Alma Coffee Roastery

A lovely cappuccino, made with the medium-roast Soulmate from the family farm in Honduras, roasted and served in my HuskeeCup at Alma Coffee Roastry in Canton, Georgia.Exactly three weeks ago today, Amanda and I set off to drive from Atlanta, Georgia to Portland, Maine, a three-day journey that would take us through some lovely scenery along sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, before we got there, we stopped at Alma Coffee Roastery, a chance discovery which we made while planning the route. It’s on Holly Springs Parkway, which runs parallel to I-575, connecting Woodstock in the south and Canton to the north.

The roastery, which doubles as a coffee shop, is just off the parkway on the left as you drive north, with clear signage and plenty of parking, although there’s no public transport access. A generous outdoor seating area stands in front of the roastery, while inside, a neat coffee shop with a handful of tables occupies the right-hand side of the large roastery building.

Alma Coffee specialises in Honduran coffee, much of it from the owners’ family farms. You can buy any of the roastery’s output in retail bags, while Soulmate, a medium-roast washed coffee, is available through a concise espresso-based menu, along with various iced versions. Alma Coffee only serves in disposable cups, so don’t forget to bring your own.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • On the left-hand side of the road, driving north along Holly Springs Parkway...
  • ... you'll find Alma Coffee, with some gorgeous, mature trees as a backdrop.
  • Access is via a broad, sweeping drive on the left.
  • Just in case you need any further encouragement (or thought it was just a roastery).
  • The drive leads up in a broad curve to the top of the ridge...
  • ... even though it looks straight in this photo!
  • You can see this beautiful house (with its wonderful porch) from the road...
  • ... but the drive takes you past it to this large parking lot at the back (with more trees!).
  • The view across the parking lot, where you can see there's more than just the house.
  • In fact, this large, three-bay industrial building is home to Alma Coffee...
  • ... while the house has some outside seating at the back. For now, it's home to...
  • ... the rest rooms, although Alma has plans to turn it into a coffee house in due course.
  • Returning to the outside seating, there's a row of three picnic tables behind the house.
  • There are also a couple of these firepits, should you need them.
  • There's another seating area, but this is in the opposite corner, over by the parking.
  • The three chairs are clustered around this outdoor oven.
  • There are also two pairs of chairs at the front of the roastery, nestling under the eaves.
  • The roll up doors lead to the roastery. If you want the coffee shop, this is the door.
  • This leads to a corridor-like coffee shop which runs along the right-hand side.
  • There's a four-person table on the left and a pair of two-person tables on the right.
  • One of the two-person tables on the right in more detail.
  • As you can see, Alma's dog-friendly. This is Fergie, by the way, who was travelling with us.
  • The view from the counter. Fergie has strategically placed herself right in the way!
  • This neat communal table is, sadly (for us), office space for the staff. Lucky them!
  • My recommendation: sit on the left, since you have this great view of the roastery.
  • This is the heart of the operaton. Reading from left to right...
  • ... this is the roaster, with its various flues and pipes.
  • The roaster, a Loring (the first one in Georgia when it was installed), in more detail.
  • The other bit of impressive kit is this behemoth, which, I believe, is a bagging machine.
  • The Loring isn't the only roaster in the building. There's this Diedrich sample roaster...
  • ... and if that's not small enough for you, there's an even smaller Ikawa sample roaster.
  • All of this, of course, is to turn these green beans (for once, in green sacks), into these...
  • ... bags of roasted coffee.
  • Some of the many pictures of coffee farms (and Christmas decorations) on the walls.
  • To business. You order at the counter at the back.
  • The front of the counter is decorated with coffee sacks from Honduras.
  • The (very concise) menu is above the counter, below a large advertising screen.
  • There is a merchandising rack to the right...
  • ... while to the left is the range of retail coffee. These are for display only: the staff...
  • ... will fill a fresh bag for you. Meanwhile, these are online orders waiting to be collected.
  • The espresso-based menu is extremely concise, particularly for America!
  • The heart of the operation, the epresso machine and its grinders, behind the counter.
  • It's a Slayer Steam EP, by the way, the first one I've seen.
  • Alma Coffee serves its medium roast Soulmate on espresso...
  • ... which I had as a cappuccino in my HuskeeCup.
  • However, I'll leave you with this, a bag of the Honey Process, which I bought for the road.
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Alma Coffee Roastery, our first stop after leaving Atlanta, was a short detour from I-575. Set back from the road, there’s a large, unmissable sign, above which a pretty house stands on a low, grassy ridge, magnificent, mature trees soaring above it. A broad, sweeping drive on the left leads to a large parking lot behind/left of the house.

