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The Best Coffee Roasters in the U.S. Right Now Courtesy of Kickapoo

18. Kickapoo

Location: Viroqua, Wis.
Founded: 2005
Where To Get It: Coffee shops throughout the Upper Midwest, including Bradbury’s in Madison, Wis. and Brewed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; online at kickapoocoffee.com
Roaster Recommends: Organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Idido. The roaster describes it as having a bright citric acidity with flavors of tart red cherry and strong spring floral notes. It's best brewed as a Hario V60.

Known for sourcing coffees that are almost all organic, Kickapoo is a standard bearer for the idea that sustainability and quality aren’t mutually exclusive focuses. Not only does the company look to source its coffee directly from certified organic farms focused on environmentally friendly practices, but it also works exclusively with small producers in democratically run co-ops, to ensure that the farmers are having a say in what happens to their coffee.

What Kickapoo is doing has helped it stand out, as the company won Roast Magazine’s Micro Roaster of the Year award in 2009 and a Good Food Award this year. Perhaps the most visible sign of Kickapoo’s environmental commitment, though, is the fact that, since 2007, its coffees come in steel cans rather than plastic or foil-lined bags. The cans great reusable containers for coffee or other items, and steel is the most widely recycled metal, explains co-owner and head of sourcing Caleb Nicholes. In contrast, those lined bags “are one of the worst things to biodegrade.” If you’re in need of a new place to put your pens or store your spatulas, it’s a no-brainer.

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