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: The ‘Kyoto Drip’

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.

 

Calling all espresso junkies!

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 Is Here!

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.

Can Coffee Help You Write a Novel?

coffeepencil

In case you didn’t know, November is National Novel Writing Month.  A grass-roots movement of would-be writers who pledge to spend the month hammering out 1700 words a day (give or take) in order to complete a 50,000 word novel before the calendar kicks over into December.

 

This seems a pretty admirable goal, and it turns out, drinking coffee can help one complete it.  There have been a slew of articles recently on the effects of coffee on creativity.  Most of these in response to an article in the New Yorker claiming scientific evidence that caffeine was a hinderance to creativity.

The New Yorker article claims that caffeine supports a hyper-focused state, which in turn hinders the free-association type thinking that tends to lead to real creative breakthroughs.  Think, Archimedes in the bathtub shouting “Eureka!”.

Archimede_bainFair enough.  I’m sure many of us have experienced those moments on a walk, in the bath, during a commute, where inspiration strikes.  That said, a genius idea isn’t worth very much unless it can be implemented.  For that, you’ll be needing some coffee.

Coffee works on the brain in multiple ways, one of which is blocking adenosine receptors.  Adenosine is produced by firing neurons and if those receptors detect a certain amount, that’s the cue to feel tired.  If those receptors are blocked, the body can’t tell that it’s tired neuron firing can go on unhindered by drowsiness.

The result of all this science, is that you become hyper-vigilant and focused. That’s good, because it’s time to get to work.  Once you’ve free associated your plot, or character development.  It’s time to get to the work of actually organizing those thoughts into 1700 or so words on a page or screen.

We here at Moustache Coffee Club are happy to help.  If you sign up for our subscription, delicious, light roasted writing fuel will be shipped straight to your door and you’ll have more time to get those 50,000 words down on the page.

 

 

Happy Birthday to Coffee Lover, Theodore Roosevelt: A Great Man, A Great President, a Great Moustache

October 27th is the birthday of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, avid coffee drinker, and magnificently moustachioed man.

teddy-roosevelt

Though the press dubbed him “Teddy” Roosevelt actually detested the nickname, preferring TR or even “Teedie” which is what his family called him when he was a child.  Given his passion for boxing, judo, and carrying big sticks, I can’t imagine many people made the nickname gaff twice.

We here at Moustache Coffee Club hold Roosevelt in high esteem, and not only for the magnificent moustache he sported for most of his adult life.  He was famous for busting trusts and lobbying for the little guy. We like to think he’d prefer our locally roasted beans over coffee from any ubiquitous pumpkin-spice pedaling chain.  There’s no doubt that the man loved coffee, it’s rumored that he drank as much as a gallon a day.  He consumed so much coffee that his wife commissioned a special coffee service for the White House and TR’s personal cup was said to be “…something more in the nature of a bathtub.”.  He’s also famous for coining the phrase “Good to the last drop!” which a famous coffee company later took on as its slogan, though we think it applies to coffee made from our lightly roasted single origin beans as well.

www.theguardian.comTheodore-Roosevelt-campaigning-to-be-president-in-1904-Photograph-AP
Thus, in the spirit of hyper-caffeinated celebration, we raise our mugs to you Teddy… uh…oh…sorry, Teedie.  Thanks for the parks and happy birthday.

Mo’ Coffee Mo’ Problems: Copa Vida

One of the biggest problems we at Moustache Coffee face each week, is deciding what beans to ship that might please the discerning palates of our customers.  We are constantly sampling, tasting, and evaluating in an effort of ship only the best.  The issue is not a scarcity of options, rather, there are so many great local roasters offering premium beans it can be difficult to choose.  It is a problem we at Moustache are happy to have, and now our troubles are only increased as we have added, Copa Vida of Pasadena to our family of roasters.

copa-logo-window

Copa Vida is a roaster after our own hearts.  They dedicate themselves as much to being approachable and welcoming as to the craftsmanship and artistry of coffee.  In the way of education, they offer everything from cuppings to latte art lessons at their store in Pasadena.  Like us, they want people to come as they are an learn as they go.  Coffee is a great a lovely world to explore, and its intoxicating mystique shouldn’t be used by elitists to keep out newcomers.

copa_vida_roast_126web

In their own words, “By the time it reaches your cup, the coffee bean has been picked, washed, sorted, pulped, dried, bagged, auctioned, shipped, roasted, packaged, delivered, measured, brewed then served. “… “Because we are the final leg of a long relay to your cup, we consider ourselves Stewards of this process, and we take our role very seriously.”

copa_vida_roast_137 web

We take our stewardship of your subscription just as seriously.  Moustache Coffee Club would only ever offer coffee we’d be happy to drink ourselves.  That is why we are proud to offer Copa Vida beans to our subscribers.

If you don’t subscribe already, click on over to start a free trial.  Or if you’re already a fan, why not invite some friends to the party?  We hope you enjoy the beans from  Copa Vida as much as those from the many other fine roasters we use.

 

Make an Iced Latte at Home (No Espresso Machine Necessary)

It’s summer time and the temps are up.  Even the most die-hard coffee fans can’t always stomach thought of hot coffee on a hot day.

So how do you keep enjoying your delicious Moustache Coffee Club beans when it’s too darned hot out?

A delicious cold iced latte

Our CEO and Resident Coffee Master, Sean Reilly created this handy how-to for those of you looking for something cool & frothy to do with our coffee. Now you can make a delicious iced latte and save yourself a few bucks at the corner coffee shop.

After all, mo’ money, mo’ coffee.