Our primary source: Intelligentsia+Ecco
Intelligentsia VP Geoff Watts and Ecco QC Director Amber Fox, at the La Lolita mill, Tolima district, Colombia
Volta has flown the orange and grey colors of Intelligentsia from the moment we conceived of the shop. In fact, Volta wouldn't be what it is today without the help of so many people from the Intelligentsia organization: from Southeast sales rep Chris Clements (who is, in fact, my primary sounding board for pretty much all that we've developed at the shop), to trainers like Alexandra Switzer, Jesse Crouse, Jessie Raub, Stephen Morrissey and Mike Phillips, to sales staff like Paul Rekstad and Jim Allen-- the Intelligentsia organization has been more than a company that roasts our coffee. They are industry leaders who have challenged us to push the boundaries of what a small, independent shop in a tertiary market can accomplish. That, and the coffees just keep getting better and better. I also have to mention the importance of Doug Palas and the Intelligentsia tea department; Doug is setting the standard for carefully sourced and selected teas, and his advice has been the foundation of all that we have accomplished with our tea program.
Last year, Intelligentsia bought out the (much, much) smaller Ecco Caffe roasters, of Santa Rosa, California. The merger has allowed us access to stellar lots of coffees that might have been too small to show up on Intelligentsia's radar, or slightly different roast profiles for established Intelligentsia favorites. Ecco and Intelligentsia coffees are all sourced by a buying team headed up by Geoff Watts; Ecco's Gabe Boscana is director of roasting for the entire operation, but each company retains a unique personality and slightly different profiles to their coffees. For what it's worth, when it came time to compete in the US Southeastern Regional Barista Championship, I selected Ecco's roast of the Colombia Finca Santuario Micay as my competition coffee.
There's so much going on in the world of coffee right now that we've opened up our sourcing to develop a carefully curated a list of roasters from the US to feature along side the coffees from Ecco and Intelligentsia-- but rest assured that Ecco and Intelligentsia will remain at the core of what we offer at Volta!