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Best Coffee of 2013: Stauf’s

Walker Evans Walker Evans Best Coffee of 2013: Stauf’s
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2013 was a big year for local coffee roasting operations with multiple openings, expansions and developments, but the flurry of activity was not enough to unseat Stauf’s as the community favorite for the second year in a row. Stauf’s is celebrating 25 years in Grandview Heights where it has played an important redevelopment role for Grandview Avenue.

“Grandview Heights is truly a special place, and we have been successful because of this exceptional community,” said Stauf’s President Mark Swanson. “Amazing people, walkable streets, engaged government, civic and faith based institutions, a vibrant business community, and one of the best school systems in Ohio create a profound opportunity for a business to thrive.”

In addition to the cafe location, Stauf’s also boasts a wide selections of bagged beans for brewing your own coffee in your home or office. So don’t forget to pick up a bag or two to start your mornings right.

More information can be found online at www.staufs.com.

The Top 10 Best Coffee Roasters of 2013:

  1. Stauf’s
  2. Cafe Brioso
  3. Cup o Joe
  4. Crimson Cup
  5. One Line Coffee
  6. Mission
  7. Thunderkiss
  8. Upper Cup Coffee
  9. Impero
  10. Luck Bros’

Flashback: Best Coffee of 2012: Stauf’s Coffee Roasters

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  • BrianW

    Cafe Brioso is my favorite and a really great downtown neighbor. Another favorite is Actual Brewing – how cool is brewing coffee and beer at the same place?

  • gorkon

    I have to agree although Brioso is my favorite because it’s closer to me. Stauf’s is nothing but consistent. I need to make a visit SOON!

  • Columbus is awesome to have so many great coffee roasters. It was something I noticed that was missing on a trip earlier this year to DC. You can find a Starbucks or Caribou on every corner, but nothing local or independent anywhere.

    Actual has some great coffee, and Hemisphere is another good one that didn’t quite crack the Top 10. Lots of fans of Yeah Me Too out there, but I know they prefer to stay a little more off the radar. ;)

  • MichaelC

    I will always be indebted to Stauf’s and Cup o Joe for allowing me to squat there while I studied for the bar exam. But Brioso’s simple latte is my favorite caffeinated beverage of all time. Of all time.

  • InnerCore

    Walker having lived in DC I can tell you there are a whole lot more options there for coffee.

    Just like Columbus most of the great coffee places are in the neighborhoods and not the commercialized tourist areas controlled by Starbucks. It would be like a DC blog writer visiting Columbus where 90% of the time they’re going to see Starbucks at Easton, Polaris, etc. and then write about about how Columbus doesn’t have an decent coffee houses because they don’t take the time to actually find them.

    Columbus is adding a lot options, that’s great. Let’s not over exaggerate that against other cities.

  • Our entire trip in DC was spent in the urban neighborhoods of the city – Downtown, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Penn Quarter, Capitol Hill, U Street, etc. There were a small handful of independent cafes intermixed with the big chains, but we found no one roasting coffee locally. A quick online search turned up three local roasters in the core urban neighborhoods of the city, which is minuscule for a city the size and density of DC. My assumption was that rent is probably too high for upstart coffee roasting businesses there.

    If you’ve got a list of local roasters in DC to check out, I’d be happy to hit them up on our next visit!

    In the meantime, I understand that it’s your core mission to downplay every aspect of Columbus, but it’s my personal opinion that our coffee roasters and independent shops are something to be proud of. Some of the products coming from these businesses are just as high quality as other offerings in other cities. Let’s be proud of them. No need to be a debbie downer.

  • kit444

    I recommend Tryst in Adams Morgan:


    Can you be proud of Columbus while not dissing DC?

  • It was more of an observation than a dis, but feel free to add as much emotional weight to my comment as you like. ;)

  • InnerCore

    No where in my post was I being a debbie downer about Columbus. And where did I say we should be proud of our local coffee shops? I specifically said we were adding options and that it was great. My point was that why try and build Columbus up by saying it more options than DC based of a your observation when clearly don’t know much about DC. You make it your business to know about everything in Columbus. So comparing all the places you know about in Columbus to the places that you “observed” during a trip seems to be a bit disingenuous.

    As for a list of just coffee roasters the ones I know there are Quartermaine, Madcap, Swings, Vigilante, Filter, Qualia, Java house, Zeke’s, Mayorga and Caffe Amouri.

    Tryst that Kit44 recommends actually uses coffee roasted by Counter Culture Coffee based out of NC. They’re used by a lot of coffee houses DC, Boston, Philly and NY.

    Now if you want me to go into independent shops there are simply to many to list. I’d guess 50 easily (not saying they’re all good). One of my favorites would be Peregrine Espresso (they also use Counter Culture Coffee). Baked & Wired is another one.

    Also your view of DC seems to be a little off as to what you are calling a core urban neighborhood. Downtown Bethesda is more dense and core than SN, let alone Bexley or Worthington.

  • Oy vey. “Urban core” wasn’t a comment on density versus suburban DC neighborhoods. We stayed in the central part of the district. To that end, we noticed that no one roasting locally in the district (that we could find while there). And very few indie shops to boot.

    Anyway, I’m not out to have a dick-swinging contest with you about who knows more about DC. I’ve visited there once and I’m not pretending to know every corner of the city. But some casual google searching reveals that Quartermaine’s roastery is in Rockville. Madcap’s roastery is in Michigan. Swing’s roastery is Alexandria. Filter’s coffee is roasted by Ceremony Roasters in Annapolis. Zeke’s roastery is in Baltimore. Mayorga is in Rockville. Caffe Amouri is in Vienna.

