FALL FLAVORED COFFEE RECIPES TO TRY AT HOME

With cooler weather, football tailgates, apple picking and wearing plaid, there are so many reasons to love the fall season. One of our all-time favorite things about fall is the delicious seasonal coffee flavors. Pumpkin, cinnamon, gingerbread, caramel — we love it all.

If the idea of a cozy autumn-inspired drink appeals to you as much as it appeals to us, here’s a list of 7 of our very favorite fall coffee recipes that you are bound to enjoy!

1. Pumpkin Spice Latte

Photo Source: Inspired Taste

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is an iconic drink of the season and ‘America’s unofficial drink of the fall’. If you can’t make it to your local Starbucks, here’s a recipe to make at home!

The ingredients needed:

  • ½ cup milk of your choice
  • ½ cup coffee
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • Whipped cream optional

The instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a saucepan.
  2. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  3. Take the saucepan off heat and pour into a mug.
  4. Optional: top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

2. Salted Caramel Latte

Photo Source: Coffee at Three

The thing about caramel is that it is one of those flavors that can be enjoyed all year round, but is really enjoyed in the fall. The salted element offsets the taste of the caramel in a complementary way. 

The ingredients needed:

Salted Caramel Latte

  • ¼ cup milk of your choice
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce
  • Whipped cream
  • Sea salt

Salted Caramel Cream Topping

  • ¼ heavy cream
  • 2 tsp caramel sauce

The instructions:

  1. Use a handheld milk frother to whisk together caramel sauce and heavy cream to create salted caramel topping. Set aside.
  2. Bring milk to a simmer on the stovetop, making sure it doesn’t come to a boil since it can easily burn, or microwave it for 30 seconds. Pour heated milk into a French press, put the lid on, and move the plunger up and down, making sure to hold down the lid. Or, heat and froth milk at the same time using an electric milk frother. If you have an espresso machine, froth milk using the steam wand.
  3. Pour coffee into a cup and stir caramel sauce, salt, and frothed milk. Top with salted caramel cream topping. Garnish with a drizzle of caramel sauce and a pinch of salt if you’d like.

3. Snickerdoodle Latte

Photo Source: House of Yumm

With cinnamon and brown sugar, you are sure to find comfort in a snickerdoodle latte.

The ingredients needed:

  • 1 ½ cup milk of your choice
  • ½ cup strong coffee or espresso
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • Cinnamon sugar optional to sprinkle on top

The instructions:

  1. Pour milk into a small jar that has a lid. Add light brown sugar and cinnamon
  2. Tighten the lid and shake for about 1 minute.
  3. Remove the lid and heat milk in a microwave for about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour coffee or espresso into mug followed by warm milk. Spoon out remaining foamy milk if left.
  5. Optional: sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.

4. Gingerbread Latte

Photo Source: The Pioneer Woman

The combination of warm spices like ginger, nutmeg and molasses paired with espresso add the perfect holiday touch to any morning coffee.

The ingredients needed:

Gingerbread Syrup

  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Latte

  • 3 tsp gingerbread syrup
  • 1 shot espresso or 1 oz strong coffee
  • ¼  cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup cream
  • Optional: whipped cream to top

The instructions:

  1. For the gingerbread syrup: place molasses, water, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  2. Store in a jar in the refrigerator. Makes about 3/4 cup syrup, or enough for 10-12 servings.
  3. For each gingerbread latte: place 3-4 teaspoons of gingerbread syrup and a shot of espresso in a mug.
  4. Warm the milk and cream to 155ºF and froth.
  5. Pour milk over the syrup and espresso in the mug.
  6. Optional: top with whipped cream.

5. Maple Cinnamon Latte

Photo Source: The Chunky Chef

Maple and cinnamon flavors combined create a can’t-miss autumn latte.

The ingredients needed:

  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso
  • 1/2 cup steamed/frothed milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle ground cinnamon
  • Optional: whipped cream and additional ground cinnamon for garnish

The instructions:

  1. Add maple syrup, vanilla, and ground cinnamon to a large coffee mug.
  2. Add hot espresso and stir to melt the syrup.
  3. Pour in steamed milk and top with any remaining foam.
  4. Garnish with a swirl of whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, if desired.

If you’re looking for a copycat Starbucks recipe where maple is paired with pecan instead of cinnamon, check out this bonus recipe by The Worktop.

6. Peppermint Mocha

Photo Source: The Recipe Rebel

If you’re looking for the perfect creamy, minty, chocolatey sip in the morning, this recipe is a must-try.

The ingredients needed:

  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp mint extract or ½ peppermint candy cane or peppermint syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: whipped cream and chocolate shavings

The instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan, add milk, cocoa and sugar. Heat over medium heat until small bubbles begin to form around the edge and sugar has dissolved.
  2. Stir in espresso, mint extract and vanilla and remove from heat (if using a candy cane, be sure to let it melt completely).
  3. Serve in a large mug and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if desired.

7. Spiced Vanilla Latte

Photo Source: Home Made Lovely

This simple yet sophisticated latte filled with hot coffee and frothed milk is our next go-to drink for the fall.

The ingredients needed:

  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 dash cardamom
  • 1 dash cinnamon

The instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine milk, vanilla, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and milk is hot, but do not boil.
  2. Pour coffee into a mug.
  3. Using a handheld milk frother, froth the milk mixture until there is a thick layer of foam on top. Give your saucepan a couple of firm whacks on a hard surface like your counter to break any of the larger bubbles and make a denser foam.
  4. Using a wooden spoon to hold back the foam, pour the milk into the coffee mug. Spoon the foam on top. 
  5. Optional: Add an extra dash of cardamom on top for garnish.

