By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Jan 17, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Forbes Traveler Magazine scoured the country in search of our nation's top independent coffeehouses, and Milwaukee's very own Alterra Coffee Roasters made the list alongside cafes in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

Experts in the specialty coffee industry and connoisseurs nationwide were polled to help compile the list and the article by Rob Baedeker interprets the differences between small- to mid-size companies and their larger national counterparts.

Alterra was chosen as one of the country's best because of the its focus on quality and the craft of brewing excellent coffee. Alterra's online "About Us" profile was cited in the article, stating, "We promote strong local communities, forge quality relationships with our growers and suppliers, maintain a strong financial bottom line, and foster the quality redevelopment of urban buildings. But it all starts with strong coffee."

You can read the article here.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”