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Why our blind selection process means better coffee in your cup

It takes less than 5 minutes to make a delicious cup of Craft Coffee. But did you know the time our tasting panel spends deliberating over each pick in your subscription box adds up to nearly 2 hours? That’s a serious chunk of time when you consider we taste more than 60 coffees each month! It all comes down to our blind evaluation process, which is more rigorous and selective than you’ll find anywhere else. It’s certainly not the easiest or quickest way to find coffees, but it’s the best way to make sure that you get the most incredible coffee experience, month after month. Keep reading to learn more about our selection process and the Craft Coffee difference.

craft coffee, coffee tasting, baristasAshley is one of our all-star baristas who works hard to find the best coffees each month so you don’t have to!

Why do we go through all the trouble?

Some people might say we go to extreme lengths with our blind evaluations. But we feel like it can’t be done any other way. We have a dedicated team of baristas who spend all these hours tasting and evaluating and deliberating so that you don’t have to worry about any of it. The biggest thing you have to worry about is which coffee to drink first! It’s kind of like having a personal assistant who makes all the right choices for you. All for as low as $20 a month. 

craft coffee, coffee tasting, baristasSteven is the newest member of our tasting panel, but he’s an expert at understanding what different people look for in their coffee experience

How It Works

As soon as we receive a coffee sample, we pour the beans into a clean mason jar. It’s not just because it looks cool - the mason jars keep the beans fresh without contributing any unwanted flavors or aromas. We label each jar with only the most essential information: where the coffee is from, how it was processed, and when it was roasted.

 coffee tasting, craft coffee, mason jar coffeeThis is what our baristas see in our blind tastings. No fancy packaging or labels, no unnecessary information. Just coffee.

Our blind selection process is carefully designed to bring you amazing coffee experiences without any guesswork. To do this, we have to make sure that our baristas aren’t distracted or influenced in any way that might affect how they feel about any given coffee. Here’s what it comes down to:

1. Roasters

When you go shopping at the supermarket, you’re more likely to pick brands that you know and love over brands that you haven’t tried before. A lot of people have the same sort of connection with coffee roasters. But when it comes to truly finding the best coffees each month, there’s no room on the cupping table for any pre-existing opinions. With our blind evaluation process there’s no preferential treatment, no underdogs or top contenders - just a level playing field for every single coffee we receive. Sometimes our tasting panel falls in love with a coffee from a small upstart roaster we’ve never heard of, or a roaster that hasn’t really impressed us in the past. Other times, a roaster that has blown us away before sends us a sample that doesn’t quite meet the Craft Coffee standards.

craft coffee, coffee tasting, mason jar coffeeThe tasting shelf at our office in Brooklyn. Suffice it to say, we drink a lot of coffee.

2. Packaging

We’d like to think that pretty packaging is nothing more than icing on the cake, but in reality we know it makes us want to like a coffee before we’ve even tasted it. This can give well established roasters an edge over new or smaller roasters who may not have the time and money to develop perfectly designed, eye-catching coffee bags. By keeping all of our coffee samples in identical mason jars, we make sure that none stand out as more “cool” or “boring” than the rest.

3. Tasting notes

Most of the samples we receive come with tasting notes from the roaster on the label. And why shouldn’t they? Tasting notes are like a roadmap for having the best experience possible out of a new coffee. The problem is, when you see the tasting notes, it can be hard to look for anything different in your cup. We give our tasting panel a blank canvas to work with so they can find unique qualities in each coffee based on their own experience with it.

Discover the Craft Coffee difference for yourself! Save 10% on any new coffee subscription box by entering the coupon code WeTasteBlind10 at checkout (coupon code valid through April 10).

Coffee Tasting Update: Feb. 17

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Also the number of days we’d stay awake for if we had to evaluate all of these coffees by ourselves. Luckily we have a team of NYC’s finest coffee professionals to tackle the job!

Coffee Tasting Update: Feb. 10

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The number of coffees we taste each week varies based on how many new samples we receive from coffee roasters. So while we always taste 50+ coffees each month, the weekly number could be below 10 or above 20 or anywhere in between. Check back each Monday to see for yourself how much this number changes week to week!

Coffee Tasting Update: Feb. 3

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There’s always an element of surprise in our evaluation process. No two weeks are ever the same, and we love that! We want to open our doors and give you a closer look at how things work around the Craft Coffee labs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Every Monday we’ll update you with how many coffees we evaluated the previous week. It’s a way for you to follow the ups and downs and unexpected turns that make what we do so much fun.