Drink Coffee, Do Good.  That is the motto of Land of A 1000 Hills Coffee Company, and as far as I can tell they are living up to their motto. They provide community trade to the coffee farmers which is better than fair trade wages, and they help out in the communities that they get their coffee from. In fact, they just recently started a non-profit called the Do Good Initiative which allows them to do even more good in the communities that they are involved in. I know, I know, that is great and all, but how is the coffee and the shop. Below is the skinny on the Roswell shop (they have 3 locations).

Equipment – B

Espresso Machine –> Brasilia Grandisca

Grinders –> Mazzer Mini and Mazzer Super Jolly

The espresso machine is old. So old that I looked for a similar one on the Brasilia website and I could not find it. But it does seem to pull decent (not great) shots. The grinders are both stepless so the baristas can fine tune them to pull the best shot possible. The Mini is used on their decaf coffee and the Super Jolly is used for their espresso blend.

 Coffee – B

If Starbucks coffee is a F and Intelligentsia is an A+ then Land of A 1000 Hills falls in at a very respectable B. They roast their own coffee so kudos to them. Their Rwandan coffee is by far the best (I prefer the Medium). They also serve Thai Coffee and a Haitian blend. They serve their Vooba blend as their espresso and it is really good. A little lighter than your typical espresso, but it works for them. I can taste very nice notes of caramel and chocolate.

I do give them props for not going with the default in the Atlanta area and serving Counter Culture, but they are not quite at CC’s quality yet in their roasting techniques. The dark can be slightly over-roasted and have pitting to the beans, but not too bad and it still tastes good. It is also easier to forgive the lesser quality of beans because of the good that they are doing with the farmers that they are working with.

But the quality of the beans mean nothing if the baristas don’t know how to brew them. A crappy barista can take the best bean in the world and make it taste like, well crap. Where a good barista can take an average bean and make it taste pretty good.

Baristas – A- 

The good news for Land of A 1000 Hills in Roswell is that a lot of their baristas are snobs just like me. That means that they really take good care in learning the correct way to brew the coffee, steam milk, pull shots, etc. All the baristas there should be able to correctly brew French Press, V60 pour over, and pull shots. The majority of the baristas can pour pretty consistent latte art in their milk drinks which tells me they are steaming their milk correctly. I have gotten a few iffy Chemexes but I think it’s because the majority of their coffee drinks are french press or V60 so I’m not sure they get much practice.

Despite their snobbiness, the baristas are actually all very friendly as well. If you are a regular, they will take the time to learn your order and your name. Always a nice feeling to walk into a place and get greeted with your name and have your drink order already going.

Location/Feel – A

Located on South Atlanta street just a few miles from Historic Roswell they are in one of the hippest areas north of the perimeter. They have ample parking free parking because they share a lot with a local Baptist church, and they also have a very nice outdoor patio area and plenty of seating indoors. They offer free wifi which does occasionally go out, but they also get Roswell City’s wireless so if their wifi goes out you can usually pick up the other. Indoors they have a very cozy feel and they don’t care if you come and spend hours working, playing sequence with friends, or just hanging out. Their hours are

Monday – Thursday –> 7 AM to 10PM

Friday –> 7 AM to 11 PM

Saturday –> 8 AM to 11 PM

Sunday –> 12 PM to 7PM

On Thursday nights they have trivia and on Friday and Saturday they have live music

Bar – N/A

Food/Other – B+

They actually get all of their food from 3rd party sources. They are a little on the pricey side for everything, but what you do get is for the most part fresh and tasty. Extra points to them for offering a fairly wide selection of gluten free options.

They do get their chai from a local company called Cabbagetown Chai and it is fantastic. Best Chai I’ve gotten at a coffee shop. period

They also have a vast selection of teas if coffee isn’t your thing.

Overall – B+

I really wanted to give this shop an A because of the welcoming feel, friendly atmosphere, and all of the good that they are doing but instead had to settle on a B+. I think that if they invested a little more in a better espresso machine their shots would take that step from good to great. I also feel that over time the baristas that they have, if they stay, will really improve among their brewing techniques. The coffee I feel will also get better over time as they continue working with their farmers and the roasters learn the beans and how to roast them. They are not quite an A yet, but will probably get there in the not so distant future.

For those that have been here, what are your thoughts?