An organic coffee label tells us the coffee was farmed, processed, and roasted in a way that meets the FDAs requirements for Certified Organic. It also tells us the farm applied and paid for the certification (read more in our blog post about Organic Coffee
). However, this doesn't tell us the coffee tastes great or his high quality. In fact, a lot of large commercial farms will get certified so they can charge a premium for otherwise poor quality coffee. That said, here are the indicators to gauge coffee taste and quality. 1. Freshness
Roasted coffee is perishable. Does the coffee have an expiration date? If so, run away. Roasted coffee stays at peak freshness for 2-3 weeks giving. Freshly roasted coffee is full of flavor without the bitter edge. Great coffee will have a 'roasted on' date. 2. Small-Batch Roasted
Great roasters are like chefs. They care about their ingredients (in this case coffee) and adjust their recipe to the unique qualities of the beans and flavor profile they're trying to achieve. They can also control roasting variables better in small batches to ensure your coffee is full of flavor. Look for small batch local roasters vs. large commercial brands which are more like coffee factories. 3. Pedigree
Is the coffee from a small lot? Is it grown at a high altitude? Does the roaster have a direct relationship with the farm? These factors are a little squishier and tougher to access from the coffee bag. Most of these factors are well vetted by quality roasters, or a service like Bean Box
. So find a great roaster who cares about these factors in sourcing coffee. From our experience, it doesn't take long to know if a roaster cares about the farm-to-cup quality of their coffee.
I hope this helps you, Sean! Check out our handpicked selection of great tasting and seasonally fresh organic coffees