For its sampler subscription, Bean Box has a cool concept that is a little different than the other coffee subscriptions. Instead of a scatter-shot of coffees from many roasters or a single roaster’s selections, Bean Box takes an intermediate tack — well-respected roasters from Seattle, the Mecca of the craft coffee renaissance, each offer up a selection. Bean Box offers two different subscriptions – a sampling subscription and a full-bag subscription. They also have other sampler subscriptions. I was sent the Indonesian Sampler for review.
The box has a nice presentation, and it comes with a couple candies.
My coffee was roasted October 5th and 6th and arrived October 13. The full-bag box includes the 12-ounce bag, an information card, and a small treat. In this case, it was See’s Cafe Latte and Vanilla hard candies.
The information card provided detailed information on both the roast and the roaster! It is wonderful to see such a great diversity of flavors among coffees hailing from the same region and roasted in the the same city.
Conduit Coffee Company Papua New Guinea Rika Rika: The tea flavors in this brew are pretty intense — very dry, tannic, and almost woody. The tasting notes are very acute, calling out the peculiarly republican cherry flavoring of the fruit notes (think the small, dark cherries used in Breyers black cherry ice cream — the unique and wonderful black cherries that are often used in foods but have fallen out or favor as eating cherries).
Lighthouse Roasters Mocha Java Blend: This blend combines the earthiness of a Java and the fruitiness of an Ethiopian bean. The dark roast subdues the fruit flavors, and the result is a lighter-bodied java. The roast similarly modifies the flavor profile of the Java beans, accentuating the earthy (read: dirt-like) tones and robbing the beans of their mossy and green tones. A decent coffee blend, but I think the dark roast under-utilizes the great contributions that could be made by both the Ethiopian and Java components.
Seven Coffee Roasters Sumatra Mandheling Old School: This earthy, light roast has a great semisweet chocolate taste, and the body encapsulates your tongue — it lights off receptors on your entire tongue rather than specific regions. The cucumber finish is difficult to discern, but the coffee does finish on a very light, fresh, almost watery note. I like the lighter roast on this cup, and it presents a nice, classic Sumatran earthy and middle-toned body.
Fundamental Coffee Co Java Gunung Biru: These beans are very dark roasted visually. The body is very mellow, with accents of bitter, sour, salt, and peppery notes adding some interest. A very interesting profile — the coffee remains smooth and light, yet is harbors lots of aggressive little flavor notes.
Each roaster took a slightly different tact in roasting the beans to highlight different aspects of the flavor profile. As with Central American beans, I prefer a medium roast for Indonesian-grown beans — I like dark roasting reserved for South American beans and lighter roasting for my East African varieties. Still, I love the way in which the sampler highlights the effect of preparation and roasting on a coffee; these beans are cultivated in the same region and roasted in Seattle, yet they each are possessed of a unique character.
Get a full year of Bean Box for $195 (2 free months!) Use this link to get the deal. Expires 11-06-2015. Otherwise use coupon code BEANBOX1 to save $3 on your subscription.
The Description:Bean Box features freshly roasted coffee from Seattle’s top artisan roasters. Each Sampler box ($20) contains four unique samples from different roasters every month. Or, order the Bag box and get 1 12 oz bag every month ($20), or twice a month ($34). Order more of your faves from the shop!
The Price: $20 per month
The Coupon: Use coupon code BEANBOX1 to save $3 on your subscription!