June 2013 Tasting Box

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Social Coffee & Tea Co.

Richmond Hill, Ontario

This is our second aromatic Ethiopian gem from Ontario’s Social Coffee & Tea. Aromas of flowers and fruit waft from your cup, and that’s just how owner Steve Souphanthong likes it. On his last trip to Ethiopia in February 2012, Steve made some friends who know how to source the good stuff at the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), the market where most Ethiopian coffees are now tasted, graded and sold. The downside of the ECX is that lots of coffee get blended together and distinctive lots get lost in the mix. But it looks like Steve’s relationships were built to last because he’s done it again. From the very first sip, we were sold on this cup’s sugary foundation of blueberry, lychee and jasmine that pops with high notes of citrus acidity.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
  • Origin
    Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
  • Varieties
    Heirloom (Ethiopian)
  • Elevation
    1,850-2,100 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    From the first sip, this is a bright bouquet of flowers and fruit. The light body lays a sugary foundation of blueberry, lychee and jasmine, and then it pops with high notes of salted lime and grapefruit acidity. It finishes tart and sweet, like a natural lemon soda.

Joe

New York, New York

What do New York City and Caranavi, Bolivia have in common? We can name two things - family-run, quality-obsessed coffee businesses, and long lines of taxis. This sweet Bolivian brew began its life on the family farms of San Ignacio’s indigenous farmers. It wouldn’t be so delicious if it wasn’t carefully processed by Pedro Rodriguez and his son at their Buenavista Mill. And our friends at Joe in New York City -- another family business -- roasted these beans just for us. So this one is family through and through. How do the beans make their way from mountainside farms to Buenavista? In a strategy near and dear to our hearts, the Rodriguez family employs a fleet of local taxis to make that commute. As any New Yorker will tell you - sometimes cabbing it is the only way.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    Buenavista Mill, smallholder farmers
  • Origin
    San Ignacio, Caranavi, Bolivia
  • Varieties
    Red Caturra, Yellow Caturra
  • Elevation
    1600 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Soft pillows of marshmallowy sweetness balance flavors of ripe grape and plum in this delicious and syrupy cup.

Caffe Ladro

Seattle, Washington

If there’s a coffee heaven, Huila, Colombia and Seattle, Washington are probably both in the running. This coffee pairs the two for a delicious collaboration that wins universal praise from our expert panel. These Caturra beans were grown by a group of 92 smallholder farmers who cultivate their coffee in rich volcanic soil along the steep hills of the Colombian Andes. But quality alone might not be enough to qualify as heaven, so let’s talk good deeds. Caffe Ladro sourced this coffee through an ethical approach that guarantees transparency. That means when premium prices are paid, most of the money ends up in the farmers’ pockets. So you’re helping them invest in quality of coffee and quality of life. Coffee heaven indeed.

Buy This Coffee

We feature truly small-batch, seasonal coffees. So there might not be any left. But that's a good thing! Only big corporate factories have the same stuff all year round.

  • Producer
    ADPASO Cooperative, farmed by 92 smallholder farmers
  • Origin
    Oporapa, Huila, Colombia
  • Varieties
    Caturra
  • Elevation
    1,450-1,750 meters above sea level
  • Process
    Washed
  • Our Notes
    Aromas of raisins, vanilla and malt lead into a luscious brew of black cherry, molasses and oak. The subtle stone fruit acidity carries through the lingering sweetness of the finish.