If you ballpark the number of coffee roasters in the United States who are seasonally finding the tastiest coffees from around the world and roasting them to perfection, you really only have more than a few dozen. Tops.
It's a cozy group, but even if each of these roasters carries just (for instance) four different coffees a season -- and you're eager for a taste -- your selection process turns into a serious conundrum.
Cue Craft Coffee, a new subscription service that takes a shot a narrowing down the bunch into three unique coffees, each from a separate roaster, for you to try every month.
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Behind the curtain, from Craft headquarters in Brooklyn, the team of experienced samplers do all its coffee tasting blind (stripped of branding and industry hype) from dozens of samples. The samplers simply pick their favorite three, give you four ounces of each, throw in their own tasting notes, and send the bags to your mailbox.
Their very first month, Craft sent out three aces who've built considerable steam among micro-roasters -- Aida Titirico Hilari's coffee (notes of tart cherry, almond butter) roasted by Gimme! Coffee in Ithaca, N.Y.; Didier Reinoso of San Isidro's beans (flavors of tropical fruit that cools to bittersweet chocolate), from the exciting MadCap Coffee Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and the Kochere District's varietal (tastes like Earl Grey tea with touches of lemon) from Coava Coffee Roasters of Portland, Oregon.
Intimidating? Sounds like an adventure. With a subscription the 12 ounces (equal to around 18 cups of coffee) can cost you as low as $19.99 a month which, for the venturesome coffee seekers out there, could be quite the deal. And it's easy, kind of like Netflix or the Book of the Month Club -- but for coffee. We didn't see an Arizona roaster on the list of past boxes, but there's still time....