How to Keep Your Coffee Fresh

coffeespill

Here at the Moustache Coffee Club, we take freshness seriously. We look for the best premium coffees the world has to offer, and we ship day-of-roast so that our coffees arrive at the peak of freshness. It’s tempting to brew all our delicious coffee as soon as it hits your mailbox, but you might want to make it last until your next shipment. So here are some tips for keeping your coffee as fresh and tasty as possible:

  1. Grind as you go
    1. This is Coffee 101, but it’s important. Coffee’s flavor comes from the oils in the bean. When you grind beans, you’re exposing more surface area, and providing more opportunities for those tasty oils to escape. Since coffee has a tendency to absorb aromas and moisture, pre-grinding also increases your chances of contaminating your coffee’s flavor. Measure out the coffee you need to grind, and leave the rest whole-bean until you need it.
  2. Keep it sealed
    1. Even when your coffee isn’t ground, it can still absorb moisture & aromas. That’s why most coffee comes in an airtight package (like our resealable bags). Always keep your coffee sealed up to protect its flavor and extend its shelf life. The valve on coffee packaging allows CO2 to escape, but should prevent air from entering the bag. You can also transfer your coffee to an airtight tub or jar if you prefer.
  3. Keep it cool and dry
    1. You want your coffee hot when you drink it, but not before! Excessive heat contributes to coffee losing its flavor, so storing your beans next to the stove isn’t a great idea. Likewise, coffee shouldn’t be damp until you’re brewing it. (Remember those oils from step 1?) It’s best to keep your coffee in a cool, dry place like a cubbard or shelf until you’re ready to use it.
  4. Avoid the freezer
    1.  It’s best to grind only what you’ll use, but sometimes things happen, and you’ve probably heard the freezer can save your grounds. Unfortunately, it usually adds more trouble than its worth. Fridges and freezers are damp places, and every time you create a temperature fluctuation, you’re creating an opportunity for condensation to build. Moisture kills the flavor of your beans, so it’s best to keep your coffee out of the freezer. If you grind too much, find a friend and share the love!
  5. Buy fresh coffee
    1. Coffee is best 3 to 5 days after its roasted. After that, it slowly starts to lose its flavor, even if stored properly. Coffee never goes bad, but after about a month you won’t be getting the most out of your beans. Consider signing up for a subscription that fits your coffee consumption, so you always have fresh stock on-hand!

Get Premium Single-Origin Coffee Using Starbucks Gift Cards

 

The holidays are over, and as the decorations lay half-packed in whatever boxes you happen to have lying around, you’re left with many things. A renewed desire to diet. Maybe a slight hangover. A renewed distaste for waking up early to work. And of course those insidious Starbucks gift cards.

Gift cards, in the purest sense, are fairly benign. Flimsy pieces of plastic covered in holiday designs a bar code, and occasionally a magnetic strip. They don’t really do anything. They’re just a place-holder for some value you’ll redeem later. A tiny puck of well-wishing in a card-stock envelope shaped like an actual gift. One that somebody didn’t have the time to buy. If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll inevitably receive a Starbucks gift card. Maybe from an employer looking for a safe bet, or your out-of-touch aunt that “really does mean well.”

And it’s true. whoever purchased a Starbucks gift card for you probably had the best intentions. They know that you like coffee, and wanted to give you something that you enjoy. It was an attempt to give a personal gift that’s useful or practical. Maybe they drove through the snow to visit a Starbucks franchise, walked past the golden branded tumblers and jazz melody CDs, braved the holiday spice-scented air and stood in line with a bunch of people glued to their phones. Just because they know you like coffee. (Or maybe they picked it up last-minute during a lunch break after a calendar notification reminded them of the white elephant party in three hours. Who knows.) Either way, a little plastic wedge of corporate-coffee-cash has ended up in your charge.

The concept behind the Starbucks gift card is good, but flawed: someone has given you monetary value! But you can only spend it within the bounds of the Starbucks menu and online store. This is perfectly fine if you are an avid fan of Pike Place Roast, snorting Via packets off a formica table, and whatever ice cream derivative choco-whippa-ccinos the green lady currently slinging, but if you prefer other (perhaps finer) establishments for your coffee, the Starbucks gift card can generate a profound sense of despair.