    Qualia and Java House seem to be the only two you named who are actually roasting on-site in DC proper. Which to me, seems oddly disproportionate to the number of people in DC proper.

    Take it for what it’s worth. I’m sure they’re all fine products.

    I’ll still take Columbus roasted coffee any day over what we can find in other metro areas. I’m proud of what is being accomplished by our local coffee businesses here.

  • joshlapp

    The coffee gods have blessed me with Mission, Online, and Brioso. My days are infinitely happier and more productive by being in such close proximity to all three of them.

  • InnerCore

    So basically you’re saying you visited there once, don’t know anything about it but yet felt compared to use it as a measuring stick against what is going on here in Columbus.

    The district is a small compact area. If you look at their 495 outbelt similar to our 270 outerbelt you would see that Maryland and Virginia are INSIDE the outerbelt. The eqivalent of Rockville to DC in Columbus would be like Powell only it would be 20 times more dense with a rail line that connects it to the SN.

    Most people simply say they live in the DMV metro (DC, Maryland, Virginia) because saying you live in Rockville MD would give the impression that they don’t live in DC put the reality is they probably work and spend 90% of their time there. It would be like someone going to DC and saying they’re from Worthington.

    So yes Quartermaine’s roasing facility is in Rockville with their locations throughout the DC area. No different than Cup O Joe roasting at their warehouse. If their warehouse was in Powell I seriously doubt you’d tell visitors that Cup O Joe isn’t in Columbus.

    Again, Alexandria is also DC. Were talking about stops on the metro. Annapolis is about 30 in away. It would be like only considering Manhattan as NY and arguing that Brooklyn or Queens is some far away land. I mean if I opened up a roastery in Pataskala with award winning roast which local independent coffee shops in the SN would use I seriously that you wouldn’t have included them on your list.

    Yes MadCap is based out MI. Who cares. If Mission also had a second location in another area would that make them any less good. The coffee at the DC location is roasted on site in small batches. Which was part of the reason for the second location. They can now ship easier to the rest of the east coast.

    And again NOWHERE have I said anything bad about what’s going on here in Columbus or trying to compare dick sizes. I’m doing the opposite, saying that what’s going on in Columbus is great regardless of what is going on in DC.

    Again your quotes:

    “I’ll still take Columbus roasted coffee any day over what we can find in other metro areas.”

    “You can find a Starbucks or Caribou on every corner, but nothing local or independent anywhere.”

    Why do you need to take it OVER other metro’s, especially when you’ve only visited once and don’t know what’s there.

    The article was written great, your comments afterward not so much.

  • @joshlapp – Agreed. All three of those are great! ;)

  • I drink Thunderkiss daily. Brioso’s Cubano is sublime. Impero is my go to in the Short North, though they actually roast in Grove City. ;) And isn’t Cup o Joe and Stauf’s the same roaster?

  • Stauf

    Thanks for the great honor. I think we are seeing some parallels between high quality coffee roasters and craft beer/distilleries and it’s not only more choice. It truly is more amazing choices. I love a lot of the coffees roasted around here and think we are very lucky. We have learned a lot from our colleagues in Columbus and I believe we have some of the best coffee professionals and roasters in the country. That is why we are truly humbled. So, we feel pretty damn good being on this list at all. Thanks again!

  • snowabode

    I love coffee. I know you do, too. Odd that it can turn into an argument; or maybe not, since love is involved. Each believing their stance is more correct. Each unwilling to let go; their cause so noble, their passion so great.
    Thank you for the list. I will endeavor to frequent each one. My favorite is One Line.

  • Graybeak

    InnerCore, is there a large supply of dead horses down there in Florida?

  • carissadiane

    Happened to buy a bag of Actual Guatemalan Blend while we were at their tasting room and it is GREAT. Will have to try some others on this list!

  • meltsintowonder

    I feel like the league of coffee roasters is something that’s been overshadowed a bit by more “exciting” categories. If you look at the list, you can’t go wrong with any of the ten and then some (Yeah, Me Too). Cheers to Mark and the other local bean roasters for improving/bringing the coffee culture in Columbus. I’ve personally gained more interest in coffee over the last couple years and we’re fortunate as a consumer to enjoy so many choices as well as cool spaces to meet up with a friend or get some work done over a good cup. My wife got a Chemex about six months ago that’s been putting in overtime with beans from some of these businesses since I’m often too busy to visit them (and I’m not hoarding their seating and wifi for two hours over one cup of coffee) and it’s dramatically improved my coffee drinking experience at home.

  • Well said, Donnie!

    We’ve been grinding beans for the office coffee pot since we got it nearly a year ago and have been 95% local with our selections ever since!


    Good stuff!

  • Brioso is my #1. Outstanding coffee—and milk—with a motivated staff that acts like they want my business.

  • murthadrummer

    Has anyone noticed that this is a article about the top ten best roasters in columbus, yet Mission does not roast? It really upsets me that they were even allowed to participate in such an article. I roast for one of the shops mentioned and we work very hard to be a reputable roaster. Its like a bar getting voted for being a good brewery. Not the same and they should not be considered.

  • Sorry for the oversight. The list was compiled from our annual readers survey, and a whole lot of people voted for them. I assumed they had added roasting facilities since I was last in there.

  • murthadrummer

    They told you they dont roast. Its in the interview.

  • This interview?


    That was from October 2012. I assumed they added roasting since then. Again, apologies for the oversight.

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