Blue Bottle Coffee is a whole-bean coffee subscription with multiple options to suit your coffee needs. Generally, you’ll get 12 oz of beans every other week for $17, or double your bag for an extra $11. They also offer half bag and triple bag subscriptions. The prices vary by a buck or so on your coffee selections.
My most recent arrival was Three Africas. Blue Bottle offers 3 types (Origins, Blend, Espresso) or one of the 8 specialty subscriptions available, as well as change the frequency and amount of coffee you receive in each shipment. Each is produced from high-quality beans – it’s just a matter of what your taste preference is.
After many months with the Origins subscription, I decided to switch to Blends. The Origins provides a variety of flavor notes and combinations plus delightful “rough edges” of single-origin brews but it was time to check out how Blue Bottle mixes it up. Currently, I prepare my beans with a Baratza Virtuoso burr grinder and make my coffee Americano-style with an Aeropress.
Every bag includes the date on which it was roasted – this one was prepared on November 1, 2016.
Each coffee has its own vibe and is meant to be experienced, not just tasted. The BB blends pair coffees that vibe well together and create a coherent whole that is more than the sum of its parts. You still get the great lead notes from each component bean, but the medley is ultimately more rounded and harmonious.
DEAL: Get a free trial when you use this link!
Blue Bottle Coffee‘s notes do a great job of laying out the growing conditions and peculiarities of each coffee. More than any other coffee subscription, Blue Bottle tries to capture the feel and essence of its coffees rather than declaring flavor notes with absolute authority. They are fairly accurate with both identifying the specific notes and conveying a sense of the taste.
Three Africans is a blend of two Ethiopian coffees (one wet and one dry process) and a Central African coffee. Blue Bottle identified three main flavor characteristics: fruit, radiance, and creaminess. The notes suggests that the Ugandan coffee provides the staid and solid body, while the Ethiopians provide the wow factor. I’ve had this blend before, but the red apple was not apparent in this iteration, possibly because the third bean is no longer the Ugandan previously used. The coffee still has a creamy mouthfeel and vibrant fruity presence, but it tended for stonefruit more than apple this go round. This blend does a great job of showcasing a couple of lovely flavor notes while maintaining a satisfying and well-rounded overall profile.