But fear not! If you’ve ever found yourself in this terrible Starbucks gift card purgatory, the Moustache Coffee Club has a way out!
For a limited time, you can visit the Moustache Coffee Club website to convert the full value of your well-meaning but unwanted Starbucks gift cards into credit for our premium coffee subscription service. It’s like a Christmas miracle, except it will bring you coffee all year! With a subscription to the Moustache Coffee Club, you’ll enjoy the highest quality single-origin beans from around the world, roasted to order and shipped fresh straight to your door. No murky over-brewed coffee, nobody awkwardly misspelling your name on a cup. Just great premium coffee that you’ll actually want to drink.

So you’re still looking for Christmas Gifts…

christmas-coffeeHere we are again. Less than a week until the big day and you’ve hit the wall. Maybe it’s that last person on your list that you just can’t figure out. Maybe it’s that you never actually made a list to begin with. Either way, we know the feeling: What on earth do you buy? How do you wrap it? If you go with a gift card, will they know you forgot? Where’s the nearest post office, and how many hours will you have to stand in line to blow way too much money shipping a tiny package to Milwaukee? Gifting can add stress to the season, but it doesn’t have to. The Moustache Coffee Club offers gift subscriptions: the easy way to spread holiday cheer that’s perfect for your coffee-loving friends and family.

The Moustache Coffee Club is a premium coffee subscription service dedicated to quality and freshness. They test beans from all over the globe to bring their subscribers a new, delicious single-origin coffee every week. Each shipment includes detailed information about the coffee’s origin, production methods, and tasting notes, perfect for the seasoned aficionado or budding coffee enthusiast. With a gift subscription to the Moustache Coffee Club, you’ll be giving your favorite coffee-lover quality and variety that they can enjoy all year.

Something you can’t enjoy all year is the same bag of coffee, which is why Moustache Coffee Club is serious about freshness. The founder, Sean Reilly, created the club after an unsuccessful search for freshly-roasted coffee on the shelves of some of LA’s best coffee shops. Knowing that the flavor and quality of coffee degrades over time, The Moustache Coffee Club was built to ship coffee to subscribers on the same day it’s roasted, so that it arrives at the peak of freshness, ready to drink. A gift subscription to the Moustache Coffee Club isn’t just giving someone coffee, it’s giving them a continual supply of fresh tasty coffee that they’ll use well after the tinsel has fallen.

Moustache Coffee Club provides a range of plans for all types of coffee drinkers, meaning there’s a plan that’s perfect for anyone on your list. For the coworker that enjoys the occasional cup of craft coffee there’s the Karaoke plan, which delivers 6oz of freshly roasted coffee every other week. For the father that drinks a cup or two every morning there’s the Duet plan, which delivers 12oz of delicious single-origin coffee every week. All you have to do is pick the plan that fits your recipient, and specify how long you’d like to share the love. One month? Three months? A whole year? For as long as you want to keep the coffee flowing, Moustache Coffee Club will roast the best beans around for them to brew. Every cup will be a delicious reminder of your gift-giving prowess.

And here’s the real kicker: you don’t have to deal with any shipping whatsoever. The Moustache Coffee Club built this whole thing so you don’t even have to think about the post office. Just supply the email of the recipient, and on whatever day you specify, the Moustache Coffee Club will send them a note containing a custom message from you and the details of their gift. Then your recipient can enter whatever shipping address is best for them, and everything’s all set. Incredible, fresh coffee arrives in their mailbox, courtesy of you, selected and shipped by the MCC. It’s like a Christmas miracle, except it lasts all year long.
This year, show the coffee-lovers on your list that you care about them as much as they care about coffee. Head over to the gifting page and finish your holiday shopping today!

What’s the Deal with Cowboy Coffee?

