Word of Mouth

Conscious Coffees is Roast Magazine's micro roaster of the year

Unless you count the tented stand at the Boulder farmers' market from which a couple of employees proffer tin cans of coffee beans and steaming-hot cups of joe, Mark and Mel Glenn's Boulder-based Conscious Coffees doesn't have a retail outlet. The coffee, though, is everywhere, the beans of choice for restaurants like The Kitchen, 1039 Pearl Street, and cafes like The Cup, 1521 Pearl Street.

Boulder knows the beans are good, but the roaster just scored some national acclaim, too: Roast Magazine just bestowed on the company the title of micro-roaster of the year.

The award is given to the best roaster in the country with an annual output of under 100,000 pounds of beans. This year, Conscious Coffees will roast about 85,000 pounds of coffee -- and all of it is organic.

The publication takes note of Mark Glenn's focus on the nuances of single-origin coffee, roasting small batches to preserve the unique characteristics of the regions from which he sources. It commends Conscious Coffees' focus on community, citing the Glenns' commitment to sourcing at the origin -- buying directly from farmers -- and building model sustainable business practices that include delivering their goods by bike and packaging their beans in reusable steel cans. That community focus extends to the customer base: Conscious Coffees provides educational tours for its buyers and interested customers. Plus, the roaster works only with retailers that share its commitment to good practices.

We're sold. We already liked the coffee. Now we feel good about drinking it, too.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk