Real People, Really Good Coffee – Don & Erik Anderson – Colorado River Coffee Roasters

Our Real People, Really Good Coffee this week spotlights Don & Erik Anderson, owners of Colorado River Coffee Roasters in Boulder City, Nevada in Greater Las Vegas.

Don Anderson retired as a teacher & administrator for the Clark County School District after 30 years. In 2009, he and son Erik decided to pursue a life long passion of producing fine roasted coffees. Don had been frustrated with the quality of coffee encountered in the Las Vegas marketplace, and decided to roast his own.

Starting small, this father and son team began with a modest 3 kilogram roaster to see what kind of market response there might be.

After all, Vegas hadn’t been known as a coffee Mecca.

Today however, CRCR is using a 12 kilo roaster, which can produce up to 15,000 lbs a week enough for a big city marketplace. The results were initially encouraging and the business has grown rapidly, and in 2015, Colorado River Coffee Roasters is selling thousands of pounds of high end specialty coffee to a still nascent market in Las Vegas, and it’s now a team effort.

Micro Batches of High Grade Specialty Coffee

Photo : Jessica Ebelhar/Las Vegas Review Journal

What’s their secret? Meticulous micro batch artisan coffee roasting.

Each batch is carefully roasted to maintain the excellent point of origin flavors in each coffee. What makes CRCR coffee special is the quality in each coffee, and the careful attention to each roast to preserve the best that each origin has to offer. Whether it’s a South or Central American coffee, or a rich African bean, each will have the optimum roast point for maximum richness, and master roaster Erik Anderson will analyze and sample each coffee to ensure the best results.

Customers have raved about CRCR for years, and the Coffee Culture is growing and spreading throughout Las Vegas with more coffee shops opening up in the past several years. The demand continues to grow as more and more people discover the deliciousness that crafted coffee gives.

Today, one can find Colorado River Coffee Roasters coffees in many locations in and around Las Vegas.

CRCR Diedrich Coffee Roaster

Using Specialty Coffee Association Standards

Proud Members SCAA

Colorado River Coffee Roasters uses the exacting standards of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA.) That is, every batch of coffee is graded by size, amount of defective beans, and finally carefully rated by overall taste in the cup.

Don & Erik seek to spread the good news about delicious high quality coffee. Especially in a tourist town, some of the coffee is just plain awful. Little by little though, visitors and locals are demanding coffee that still has the real flavors that only the best carefully roasted coffee can deliver.

Don has been invited for many private coffee taste cuppings around the world, and has become known for an unusually discerning palate.

Erik has been undergoing the rigorous Roaster certification process which is the culmination of his years of experience. He recently took intensive courses in Tulsa, OK to enhance his already exceptional ability.

Colorado River Coffee Roasters is now the only Certified Organic coffee roaster in southern Nevada.

Direct Trade Coffees

Don looks for specific flavor profiles, and works with importers that buy green coffee directly from the farmers. Long before the coffee is roasted, samples of green beans have been tested and only the top farms meet his demanding palate. Coffee is then shipped and stored in a coastal (more humid and coffee friendly) warehouse. Bags of coffee are shipped in as needed to fill the Las Vegas demand.

Supporting the Community

The Anderson’s also support the local community besides being craft roasters.

CRCR is also active in the Las Vegas Coffee Culture scene, supports the “buy local” movement, and are well known around town, most recently participating in the Las Vegas Beer & Coffee Festival held on October 3rd. There Don served a delicious Ethiopian from one his best micro lots.

CRCR participates in local Las Vegas and Boulder City charities such as the Breast Cancer Walk among others.

Don Anderson Colorado River Coffee Roasters


Where to Buy?

CRCR’s excellent coffees can be found at Whole Foods,  Artisanal Foods, and at their online store here.


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