Location: Chicago, Ill.
Founded: 2003
Where to get it: Metropolis Coffee Company cafe in Chicago; select coffee shops throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Hoche Cafe in Montreal; online at metropoliscoffee.com
Roaster recommends: Costa Rica Finca La Mirella Organic (washed or honey processed). The same farm applied different processing techniques to two lots of the same coffee, giving each a distinct taste, although both have similar notes of black cherry and sugar cane.

The Metropolis cafe in Chicago isn't the type of sleek, laboratory-style coffee bar that's come into vogue in recent years, but rather a familiar neighborhood hang and community hub that happens to offer a world-class coffee program. The father-son company purposefully takes a populist approach to its roasting, striving to offer coffees with a variety of flavor profiles at a range of price points. "We believe that everyone, regardless of status or background, should have access to amazing coffee," co-owner Tony Dreyfuss says.

Among the other things Metropolis believes are that it should be improving the lives of the people it comes into contact with—whether financially, ecologically or aesthetically—and that, according to its website, "coffee cannot exist without art." With an approach like that, it's no wonder Metropolis was named Roast Magazine's Micro-Roaster of the Year in 2007, or that it continues to be a local favorite in an increasingly coffee-oriented city.