The Best Specialty Coffee Roasters In Rhode Island

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According to Clever Real Estate’s 2022 data, Providence ranked fifth among the ​​Best Coffee Cities in America, providing home to about 23 cafes per capita.

So, even a small city, like the capital of Rhode Island, can be an exceptional place to find not just great coffee shops but excellent local roasters too. 

You might view Rhode Island as the smallest state, but it is recognized as the “culinary and creative capital.” This tiny state’s coffee scene is also rapidly growing and competing with the other top coffee states in the country.

Today, we have listed and reviewed some of the best specialty coffee roasters in Rhode Island, particularly in Providence. Let’s see if your favorite local roasters are on this list.

1.      New Harvest Coffee Roasters

New Harvest Coffee Roasters is a Rhode Island-based small-batch specialty coffee roaster that values flavor, consistency, preparation and transparency. This company was founded by Rik Kleinfeldt and Paula Anderson in 2000 with the intent of making excellent coffee accessible to everyone.

New Harvest has now grown to a leading specialty coffee roaster, supplying roasted beans to local cafes in Providence and other parts of the state. Their roastery is open to the public and you can purchase a bag of coffee on their website or at their onsite café.

On of the coffees you should try is their Colombian Zapata. This coffee is directly sourced from Jonathan Zapata’s farm in the Colombian highlands near the Ecuadorian border. It has flavor notes of gingerbread, sweet custard, and clementine, with a sweet cider acidity.

2.      Bolt Coffee Company

Bolt Coffee is one of the best local specialty coffee roasting companies based in Providence, Rhode Island. This company started offering coffee from a single cart at weddings and a downtown pop-up location in 2012. And currently, Bolt serves the Providence community from their three retail locations and a production facility.

What makes Bolt Coffee different from other roasters is that they bring and connect people together through their commitment to quality coffee and customer service.

Their leadership team is comprised of professionals that have profound understanding in various areas of the coffee value chain. And by having experience of over 30 years in the specialty coffee industry, Bolt Coffee has made a name for itself in Providence.

Their Honduras La Quebrada Coffee is an excellent coffee that you wouldn’t want to miss. It has tasting notes of Brown Sugar and Mandarin. You can check this coffee on their online store. They roast and ship throughout the week to get you the freshest beans possible.

3.      Coffee Exchange

The Coffee Exchange is small batch coffee roasters in Providence, RI that offers the best organic, quality coffee available. It was founded by Bill and Charlie Fishbein, together with their parents, Mel and Rose, in 1984.

Coffee Exchange is committed to source excellent coffee, both in terms of flavor and the social, environmental and physiological health of the farmers and communities where the coffee is grown.

This company has always been a leader in supporting Fair Trade coffees and organic movement. They are more focused to buying and roasting some of the finest socially responsible Fair Trade Organic coffees from around the world.

Their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee is one of the finest coffees from one of the world’s famous growing regions. It has a transcendentally clean, bright, sweet and elegant taste that satisfies your cravings. Every day, they roast their own coffee in small batches in their Wickenden Street café to make those artful adjustments that keep specialty coffee special.

4.      Mills Coffee Roasting Co.

Mills Coffee Roasters is a local coffee business and one of Rhode Island’s oldest family-owned and operated roasters. This company was founded by Thomas Mills in 1860. Currently, Mills is now owned by Susan, known as TheQweenBean, and her brother, David.

Mills Coffee is committed to providing their customers with the highest quality beans from farms that are devoted to sustainable farming and processing practices.

Aside from their signature Mills Blend, they expanded their offerings to a variety of fantastic single origins, exceptional decafs, powerful dark roasts, and exotic blends and flavors.

If you haven’t tasted their signature blend yet, you should give it a try. The Mills 1860 Blend, was their sole coffee offering for over 120 years. This classic and popular blend of beans from Central and South America is still a shop favorite. It has powerful, crisp apple overtones with hints of bright lemon that is ideal for breakfast coffee.

5.      Borealis Coffee Company

Borealis Coffee Company is an excellent small batch specialty coffee roaster in Riverside and Pawtucket, Rhode Island. This company was created with the intent to connect people and share great coffee with everyone.  

Borealis considers roasting coffee as a blend of art and science that requires skill and constant attention. They roast their coffee in small batches to ensure you are getting the best freshly roasted beans with every order. This avoids the coffee sitting on a shelf waiting to be sold, allowing the coffee to maximize its quality.

From their product collections, it’s worth trying the Team Crafty Signature Roast. Being a washed coffee, you can expect a clean cup from start to finish with nice, balanced flavors. It has tasting notes of Nuttiness, Milk Chocolate and Apple Tartness. And depending on how you brew this coffee, you might get a clean, chocolatey brew with just a little acidity.

6.      Downeast Coffee Roasters

Downeast Coffee Roasters is an independent local roaster and a 3rd generation family-owned company in Pawtucket, RI. This company was founded in the 1950s with the intent to sourcing and roasting only the world’s absolute best coffee.

Downeast values quality and integrity, and continues to invest in quality and production. From farming to roasting, they craft coffee to offer you a timeless coffee experience. They’re making sure you’re getting absolute premium coffee by hand roasting some of the finest 100% Arabica beans and meticulously following each step of the process.

From their humble beginnings and with nearly 60 years of experience, today, Downeast Coffee have grown into one of America’s most celebrated independent coffee companies, giving simple joy through perfect cup of coffee.

One of the best coffees they have is their Admiral’s Blend. This organic and fair-trade certified coffee is lightly roasted to give a clean and balanced flavor. It has tasting notes of citrus, brown sugar and cocoa.

7.      TLC Coffee Roasters

TLC Coffee Roasters is a coffee house and specialty coffee roaster in West Kingston, Rhode Island. They are rooted strongly in the community and seek to positively impact the world we live in.

This company was established in 1999 with the intent to serve equitably sourced, skillfully roasted coffee that nurtures and comforts the human spirit.  

TLC is devoted to sourcing coffee globally and roasting them locally. They take sourcing seriously. They carefully source the beans from small estate farms around the world. Then the beans are roasted by Ken, their experienced roaster who has been roasting for 10 years. You can find him onsite roasting coffee beans daily. 

One of their unique blends, the French Toast, is an excellent coffee you need to try. Depending on the roast profile, this coffee may offer a winey and fruity flavor, or a nuttier and bolder flavor. You can purchase any of their blends or single origins from their Online Store.

8.      Dave’s Coffee

Dave’s Coffee is a Charlestown-based and local favorite retail and wholesale coffee roasters. It was founded by David Lanning with the intent to learn more about the world of specialty coffee.

Dave’s Coffee started as a small coffee business and has grown over the years. In fact, it has made a name for itself in Rhode Island alone. One of their takeaways is that their focus remains on the coffee growers and on their small batch roasting style.

Dave’s Coffee source responsibly grown and sustainably processed coffees and roast them daily. They’re on a mission to bring responsibly grown, sustainably harvested and perfectly roasted coffees to cafes, restaurants, markets and companies that share the same passion.

Even though they are famous with their Dave’s Coffee Syrup, they still offer excellent blends and single origins. Blind Pig Coffee is a classic house espresso blend that offers a smooth, balanced and sweet taste. This coffee can be a drip as well. It has tasting notes of cacao, black cherry, walnut, with balanced acidity.

Wrapping it Up!

In a small area of the country so heavily saturated with the so called “third wave coffee” scene, you can still find tons of local and independent specialty coffee roasters and cafes. And despite being the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island is an awesome place to be.

Like this article? You might want to read: The Best Specialty Coffee Roasters in California
The Best Specialty Coffee Roasters In New York