best philadelphia specialty coffee roasters
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The Best Philadelphia Specialty Coffee Roasters in 2022

The specialty coffee scene in Philadelphia may not be as widespread as in other parts of the US, but there’s everything you could want within this great city when it comes to excellent coffee.

In no particular order, we’ve put together a list of our seven favorite coffee roasters roasting the best coffee beans in Philadelphia. We provide you with a little background on each roaster along with what they have to offer this year.

Rival Bros

Rival Bros coffee roasters was founded in 2011 by lifelong friends and proud Philadelphians Jonathan Adams and Damien Pileggi. Before opening their company, Adams was a successful chef, and Pileggi was a brand ambassador for La Colombe.

Since their high school days they have dreamed of running a business together, and when Pileggi moved back to Philadelphia from the West Coast – where he discovered his passion for coffee – they decided to make that dream come true.

Rival Bros started out as a coffee truck, in which they brewed their own coffee and served it to the people of Philadelphia. The truck was such a success that in 2014 they opened their first coffee bar at 2400 Lombard Street.

Two more followed at 1528 Spruce Street and at 1100 Tasker Street. Currently, all their coffee is roasted in their Frankford neighborhood roasting facility.

On offer on the Rival Bros website is a range of single origins from Latin America and Africa, several blends, and one decaf blend. Prices start from $13.75 for a 12oz bag that comes in whole bean or in a choice of grind sizes. The blends are also available in 5lb bags, too.

Rival Bros also offers a subscription service so that you never have to worry about running out of coffee. Choose to receive one of their blends or single origins, or select the Roaster’s Choice option to get yourself a nice surprise each time.

Select between one to three bags and a delivery frequency to suit you: weekly, monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, or yearly.
Pack sizes12oz / 5lb
Bag priceFrom $13.75
Whole bean & ground?Both
Subscription service?Yes

La Colombe

La Colombe is a Philadelphia-based coffee roaster and retailer. Founded in 1994 by experienced restaurateur JP Iberti and entrepreneur, philanthropist, and adventure traveler Todd Carmichael, La Colombe now operates 30 cafes across the country.

The company prides itself on being not only a successful business but also a force for positive change in the world. Among other things, they follow sustainable and environment-friendly practices, supporting National Parks and coffee farmers in Haiti.

La Colombe sources small-batch blends and single-origin coffees from all over the globe, in addition to unique, locally-roasted blends. The result is a rich and eclectic selection, which is on offer in their Philadelphia cafes, in their other locations across the US, and on their website.

La Colombe offers on its website one of the largest selection of coffees that we’ve seen. If you find that you can’t decide, you can filter the choices by coffee types such as organic, single origin, blends, or decaf. Or instead filter by roast profile: light, medium, or dark.

Prices start from $13 for a 12oz pack, with the option to also purchase in larger, 5lb bags. The coffees are available as whole bean or a very wide range of grind sizes that includes Turkish grind.

La Colombe’s subscription is a little limited compared to others available, with only two choices, which are a light to medium roast coffee, or a medium to dark roast coffee. Delivery frequency is weekly, fortnightly, three-weekly, or four-weekly.

The subscription service can be purchased for yourself or as a nice gift for a fellow coffee lover.
Pack sizes12oz / 5lb
Bag priceFrom $13
Whole bean & ground?Both
Subscription service?Yes


Founded by Aaron and Elizabeth Ultimo, Ultimo Coffee was one of the first arrivals on the Philadelphia specialty coffee scene, opening their first cafe at 1900 S 15th Street in 2009.

They have since opened at three other locations: one in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood in 2012, one off Rittenhouse Square in 2017, and one in Germantown in 2019.

In 2016, after seven years in the business, they started roasting their own coffee as Ultimo Coffee Roasters. Operating out of the company’s South Philadelphia facility, Aaron Ultimo is taking a hands-on approach to mastering the craft.

Having started out slowly, roasting around three batches a week, Ultimo plans to eventually supplant the Counter Culture Coffee they previously bought. Ultimo coffee is available for purchase at any of their Philadelphia locations or on their website.

Ultimo as a range of single origins from Africa and Latin America, with one decaf option. The coffees are only available as whole bean, so make sure you’ve got yourself a good coffee grinder. Prices for their 12oz bags start from $15, with packs also available in 1.5lb and 5lb sizes.

The company has also teamed up with Swift Cup Coffee to produce a specialty instant coffee, which is a far cry from the likes of Nescafé or Folgers.

The subscription service offered by Ultimo is available either weekly or monthly, depending on your preference. Ultimo selects a coffee from their range for each delivery, a great way to try out new and exciting coffees.
Pack sizes12oz / 1.5lb / 5lb
Bag priceFrom $15
Whole bean & ground?Whole bean only
Subscription service?Yes


Elixr is an award-winning, Philadelphia-based coffee roasters owned by Evan Inatome. Founded in 2010, Elixr went on to win accolades for their blends, baristas, cafes, and even their packaging. They not only sell and serve their own coffee, but they also supply wholesale coffee to much of Philadelphia and other cities in the US.

Elixr sources its coffee through independent or specialty importers such as Cafe Imports, Ally Coffees, and InterAmerican, whose imports include certified Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance coffees. They are roasted using Elixr’s Deitrich IR-12 Roaster and loaded into award-winning, stylized bag-in-box packages.

