Angels’ Cup Black Box Coffee Subscription Review – September 2015

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angels cup black box september 2015 box

Not one, but four word-class coffees in one box!?!  Angels’ Cup is a subscription coffee sampler.  For eight bucks, you get four coffee selections in the Cupping Flight.  I find that each 1 oz package in the regular sampler is just right for making a batch in my French press (which is 2 giant mugs or 4 conventional servings).  You can also get the Black Box, which is 4-2.5 oz bags.   This box contains all the same coffees as the the Cupping Flight, but with 175% more coffee.

angels cup black box september 2015 unboxing

The Box comes with four handsomely packaged coffee selections.

angels cup black box september 2015 IMG_8427

Each pack is stamped with a numeric identifier and the roast date but is otherwise unidentifiable.  Last time I tried a Black Box sampler, the numbers were all consecutive — this time there was a small gap.  I think they skipped some similar coffees to make sure my sampler had greater  variety.

angels cup black box september 2015 IMG_8426

Your tasting is now supported by a cupping app.  You enter the code from the coffee to identify the sample.  Then, you record your observations while tasting (the app uses intuitive diagrams to chart the presence of aromas, flavor notes, and general qualities of the brew).  Then, you can compare your observations to those of the official tasters to see if they got it wrong.
angels cup black box september 2015 IMG_8425

The “cheat sheet” describes the numbered brews in greater detail.  The selections tracked the tasting notes very well.  I am impressed with the notes — they identify the major notes without digressing too far.  This batch was heavy on natural process beans, so lots of blueberry and fruit notes.  The Ethiopian was great, as expected, with a great presence and bold berry notes.   The Kenyan had the great characteristic raisin and sweetness I expected, but was very clean (perhaps a washed process on this one?).  The Yemeni bean had a unique winey taste to it, with the fruit and tannin combo — I think the ferment went a little long on this, as a nutty bitterness started to develop, as well.  The peculiar flavor notes still make it a standout in a good way.  The Panamanian had nice berry notes, but the maple taste permeated the body and finish, creating a sweet and very enjoyable sip from start to finish.  A great selection, and I got nearly as many cups out of this awesome quartet as I would most full twelve ounce bags.

angels cup black box september 2015 review
I like the roasting preference of Angels’ Cup — it is dark enough to develop the flavor of the beans, but they stop well short of allowing the roast to overwhelm the beans, so the subtle notes aren’t cooked out or charred over.  The above photo shows the four beans from the Black Box sampler in both bean and ground form.  I can tell that they pay close attention to the roast level — Ethiopian beans, IMHO, do better with a lighter roast than even those from nearby Kenya, and you can see from the photo that this preference was indulged here.

This is a great subscription for coffee lovers.  Their selections are high-quality and well-prepared, plus I’ll get about 12 big brews out of the Black Box.

Angel’s Cup also has the coffee tasting app – and as I hoped before, it’s now available on the Android & Apple app stores! You can record and track 8 different properties of your coffees and compare them.

Visit Angels’ Cup to subscribe or find out more!

The Subscription: Angels’ Cup
The Description: Coffee tasting experience. Every tasting flight features different roasters and different origins, making every cup special! Flights include four 1oz samples of coffee, or 2.5 oz for the Black Box. You can order just one or subscribe.
The Price: $8.99 per delivery (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) for the Cupping Flight, 19.99 for the Black Box

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