We took top honors in Roast magazine’s Roaster of the Year competition! Named 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year, Crimson Cup became the first Ohio-based winner in the award’s 12-year history.
Roast presents the award annually to North America’s top roaster of at least 100,000 pounds of coffee. The magazine’s editorial board selects winners that produce coffees of superior quality, exemplify a dedication to sustainability, promote employee and community education, and demonstrate a strong commitment to the coffee industry. Previous winners have included elite national roasters such as Counter Culture Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea.
When the grounds settled in this year’s blind cupping, the top place went to our Wayfarer Blend, Ethiopian Jimma Agaro and Ethiopian Natural Sidamo Ardi. For a limited time, these award-winning coffees are available at the Crimson Cup Coffee Houses in Clintonville and Upper Arlington as well as on our website.
Roast Publisher Connie Blomquist said our focus on education was a major contributor to our top placement. Judges also considered our work in cultivating relationships with coffee growers around the world, commitment to supporting local charities and innovation in cold-brew coffee.
Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert said the award confirmed our emphasis on mutually beneficial relationships with coffee growers, independent coffee houses and other partners. “Our motto is ‘Coffee + Community,’ and I’m thrilled to accept this award on behalf of everyone in the Crimson Cup community,” he said.
We teach entrepreneurs to run thriving independent coffee houses through our 7 Steps to Success coffee franchise alternative program. Based on Greg’s book, Seven Steps to Success: A Common Sense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee, our program has launched hundreds of independent coffee houses in 29 states. A dozen or more new shops open each year.
Increasingly, Crimson Cup also works hand-in-hand with small-plot coffee farmers through our Friend2Farmer direct trade program. We take several trips a year to make friends and strengthen relationships, give advice on sustainable cultivation and processing, and help fund local schools and other life-enriching projects.
Education and discovery are the driving forces behind our new innovation and training laboratory. Slated to open in December, the 7,000-square-foot facility is being built to Specialty Coffee Association of America standards. When complete, it will house a classroom, application lab, cupping lab, roasting lab and employee café.
Of course, the award announcement was big news around our Columbus headquarters. “America’s Top Coffee Roaster is in Columbus,” noted Business First. “Crimson Cup Named #1 Large Coffee Roaster in North America,” said Columbus Underground. “Crimson Cup Gets Toast from Roast,” proclaimed ThisWeek News. And the Columbus Dispatch said, “Crimson Cup Nabs National Award.”
Winning this award is both thrilling and humbling. We appreciate the confidence that the Roast editors placed in us, and the attention we’ve received from so many well-wishers.
A huge and heartfelt “Thank You” goes to our cuppers, coffee farmers, coffee house owners and other partners. This is your award as much as ours. With your help, we’ll continue to grow through Coffee+Community.
As we look forward to Crimson Cup’s 25th anniversary in 2016, Greg continues to seek new ways to spread our core philosophy, “Leave You Feeling Energized” (L.Y.F.E. for short).