It’s the James Beard of specialty food, and two Maine coffee companies are vying for java supremacy. The Good Food Awards finalists were announced yesterday and Speckled Ax and Bard Coffee, two roasters with Portland cafes, made the list.
A few years ago, Tandem Coffee Roasters took this prize, paving the way for Maine coffee companies to win this West Coast-based honor. Speckled Ax tries again, after a gallant attempt last year. And this is the first go round for Bard Coffee, the high-end joe from the same owners as Wicked Joe Coffee Roasting Co., located in a green facility in Topsham.
“Representing 14 categories and 38 states, all finalists rose to the top in a blind tasting of the 2,059 entries from nearly every state,” the press releases states.
To make the list, you have to do more than put out a tasty product. “Standards around environmentally sound agriculture practices, good animal husbandry, sourcing transparency and responsible relationships throughout the supply chain,” are key criteria.
Bard’s Hambela Estate beans and Speckled Ax’s Ethiopia Bekele Dukale coffee fit that bill.
The roasters join 291 finalists from across the country that represent “the best of America. At a time when the values our country stands for are in question, they exemplify all that is right from coast to coast: our proud immigrant history, stewardship of a rich and fertile agricultural landscape, a spirit of innovation and the daily choice to balance personal gain with the wellbeing of the commons,” the release states.
And two fine cups of coffee! May the best roaster win.
The 200 Good Food Award winners will be announced Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, at a gala awards ceremony in San Francisco. If you act fast you can nab tickets here.