Prepare to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of coffee. With the witching hour now upon us, I submit for your approval this Halloween and beyond: a collection of seven spooky roasters with coffee so scary good, they’re guaranteed to keep you in fine spirits.
There isn’t much more unsettling (and downright creepier) than happening upon a town that has been completely abandoned with everything—homes, clothes, keepsakes, furniture, photographs, mementos—left behind, locked in a decaying time capsule. Ghost towns are scattered throughout the American West, particularly in the northern mining territories, like the Dakotas, Idaho, and Montana—home to Ghost Town Coffee Roasters.
Halloween is a day to celebrate the darkness. Dark magic, the dark arts, dark energy; everything has a dark side. There isn’t much more terrifying, though, than dark matter. Dark matter is the invisible, the unseen, the unknown of the entire universe. Even NASA says, “We are much more certain what dark matter is not than we are what it is.” Even more terrifying is new research pointing out that the whole universe may face a much darker future, as dark matter is swallowing up dark energy. That, though, is the foundational philosophy that drives Chicago’s Dark Matter Coffee Company. If the specialty coffee industry represents the universe and science and tech represent dark energy, Dark Matter is using skill and philosophy to consume all.
Get even spookier this Halloween with their Three Floyds collaboration, Black Hole Necromancer—a limited edition barrel-aged iced espresso specifically created for Three Floyds’ Dark Lord Day—or their permanent house espresso blend, Unicorn’s Blood.
Corpses rising from their graves, revived by magical means such as witchcraft and voodoo, and preying upon the living—the living dead, the walking dead, the undead. Of all Halloween folklore and mythology, I can think of little more frightening than that of the zombie. In Seoul, South Korea, however, zombies are redeemed by Zombie Coffee Roasters—one of Seoul’s premier specialty coffee roasters.
We all know the mythology surrounding reanimation—whether by scientific, magical, or spiritual means, the dead are brought back to life. These “undead” may be incorporeal, like ghosts, or they might be corporeal, like vampires, zombies, and Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. Philadelphia’s ReAnimator Coffee, however, employs the term a bit differently. Their name wasn’t inspired by bringing the dead back to life and it doesn’t have anything to do with “reanimating coffee beans;” rather, their name is an homage to the Philadelphia neighborhood, Fishtown. From their website: “We live and work in our neighborhood. Fishtown is an area of Philadelphia just north of the city center and is home to a diverse cultural and socio-economic population. It is an area of the city where weird things still happen amid the ruins of industrial parks, factories and quiet neighborhoods. There is a certain sort of stunning aesthetic beauty to this type of decay, but it is even more pleasing to see the creation of new things and re-imagination of the old in the crumbling surroundings.”
With coffees named Ghost Roast, Shade Blend, and Black Lightning, a subscription service called Dark Arts, a logo that’s guaranteed to give you nightmares, and haunting imagery right out of an American Horror Storyopening credits sequence, it’s no wonder that Riner, Virginia’s Strange Coffee Company is included in this list.
All right, all right, I know this entry is a real stretch. Even though the “EVP” of Madison, Wisconsin’s EVP Coffee is actually an abbreviation for “Etes-Vous Prets,” I prefer to think that it stands for “Electronic Voice Phenomenon”—sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices that have been either unintentionally recorded or intentionally requested and recorded.
Hey, Halloween doesn’t have to be all ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and monsters, right? Pirates are seriously scary characters and, unlike the rest of Halloween mythology and folklore, there’s no debating that they exist. Inspired by tales of swashbuckling and roaming the high seas, Tacoma, Washington’s Bluebeard Coffee Roasters searches for our favorite kind of buried treasure in the mountainous regions of Central/South America , Africa, and Asia—coffee. Black gold.