The company operates three cafes which are located in West Philadelphia, Center City, and Callowhill. The Callowhill location, at 315 N 12th Street, is Elixr’s newest location, opening in 2018. It is both a roastery and cafe, where patrons can their coffee in a minimalist, Japanese-inspired Wabi-sabi environment.

The Elixr website has a nice range of coffees that include blends, single origins and a decaf. Prices start from $16 for a 12oz bag of whole bean coffee, with the option to purchase larger 5lb bags too.

If you find that you need a lot of caffeine to keep yourself going, take advantage of the discount on offer of three bags for $45. Unfortunately, there’s currently no subscription service available from Elixr.
Pack sizes12oz / 5lb
Bag priceFrom $16
Whole bean & ground?Whole bean only
Subscription service?No


ReAnimator Coffee was founded in 2010 by Philadelphia natives Mark Corpus and Mark Capriotti. After working for several years in their respective fields of business and engineering, they entered the world of coffee, roasting blends in Capriotti’s house basement.

What began as a hobby quickly turned into a passion and then a business, as the two quit their day jobs and opened their first cafe in Fishtown.

ReAnimator gets its coffee from importers and brokers, as well as through direct relationships with coffee farmers in several countries. Their coffee is roasted in a Probat machine, with a state-of-the-art computer program used to ensure consistency and quality.

Since their foundation in 2010, they have opened two more locations. You’ll also find ReAnimator coffee served at other businesses in Philadelphia such as the beautiful Res Ipsa restaurant and Hello Donuts.

The Kensington cafe located at 310 W Master Street is also the company’s roasting facility, providing customers insight into their roasting process and ideology.

Amongst the offerings on the ReAnimator website are the usual blends and single origins, as well as special, limited releases. Prices start from $15 for a 10oz bag that is available as both whole bean or ground. The coffees are also available in larger packs of 2lb and 5lb.

The company also offers specialty instant coffee available as single serve or in boxes of six. Specialty instant is a growing trend, and the single serve option is a great way to give it a try.

The ReAnimator subscription service offers a choice between a single origin selected by the roaster, a blend of your choice or their decaf. Select as many bags as you like in your preferred size, and choose delivery weekly, fortnight, three-weekly or monthly.
Pack sizes10oz / 2lb / 5lb
Bag priceFrom $15
Whole bean & ground?Both
Subscription service?Yes

Backyard Beans

Backyard Beans gets its name from its humble beginnings: the co-founders’ Laura and Matt Adams backyard. They started roasting coffee as a hobby, but when they noticed the absence of specialty roasts in Philadelphia’s farmers’ markets, they decided to start selling their own.

It became a glowing success, and within a year they were running a booming roasting business out of a professionally run, commercial facility.

Today they sell their roasts to farmers’ markets around Philadelphia, as well as to almost 100 restaurants and retail locations, including their own cafe at 408 W Main Street in Lansdale. Backyard Beans are committed not only to top-quality roasts but also to responsibly-sourced, sustainably-grown coffee.

Starting from $13 for a 12oz bag whole bean or ground coffee, Backyard Beans offer really nice selection of coffee from Latin America, Africa, and Asia, the three major growing regions in the coffee belt. The coffees also come in larger sizes packs of 16oz and 5lb.

Choose between single origins, blends, decaf, and organic. Amongst the offerings are award-winning coffees from the Good Food Awards.

There are three options to choose from with Backyard’s subscription service: Punch in the Face, for those that enjoy a dark roast; unique single origins; or the surprise option of Roaster’s Choice. Unfortunately, the minimum order is for 2lb of coffee, which is only available for delivery once per month.
Pack sizes12oz / 16oz / 5lb
Bag priceFrom $13
Whole bean & ground?Both
Subscription service?Yes


Vibrant Coffee Roasters is a relative newcomer to the Philadelphia coffee scene, having been founded in 2018. Yet in that short time, Vibrant has already received rave reviews for its blends, winning the 2020 Good Food Awards, as well as other awards and nominations.

They don’t let their success go to their heads, however, as Vibrant believes that coffee should be simple and fun. While committed to providing top quality coffee, they also attempt to remove what they see as the snobbiness and pretentiousness that has become part of specialty coffee culture.

Vibrant serves its coffee at the Function Coffee Labs cafe (which is a Vibrant sister company) at 1001 S 10th Street, and they also sell it to wholesalers in and around Philadelphia.

Their coffee is roasted on a Loring S15 Falcon Smart Roaster, which provides superior consistency and balance to their roasts. They also strive to source their coffee responsibly, working with importers who mostly focus on single producers and small co-ops.

Understanding the seasonal nature of coffee, Vibrant provides a rotating variety of blends, so that whatever coffee is on offer is always at peak flavor.

On the Vibrant website, you’ll find a choice of blends, single origins, decaf, organic, and limited edition roasts. Prices start from $14 for a 10oz bag of whole bean coffee, so burr grinder is a must. There is also the option of larger 5lb bags, too.

Vibrant’s subscription service has a choice of two different types of coffee, depending on whether you prefer traditional-style coffee or something a little more adventurous. Select between one to four bags to be delivered weekly, fortnightly, three-weekly, or four weekly.
Pack sizes10oz / 5lb
Bag priceFrom $14
Whole bean & ground?Whole bean only
Subscription service?Yes

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