Rooster and Mattie warm up with a cup of coffee, potentially lending the film its title: True Grit. (photo credit: Paramount Pictures)

Rooster and Mattie warm up with a cup of coffee, potentially lending the film its title: True Grit. (photo credit: Paramount Pictures)

There are plenty of well-known icons of the American West: ten-gallon hats, low-slung six-shooters, silver spurs, buffalo roaming the dusk-laden range as a harmonica plays. While it’s easy to rattle off a list of classic cowboy tropes, we often forget that coffee belongs squarely on that list. When you think about it, in just about every Western, whether it’s early in the morning or late at night propped up next to a campfire, the characters share a cup of joe.

Movies aside, coffee has essentially always had a role on the frontier. Early cowboys relied on the beverage to spur their early morning cattle drives, and to keep them awake while watching camp. Settlers headed to Oregon and California commonly packed around five pounds of green coffee to sustain their difficult journey, roasting it in skillets over the campfire before grinding it up to brew.

Of late, this image of a wrought-iron pot bubbling over glowing embers has become somewhat romanticized, leading to a division in the specialty coffee community between those that shudder at such an imprecise method of preparation, and those that yearn for the simplicity and rustic aesthetic of a fireside brew. The former decry ‘cowboy coffee’ as undrinkable sludge, while the latter produce instagrams of their high-design coffee pots complete with ‘beechwood trivets’ that are certainly not at home on the range.

The component that both of these groups may be losing sight of is that ‘cowboy coffee’ has really always been about convenience. In fact, Arbuckle Coffee, one of the first successfully pre-roasted and pre-ground coffees sold in the United States, rose to prominence due to it’s popularity in the West. When packing light was essential, coffee still made the list: it warmed you up and woke you for the day’s work. And while you didn’t necessarily fuss about the mouthfeel, people got pretty good at making coffee this way. They did it for hundreds of years, and picked up a few tricks.

On the flip-side, modern day cowboys and ranchers don’t often stoke up a fire and boil their coffee in a tin kettle as the sun rises over the Grand Canyon. They wake up, pour some coffee out of a coffee-maker into a thermos, hop in their pick-up and get to the day’s work. Coffee isn’t necessarily some timeless cowboy ritual; it’s convenient, and it gets the job done when you need it.

With all this in mind, we’d like to share a few tips on how to make a version of ‘cowboy coffee.’ Maybe you are on a cattle drive through the Sierra Nevada. Or maybe you just broke your chemex and still need a brew to get your day going. No matter what your circumstances are, with just coffee, water, and a bit of gumption, you can achieve a fairly tasty cup.

Cowboy Coffee Tips:

  1. Grind your coffee: Make sure your coffee is coarse-ground. (This means that your coffee is going to be a little less acidic than a well-executed filter brew, but larger grounds are easier to keep out of the final cup.) You’ll want around 14-16 grams of ground coffee for every 220g of water. (~2 tablespoons of coffee per 8oz, if your camp equipment uses standard units). If you’re looking for fresh, single-origin coffee to brew, we’ve got you covered. 
  2. Boil your water: Get your water up to a rolling boil, then let it cool down for about 30 seconds to reach a comfortable brewing temperature. (If you’re relying on a hot water spigot, you should probably just use it straight away).
  3. Into the Kettle: Dump those coffee grounds into your water. Depending on how much coffee you’re making, you can do this in the kettle you boiled the water in, or within individual cups. Stir the coffee into the water, and let sit for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Settle the Grounds: Since you’re brewing without a filter, there are going to be grounds free-floating in the coffee. There are tons of methods often cited  in ‘cowboy coffee’ instructions for how to deal with this, (including the ubiquitous egg-shells) but we recommend a small splash of cool water over the surface of the coffee. This will help the grounds sink to the bottom, and slows the extraction process. Wait 30-45 seconds for the ground to settle.
  5. Pour Slow: This really helps keeps grounds out of your coffee (and makes you feel as wistful and wise as your Western hero of choice).
  6. Sip and Enjoy: Your coffee won’t be as clean and controlled as a V60 or Chemex, but it’ll get the job done and taste pretty good to boot. Like any method, practice makes perfect, so be sure to fiddle with extraction times and coffee-to-water ratios until you find what you like best!  

Soylent’s ‘Coffiest’. Cupped.

Credit: Soylent

These beans have gone so far to the dark side that they might as well chop my hand off and tell me they’re my father. Photo Credit: Soylent

Is it single-origin? How’s the mouthfeel? Is it superior to ‘traditional’ coffee? We put ‘Coffiest’ to the test (because eventually somebody was going to).

When Soylent, vanguards of efficiency-focused millennial nutrient consumption, announced their newest product, we felt a kernel of curiosity. Blame it on a fascination with all things coffee-related, a bemused interest in ‘what the kids are up to these days,” or even just an effective Facebook marketing campaign, but we couldn’t help wondering: is Coffiest any good?

In the world of specialty coffee, there’s a process for testing beans that helps coffee professionals separate exquisite beans that deserve to be finely roasted from beans with the culinary integrity of an old brick. This process, called cupping, takes into account various qualities of the coffee like aroma, flavor, body, and aftertaste, assigning a score to each. While scoring is technically subjective, the idea is to build a framework that coffee professionals can share to get a ballpark idea of a coffee’s characteristics and quality.

It was a Wednesday, the sun was shining, so we figured, “What the hell, let’s cup some Coffiest!”

After acquiring a few matte-black bottles from a person giving it away for free in downtown LA, we hit our first roadblock. There were only three words on the packaging: “Coffiest,” “caffeine,” and something called “l-theanine” (which we refuse to google). In the coffee world, we’re used to knowing something about the origin of what we’re drinking. Where it was grown, how it was processed, things like that. Details. Coffiest is the specialty coffee version of “The Man With No Name”. It just showed up in town, dressed sort of strangely, and nobody’s quite sure how to approach it.

But we aren’t here to debate packaging or origins, we’re here to cup some urban spaceman coffeedrink! So we peeled off the waxy plastic, unscrewed the cap, and got down to business.

Aroma:

We weren’t really sure what to expect here, (and to be honest we were a little disappointed that unscrewing the cap wasn’t accompanied by an airlock noise), but it actually smells pretty ok. There’s a strong graham cracker aroma, with some honey sweetness and notes of cocoa. It legitimately smells like s’mores in a bottle, which is kind of cool and disconcerting in equal measure. Either way, doesn’t smell much like coffee at all, which is sort of the point? 5.50/10

Flavor:

The initial sip invokes an immediate comparison to oatmeal or pancake batter. (Given that Soylent is packed full of soy proteins and algaes and what-have-you, it’s going to have that taste no matter what.) Then the cocoa powder hits, and it really does taste… powdery. Remember the milk after a bowl of Cookie Crisp cereal? Like that, but less sweet. There are some coffee notes on the back end, but it tastes much darker than the website’s proclaimed “real lightly-roasted coffee.” We can’t get much beyond chocolate and faint coffee, especially since it still smells overwhelmingly of s’mores. 4.5/10

Aftertaste:

Coming off the back of the palate, the taste isn’t technically bad. You probably get more coffee notes out of the aftertaste than anywhere else, though still heavily mediated by cocoa power. It’s weirdly dry though, as if it’s evaporating off the back of your tongue. Imagine eating a small spoonful of cocoa powder, raw flour, and instant coffee. Sketchy. 3.5/10

Acidity:

Unsurprisingly, there isn’t any acidity to be found. The drink itself is somewhere between a protein shake and nut milk, so it’s never going to be truly acidic. From the coffee we can taste, we can’t say that it would benefit from more acidity, but we can’t really score it for acidity since it’s basically absent. Coffiest seems to be veering away from the specialty coffee evaluation system. We’re in uncharted waters, folks. ?/10

Body:

If we could adequately describe what’s going on here, we’d probably be in a different line of work like materials science, or poetry. It’s a heavy drink for sure, but less gritty than we expected of a drink with 400 kcals per bottle. And while it’s heavy, it’s incredibly viscous. It moves faster than it should for how heavy it is. It’s not unenjoyable. In fact, it’s fascinating, like watching somebody run on one of those moving sidewalks at the airport. 7.25/10

