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Best Cafe in Chicago, Chicago Reader, 2015

2 Time Gold Medal Winner, Good Food awards, 2015

Good Food Awards 2014 Winner!

The winners of the Good Food Award for coffee will be distinguished by exemplary flavor - sweet, clean, well developed body, balanced acidity and phenomenal aromatics. To qualify for entry, roasters and coffee farmers must emphasize fairness and transparency from seed to cup. This year's entry criteria seeks to accommodate the enormous cultural diversity of coffee production. While we are taking a broader approach to environmental sustainability this year, winning coffees that are also using certified organic beans will be eligible to receive the Good Food Awards Gold Seal, a special honor which shows all of us that taste excellence and environmental sustainability can go hand-in-hand.

In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, coffee entries must meet the following criteria:

  • Traceable back to the producer (or producers) at the farm (or cooperative) level.
  • Sourced in such a way that there is price transparency throughout the supply chain, farm-gate prices meet or exceed Fair Trade minimums, and the rights of farm workers are respected.
  • Sourced from a farm where there is an emphasis on pursuing sustainable agricultural practices, including water conservation, and minimizing the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides.

Good Food Awards 2014 Finalist

America's Best Food Crafters: Announcing the 2014 Good Food Awards Finalists

Seedling Projects is proud to announce the 2014 Good Food Awards Finalists, who represent the best from America’s growing movement of talented and socially conscious food entrepreneurs. From Nebraskan Juniper Salami to West Virginian Barrel Aged Gin to Ethiopian Nigusse Lemme coffee roasted in Oklahoma; tasty, authentic and responsible food is taking the nation by storm. Chosen from amongst the Finalists, 100 Good Food Award Winners will be announced January 16, 2014, at a gala in San Francisco. Dr. Zeke Emanuel will be master of ceremonies; Nell Newman, founder of Newman’s Own Organics, will give the keynote address; and the awards will be presented by renowned chef and Seedling Projects board member Alice Waters.

This year’s 1,450 entries—double the number since the awards launched in 2009—came from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The growth reflects the vitality of the country’s food crafters committed to the values of the Good Food Movement, using sustainable ingredients and supporting their local economies.

“The 200 Good Food Awards Finalists are leading a cultural shift away from business as usual,” says Sarah Weiner, co-founder and executive director of Seedling Projects, which organizes the awards. “They bring the dedication and integrity of true craftsmen to all they do. Their ever stronger presence around the country proves that it can be done—there is a different way to feed our communities.”

The Finalists emerged from a one-day marathon judging session September 15 in San Francisco at the HUB SoMa, when 225 experts sampled entries in the 10 categories of beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, oils, preserves, pickles and spirits. The top scorers were further vetted to confirm sound sourcing practices, good animal husbandry and transparency in all stages of the supply chain.

“These 200 businesses are a vital link in a healthy food system,” Weiner says. “When responsible cheese makers thrive, so do sustainable dairy farms. It was not easy to make it onto this list. Taste scores were higher than ever before, and nearly 10% of the top scorers didn't fully meet the sustainability criteria to become Finalists. But over a dozen of them decided to make sourcing changes when they realized this, and it is very exciting to see more and more of the country's most talented producers become the country's most sustainable."

The Awards themselves consistently bring recognition and sales to the winners. “Good Food Award Winners report growing their businesses 15% to 400%, increasing purchasing from local and responsible orchards, farms and ranches accordingly.” Weiner says.

The 2014 Awards Ceremony is followed January 18 by the public Good Food Awards Marketplace at the city’s historic San Francisco Ferry Building, where the winners will offer samples and sell their products alongside the hallmark CUESA farmers’ market, the largest in San Francisco.

Great Stories From Every Region The Finalists offer a snapshot of how food makers are creatively changing the food space—and each one is a great story. Surprises include: American craft brewers are hot on sour styles, such as Jester King Brewery’s Aged Sour Red Ale (Austin, TX). Makers of charcuterie are using a wide variety of meats, such as duck, buffalo and goat, and playing with old-new-fashioned cuts. A top example: Formaggio Kitchen’s Pickled Beef Tongue (Cambridge, MA) One of the high scoring cheeses is made by a non-profit, Farms for City Kids Foundation (Reading, VT). Ethiopian beans are shining this time of year, beating out all other origins for the greatest number of finalists. A prime example: Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Idido from Kickapoo Roasters (Viroqua, WI). Beer bon bons and beer and pretzel candy? Confectioners such as Coco Delice Fine Chocolates (Emeryville, CA) are playing with savory flavors beyond bacon. While California dominates the artisanal olive oils, Midwest crafters embraces what they can uniquely offer; Hammons Black Walnuts (Stockton, MO) is producing stunning oil with wild black walnuts. Picklers are turning to the sea: From Olympia, WA comes Oly Kraut’s Sea Vegetable, a combination cabbage and seaweed kraut. About the Good Food Awards The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsible. Good Food Award Winners will be announced on January 16, 2014 in San Francisco. On January 18, 2014, Good Food Award-winning products will be showcased at a 30,000-person public marketplace in collaboration with the San Francisco Ferry Building and the CUESA farmers market. The Good Food Awards Seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious that also supports sustainability and social good.