THE BEST MILK ALTERNATIVES FOR YOUR COFFEE

Photo Credit: Chevanon Photography from Pexels

Your daily cup of coffee doesn’t always have to contain dairy! With dairy sensitivities and increased concerns around health and wellness, we’ve seen plenty of milk alternatives hit the supermarket shelves in recent years. Whether you choose non-dairy alternatives for lifestyle, health, or environmental reasons, you still want your coffee to taste delicious. We took the time to break down the different milk alternatives that can best complement your morning cup.

Photo Credit: DOWNSHIFTOLOGY

Oat Milk

Joining the ranks of almond, rice, and soy, oat milk is the latest trendy plant-based milk to take over supermarket shelves, cafés, and coffee shops everywhere. Oat milk has been quickly gaining popularity due to its neutral flavor that won’t overpower your coffee. It’s our personal favorite for a few reasons! With its smooth texture and creamy taste, it’s a great substitute for dairy milk. But the biggest perk of using oat milk is that it can froth and steam, making it a perfect choice for lattes or cappuccinos. If you’re looking to make your own oat milk at home, follow this recipe

Photo Credit: Women’s Health

Almond milk

Almond milk is the most popular milk in the United States, especially in cafes. It has a pleasant, nutty flavor and a creamy texture similar to that of regular milk. For this reason, it is a popular choice for people following a vegan diet and those who are allergic or intolerant to dairy. It makes for a great option due to its variety of unsweetened and sweetened options. An extra layer of flavor is added to your coffee with the nuttiness that comes along with almond milk. And when it comes to calories, almond milk is one of the lightest, and healthiest milk alternatives you can choose from!

Photo Credit: Healthy Food Guide

Soy milk

Soy milk is one of the most well-known plant milks around. It’s accessible and affordable, making it a go-to dairy free option. It’s sweetness mimics the taste of dairy milk and it has a smooth, creamy texture. Soy milk also offers a healthful nutritional profile, including essential omega-3 fatty acids (if fortified) and flavonoids that exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties. Soy milk can be used to replicate the foamy texture of dairy milk, but can curdle depending on the acidity and temperature of your coffee.

Photo Credit: Healthline

Cashew milk

Cashew milk has become a favorite due to its creamy texture and slightly sweet taste. It’s nutty flavor isn’t as bitter as other milk alternatives. It has a creamy, rich consistency and is loaded with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and other beneficial plant compounds. The foam created with cashew milk is less dense, with bubbles that tend to be larger. It may also boost immunity and improve heart, eye, and skin health.

Photo Credit: BBC Good Food

Coconut milk

Coconut milk hasn’t gained the popularity of other alternatives, but is still a great option when considering milk alternatives. It has a thick, creamy texture with a high fat content, making it perfect for foaming and frothing. It is also thought that consumption of coconut milk and other coconut-derived foods may help protect the body from infections and viruses. Plus, the natural sweetness from the coconut can add a nice extra flavor to your cup!

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Pea milk

Pea milk is new in the world of plant based milks, and is apparently the next big trend! It has a creamy texture with a smooth and neutral taste. Pea milk is a great source of iron and also has 8g of protein per glass, eight times more than almond milk, plus 40% less sugar and double the calcium levels of cow’s. It also claims to be better for the environment than other dairy alternatives – reportedly needing 100 times less water than almond milk to make. Since it is high in protein, it foams nicely and its silky texture makes great latte art.

Photo Credit: Whole New Mom

Rice milk

Rice milk is a light and refreshing alternative to dairy milk. Rice is an easily digestible grain, making rice milk a fantastic choice for someone who is struggling with a digestive sensitivity or upset, plus rice is gluten-free and fairly non-allergenic, so rice milk works well for almost any special diet. The neutral taste allows the flavor of your coffee to come through. However, rice milk has a thin, watery texture and does not foam well.

Curious as to which type of coffee you should pair with which milk alternative? Check out these recommended pairings

And remember, dairy-free alternatives are only part of the equation… A great cup of coffee ALWAYS starts with the bean. Sign up for our world tour subscription for the best quality coffee, delivered to your door each month! 

MEXICO: THE LAND OF HIGH SPIRITS

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

The Mexican Chiapas El Triunfo is sourced from family-owned farms organized by Cooperativa Campesinos Ecológicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas. The producers are heartily dedicated to organic practices that protect more than 800 plant species and 390 bird species that inhabit El Triunfo.

Chiapas El Triunfo FTO evokes a mellow, sweet citric taste in this medium-bodied cup with a cocoa flavor and a nutty aftertaste.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Home to the greatest number of Spanish speakers in the world, Mexico’s rich history and traditions captivates us all! The culture of Mexico today is a blend of influences handed down by a manifold of civilizations dating back to the early Mesoamerican era. Mexico’s citizens are immensely proud of their heritage and nation, which reflects in the meanings behind the colors of the nation’s flag. Green symbolizes hope and victory, white stands for the purity of Mexican philosophy and red represents the blood shed by the country’s heroes.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Lwange

On November 1st, the people of Mexico observe “Dia de los Muertos,” or “Day of the Dead,” to honor the lives lost while celebrating the continuation of life. It is a time for commemorating ancestors with whom many believe that they can communicate with during the rituals of this holiday.

