Houston might not be the first place you think of for great coffee, but it has an emerging specialty coffee scene that definitely surprises and delights. With new roasters popping up all over the city, it’s difficult to know just who the best coffee roasters are.
In no particular order, we’ve put together a list of our seven favorite coffee roasters roasting the best coffee beans in Houston. We provide you with a little background on each roaster along with what they have to offer this year.
Boomtown Coffee is a small-batch specialty coffee roasters and cafe chain operating out of Houston. Boomtown was founded in 2011 by Matt Toomey, a certified coffee industry professional.
Before opening Boomtown, Toomey held various jobs in the coffee world, has competed in some of the country’s topmost coffee competitions, and was active in the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Boomtown was founded on the desire to serve coffee that is meticulously roasted and precisely brewed. They also believe that coffee is more than just a shot of caffeine – it can also serve as an inspiration, a comfort, or something to bring people together.
They currently operate three shops, all in Houston. Their first cafe is in Houston Heights, at 242 W 19th Street. Their second location, which is also a bar, is at 300 Main Street.
Their newest location, opened in 2019, is at 800 Capitol Street. Outside these locations, Boomtown sells their coffee online, and to various cafes, bars, restaurants, and bakeries in Houston.
Amaya Roasting have been operating out of Houston since 2008. They work with coffee farmers and importers to ensure their coffees are sourced responsibly, and are of the highest quality.
In order to accentuate the nuances of their coffees, their roasts range from light to medium in coloration.
Amaya coffees are sourced from Central and South America, as well as Africa. Their coffees are available for sale online, and are also served by more than two dozen of Houston’s most popular restaurants and cafes.
Katz Coffee was founded in 2003, placing it among the oldest players in the Houston specialty coffee scene. They’re also among the most successful: Under the leadership of owner and founder Avi Katz, the company has grown 25% each year between 2003 and 2010.
Today, they cater to a staggering amount of retailers, cafes, restaurants, and hotels in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and elsewhere in Texas.
Their success in business is matched by their conscientiousness and philanthropy. First, all their coffee is organic, and they adhere to sustainable practices in their production. Second, they source their coffee responsibly, dealing directly with their farmers (located in Central and South America, Africa, and Indonesia).
Finally, they have a strong community spirit, donating generously to non-profit organizations in Houston. This makes Katz not only one of the top roasters in Texas, but also an active force for positive change in Houston and beyond.
The Greenway Coffee Company started out in 2009, in the form of a boutique coffee roasters and kiosk in the Greenway Plaza in Houston. Co-owned by David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto, the company has since grown and expanded.
The original Greenway Plaza location is now a full-fledged cafe with a small (but high quality) food menu, and they’ve also opened a second coffee shop. Called Prelude Coffee and Tea, it’s located on the ground floor of the Hines tower at 609 Main Street.
This cafe features highly modern decor and airy, open spaces, and serves matcha teas and pastries besides Greenway coffee.
Outside these two locations, Greenway coffee is available for sale on their website, and is served or sold in many bakeries, bars, fine restaurants, cafes, and markets in Houston.
Co-owned by long-time friends Jeremy Perrine and Eric Hammond, Pearland Coffee Roasters was founded in 2009. Perrine, who has experience in managing a cafe, handles the business side of things. Hammond overseas the roasting, ensuring that their coffees have the desired flavor profiles.
They serve their coffee to the people of Pearland from their cafe at 4106 Broadway Street, Pearland. They’re also a wholesale provider, working with a number of restaurants in the Greater Houston area.
Pearland coffee is also available for sale on their website. They offer a variety of blends and single-origins from Colombia, Costa Rica, and Kenya. Their coffee is roasted with care and precision, in small batches twice a week.
Java Pura coffee roasters was founded in 2008 by Houston natives and lifelong friends Richard Colt and Fielding Cocke. Colt is a coffee industry veteran, in the business since 1992.
Cocke is a long-time coffee aficionado, whose background in wine tasting plays an important role in developing Java Pura coffee’s flavor profiles.
Unlike many other roasters, Java Pura doesn’t run a shop, focusing solely on selling their coffees to other businesses instead. As a result, their coffee can be found in many upscale grocery stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants, cafes, and bars in the Houston area, and elsewhere in Texas.
Java Pura takes a uniquely personal approach to sourcing their coffee: All of their imports come from Central American farmers with whom they deal directly, and whom they’ve met in person (and one Kenyan co-operative, with which they also deal directly).
By cutting out the middleman, Java Pura not only has great control over the quality of their coffee, they also practice and promote sustainability and responsibility in the specialty coffee trade.
DISTRICT Roasters was founded in 2014 by a small group of people with a vision. Their goal was to use specialty coffee roasting to fight against economic, physical, and spiritual exploitation and oppression around the globe.
Their motto is “from source to market to source”, by which they mean that the ultimate beneficiaries of their product are the people who produce it.
Coffee farmers have historically been exploited by large corporations and driven to poverty, and many still are. Redirecting profits back to the source does not only help these farmers, but also the communities around them.
DISTRICT achieves this goal by streamlining production and cutting out all middlemen. This means that they source their coffee directly from farmers, and also sell it directly to consumers – either in farmer’s markets in the Houston area, or on their website.
Their philanthropic mission doesn’t distract them from producing top quality coffee. All their coffee is 100 percent organic, and is carefully selected according to flavor, balance, and consistency.
The coffees are hand-roasted, and each batch is inspected for quality. They sell both blends and single-origins, from such locations as Central and South America, Africa, and Papua New Guinea.