The finalists for the 2017 Good Food Awards were officially announced last night. Back for its sixth year, the Good Food Awards honor beer brewers, chocolatiers, cheese mongers, coffee roasters, and other American-based culinary craftspeople that take a holistic view toward the products they produce, creating not only exemplary flavors but doing so in ethical and environmentally friendly ways.
There are 25 finalists this year in the field of coffee—four more than last year—making it the largest finalist group in the history of the award’s coffee designation. Of those 25, 12 have previously taken home a Good Food Award, with nine winning multiple times, making for a total of 23 awards amongst the 2017 finalists. Kickapoo Coffee – a perennial finalist – is shooting for a staggering fifth award. That leaves 13 roasters looking for their first piece of hardware, all but one—Speckled Ax Wood Roasted Coffee—being first timers to the finals round as well (as best we can tell. The GFA don’t have the best records for the finalists in the early competitions).
The finalists come from 17 states across the country, the largest concentration coming from the west coast and California in particular with five. Two of those states – Ohio and New Jersey – are seeking their first Good Food Award in the field of coffee.
Though the geographical spread of coffee roasters is diverse, the coffee origins on the other hand are anything but. 20 of the finalists are at least part Ethiopian coffee (it’s unclear if Lineage Roasting has two entries—a Kenya and an Ethiopia—or one entry that is a blend of the two). The next most used origin is Panama with four entries. A single Guatemala and that Lineage Kenya of unknown concentration round out the list.
The complete list of 2017 Good Food Awards finalists is as follows:
Anchorhead Coffee, Guatemala Huehuetenango – Codech, Washington
Bard Coffee, Hambela Estate, Maine
BeanFruit Coffee Company, Ethiopia Adame Gorbota Cooperative, Mississippi
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Panama – Hacienda La Esmeralda Noria Lot, California
Case Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia, Hunkute, Oregon
Craft & Mason Roasting Co., Ethiopia Hunkute, Michigan
Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, Ethiopia Kossa Kebena, Ohio
Equator Coffees & Teas, Panama Esmeralda Mario – Carnaval, California
Giv Coffee, Panama – Boquete – Kotowa Geisha Natural, Connecticut
Higher Grounds Trading Co., Yirgacheffe Idido, Michigan
Intelligentsia Coffee, Ethiopia Kurimi – Angelino Profile, California
Intelligentsia Coffee, Ethiopia Kurimi – Chicago Profile, Illinois
Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, Organic Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Charbanta Natural Process, Wisconsin
Klatch Coffee, FTO Ethiopia Gedeb, California
La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha, Pennsylvania
Lineage Roasting, Kenya – Kagumoini (Kamacharia Coop) & Ethiopia – Bokasso, Florida
Mr. Espresso, Ethiopia FTO Worka Natural, California
Noble Coffee Roasting, Ethiopian Adisu Kidane & Ethiopian Shilcho, Oregon
Novel Coffee Roasters, Ethiopia Bokasso, Texas
Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia Konga, Washington
Onyx Coffee Lab, Ethiopia – Hambela Buku, Arkansas
OQ Coffee Co., Kayon Mountatin Farm, Ethiopa, New Jersey
Red Rooster Coffee Roaster, Ethiopia – Washed Hambela, Virginia
Speckled Ax Wood Roasted Coffee, Ethiopia Bekele Dukale, Maine
Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co., Ethiopia – Kayon Mountain, Minnesota
The winners will be announced on January 20th at the 2017 Good Food Awards Ceremony & Reception at the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center. But until then, congratulations to all 2017 finalists, be they first-timers or the Kickapoos of the world, who are starting to look more like Michael Phelps than a coffee roaster.
Photos by Noah Sanders for Sprudge.