Balance:

Balance is where the coffee all comes together. How the different elements add up to produce a cup of something that you drink and enjoy. In Coffiest’s case, the drink doesn’t seem very balanced at all. For one, the aroma lingers over every other aspect. The aftertaste is alarming, and the change-over from the viscous body to the dryness of the aftertaste is like taste-bud whiplash. It’s not sweet enough to really own up to the s’mores vibes it gives out, and there certainly isn’t enough emphasis on actual coffee flavor to merit occupying 50% of this drink’s name. Compared to a well-roasted single origin coffee, Coffiest is profoundly confusing. 4.0/10

Other Factors:

We can’t really give Coffiest any points for sweetness or being a clean cup, but technically we can award it points for uniformity. Since we’re assuming that it’s cooked up in huge batches by some process involving lasers and robots in a warehouse with Pitchfork-approved EDM blaring through a Beats Pill, the taste isn’t going to vary from bottle to bottle. +4

Defects:

If this were a normal coffee, this is where we would say that coffee shouldn’t taste so strongly like pancake batter. This is where we would say that coffee shouldn’t contain 400 kcals. This is where we would say coffee isn’t really supposed to be this mysteriously thick and fluid. But we also enjoy the cultural and interpersonal aspects of consuming food at traditional intervals, so what do we know? -0

Overall Score:

So according to our method of evaluating quality specialty coffees, Soylent’s Coffiest cupped at 28.75 on a 90 point scale (since we bailed on acidity).

What does this mean? Effectively nothing. If you’re in the market for a 400 kcal cup of coffee, just add some yak butter to your mug. People have been doing that for years.

If you’re interested in specialty coffee, you’re probably the sort of person who values taste over convenience, quality over calorie count. And in that case, we’d recommend drinking some real specialty coffee (we’ll ship you some if you want). Coffiest is about as confusing as its name (seriously, how do you pronounce that? Coffee-ist? Cof-feist?) and it doesn’t resemble coffee in any way, shape, or form. We also haven’t noticed any upticks in productivity or efficiency since consuming it. Case in point: we wrote this article.

Cold Brew: Easy & Smooth with a Kyoto System

Summer is in full swing at Moustache Coffee Club’s headquarters, which means California sun and soaring temperatures. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to brew delicious iced coffee to fend off the heat. We figured we’d share a method that looks as cool as it tastes.

Kyoto Shot

 

If you’ve ever walked into a coffee shop and seen a looming glass contraption that doesn’t appear to be doing anything, odds are you’re looking at a ‘Kyoto Drip.’ These towers, (also called Dutch Coffee Makers), make cold brew by slowly dripping water over a bed of fresh grounds that collects in a reservoir below. And we do mean slowly. Depending on the size of the tower, a batch of ‘Kyoto’ style coffee can take anywhere from 3 to 12 hours. But for many, (including our Operations Manager BJ), it’s definitely worth the wait.

Why? It all comes down to taste. Most cold brew is produced by submerging coffee grounds in a container for a long time, allowing the cold water to leech flavor out of the coffee. While this results in a smooth-bodied cold brew with very little acidity, it’s often accompanied by a heavy, biting flavor that masks most of the complexities of the bean.

For this reason, many coffee fans prefer the Japanese method for making iced coffee: brewing a pourover directly onto ice (as we’ve detailed in Chemex Iced Coffee). This method allows the distinct characteristics of the bean to come through in the final cup. But, due to the hot water, it doesn’t produce the smoothness that many people crave in a cold brew.

Enter the ‘Kyoto Drip,’ which combines the benefits of these two methods. The coffee is brewed with cold water so you get that distinct low-acid smoothness, but the water doesn’t sit in the reservoir with the coffee for the entire extraction period, so you avoid the heavy bite that accompanies most cold brews. It takes some practice, but a fine-tuned ‘Kyoto Drip’ will yield a flavorful cold brew as refreshing as it is complex.

