We found the best the West has to brew when it comes to specialty order and gourmet coffee.
After canvassing our highly caffeinated editorial staff, we sampled as much gourmet coffee from the West as we could. Considering the prevalence of delivery food and beverage services these days, we couldn’t help but consider the options for a great cup of specialty java. And from Cheyenne to Tucson, we can assure you, the coffee beans didn't disappoint.
They had us at the name, which translates from the Quapaw tribal language as “the downstream people.” And then there’s the packaging. But what clinches the deal is drinking O-Gah-Pah coffee. The idea for the company took shape in 2016, when the Quapaw Nation, which had been serving Illy coffee in its Downstream Casino in Quapaw, Oklahoma, wanted to up their java game and decided to bring their roasting in-house. They dedicated a warehouse near the casino to the effort, and the vision, expertise, and product line have only grown from there. You’ll find their facility a mile away from Downstream. If you plan to visit the casino, you take the same exit from I-44 but head the other way on South Outer Road on the way to Downstream’s Eagle Creek Golf Course.
Fan Favorites: A long-standing fan favorite has been Ma-Ko Sha, which translates to “dark water medicine” or “coffee.” Also a staff favorite, it’s a blend of coffees from two farms the company has direct trade with: the Don Eli family in Costa Rica, now represented by Selva Coffee, and Anny Ruth Pimentel of Loma La Gloria in El Salvador.
Fun Facts: If you’re an aficionado, you might appreciate knowing that they roast their freshest beans to order in a Loring S35 Kestrel. The O-Gah-Pah Coffee Roaster is the first Quapaw Nation business enterprise solely run by members of the nation. Currently the roaster employs four members with plans to hire more as they expand. The nation also manages a bison herd and has an FDA-certified meat-processing plant, as well as 80 beehives to produce honey and help keep bees alive.
To Order/Buy: Online, shop.ogahpahcoffee.com; in person, 2361 S. Outer Road, Joplin, Missouri, where you can tour the roasting facility and sample freshly roasted coffee.
Star Village Coffee
The coffees available from this Indigenous (Paiute) -owned and family-operated startup represent traditional ingredients like pine nuts, chokecherries, and sage. “We are loyal to our soil and can’t wait to share our passion for Great Basin artistry with our fellow coffee heads.” starvillagecoffee.com
Kannapolis, North Carolina
“Just a cowboy who loves coffee” — caffeine creations “designed for the cowboy in each of us.” jabbosjava.com
Snowy Elk Coffee Company
“Rooted in a philosophy that encourages a lifestyle of adventure, balance, and conservation.” snowyelk.com
New Mexico Piñon Coffee
Albuquerque, New Mexico
“Great coffee is a matter of a piñon” — roasted pinyon pine nuts, that is. nmpinoncoffee.com
“The coffee that won the West” — perking since the 1800s, when John Arbuckle patented a process for glazing roasted coffee beans. arbucklecoffee.com
From the October 2021 issue
Photography: (All images) courtesy vendors