Our Mexican coffee is available exclusively through our Wandercup Subscription. Sign up here!

Header Photo Credit: Tim Mossholder

KENYA: WHERE WILDLIFE REMINDS YOU OF WHAT FREEDOM LOOKS LIKE

Photo Credit: Ian Macharia

Since the beginning of human history, Kenya has been inhabited by diverse groups of people. The first to occupy the land were tribal hunter gatherers, followed by the farming civilization from the Horn of Africa and the agriculturalists from Sudan.

Today, Kenya is one of the most artistic and community-oriented cultures around the world. Kenyans’ creativity is found in the nation’s literature, theater, music, dance and visual arts. “Harambee,” the Bantu word meaning “to pull together,” reflects the importance of unity within the country.

Photo Credit: Anthony Trivet

“Kichwa Tembo” directly translates to “elephant head” in Swahili, one of the two official languages in Kenya. The name of the cup symbolizes the strength that goes into creating this one of a kind specialty.

Kichwa Tembo coffee offers a tropically sweet profile, complemented with a creamy body and balanced with a tangy acidity. The finish is a smooth mouthfeel with lingering chocolate, lemon and almond flavor notes.

Photo Credit: Git Stephen Gitau

In partnership with Wildlife Works Elephant Protection Trust, Kenya is committed to securing a future for elephants – one that protects their habitats that are threatened by human-wildlife conflict. The mission is to build an ecosystem where elephants and all wild animals can live in peace with their human counterparts.

Our Kenyan coffee is available exclusively through our Wandercup Subscription. Sign up here!

Header Photo Credit: Harvey Sapir

HONDURAS: HOME TO THE COPÁN RUINAS

Photo Credit: Carlos Zacapa

The meaning of the country’s name, “depths”, was given by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage over the deep waters at the mouth of the Tinto O Negro River off the Mosquito Coast. This beautiful land is home to indigineous peoples, including the Lenka and Miskito peoples.

Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

One thing Hondurans can’t live without is music! The sounds of salsa and cumbia are booming in homes, bars and on the streets. Walking through the Bay Islands will greet you with classic Caribbean tunes, calypso and reggae, the order of the day. Let’s not forget the Copán Ruins, one of the most spectacular cities of the ancient Mayan civilization. While exploring the ruins lying in Honduras’ lush valleys, you’ll come across beautiful stone temples, hieroglyphs, stelae, and even wild animals like the guacamayas, sloths, macaws and monkeys.

Photo Credit: Donal Caliz

The Honduras Copán Ruinas comes from the Duke Family’s “San Isidro” farm where women play an essential role in producing specialty coffee. They are passionately devoted to collecting the beans, checking for quality and selecting the beans for coffee exportation.

In your cup, the Honduras Copán Ruinas delivers a pleasant acidity with coated sweetness and tasting notes of honeydew, almond and chocolate.

Our Honduran coffee is available exclusively through our Wandercup Subscription. Sign up here!

Header Photo Credit: JuanCernas

COSTA RICA: THE PLACE TO BE FOR THRILL-SEEKERS

From breathtaking landscapes to cheeky monkeys roaming its national parks, Costa Rica is the ultimate destination for adventure-seekers. It’s no surprise that this richly biodiverse place is recognized as the happiest country on Earth. Locals greet you with warm smiles and expressions of “pura vida,” meaning “pure life.” The Costa Rican terrain that inspires to live life to its fullest is loved by locals, tourists, and Arabica beans alike.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

History

Costa Rica started planting coffee in the late 1700s, making it the first Central American country to have an established coffee industry. The mountainous regions, temperate climate, and farmers’ commitment to the growing process have created an oasis for the production of high-grade coffee.

What differentiates Costa Rica from other coffee-growing countries is the use of micro mills, which paved the way for honey processing: a hybrid of a washed and pulped-natural process. Honey processing is unique from mill to mill, producing variations of specialty coffees.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Costa Rica La Falda Honey

The Don Sabino Micromill is a father-son project that pays close attention to detail when producing Costa Rica La Falda Honey. After the coffee cherries are depulped, they’re spread on raised beds and covered with tarps for two days. The beans are then exposed to the air and sun, while being rotated to speed up the fermentation process. The result is a uniquely special coffee with a gentle, sweet floral taste. This cup is truly one of a kind.

In the highlands of Matagalpa and Jintotega, coffee production is booming – most of the coffee is processed using the traditional washed method and is then dried on farmers’ patios.

Our Costa Rican coffee is available exclusively through our Wandercup Subscription. Sign up here!

Header Photo Credit: Samuel Sweet

RWANDA: WHERE THE COFFEE BEANS DANCE

Lying south of the Equator in east-central Africa, Rwanda is often referred to as the “land of a thousand hills.” Despite the country’s small size, it is made up of several diverse ecosystems, from the lush rainforests in the south, to the Virunga volcanic massif in the northwest, and the savanna in the east.

The Rwandan people love to move. While women are dancing the umushagirio, or the cow dance, the men perform the dance of heroes to the vibrations of circling drums–music and dance are defining features of Rwandan culture. The Intore dance is popular at many celebrations, from wedding ceremonies to national celebrations and festivals. The Intore dancers move with pride, wearing vibrant costumes that consist of long and short skirts, ankle-bands and colorful head-bands, headdresses with grass wigs, and small hand-painted shields and sticks.