(Plus the drippers look really cool and science-y sitting in your kitchen.)

Are you drinking iced coffee this summer to beat the heat? No matter the method, the Moustache Coffee Club is here to help! We’ll ship premium quality single-origin coffee straight to your door, so you don’t have to go out in the sun (unless you want to). Chill? Chill.

 

Espresso Aficianados: Your Subscription is Here!

And latte junkies!  And Americano junkies, for that matter.  Moustache Coffee Club now offers a dedicated espresso subscription for your drinking pleasure.

espresso now moustache coffee club

Our beans are already great for espresso, but we know that dialing in each time to get that perfect cup can be a drag.  It can also eat up a lot of coffee.  To  help out, we’re offering a subscription option of delectable single origin and espresso blends!  Unlike our normal subscription that changes coffees from week to week, the espresso subscription selection will remain more consistent.  This frequency will result in fewer wasted shots and more awesome espresso for you to enjoy!

Want in on this espresso life?  Ask and you shall receive!  Email us at coffee@moustachecoffeeclub.com to talk coffee needs!  Let us here at Moustache Coffee Club take care of getting you your coffee so that you can worry about more important things… like how to make impressive latte art.

 

This Week’s Juicy Coffee

We’re so eager to talk about this delicious Colombian Yellow Bourbon from Root Coffee Roasters! If undertones of sweet herbals and juicy white peach sound good, then listen up–this coffee’s for you.


huila yellow bourbon

Not only does this week’s coffee taste heavenly, but it’s extra special.  Why is this coffee so special?  Well, for one, it’s a unique cross-breed between the Red Bourbon and the Amerelo De Botacuto.  This rare, yellow-fruited coffee evolved from Bourbon selections made by French Botanists in wild Yemeni coffee groves.  This particular batch also comes to us from small boroughs surrounding Rio Negro, a village in the municipality of Iquira, Huila.  Given its volcanic soil and abundant rainfall, this specific region of Colombia is extremely conductive to coffee cultivation.

We could talk coffee for forever, but you get the idea… this week’s Colombian batch is really, really good.

Email us at coffee@moustachecoffeeclub.com if you’re interested in trying one of our amazing coffees!

 

 

Decaf Coffee: The Subscription!

decaf coffee and record player

As you might have noticed from our heading, decaf coffee is here!  And it’s awesome! So, for those of you looking for an alternative to your favorite caffeinated beverage, look no further.

Moustache Coffee Club already has an exquisite selection of coffees, but we’re extending those coffees to include decaf.  As always, we understand that quality is key and only supply coffees that boast the best practices.  Keeping with our values, our decafs will be naturally processed by either the Sugar Cane method or water processing.

It’s just as easy as ever to sign up for this decaf offer.  Simply email us at coffee@moustachecoffeeclub.com to talk plans.

Have your coffee and drink it too!

A VERY SPECIAL “MO’ COFFEE, MO’ PROBLEMS” EDITION

Root Coffee Roasters

Hey there, coffee fanatics! As always, we’re just spewing information out into the coffeeverse to make sure that you’re in on the latest greatness.  And by “greatness,” we mean the news that we have added Root Coffee Roasters to our roster.  

For those lucky enough to have had coffee shipped last week, we sent out our first shipment from Root: an amazing Ethiopian from Yirgacheffe.

Root Coffee Roasters is no ordinary coffee roaster–it’s our founder Sean’s latest project!  He is taking the same focus and zeal that he uses to find amazing roasted coffee for Moustache every week and applying it to ethically sourcing unique, seasonal, single-origin green coffee for Root Coffee Roasters.  Sean will remain very much involved in both projects and is committed to bringing you premium coffee you know and love.

Feel free to email us at info@moustachecoffeeclub.com.  Or!  Tag us on Facebook and Instagram @moustachecoffee with photos, questions, notes of encouragement, or if you see amazing moustaches around town.

Want to know more about Root Coffee Roasters?  Check them out on FacebookTwitter, or tag them in your glorious Instagram coffee posts @rootcoffeeroaster.