Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mugged: Coffee Bean Direct

Subject: Coffee Bean Direct
Mugged: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe and Nicaragua Organic Fair Trade SHG

Rating: 3+ for both [see key]

A lot of enamor is placed on hand-made products. The fascination with getting a product produced by actual human limbs provides that artisan touch that many consumers love. But from a business perspective, that extra labor only pays off when you can price your products at a higher rate. If you want to get a great product at a lower price, mechanization needs to get involved.

Which brings us to the folks at Coffee Bean Direct who have grown to a point where they chose to take steps to keep their production more efficient and their coffee still affordable. Thus, they have opted to use Kickstarter to help them get a "pouch monster," an $80,000 upgrade to their coffee production. 

To better help paint a more accurate picture of what they have to offer and why you the consumer should pitch in to help this company expand, the folks at Coffee Bean Direct decided to send me out two of their coffees to review: their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and their Nicaraguan Organic Fair Trade SHG. Both coffees I reviewed via drip, french press and siphon infusions.

The Ethiopian overall produced a coffee with notes of apple, corn, strong cigar, malt and grass, with small differences in each infusion. The drip held strong apple notes with a light lime zest amid a medium body, the french press more corn and caramel with similar body and the siphon was more overt in chocolate notes and with sweeps of vanilla. Overall, a decent coffee though the notes of cigar and akaline elements made this only a fair African coffee.

The Nicaraguan embodied a malty and salty brew across the board, with particular shades of pretzel, pecans and cola. As for minor differences, the drip was thickest with minor notes of spinach and caramel; the french press begot similar notes as the drip though with a lighter and broth-ish flavor; and the siphon held tinges of sassafras and nutmeg. Also a good coffee though it was a little too malty for my liking and the salty aspects didn't pair as well as I would have hoped. 

Thus, while I can't say that their coffee was the best ever, I can say it is substantially better than most coffees you would pay a similar price for at the market. Give Coffee Bean Direct a try and if you feel compelled, help them realize their Kickstarter goal. 

note: coffee was provided free of charge and the above review is objective feedback.   


Cheryl said...

You have a very interesting description of flavors, so much so that I am tempted to try these coffees to taste the described flavors. Thank you for this information.

James Truxon said...

Beware of this company. I had a subscription with this company for some time, it worked well, COVID hit, they shut down. I stop receiving shipments, as expected, and their online system indicates that these orders are all "processing". So finally I notice that, even though these orders haven't arrived, and they're still marked "processing", the company *has* charged my account. So I call them to say that I want to cancel those pending orders and refund the charges, and they tell me that a) the orders have shipped, b) the orders were delivered (months ago), and c) they're not giving me any refunds!! And, by the way, the website only says "processing" because of some software glitch. I was so angry that I stepped it all the way up to the owner, "Andrew" (Esserman, presumably), who accused me of lying to him. I could care less about the cash, I picked up the phone because I thought my account was charged as an oversight and I didn't want to keep forgetting to deal with it. Thirty minutes later I'm telling the owner of the company where to stick it, and I can't believe what a trashy business this is!! And now I have to go through the trouble of reporting these charges as fraudulent! What a waste of time and emotion! Based on the other recent negative reviews here, I wonder if it's not intentional - I'm sure they're short on business just like everyone else, and they seem scummy enough to just keep the $$ instead of owning their mistakes.