Photo Credit: lynnx10

Rwandan coffee, like the tradition of dancing, has both a colorful history and a stirring taste. The first coffee plants reached the country after German missionaries settled in the early 20th century. It was not until three decades later that coffee production began to take flight. Before Rwanda gained independence in the middle of the century, the coffee beans grown were low grade. On top of dealing with the effects of decolonization, coffee farmers withstood the coffee crisis and the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.

With the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Rwanda adopted a National Coffee Strategy that developed infrastructure and training programs to support coffee producers. In the last two decades, Rwanda has established a community of 400,000 smallholder producers. Most small farms are sitting 4,000 and 6,500 feet above sea level–a high altitude that is ideal for producing high quality beans.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Resting high in the hills of the Nyabihu District is the Shyira coffee washing station. After the cherries are brought to the station, workers perform the “ikinimba” to bring out the sweetness in coffee by singing five songs while dancing and stomping on the cherries.

Murago Shyira brings you a tropical, smooth-bodied cup that is enhanced with floral, citrus, and red apple flavor notes.

Our Rwandan coffee is available exclusively through our Wandercup Subscription. Sign up here!

Header Photo Credit: Portraitor

PERU: WHERE THE COFFEE IS AS RICH AS THE HISTORY

Peru’s rich culture, which was inherited by native Incas and influenced by immigrant groups from Africa, Japan, China, and Europe, is expressed in music, literature, art forms, dance, celebrations, religion, and more. The Quechua and the Aymara are the two main native cultures of Peru, both of which have preserved their rich cultures despite the pressures of globalization. Jaw-dropping ancient ruins of the Inca Empire, one of the largest in the old world, lie on the tall green mountains of Machu Picchu, which to no surprise is among one of the seven wonders of the world.

Photo Credit: kolibri5

The people of Peru are family-oriented as many generations of a family live together with the young looking after the elderly, always ready to help each other through difficult times. Walking down the streets of Peru, and being greeted with open arms and radiating smiles, is enough to get a taste of its warm and welcoming atmosphere. Another long-standing aspect to Peru’s inviting environment is its coffee!

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

History

Peru has been growing coffee since the mid-1700s, but it wasn’t until the 1900s when European investment expanded the country’s coffee production and exportation. Peru has become one of the top producers of organic, Rainforest Alliance certified coffee.

Although the coffee farmers’ landholdings and micro-wet-milling operations are small, Peru has created a global reputation for its traditionally cultivated, Arabica beans. During the spring and summer months, farmers pick lush coffee cherries and carry them to hand pulpers and wooden fermentation tanks where the micro-wet-milling takes place. After the coffee is processed, many of the farmers trek their beans by foot or on the backs of mules over mountainous trails to get to the nearest town where coffee is bought and sold.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

In the “Land of Brave Bracamoros,” otherwise known as Jaén, Cajamarca, 400 smallholder farmers get together to create something magical for coffee lovers. For several years, this small group of producers has been awarded with developing microlot-quality coffees.

A cup of FTO Norte Lima is soft and simple with a tangy acidity, releasing notes of lemon, grapefruit and toffee flavors.

Our Peruvian coffee is available exclusively through our Wandercup Subscription. Sign up here!

Header Photo Credit: Evan Sanchez

NICARAGUA: A SPECIALTY COFFEE THAT ECHOES THE PEOPLES’ ARTISTRY

Nicaragua, a name that originates from, “here united with the water,” is a land known for its poetry and lively, blissful culture. The rhythmic marimbas and folkloric dances are unforgettable in the fiestas across the country. They remind you of the love the people of Nicaragua have for freedom, independence, and artistry.

From volcano-boarding down Central America’s young volcano, Cerro Negro, to roaming the brightly-colored colonial streets of Granada, Nicaragua evokes a sense of wonder for what this small country has to offer and the people who make it so great.

Photo Credit: Praesentator

History

In addition to the country’s moving artistry and landscape, coffee holds a special place in the hearts of Nicaraguans. When coffee established itself as a valuable export during the mid-19th century, the Nicaraguan state encouraged European immigrants to buy land for coffee production. The European landowners who were in control of the coffee farms often exploited the labor of Nicaraguans who were working in poor conditions and paid low wages.

Nicaragua faced even more challenges after the Nicaraguan Revolution from 1974–1990 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which kept the country from developing a speciality-coffee origins scene. On top of that, the coffee crisis of 1999–2003 devastated the coffee industry in the country.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Today, Nicaragua is pushing for greater coffee production, which has been a driver for rural development. Coffee farmers are pioneering new ways to elevate coffee quality, while organizations like the Cup of Excellence and Nicaraguan Specialty Coffee Association have promoted the country’s specialty coffees.

In the highlands of Matagalpa and Jintotega, coffee production is booming–most of the coffee is processed using the traditional washed method and is then dried on farmers’ patios.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Nicaragua FTO Segovia

Located in northern Nicaragua, PRODECOOP is a grassroots cooperative organization made up of 2,300 small producers, 27 percent of whom are women. PRODECOOP uses its Fair Trade premium to support its members by creating a variety of programs, some of which support educational opportunities for children, provide loans to women in the organization, offer healthcare services, and create support systems with food security for the communities.

A cup of Nicaragua FTO Segovia is rich with tart acidity and a heavy mouthful that is accompanied by tasting notes of chocolate, cocoa, red grape, and a herbaceous aftertaste.

Our Nicaraguan coffee is available exclusively through our Wandercup Subscription. Sign up here!

