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August Coffee Subscription

We're trying something a little new this month! Based on your feedback, we're going to talk a bit about the details we include each month about the coffees you receive: roast, altitude, process, and flavor notes. These all affect the flavor of your coffee, this month, you'll learn just how.

Before we dig into that, here's what's included in this month's box:

Gold bag: Panama

  • Roast: Light

  • Altitude: 2100 meters

  • Process: Washed

  • Flavor Notes: Balanced, Peach, Honey

  • Recipe recommendations: Pour over with light cream, maybe a little honey to sweeten things up.

Silver bag: Guatemala

  • Roast: Medium | Light

  • Altitude: 1500 meters

  • Process: Washed

  • Flavor Notes: Clean, Balanced, Graham Cracker

  • Recipe recommendations: French press with vanilla or caramel and milk.

Copper bag: Espresso Blend (Brazil, Mexico, Papua New Guinea)

  • Roast: Medium

  • Altitude: 1000-1500 meters

  • Process: Washed

  • Flavor Notes: Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Nutty, Cacao

  • Recipe recommendations: French press with oat milk or as espresso!

DECAF - Silver bag: Mexico

  • Roast: Medium

  • Altitude: 1000-1300 meters

  • Process: Mountain Water Process

  • Flavor Notes: Cacao, Nutty

  • Recipe recommendations: Use as espresso and/or with some chocolate and milk.

Now what does all of this mean and how does it affect what you drink every morning? Keep reading to find out!


Roast refers to the degree to which coffee beans are roasted and is one of the most important factors that determine the taste of the coffee in the cup. Before roasting, green coffee beans are soft, with a fresh “grassy” smell and little or no taste. The coffee roasting process transforms these raw beans into the distinctively aromatic, flavorful, crunchy beans that we recognize as coffee. There are three main roast categories, light, medium, and dark. You'll find that roasters tend to have similar roasts depending on which region the coffee comes from, but the flavors can be completely different depending on the harvesting process and how the beans are actually roasted. Roasting coffee is a science and can be very complex.


The altitude at which a bean is grown drastically affects the flavor of the coffee. Coffee grown at higher elevations tends to be of higher quality, and with that high quality comes more complex flavor notes than coffee grown at lower elevations. The difference in flavor and quality is due to two factors, water and temperature. At higher altitudes, cooler temperatures slow down the growth rate of the coffee plant. At a slower growth rate, the plants focus more on reproduction. The plant then devotes more energy to bean production which in turn produces more of the sugars that create those amazing tasting notes in your coffee. Higher elevations also have better drainage than places lower in the watershed. Better drainage leads to less water in the beans concentrating the flavors created by the sugars. Lower regions produce a less complex flavor profile and tend to be more of a mellow cup of coffee.

So what altitude should you look for when picking out beans? It's really up to you and your flavor preferences. Beans that are grown at higher altitudes, above 1500 meters, tend to be more acidic and translate to flavors like fruits and berries in the cup. If you are looking for a coffee that is more mellow and has a smooth taste, a bean grown at a lower altitude would be best. Take a look at the chart below and use it as guide to find your new favorite bean.


Processing coffee is when farmers separate the bean from the coffee cherry. Processing is another very important step in the coffee bean lifecycle. Even if the coffee was picked perfectly ripe and the harvest has gone really well, bad coffee processing can lead to defects which decrease the value and flavor of the coffee. Some processing methods require more time, investment and natural resources that others so choosing the right processing method can be crucial decision for a coffee farmer or producer. There are three main types of processing:

  • Natural - The coffee cherries are picked and dried right away with the fruit still on the bean. Once they are dry, the fruit is removed.

  • Washed - This is the most common process where the fruit is removed from the bean within 24 hours of being picked then fermented, washed, and dried.

  • Honey - This is the least common process and is a mixture of natural and washed processes. The skin of the fruit is removed within 24 hours of being picked, dried over 3-4 weeks, then the fruit is removed.

Flavor Notes:

These words describe the different flavors you can taste in each coffee and can also help you decide what foods or syrups to pair with it. There are many different ways to label the flavors of coffee and you can use the Coffee Tasters Flavor Wheel to help make sense of it all. The flavor wheel l is a collaborative effort by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and World Coffee Research and is designed to be a tool for coffee tasters. As a tool, it is meant to be intuitive, enjoyable to use, and a benefit to those who seek to analyze and describe coffees. You should start at the center of the wheel and work outward. The most general taste descriptions are in the center and get more specific as you move toward the outside of the circle.

What now?

Now you can use all of this information to help determine which coffees are your favorite! Each month, we aim to include three coffees that are fairly different from each other to provide a wide variety of flavors for you to experiment with. When we designed the monthly coffee subscription, one of our main goals was to help you learn about the complexities of coffee to help you discover what you enjoy drinking. We hope this information will be useful in your coffee tasting journey!

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