Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters is a small batch craft coffee roaster from Crystal Lake, IL. We began roasting coffee in 2006 when we opened our first store. A small drive-thru cafe where we also roasted our coffee on-site. We buy premium, socially and environmentally sustainable coffees from the best growers around the world. Our coffees are bought seasonally to ensure the freshest from harvest. We roast these coffee every week to ensure the absolutely freshest roast date. And, we prepare them for you in our cafes and in partnership with our many wholesale partners.
We view our cafes and our relationships with our neighboring businesses, non-profits, schools, churches, and other institutions as central to our business model. Coffee happens to be the perfect medium to bring the many different parts of our community together. On any day you could visit a Conscious Cup Cafe and see a business meeting, a study group, a solo-reader or two, and a young family. It all works. And, it feeds an environment that we really value.
Our retail cafes are only one side of our business. The other big part of what we do is wholesale, fundraising, and catering.
Each of these adds value to the many partnerships we value in our community. Wholesale allows us to collaborate and partner with some of the coolest companies in our area. Working with artisans, chefs, brewers, and coffee-people (of course) is just awesome. Fundraising helps us support and create revenue for the non-profits, schools, and churches we care about. Grounding the business in this community is good for the soul. Our catering lets us connect with people where they are. We do everything from teacher appreciation to corporate events and weddings.
Jack and Roseanna met and fell in love in Duluth. They were each the oldest of seven. They’d both spent their childhoods living in row homes near Military Bases around the country and across the globe. Bouncing from school to school depending on deployment. They got married and had three awesome boys. Jason the oldest, Jeremy in the middle, and Michael the youngest. They moved to Mundelein and raised their family, both working full-time trying to build a life for themselves and their kids.
We went to Hayward most summers, we spent a lot of time outside. There was (now gone) a big corn-field a block or two from our home, near Carmel High School. We all went to MHS. We all got into trouble - some more than others.
In 2004 my mom and dad began to seriously consider buying a franchise or opening a coffee company. The growth of national chains like Starbucks and Caribou Coffee (at that time) and the emergence of new specialty coffee roasters like Intelligentsia and Stumptown felt like examples of what independent coffee can attain.
My dad read an article in Smithsonian Magazine called “Can Good Coffee Save the Jungle”. Conscious Cup was born from the idea that collective small choices can have larger meaning and greater affect. My parents chose to start a coffee business that roasted the worlds best, Fair Trade, socially and environmentally sustainable coffees. My oldest brother, Jason, and I were asked if we wanted to be partners. We said, sure.
In the last decade Jason has married Kristin and they’ve welcomed three great kids into the family. Jeremy married Beth and they’ve introduced two more. And, Michael married Trisha and added two of their own. Jack and Roseanna are now Baba and Papa. They are great at their new roles and they are still both active in the business. Jason is the Director of Customer Engagement for Camping World. Jeremy is a Professor of Philosophy at a college in Tennessee. And, Michael runs the family coffee business.
We also count our teams as family too. We are fortunate to have an incredible Leadership Team in Danielle, Tim, Erin, Paige, and Kaylee. And, a committed coffee roaster in Vanessa plus over 40 talented, smart, service-focused, and amazing shift-managers, baristas, and admins - all of who are quite literally the face of the business.
Stop by or call anytime. Thanks,
About The Coffee
We opened Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters in 2006, in a small cafe and drive-thru in Crystal Lake IL. We jumped into the coffee industry head first. There were some things we all really cared about. First, we wanted to find, roast, and sell the absolute best coffees we could get our hands on.
There are a few ways that coffee roasters can buy coffee. The first and most popular way is from the many specialty coffee importers in the United States who travel the world in search of coffees to sell. Nowadays, most of the relationship between a roaster and an importer can happen online. Some roasters work to cultivate relationships directly with the people growing their coffee. These relationships are often facilitated and managed by an importer and can be beneficial for all parties.
We buy coffee from 3 or 4 importers at any given time. Every week we sample a variety of coffees from different countries around the world. We take note of the ones we really like. We’ll do this over the course of a few weeks before returning to the coffees we really liked for another sample. From these coffees we will curate our seasonal coffee offerings.
Some coffee origins we will buy from the same farms year-after-year. Like the Costa Rican Las Lajas, a fantastic micro-lot from a producer known for their organic coffee and their experimental processing methods. Or we’ll contract a coffee like the Fair Trade Uganda Bukonzo, which is an award winning coffee from a Women’s Owned Cooperative.
Other coffee origins we will rotate between producers buying the highest rated and most desirable coffee we are finding on our cupping table. For example, we rotate between the best (and always popular) Ethiopian Natural Processed coffees that become available in late spring and early summer.
We take a ton of pride sourcing the absolute best coffees we can, getting to know our producers and even travel to meet them.
More About Coffee & Coffee Roasting
Roasting coffee is about that mallard effect - how long it takes to get there and how long we let it ride after.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, back to the bean. The coffee beans we buy has everything to do with how we will roast it. The origin, region, varietal, and processing method will all affect the potential flavors in coffee. Roasting done right exposes those flavors. The first thing to know about specialty coffee roasters is that it’s first and foremost about the bean’s personality.
We taste coffee all the time. Cupping coffee is the industry term for tasting and evaluating coffee. This is done to the same around the world at different points in the buying process. The importer cups coffee with growers, the q-graders determine the quality grading, and ultimately, the coffee roaster cups coffee to discover what they like.