2009 winner—Micro—Coffee Klatch | Mike Perry | Roaster of The Year | Roast Magazine

Coffee Klatch Roasting of San Dimas CA has been announced as Roaster of the Year for 2009 as the top micro coffee roaster in the United States. The term Micro Roaster is synonymous with true artisans who focus on handcrafted coffees and who truly prefer quality over "the other stuff."

The competition by Roast Magazine featured the top coffee roasters in the country, but when the grounds settled, Coffee Klatch simply had the best coffee. According to Connie Blumhardt; "Coffee Klatch embodies the soul and heart of a true micro-roaster. Roast magazine chose Coffee Klatch as our 2009 Micro Roaster of the Year because of their commitment to purchasing sustainable coffee, educating employees and customers as well as giving back to the coffee community. And they have some of the best roasted coffee in the country."

While Coffee Klatch, home of two-time United States Barista Champion Heather Perry, has built a reputation of creating outstanding espresso blends and is the only company ever awarded "Best Espresso in the World" by the prestigious World Barista Championship Judges in Tokyo last year, it was their expertly crafted and artesian roasted estate coffees and blends which separated them from the competition.


Coffee's that won the award for Coffee Klatch Roasting included Panama Esmeralda Lot 9, the highest rated coffee of the competition. Ken Davids of Coffee Review in his 94 POINTS - September 2008 assessment describes our Colombia  Monteblanco Rodrigo Sánchez Carbonic Maceration as:: "Sweetly bright aroma, with tight-knit complexity: flowers, cocoa, honey, aromatic wood. In the cup lightly syrupy in mouthfeel, sweetly and lushly acidy but superbly balanced, with deep-toned night floral notes, orangy citrus and continued hints of cocoa and aromatic wood. Rich, flavor-saturated finish.


In describing who should drink it Ken stated: "A superbly balanced but complete version of the great Esmeralda Gesha profile."

Next was what Judge Manne Alves described as the Best Coffee from El Salvador: La Montana. This large bean Pacamara varietal is another Coffee Klatch Direct-Trade coffee. This coffee comes from Raul 'Beto' Ochoa of Finca La Montana who last year finished first in the El Salvador Cup of Excellence. Mike visited Beto in January after a cyclone hit much of Central America and particularly his farm. While much of the crop was destroyed, Coffee Klatch was able to secure this coffee and are helping Beto to rebuild his farm. The taste profile is very sweet all the way through with floral, jasmine fragrance and aroma with a bright crisp acidity. Clean fruity notes of cherry, candied orange, peach, and stone fruit followed by a long resonant finish. The final coffee submitted was XV Anniversary Blend. As part of Coffee Klatch's 15 year anniversary celebration, they wanted to create a coffee that expressed their personality and love. Since Coffee Klatch is an informal gathering for coffee and conversation, they wanted the blend to create conversation and express their passion for relationships. To this end they decided to feature two Direct Trade coffees where they have built relationships with farmers who produce exceptional coffee. The first component is their 100% Bourbon from Las Mercedes in El Salvador. Their lot (Pepinal 1) is the same lot that was awarded first place and 94 points at the 2006 El Salvador Cup of Excellence. As part of the Direct-Trade agreement, 10% of the contract price goes back to support the community with sports programs for children and a medical clinic for the surrounding community. To the Las Mercedes they add their 1750 Reserve Lot from friend Carlos Aguilera of Carmen Estate in Panama. The reserve lot is from the top of the farm, all above 1750 m. Carlos' attention to quality has paid off year in and year out. This year Carmen Estate finished 2nd at the Best of Panama Auction. Both Coffees are Rainforest Alliance Certified, Direct-Trade, and exceptional. This blend will have people talking not only about Direct Trade, but also of this blends sweet, fruity and delicious flavor.

According to Coffee Klatch owner and roastmaster Mike Perry, "winning coffees are born as a result of nurturing relationships with the farmers who grow the beans". Mike believes that the art of the creating world's best coffee begins right where the seeds are planted, that's why he painstakingly travel the globe to ensure he has the first look at the finest results of each harvest. His commitment to honest business practices means building trust and loyalty with the farmers he works with. All of this is accomplished through a Direct Trade model and a simple handshake.
After the beans make their journey from far-away-lands to Southern California, the quest for only the best continues. Though committed to sourcing from only the top 1% of coffee in the planet, Mike again cups the beans again to ensure the product has maintained the character and quality that Klatch requires. Finally comes the magic - from what the specialty coffee industry calls a "Micro-Roaster." This term is synonymous with true artisans who focus on hand crafted coffees and who truly prefer quality over "the other stuff." Here is where Mike uses his degree in Bio-Chemical Engineering to combine science and artistry in crafting his own 'Peak of Flavor' roast style where each bean is hand roasted to a unique profile where the flavor is at its peak. And the awards prove is Coffee Klatch Roasting is doing it right:
-World's Best Espresso, WBC Tokyo 2007
-Highest Rated Espresso, 94 points, Coffee Review 2006-Over 15 coffees rated 90 points or above
-World's most expensive coffee, Panama Esmeralda, Best of Panama auction, 2007, $130 per pound
-Home to only two-time United States Barista Champion Heather Perry, 2nd in World, Tokyo 2007
-And now: "Roaster of the Year" by Roast Magazine

The Macro (or large) Roaster award was give to PT's Coffee of Topeka KS. Owner Jeff Taylor is a friend and frequent buyer of coffee lots with Coffee Klatch. Barista Pete Licata of PT's finished 2nd to Heather Perry of Coffee Klatch at the United States Barista Championships.