Seedling Projects, a California public benefit corporation, organizes the Awards in collaboration with a broad community of food producers, chefs, food writers and passionate food-lovers. It is led by Sarah Weiner and Dominic Phillips, who have united their diverse skills to support the Good Food Movement. Through focused events and strategic models, it engages the public in finding better ways to feed our communities. Find more information at:

The Best Coffee Beans to Buy
However you like your coffee, these WD-approved picks will top off your morning and even help out with some great desserts. From decaf to lighter blends, click through to find out which beans you should be buying. Founded by a father-and-son team and roasted in Chicago, Metropolis offers up to 18 varieties of coffee on their website. Their Spice Island blend, using beans from Indonesia and South America, is dark and daring, with a deep, smoky finish.

The Best Coffee Roasters in the U.S. Right Now
Location: Chicago, Ill.
Founded: 2003
Where to get it: Metropolis Coffee Company cafe in Chicago; select coffee shops throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Hoche Cafe in Montreal; online at Roaster recommends: Costa Rica Finca La Mirella Organic (washed or honey processed). The same farm applied different processing techniques to two lots of the same coffee, giving each a distinct taste, although both have similar notes of black cherry and sugar cane.

The Metropolis cafe in Chicago isn't the type of sleek, laboratory-style coffee bar that's come into vogue in recent years, but rather a familiar neighborhood hang and community hub that happens to offer a world-class coffee program. The father-son company purposefully takes a populist approach to its roasting, striving to offer coffees with a variety of flavor profiles at a range of price points. "We believe that everyone, regardless of status or background, should have access to amazing coffee," co-owner Tony Dreyfuss says.

Among the other things Metropolis believes are that it should be improving the lives of the people it comes into contact with—whether financially, ecologically or aesthetically—and that, according to its website, "coffee cannot exist without art." With an approach like that, it's no wonder Metropolis was named Roast Magazine's Micro-Roaster of the Year in 2007, or that it continues to be a local favorite in an increasingly coffee-oriented city.

Men's Health - The 5 Best Summer Coffees
This African coffee earned major points during our taste tests. The first sip tastes sweet and light, but it’s followed by a stronger, shake-you-awake potency. Drink it hot to balance out your morning bacon, eggs and sausage, or enjoy it iced as a mid-afternoon break. Brew extra and use the leftover java to make ice cubes for your cold coffee, Sinnott says. More flavor, less dilution.

Red Tricycle – 6 Home Delivery Services to Try
Sleepless nights require caffeine to make it through the days. Make sure your filter never runs dry with Metropolis Coffee Company. Through its subscription service, the local roaster delivers an assortment of freshly roasted coffee and tea (everything from their signature Redline Espresso to Kenyan Kambaa), brewed locally or sourced from sustainable-minded importers. The goods get to your door on a schedule of your choosing (weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc). That’s one big perk.

Countries Best Brew Shops – 3/5/12
So much for the home of Starbucks. A new Facebook survey has declared the best coffee shops across the country, revealing a surprising diversity of top-notch joe around the U.S. but snubbing shops in Seattle. Sponsored by coffee company Krups, the second-annual "Best Brew Awards" polled Facebook fans for their local favorites. While it's no surprise that well-caffeinated New York and Chicago make this list, it seems the West Coast coffee scene has migrated south: Both San Francisco and Los Angeles get nods from Krups' fans.

London Evening Standard - 6/28/06
Metropolis mentioned as the way to start your day on a Saturday visit to Chicago. (view pdf)

People Love us on Yelp!
People Love us on Yelp!

Best Roaster - Chris Schooley
Metropolis Coffee's Chief Coffee Officer roasted for the team that won the 2005 Roaster's Guild Roasting Competition

NY Post, 2005
Out in the Field - The coolest place we visited last week

On the Clock - Daily Grinder
Crains Magazine, 2006

Feature Video and Article about Jeff Dreyfuss's trip to Brazil to purchase coffee
Crain's Magazine, 2007

Best Place to Buy Coffee Beans
New City Magazine 2005

Best Latte Winner
Chicago Magazine, 2005, 2007

Best Cup of Coffee in Chicago
Chicago Tribune 2007

Food and Wine 2006
Rated one of America's top 14 coffee bars

Microroaster of the Year, 2007
Roast Magazine 2007