The Good Food Awards announced its finalists in a number of categories, including coffee, highlighting food craftspeople dedicated to making great food items that are responsibly sourced and environmentally conscious.
Photos by Good Food Awards
While we were all obsessively checking the scores during this weekend’s CoffeeChamps in Knoxville, a number of roasters were being honored at the 2017 Good Food Awards. Held at the War Memorial Herbst Theater in San Francisco, California, the Good Food Awards (GFA) honors artisan food purveyors in 14 categories: 14 categories: beer, cider, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, confections, honey, pantry, pickles, preserves, spirits, oil, preserved fish, and of course coffee.
15 winners were narrowed down from 25, representing roasters from all over the country. Multiple GFA winner Spyhouse Coffee Roasters out of Minnesota won with a coffee from Ethiopia, while old school coffee players like Mr. Espresso out of Oakland were distinguished for their naturally processed Ethiopia Worka coffee. Many of the coffees were from Ethiopia and Kenya, with a few Panamanian Gesha coffees rounding out the list from roasters like Giv Coffee, based in Canton, Connecticut. Intelligenstia Coffee notably won two awards for one coffee—Ethiopian Kurumi roasted at their Los Angeles Roasting Works and one in their Chicago Roastery.
The Good Food Awards is meant to bring together exceptional products from passionate craftspeople. In regards to coffee, judges are looking for according to their website, the GFA hopes to highlight coffees, “distinguished by exemplary flavor—sweet, clean, well developed body, balanced acidity and phenomenal aromatics. To qualify for entry, roasters and coffee farmers must emphasize fairness and transparency from seed to cup,” according to the GFA website. Not only do coffees have to be tasty, but they must also demonstrate a commitment to environmental consciousness and social justice. Judges were pulled primarily from the roasting end of the coffee chain, and flew in towards the end of last year to blind taste and evaluate all the finalists. Devorah Freudiger of Equator Coffee in San Rafael, California and Dani Goot of Bellwether Coffee in Berkeley are the chairs of the coffee committee.
The awards ceremony, which took place on Friday, coincided with Inauguration Day, which “reinforced the values and unify of the food community, and connected the visiting winners to many city-wide initiatives,” GFA representatives stated in a press release. Many of the food served at the awards ceremony brought attention to current social initiatives taking place all over the United States, and participation wasn’t just limited to the awards ceremony itself. Manoomin, wild rice cultivated by the Ojibwe in Minnesota, was served both at the ceremony and at 24 restaurants throughout San Francisco, with funds from sales of the rice going to the continued peaceful protests at Standing Rock.
Overall, the event emphasized that, while many of the participants and winners come from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets, the food we create and cultivate is what brings us together. “Your fine bourbons, your pickled herring draw us to the table, one of the last spaces where people with different views still come together, listen and share. As architects of hospitality, we have the responsibility to ensure people of all creeds, colors and orientations are invited to the table,” GFA Founder Sarah Weiner noted during the ceremony.
Here’s a complete list of the winners:
Bard Coffee, Hambela Estate, Maine
BeanFruit Coffee Company, Ethiopia Adame Gorbota Cooperative, Mississippi
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Panama – Hacienda La Esmeralda Noria Lot, California
Craft & Mason Roasting Co., Ethiopia Hunkute, Michigan
Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, Ethiopia Kossa Kebena, Ohio
Giv Coffee, Panama – Boquete – Kotowa Geisha Natural, Connecticut
Higher Grounds Trading Co., Yirgacheffe Idido, Michigan
Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Charbanta Natural Process, Wisconsin
Klatch Coffee, FTO Ethiopia Gedeb, California
Lineage Roasting, Kenya – Kagumoini (Kamacharia Coop), Florida
Mr. Espresso, Ethiopia FTO Worka Natural, California
Noble Coffee Roasting, Ethiopian Adisu Kidane & Ethiopian Shilcho, Oregon
Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia Konga, Washington
Red Rooster Coffee Roaster, Ethiopia – Washed Hambela, Virginia
Speckled Ax Wood Roasted Coffee, Ethiopia Bekele Dukale, Maine
Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia – Kayon Mountain, Minnesota
You can find a list of the winners in other categories here.