The United States is a country that loves its Joe — and a lot of companies aim to spread the love. According to data from IBIS Worldwide, more than 13,200 coffee production businesses operate in the U.S. These businesses range from multi-billion dollar food conglomerates like J.M. Smucker Co. to tiny local operations with only a handful of employees. The number of coffee companies continues to rise each year as more startups enter what is already a very crowded field.
Among the players angling for a piece of the market is Evans Brothers Coffee, a Sandpoint, ID-based specialty company that combines expertise in high-end coffee with a focus on sustainability, community, and giving. The company says its mission is to “connect our customers with the story of coffee itself” and “create special experiences around a cup of coffee.”
Photo Courtesy Evans Brothers Coffee
Much of that work involves showcasing the producers and importers that “do so much of the real work,” according to the Evans Brothers website. Since its founding in 2009, the company has established long-term relationships with producers by visiting coffee farmers and families it purchases beans from to gain a deep knowledge of the product.
Once it finds the right beans, the company says it takes a multilayered approach to roasting to find the “perfect balance of sweetness, acidity, body, and aftertaste.”
The business model has helped the company gain recognition in an industry where it’s difficult to separate yourself from the pack. Evans Brothers was named a 2023 Coffee Winner as part of the Good Food Awards organized by the Good Food Foundation. Its Finca Calle Lajas Natural Coffee was named one of 17 winners out of more than 2,000 entrants. The beans were sourced from producers Francisca and Oscar Chacon of Las Lajas Micromill in Costa Rica, where Evans Brothers has established deep business ties.
Evans Brothers has become a regular award champion, laying claim to being the only three-time winner for its region, including Idaho, Washington, Oregon, the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska.
Photo Courtesy Evans Brothers Coffee
“Winning this award is a true honor and a recognition of our commitment to sustainable sourcing practices and perfecting the art of roasting some of the highest quality coffee in the world,” the company said in a blog on its website.
This coffee from Finca Calle Lajas in Costa Rica is known as an Alma Negra Natural, a process designed to create a “bright and full-bodied” brew. Oscar and Francisca Chacon are third-generation coffee producers best known for being among the first to produce honey brews in Costa Rica.
As Evans Brothers noted on its website, Las Lajas began generating honey coffees in 2008 after an earthquake disrupted the mill’s availability of water for several weeks. Oscar heard about “pulped-natural techniques” in Brazil and Ethiopia and gave it a shot. Andrew Miller, Café Imports founder and president, happened to be visiting the area. He loved the flavor and became one of the first buyers.
Photo Courtesy Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters
The Finca Calle Lajas Natural coffee was so popular among Evans Brothers customers that it sold out, further validating the company’s focus on being intimately involved in the entire supply chain — from farming and cultivation to processing and storage.
Evans Brothers’ sustainability program includes only purchasing organic and fair trade coffee in season. The company also puts a big emphasis on community by working and partnering with local nonprofits such as the Autism Society of North Idaho, the Earth Day CleanUp Group, Festival of Trees, and Priest River Ministries Advocates for Women. Its philanthropic efforts include donating coffee for local events and creating a monthly “retail bag” fundraiser.