Our First Crate!

We are putting the final touches on our very first Coffee Crate! Wow, it’s been great to see our idea develop into a product that we’re proud of. While you are waiting on your crate, here you’ll find a preview of what’s to come. If you missed this month’s order cut off, don’t worry, every month we’re sending out quality local coffee and other local surprises. Order now, and you’ll be on board for January’s shipment! You can still purchase Coffee Crate as a gift for Christmas by selecting December 25th as the date for the gift email to be sent out to your loved one. Then, the gift recipient can redeem their gift and receive their first crate in January!

This month, we’ve found the perfect roasts to keep you warm throughout the holidays. This December you’ll be experiencing: Joe Van Gogh’s of  Hillsborough, Beans Boro of Greensboro, and Mountain Air Roasting Company of Asheville. Our two single origins were grown and harvested in: Highlands Mt, Kenya & Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. This month, also includes an Espresso Blend combining beans from Central America, Indonesia, and Africa.

Our first roast that made it into the crate is Joe Van Gogh’s French Roast from The Highlands of Mt. Kenya. For this crop, Joe Van Gogh works with Farmers First who partner with small scale farmers and cooperatives to receive more for their crop. If you’ve ever had a bad french roast: excessively oily, burnt, bad after taste…than get ready for an awakening! I keep referring to it as a “friendly french roast” so delicious, palatable, strong and smooth. I knew I had to share this one with ya’ll.

Our second roast that could not be left out is, Mountain Air’s ECX Grade 1 DP, from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. When you receive this roast open the bag and just breathe in the tropical scents. Oh my goodness, forget artificially flavored coffees. This coffee emits such strong fruit scents, others in your house may wake up thinking you’re making blueberry muffins (which isn’t a bad idea.) This coffee is one of the most unique roasts I’ve ever experienced. From the smell, I thought it would be overly sweet but this cup surprised me with so many layers of flavor making for a bright, clean, medium body cup that I can’t wait to wake up to.

Our third roast is an Espresso Blend from Beans Boro. This roast is organic, fair trade & rainforest alliance certified. I picture you sharing this one with your family this Christmas perhaps with some chocolate from your stocking. Espresso is in the name but it is wonderful when brewed as coffee. Our team loved this medium roast and we know you will too.

In addition to our local coffees, we’re including a chocolate chip cookie from Boone, NC’s Appalachia Cookie Co. Recently, they were named one of the top ten cookies in America by Paula Deen’s Magazine. Now that’s pretty sweet!

Here at Coffee Crate we drink our coffee strong and black. I recommend 2 Tablespoons ground coffee per 6 oz. of water. You may like your coffee stronger or weaker and would need to adjust the water accordingly. I highly suggest trying these coffees black to fully experience the flavor profiles. I can’t attest to the effects of sugar and cream but I can tell you that these three roasts when brewed to taste and enjoyed black are sure to “wow” you.

Merry Christmas!



How the heck do you brew a decent cup of coffee?

There are many methods to coffee brewing out there. Sure, you can weigh the coffee, preheat your chemex, use *exactly* 200 degree filtered water, and if you have a refined palate your coffee will probably taste a little better.  If that’s not your thing though, there’s nothing wrong with that, we think coffee drinkers should just do what they enjoy most.

At Coffee Crate we believe you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy great coffee. So what’s the simple way that you and I can get this local goodness into our cup without a degree in Coffee Preparation?

All you REALLY need:

Your Coffee Crate. You get to experiment and try three new local coffee varieties every month. Our coffees come from roasters all over the state, with beans from all over the world. That’s 36 different coffees a year and a cup of day of brag-worthy beans!

A coffee brewing device. Want to impress? Use anything other than a standard coffee pot. Standard coffee pots continue to heat the coffee after its been brewed. Long story short, that doesn’t make for the best coffee.. A french press is nice because it’s easy to clean and you don’t always have to stock up on filters.  A Chemex is nice because it makes for a lovely “clean” cup (the filters absorb the oils), and as a bonus, makes it look like you really know what you’re doing. There are many other ways to make coffee, but until you refine your taste, the difference in taste likely won’t be noticeable. We personally just stick with a French Press and Chemex. Sidenote: I recently shattered our Chemex.  Fortunately, my brother-in-law was using his as a flower vase and happily gave it to us.

A grinder. Our beans come whole because you get the best cup of coffee if they are roasted and ground right before you brew a cup.  Grinding the coffee makes the beans slowly lose their flavor, and we suggest grinding within ~2-3 weeks of the beans being roasted.. Grind your beans to the consistency of normal ground coffee. Look inside of a bag of ground coffee and see if you can make it look like that.

Water. I use filtered water if my Brita is already full; if not,I use tap water. Some folks have really odd tasting tap water and should use filtered water for all consumption, including coffee. It may strongly affect the taste of your coffee.

Something that can bring water to a boil. We use a small pot.

Other helpful items: a big glass measuring cup (mine is a 2 cup pyrex)  and a tablespoon

Really simple directions:

Boil water.

Grind beans.

Scoop beans into coffee brewer of your choice

Remove water from boil and pour into measuring cup

How many tablespoons did you use? Okay. Multiple that by three. That’s how many ounces of water you’ll use. I normally end up with about 8 tablespoons for 24oz of coffee. (The professionals weigh their coffee, and use a ratio of 16 to 1. 16 fl oz of water to 1 oz of coffee)

Pour a little water in. Wait five seconds for good measure and slowly pour the rest in. If you want to get fancy, time the pour for 4 minutes. Poured too much, oh well, it will still taste good.

For a Chemex: stand there and wait. Then serve while its hot. Delicious.

For a French Press: turn on a timer for 4mins and when the timer is up proceed with the pressing and IMMEDIATELY pour the coffee into cups or a carafe. I usually end up pouring the extra into the measuring cup. I don’t plan that far ahead.

Another way to simplify your coffee drinking is to forgo the cream and sugar. Now that you’ve brewed coffee in a fancy device, you’re ready to enjoy! If you find that you’ve made too much coffee you can save it in the fridge for iced coffee later.   See, there is NOTHING complicated about brewing coffee.

What I’ve learned through my coffee drinking and making is that I do want to learn all the fancy techniques and have all the devices. The reason is because I want to look cool, feel informed about my product, and experiment with the taste.

While we are all on our way to becoming coffee aficionados, we can still enjoy great coffee every morning.  Start by using high quality beans and really simple brewing techniques. You can perfect your craft over time.