“If it weren’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever”
We’re definitely coffee fiends up here in the Last Frontier. Maybe it’s the weather. Alaska has no shortage of extremely cold days. You add the long dark winter nights to the mix and it’s no wonder people up here could use a hot drink and some serious caffeine. Here’s the good news though, the coffee culture of the Pacific Northwest seems to have migrated up to our part of the world in recent years. As much as we all enjoy firing up the Mr. Coffee on a frigid Alaska morning, nothing beats a truly well made cup of coffee. Fortunately, we’ve been getting all kinds of high quality low fuss coffee shops in the last few years. If there’s one place that can appreciate and support a thriving coffee culture, it’s Alaska!
If there’s one place to start when looking for the best coffee in Alaska, is Kaladi Brothers Coffee. This Anchorage coffee institution, with the motto “made in Alaska, by Alaskans, for Alaskans”, has been roasting high quality coffee since 1986. Although starting with a single coffee cart in Anchorage in 1986, Kaladi Brothers Coffee now boasts over a dozen coffee shops in Alaska. The secret to the Kaladi Brothers flavor is the use of a Sivetz Fluid Bed Roaster, which uses fresh hot air to roast the beans as opposed to the heated metal surface found in a traditional coffee roaster. This technique creates a vibrant and uniform roast. They are now shipping their coffee and branded merchandise worldwide, so clearly the secret of the best coffee in Alaska is out! However, if you are in Alaska and need a jolt of the best coffee around, there are plenty of physical locations in Anchorage, Wasilla, and Soldotna. There’s even a location in Seattle! We’re starting to show the coffee snobs what the rest best coffee is! When in a Kaladi Brothers we recommend the Red Goat Blend. It’s the best every day blend we may have ever had. Nothing fills us with pride more than knowing the best coffee in Alaska is probably the best coffee period!
If you want to keep it fiercely local and want to check out the best kept secret for the best coffee in Alaska, check out Steam Dot in Anchorage. If Kaladi Brothers have the every day blend, Steam Dot is where you go to get that next level coffee. Their curated beans are air roasted and prepared slowly. They refer to it as an “Artisan preparation” which really means the barista takes their time to ensure you get the best coffee in Alaska. If you need to run in and grab that quick coffee fix, Steam Dot may not be the right venue for you. However, if you’re looking to sit down and treat yourself to a perfectly made cup of coffee, check out one of the cafes in Anchorage.
We’ve been a little Anchorage heavy in this post so far. You can’t blame us though, our biggest city has the most coffee shops. If you’re looking for the best coffee in Alaska you are going to go where the most shops are, right? Here’s the thing though, the great part about Alaska is there is incredible coffee everywhere. If you’re in Fairbanks, you get access to Alaska Roasting Co. Although based in Fairbanks for over twenty years, the interesting thing about this roaster is it’s owner and founder previously lived in Kenya for several years learning about the coffee business. It’s probably not a shock to any reader to learn that Alaska coffee is not grown locally. It is a business that involves importing beans from much MUCH warmer climates. Michael Gesser of Alaska Roasting Co is in the unique position to know what exactly to look for in green coffee beans. That advantage allows him to import only the best beans for roasting. Currently, they are specializing in selling single estate varietal coffee beans. Specializing in such a narrow field allows for a more uniform roast.
You may find yourself wondering if there are any opportunities for the best coffee in Alaska once you get out of the cities. This is Alaska, there’s beauty everywhere–especially when it comes to coffee. In Gustavus, you’ll find Sentinel Coffee. One of the many great things about Sentinel Coffee is their commitment to ethical business. The beans are all organic, roasted with electricity generated by hydro power, and delivered via an electric vehicle. Sentinel prides themselves on having relationships with the farms that grow the beans so they know that the workers and land are treated fairly. As great as their business is, it wouldn’t mean as much if they couldn’t deliver an exceptional product. Let’s just say Sentinel Coffee is as delicious as it is ethical. Beans are roasted weekly so you can be guaranteed a fresh cup every time. And if coffee isn’t your jam, first why are you reading this and second, Sentinel also offers teas foraged from the great landscapes of Alaska. If you’re looking for the best coffee in Alaska with values you can support, Sentinel Coffee is for you.
So what are the best kept secrets in Alaskan coffee? Where are the little shops and roasters that are off the beaten path? We want to know and our readers want to know. Drop us a line and let us know where to find the best coffee in Alaska!