By David Landsel | March 28, 2019
Countless cups of coffee, twelve months of research, from coast to coast—for Food & Wine's second annual survey, we pulled out all the stops, and we couldn't be more excited to share our findings.
Kansas: PT’s Coffee, Topeka
While there’s plenty to love about an industry where youthful enthusiasm never seems to run dry, in many towns and cities, the newest, least-experienced arrivals are often the ones telling the story, while everyone who has been around for more than ten minutes is suddenly invisible. Then again, anybody who developed a passion for coffee back in the dark ages—the 1990’s, or prior to—values the contributions made by pioneers from that era, notably Jeff Taylor and Fred Polzin, who founded one of the country’s most influential coffee roasters, right here in Kansas, back in 1993. Among the first group of roasters going the extra mile to trade directly with farmers, long before sustainability became a marketing buzzword, PT’s, which recently acquired fellow early-adopter Bird Rock Coffee (from San Diego), continues to perform incredibly well with their limited release coffees, in part thanks to the hard work of Q Grader Maritza Taylor (one of the first ever to be certified in Colombia, Maritza lives in Kansas and is married to Jeff now), and head roaster Mike Mazulo, whose relationship with PT’s began the same way it did for so many coffee lovers back in the day, as a customer in their original Topeka shop.