Alma Coffee is actually in a large, three-bay industrial building on the opposite side of the parking lot, behind/right of the house. Currently home to the rest rooms, Alma Coffee hopes to convert the house into a coffee shop in due course. For now, the coffee shop shares space with the roastery, which occupies the left-hand and centre bays, along with much of the right-hand bay, leaving a small sliver on the right for the corridor-like coffee shop.

There’s plenty of outdoor seating, with three picnic tables at the front of the parking lot behind the house, along with three pairs of chairs, two in front of the roastery and one by the picnic tables. The seating is equipped for all eventualities, including sunshades (even in early November, the Georgia sun was hot) and a pair of fire pits. There’s a final set of three chairs on the opposite side of parking lot, clustered around an outdoor oven.

You go inside to order, a glass door providing access on the right of the third bay. You’re faced with a corridor-like set up along the right-hand wall, with low barriers separating you from the large, warehouse-like space of the roastery on the left. There’s a pair of two-person tables against the wall on the right, while midway between them on the left is a four-person table, but that’s it for the interior seating.

The counter, where you order, is right at the back, along with retail shelves to the left and right. If you want a retail bag of coffee, the ones you can see are for display purposes only. Just ask at the counter and someone will fill a fresh bag (or you can buy reusable cannisters instead) direct from the roastery’s stock! No danger of old retail bags of stale coffee here!

Alma Coffee deals primarily in Honduran coffee, having been set up by husband-and-wife team, Harry and Leticia, along with Leticia’s father, Al, both of whom own coffee farms in Honduras. In this respect, Alma Coffee joins a select band of farm-to-cup coffee producers in the USA, perhaps best typified by Peixoto Coffee Roasters in Chandler, Arizona.

The roastery imports a range of coffee, all single-origins, with roasts ranging from light to dark. Some go under brand names such as Essence or Passion, while others follow the more traditional speciality coffee model of naming after the farm/region. A couple of options highlight the processing technique, with the Honey Process and Natural Process coming from Leticia’s own farm, Finca La Unica. As the names suggest, this is the same coffee, one using the honey process and the other naturally processed. Ideally, I’d have bought both, but, mindful of how much coffee I already had, I settled for the Honey Process, which Amanda and I have been enjoying ever since we got back to Maine.

To see us off on the road, Amanda and I had cappuccinos, mine in my HuskeeCup, Amanda’s in her KeepCup. These are made with Soulmate (Alma means “soul” in Spanish), a washed coffee from Leticia’s farm, Finca La Unica. This is a medium roast crowd-pleaser, which, in milk, produced a very smooth, sweet drink, with classic milk chocolate notes, the perfect start to a long road trip.

3448 HOLLY SPRINGS PARKWAY • CANTON • GA 30115 • USA +1 404 369 0850
Monday 09:00 – 15:00 Roaster Alma Coffee (espresso only)
Tuesday 09:00 – 15:00 Seating Tables, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 09:00 – 15:00 Food No
Thursday 09:00 – 15:00 Service Counter
Friday 09:00 – 15:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday CLOSED Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday CLOSED Power No
Chain No Visits 11th November 2021

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