Location: Seattle, Wash.
Founded: 2000; began roasting in 2003
Where to get it: Victrola cafes in Seattle; select coffee shops in Seattle and nationwide, including Coffee Commissary in Los Angeles and Weekend Coffee in Dallas; online at victrolacoffee.com
Roaster recommends: Colombia Cerro Azul Geisha AAA. This microlot of the best beans from an award-winning grower is compared to "kissing a unicorn directly in the mouth" with notes of jasmine flower, stone fruit, and brownies. It's best served as a pour over.
A longtime favorite in Seattle, jazz-themed Victrola Coffee Roasters have recently begun partnering with a few other like-minded coffee shops around the country. The company places an intense focus on treating coffee like a market fresh agricultural product, meaning that it swaps out its coffees after a month or two for ones that are more in season. By only using the most recently harvested green beans, the company's coffees retain more of the sugars and oils that provide intense flavor.
"Speeding up that relay race from grower to consumer really brings benefit to the cup," says sales director Joshua Boyt. Victrola is so serious about those sugars and oils that it built custom equipment to help it examine the roast at different points, and techniques are adjusted every week as the coffee beans age. The roaster chose the Jazz Age to represent it, but it would be a virtuoso in any period or genre.