There is a pretty great trend out there among cafes that I am really liking; carrying multiple roasters. I would say that most independent shops tend to have a strictly monogamous relationship with a specific roaster and carry only their beans, however with so many great roasters out there some shops have started carrying more than one roaster and I like what I am seeing.
So today I found myself or rather made an excuse to find myself at Bica Coffee House in Oakland, which serves up coffee from, as you guessed, muliple roasters. Their current offering of roasters includes, Stumptown, Intelligentsia, Verve, and De La Paz. I have had a lot of experience with the coffees of Verve and Stumptown, but not so much with Intelligentsia or De La Paz, and was actually heading over there to pick up a bag of Intelligentsia since they are a roaster I would have to mail away for normally. Once I made my way over there I asked the Barista to make a recommendation of what they had on their pour over bar and he recommended the De La Paz.
Their pour over menu as of today (6/8/2012) was:
De La Paz: La Vina, Colombia
Stumptown: El Injerto Bourbon, Guatemala
Verve: Gorbicho Natural, Ethiopia
Intelligentsia: La Perla De Oaxaca, Mexico
Since he made the recommendation on the Colombian, who was I to disagree? Since the barista had to sit their and manage my pour over in the V60 it was nice to be able to talk with him a little bit about the coffee, he said he uses a 1 gram of coffee to 14 grams of water ratio for brewing the coffee, I believe that works out to right about where I normally brew my coffee at in the V60, 2 grams coffee to 1 ounce water. He was also able to inform me the menu changes week to week, and really likes the multiroaster model they are using in the shop by being able to provide what they believe is the best out there at any given time. Plus how many times do you see Intelligentsia and Stumptwo together?
The De La Paz was delicious, nice touch of citrus on the first sip and like a mild sweet coco taste to finish it out. Nothing really overbearing with the coffee, it's going to be a nice coffee to have in the morning since I typically like to drink a few cups of drip! I bought a bag.
Oh yes and to top it off since I bought a bag of the De La Paz, my drink was free. Having a wide array of roasters, and getting a free cup of coffee with a bag of beans is going to make this place hard for me to stay away from as the last few times I was here I had not bought any beans since I was well stocked!
And here is a link to a recent thread about multiroasters at Home-Barista, perhaps there is one in your area!