Header Photo Credit: JancickaL

INDONESIA: A RARE COFFEE DELIGHT

From untouched beaches with crystal clear waters, to densely forested volcanic mountains where the sounds of bubbling lava synchronize with the tigers’ roars, Indonesia invokes a combined sense of awe, fear, and wonder for its moving nature.

Indonesia’s climate and archipelago geography makes this divine place ideal for producing coffee. Known for its dark and earthy flavor profile, a taste of Indonesian coffee reminds you of the land’s gravitating environment.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

History

The Dutch introduced coffee to the islands of Indonesia when they arrived in the 16th century. Dutch-owned plantations exploited the labor of Indonesian people, leaving them in poverty, starvation, and destitution.

The plantations broke up in the 1860s and 1870s in the wake of the coffee leaf rust epidemic that devastated Indonesia’s coffee market. With many of the Dutch estates gone, Indonesian coffee farmers gained control of small plots of their land, leading to the predominance of smallholder growers. Today, Indonesia is the fourth largest coffee-producing country in the world.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Indonesian Coffee Culture

Since its founding in the 17th century, coffee has been a staple in Indonesian life. Drinking at least a cup of coffee a day has become an established tradition that the people of Indonesia cannot skip. The country’s strong coffee culture is most tangible on the morning streets.

On almost every street corner, you’ll find “warung kopi,” translating to coffee stands, bustling with customers who offer a selection of coffee candies, instant coffee, plain brewed coffee, and many more to choose from.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Sumatra Mandheling

Sumatra, one of the largest islands in Indonesia, is known for its earthy, savory, and herbaceous coffees. The island’s climate, combination of grown varieties, and a unique processing method called Giling Basah are just a few contributing factors for producing such distinct coffee. Giling Basah is a wet-hulling method that emphasizes the body and mutes the acidity of Mount Leuser-grown coffee.

Coffee farmers in Sumatra typically harvest their coffee cherries, depulp them by hand, and allow them to dry for short periods of time. The farmers then bring the cherries to the coffee marketplace or collection point where the beans are bought at anywhere from 30 to 50 percent moisture. After the coffee is hulled, it is then dried to 11 to 13 percent moisture, making it ready for export.

The resulting tasting notes of Sumatra’s coffee, one of the rarest in the world, range from black spice, wood, and chocolate – a richness that lingers on the back of the palate.

Explore our Indonesian coffee here!

Header Photo Credit: Rashel Ochoa

ETHIOPIA: DISCOVER THE BIRTHPLACE OF COFFEE

Sitting on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is widely recognized as the place where the coffee bean came to be. Ever wonder how Ethiopia received its name as coffee’s birthplace?

Legend has it that a goat herder named Kaldi witnessed his goats acting strangely as they danced on their hind legs – filled with excitement. The source of their uncontained joy was none other than coffee cherries. Overtaken by his discovery, Kaldi shared the cherries with the monks of a local monastery, who met him with disdain. One monk even denounced the cherries as the “devil’s work” before tossing them into the fire, unintentionally roasting the beans. It just took the delicious coffee aroma to fill the air for the monks to reconsider their initial thoughts about the coffee cherries … the rest is all history.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Coffee has been grown and loved in Ethiopia for centuries, so much so that it has become a key part in Ethiopian culture and language. Natives use coffee as a means of expression relating to food, relationships, and life itself. One common Ethiopian saying is “Buna dabo naw,” translating to “Coffee is our bread.” The metaphor reflects the importance that Ethiopians place on their coffee as it is compared to a source of nourishment.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Another common phrase, “Buna Tetu,” translating to “Drink coffee,” parallels the English language surrounding coffee. This saying does not only refer to the act of drinking coffee, but also to the communal value that lies in a cup of coffee. Coffee plays a social role in Ethiopian culture, which is mirrored in places all over the world.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Located in central southern Ethiopia, Yirgacheffe has been prized for its washed coffees’ smooth, tea-like aromatics and clean citrus flavor. The Misty Valley gives rise to the fruitiness and rich complexity of Natural Yirgacheffe coffee. The creamy body compliments its underlying fruity flavors as the cup finishes with a gratifying mouthfeel.

Explore our Ethiopian coffee here!

Header Photo Credit: John Iglar

GUATEMALA: WHERE NEW & OLD COME TOGETHER FOR A FRUITFUL CUP OF COFFEE

Coined the “Land of the Eternal Spring,” Guatemala is treasured for its wonderful weather all year long. The climate is tropical – hot and humid in the lowlands and cooler in the highlands. Two east-west mountain trails divide the land into three regions: the mountainous highlands, the Pacific coast south of the mountains, and the northern Peten lowlands. Because Guatemala is located along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquakes lining the Pacific Ocean, the country is no stranger to the Earth’s raw conditions.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Guatemalan culture is enriched by the Mayan Empire that influenced agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar making, and more. You can witness the breathtaking ruins in the jungles of the northern and central highlands where the Mayans’ geometric architecture is a window to their artistic visions.

Photo Credits:  JanicickaL

The ethnic diversity of Mayan, European, and Caribbean influences within the Guatemalan people manifests in their many languages and lifestyles throughout the country. Still, there is a wealth divide between the urbanized mestizos population, Guatemalans of Spanish and indigenous descent, and the Mayan villagers in the rural highlands. Unlike most of the New World, however, the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors did not completely suppress the culture and way of life of the indigenous people. Both the Mayan and Spanish cultures are celebrated, echoing the beauties that exist when the old world intertwines with the new.

