co
2016 winner — Macro | Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea

2017 winner — Micro | Mudhouse Coffee Roasters
2017 winner — Macro | Thanksgiving Coffee Company

2018 winner — Micro | Amavida Coffee Roasters
2018 winner — Macro | Oughtred Coffee & Tea

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