Produced by Kate Krader. Written by Ratha Tep, Jen Murphy, Rob Willey, Anna McDonald, Chris Quinlan, Ann Pepi, Kristin Donnelly, Emily White, Fredrick Bensch and Kevin McNerney
A Panama La Torcaza bean roasts in 15.1 minutes, but a Guatemala La Flor Del Café won't reach perfection until 15.4. It's this kind of precision that Craig Min is fanatical about. At 19, Min skipped college to revamp his father's bankrupt coffee business—La Mill in Alhambra, California. Now 27, Min scours the globe to source worthy beans from 16 countries. Batches are slow-roasted in state-of-the-art German machines on low heat, producing coffees like his bold Black Velvet, a full-bodied brew with deep chocolate tones, and his best-selling blend Royal Supreme. Within a year La Mill will open a store in L.A. "Everybody is so focused on where their chicken or tomatoes come from," Min says. "That mentality needs to apply to every part of the meal, including the coffee" (lamillcoffee.com).