Photo Credits:  Perry Grone

On top of the country’s rich history and brightly colored streets, it is also celebrated for its sweet coffee. In the late 18th century, coffee came to Guatemala with the arrival of European immigrants who were motivated to establish plantations by the Guatemalan government. The country was exporting close to 300 million pounds of coffee yearly by the late 1800s.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Guatemala’s coffee-producing regions all have distinct geographical profiles that are shaped by varieties and microclimate. On the outskirts of the town of San Cristobal Verapaz lies the farm, Flor del Rosario – 550 acres of coffee trees and blooming flowers. The beauty of this coffee is no different than that of the farm. A citric explosion balanced with notes of deep chocolate and caramel reflect the character of the region where this coffee is grown.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

The warm enthusiasm that goes into every bean reflects the tales of a land that make this cup worthwhile.

Explore our Guatemalan coffee here!

Header Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

COLOMBIA: WHERE THE COFFEE IS AS MOVING AS THE PEOPLE

From colorful fiestas and rich biodiversity to the lost city of El Dorado, Colombia is celebrated for its many wonders. It’s admired culture blends together traditions of its European, African, and indigenous roots. Among the things Colombia is known for, its robust, fruit-forward coffee plays a large role in shaping the country’s identity.

Credit: Dawin Rizzo

The land’s mountainous terrain and tropical microclimates create ideal conditions for growing coffee. A small change in altitude takes you from warm, Caribbean beaches to coffee-strewn, emerald green hills. With 75% of the country’s coffee production exported worldwide, Colombian coffee has established a global name for itself.

Credit: Holiet

The brains behind this operation lie in Colombia’s small coffee farms. The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia was established in 1927 to protect the interests of rural, small-estate farmers. In response to the coffee-price crisis, the Farm Select program launched to not only provide growers with more support, knowledge and financial resources to improve their coffee quality, but also to allow roasters to create relationships with coffee farmers.

Credit: Cafe Imports

Hidden high in the mountains of Colombia’s Amazon rainforest lies the coffee farm of Donna Patricia Guzman and her husband, Arley Rodriguez Gutierrez. “For us, coffee is everything. It’s what allows us to eat. It means everything to us,” Guzman said, who was surrounded by her 12,000 coffee trees.

Credit: Cafe Imports

Supporting the farmers who have poured their hearts into the growing process, unifying coffee lovers everywhere is one of our core missions. There are greater stories behind Colombian coffee that are worth telling. It’s the muddy pair of boots that hike over dozens of acres of land, the blistered fingers of coffee pickers who hand-pick the best coffee cherries, and the crops transported on the backs of mules, that are behind creating something so special for others.

Credit: Cafe Imports

Grown in a region known as the “Coffee Capital of Colombia”, Jesus Alexander’s 7-hectare farm is known for its premium coffee that leaves both newbies and connoisseurs craving more. In this cup you will experience flavors of tart fruits and lemongrass at first, and finish with a taste of chocolate and toffee.

Explore our Colombian coffee here!

Header Photo Credit: Leandro Loureiro

BRAZIL: A DIVERSE LAND PRODUCING EVEN MORE COLORFUL COFFEE

As the fifth largest country in the world, it can take a while to explore the marvels that Brazil has to offer. This country is a melting pot of nationalities where the culture’s influence by European and African roots is seen in its language, traditional ceremonies and clothing. Because of its size and diversity, Brazil is a nation that rightfully earns the name, “Land of Contrasts.”

Brazil hosts some of the most beautiful destinations for adventure junkies whether it’s hiking through one of its 72 national parks, or gazing at the irresistible sunsets on what looks like a never-ending coastline. Let’s not forget about the jaw-dropping view of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer–a site that’s admired by millions. Aside from its scenic beauty, it’s no secret that Brazil produces some of the best coffees in the world with its number of varieties, mutant-hybrids and cultivars.

Photo Credit: Caio

History

Legend has it that the coffee plant was first introduced to Brazil in the 1700s through biological espionage. While on a diplomatic mission to find prized coffee seeds in French Guiana, Português Lieutenant Francisco de Melo Palheta seduced the governor’s wife to get his hands on her invaluable seeds. Smuggling them out of the country in a bouquet of flowers, de Melo Palheta planted the seeds in Para, northeastern Brazil, where they rapidly flourished, spreading down south all the way to Rio de Janeiro.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Unlike many other South American small coffee farms, Brazil’s coffee industry thrived off expansive estates, so it should come as no surprise that Brazil has been the top coffee producing country since the 1830s. These massive plantations especially catapulted wealth because of slave labor and ideal growing conditions. Referred to as the “coffee barons,” plantation owners had a strong hand in shaping Brazil’s policies that directly affected the coffee industry.

The coffee barons corrupt influence was finally challenged after the abolition of slavery in 1888, the decline in global demand for coffee after the Great Depression of 1930, and Brazil’s entrance into the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) in 1962. The ICA established quotas and taxing for the world’s leading plantation owners. Once the quotas were dropped in 1989, Brazil paved the way for producing specialty coffee–single origin varieties that continue to be admired today.

Photo Credit: Cafe Imports

Brazil Daterra Villa Borghesi

There is more to Daterra’s philosophy than just great coffee. Preserving the Eco-Social System around its plantations, Daterra is one of the world-famous farms where coffee is produced with an inspiring commitment to both quality and sustainability. Certified since 2003, all Daterra coffee farms have been a part of the Rainforest Alliance, ensuring that they preserve soil and natural resources and practice fair labor conditions.

