Scott Witham is the owner/head roaster at Lone Pine Coffee Roaster.
A caveat: I don't go out for coffee very often. Most of the cups I consume are at Lone Pine. Surely, I'm leaving out many worthy establishments and their delicious coffee drinks. You'll also notice that my top five are all small espresso drinks or brewed coffee. While I enjoy the occasional mocha or caramel latte, it's never what I get when I go out for coffee. I'm so thankful to be part of a coffee community that is excited about craft and continually making tastier coffee. Here are my top five cups of coffee, in no particular order.
1) Ethiopia Meaza espresso at Palate
The Meaza is a really nicely prepared Yirgacheffe from the Kochere district. The shots I had were honey sweet with floral and fruited (berry) complexity and a bittersweet chocolate finish. Ethiopia Meaza Espress is sourced and roasted by Coava.
2) The Sermon espresso at Bad Wolf Bakery
I also had a delightful cup at Bad Wolf pulled by the owner, Breezie. My cup started out with big, round, almost tropical fruit flavors. The espresso then shifts to caramelized sugars and dark chocolate as it finishes in a classic, but refined way. Definitely an espresso that would hold up in milk and make a great latte or cappuccino. The Sermon Espresso is roasted by Verbe of Santa Cruz, California.
3) El Salvador selections from Backporch
I know it's not a single cup, but I can't choose my favorite. The direct trade relationship Backporch has with the Menendez's farms yields some of the best cups in Central Oregon. These are the types of coffees I could drink all day, thanks to their impressive sweetness, structure, and clean profiles. Try the Pacamara if you get a chance.
4) Gibraltar at Stackhouse
This is a well-built small milk drink at the new(er) coffee bar off of Colorado. It's a simple drink that's all about execution, and in my experience Stackhouse has pulled it off with aplomb and good latte art to boot.
5) Costa Rica Sumava French press at One Eyed Sisters
Amy and Tiphane's impeccably decorated coffee trailer is serving absolutely delicious French pressed coffee over off of Galveston. The brew method enhances the body and complexity of the roast and makes me nostalgic for the days when we served only French press ourselves.