The Brazil Daterra Villa Borghesi makes for a luring cup with floral, fruit, and hazelnut on the break–making the palate curious as to what the cup holds. Rich in fruit flavors, the cup has a mild acidity with a medium-full body leading to a sweet-clean finish.

Our Brazilian coffee is available exclusively through our Wandercup Subscription. Sign up here!

Header Photo Credit: Raphael Nogueira

WOMEN IN COFFEE

The Wandercup team stands united in celebrating women in coffee. We want to use our platform to empower women within our communities and women everywhere. To start, we’d like to illuminate the realities of women who work in the coffee industry.

The face behind the world’s coffee business is female.

Women provide up to 70% of labor in coffee production in different regions of the world. Coffee plays a crucial part in the economies of the tropics as it provides a means of living for up to 25 million rural households. But, in comparison to male-operated farms, female farm operators have fewer resources such as land, credit, and education, contributing to the gender gap that disenfranchises and economically disadvantages women.

A woman
Photo Credit: Café Imports

Gender inequalities in coffee-producing countries stem from differences in exercising freedoms that hinder women’s abilities to sustain their livelihoods. Such freedoms include exercising agency over control of resources, transportation, protection from violence, and decision making within the home and public sphere.

Despite women’s heavy involvement in the coffee farms, including laborious work like planting, pruning, picking, and harvesting, they go unpaid or unrecognized.

Photo Credit: Perfect Daily Grind/Joe Van Gogh Coffee

On our search for delicious coffee, we are committed to uplifting the women who devote their time to creating something special for coffee lovers everywhere.

We value creating the relationships we have with women farmers because we not only learn a great deal about their experiences, but we also play a part in supporting them financially to uplift their communities.

Wandercup’s mission is more than just sharing the world’s best coffee, it’s also about having the privilege of working with strong women who teach us, share stories and turn our dreams into a reality. As a newly founded company, we are proud to honor the talented women who comprise roughly 75% of our staff and partners (pictured below): Sonam Kline (Founder/CEO), Ariane de Bonvoisin (Business Coach), Jenna Kamalova (Web Developer), Carly Pritchard (Operations Manager), Moriah Johnston (Roaster), Kali Oriole (Social Media/Marketing Intern), and Cindy Mizaku (Social Media/Marketing Intern). We stand in solidarity with all women and choose to empower, inspire, and support each other every day.

Learn more about women in coffee by visiting the following sites:

Photo Credit: Café Imports

A DELIVERY FOR COFFEE LOVERS AND ADVENTURERS

Don’t have a chance to travel as much as you’d like to? Why not explore the world through your morning cup of coffee?

Get the freshest coffee delivered right to your door and learn about the beautiful cultures and stories behind the bean. We’ll take you to every continent that produces coffee — from Africa to Asia to Central and South America.

Purchase our coffees by the bag, or even better, sign up for our subscription!

So, what’s the hype about a Wandercup subscription anyways?

Trying to find new coffee is overwhelming — there are too many options, the occasional judgy coffee snob, and the chance that you’ll try something you don’t like.

At Wandercup, we take the overwhelming work of trying to find new coffees from around the world out of the picture. We do that work for you. Not only do we try more coffee than any sane person should, but we’ve filtered through the bad, the decent, and the downright amazing to bring you the absolute best coffee from all of the regions and countries around the world.

A Wandercup coffee subscription is ideal because it takes the thinking out of your morning routine. Each month, receive coffee and stories from a different country and stamp the pages of your Wandercup Passport as you go. It’s simple, convenient, and we know you’ll fall in love with the assortment of coffees we have to offer!

Thanks for being a part of our journey!

Cheers!
Sonam & Dan

THE PERFECT ROAST

When you look at the statue of David in Italy, it’s easy to get caught up in the beauty of the final product and forget that a skilled, talented, and experienced artist was able to turn a block of raw stone into the world’s most famous sculpture. Similarly, turning a raw coffee seed into a dynamic and flavorful bean is both an art and a science. It takes a delicate combination of experience, talent, and precision to have the vision to turn seemingly undesirable raw materials into something that is loved by people everywhere.

It’s at this stage of the process that the flavors in your resulting cup are shaped and the promise of the green bean is fulfilled. You can have an amazing green coffee bean to start with, grown in perfect conditions, but if it’s under or over roasted, your resulting cup is ruined.

Roasting requires both craft and instinct, as well as attention to smell, appearance, and sound. By carefully planning how much heat the bean gets during various phases, you can accentuate particular characteristics, mute others, and even develop the mouthfeel and body of the beverage. Becoming a skillful roaster is no easy task, which is why we’re thankful for the experts we’ve had the opportunity of getting to know!

So, what’s our roasting process like?

We’ve partnered with La Terza Coffee, whose Master Roaster from Uganda has won multiple barista championships around the world. He evaluates each bean variety and develops a custom roasting recipe. Some beans are roasted for longer than others, while others are roasted at lower temperatures. This guarantees each coffee has the optimum flavor, perfect for that harvest and climate, and is completely individualized to the specific beans.

We’re committed to the quality of each batch, and we promise that you’ll fall in love with Wandercup coffee!

Cheers!
Sonam & Dan

SOURCING AMAZING COFFEE

What goes into ethically and sustainably sourcing amazing coffee?

In the world of coffee, we often hear terms like “fair trade,” “direct trade,” and “sustainable.” But what exactly do all of these terms mean?

Fair Trade Coffee

If you’re like billions of people around the world, you start your day with a cup of coffee. Why not make sure that your daily brew is doing good for farmers in Central and South America, Africa or Asia?

By selecting fair trade coffee, you know that your coffee beans are grown using rigorous standards designed to support farmers and their communities and to protect the environment. In fact, every bean can be traced back to the cooperative of small-scale farmers who grew it. Fair trade certified coffee does this by guaranteeing farmers a minimum price, which acts as a safety net when prices drop. This gives coffee farmers the security that they will receive a price that covers their average costs of sustainable production.

Direct Trade Coffee

Direct trade is a term used by coffee roasters who buy straight from the growers, cutting out both the traditional middleman buyers and sellers and also the organizations that control certifications. Direct trade proponents say their model is the best because they build mutually beneficial and respectful relationships with individual producers or cooperatives in the coffee-producing countries.

Some roasters prefer direct trade because they are dissatisfied with the third-party certification programs, while others want to have more control over aspects ranging from the quality of the coffee, to social issues, or environmental concerns.

Sustainable Coffee

Sustainable coffee is coffee that is grown and marketed for its sustainability. This includes coffee certified as organic, fair trade, and Rainforest Alliance. Coffee has a number of classifications used to determine the participation of growers (or the supply chain) in various combinations of social, environmental, and economic standards. Coffees fitting those categories and that are independently certified or verified by an accredited third party have been collectively termed “sustainable” coffees.

So, what about our coffee?

Wandercup Coffee

We’ve partnered with La Terza Coffee, sourcing coffee beans ethically and sustainably through small, authentic farms and estates. We know where every bean comes from, and make sure that each farmer and worker is paid a dignified, fair wage. Our beans come from all over the world, from Indonesia to Africa to Central and South America, and we offer different varieties from each region. Once you find your favorite region, you’ll start noticing how beans taste different based on the country and climate!

In addition to ethical and sustainable sourcing practices, we strive to help restore the planet through reforestation efforts. That’s why we’ve partnered with One Tree Planted, an organization committed to this environmental cause. Check out our blog post on how we give back to learn more!

You can be sure that when you purchase Wandercup coffee, all farmers are being compensated fairly and we’re committed to keeping our planet beautiful!

Cheers!
Sonam & Dan

PRE-GROUND COFFEE VS. WHOLE BEAN

The age old question… pre-ground or whole bean coffee?

The best way to enjoy the full flavor notes, aromas, and overall taste of your morning cup is to grind your whole beans minutes before you brew via your selected method. The flavor is much stronger, and the subtle tastes of the specific bean are more noticeable.

Why is this the case?

The seed to cup journey of coffee isn’t the only factor that affects the freshness or flavor you taste in your morning cup. The aging process starts to take effect once the beans are roasted. The taste of the bean comes from the oils inside, and this oil can evaporate and/or go stale. Keeping the bean whole contains more of the oil inside the bean, but once it is ground the oils are released rapidly since the surface area is spread out over hundreds of grounds versus a single bean.

By grinding your own beans you also have complete control over the coarseness of the grind. Different brewing methods work best with different kinds of coarseness, so it’s best to not limit yourself to one option with pre-ground coffee. Check out our post about different brewing methods and grind tips if you want to learn more about brewing the perfect cup every time!

So why aren’t you grinding your own beans? A few common concerns about grinding beans fresh include the extra effort it takes to grind coffee beans, the cleaning of the grinder itself, and perhaps lack of space/desire for another kitchen appliance.

Wandercup is proud to offer a slim, dishwasher safe manual burr grinder that won’t take up any space and is extremely easy to clean. Check it out here!

The bottom line is that between whole bean and pre-ground coffee, the things to consider are freshness, control, and convenience. We’re here to help you transition to a morning routine that’s guaranteed to provide you with coffee you love, brewed to perfection!

Cheers!
Sonam & Dan

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO USING YOUR WANDERCUP GRINDER

Congrats on embarking on your new coffee adventure! You’ve officially taken the first step on the road to becoming a worldly coffee aficionado. Take pride in the fact that you are now a part of a tradition that dates back to the 15th century and has carried on throughout our history, across cultures. Our manual burr coffee grinder will give you the power to unleash the true potential of your favorite coffee beans.

What Size Coffee Grind to Use

Now that you have your Wandercup grinder and your beans ready, it’s time to learn about the right grind size. Choosing the grind size depends on your method of brewing.

With your grinder, turn the adjustment knob all the way to the right. Each number in the table below represents a “click” to the left.

Setting up your first Wandercup Grind

  1. Remove lid and fill hopper with the desired amount of whole bean coffee you wish to grind.
  2. Adjust your grind size by turning the adjustment knob clockwise (finer) or counter-clockwise (coarser). See table above for more information this step!
  3. Grip the grinder firmly at the midpoint, turning the handle in a clockwise direction.
    Warning: Significant damage can occur to your burr grinder by spinning the handle counter-clockwise.
  4. Once finished grinding, remove the container and pour your freshly ground coffee into your brewer of choice. Enjoy!

Grind Tips

If your coffee is too weak or watery:
Try using a finer grind size. This will increase the surface area and extraction.

If your coffee is too strong or bitter:
Try using a coarser grind size. This will decrease surface area and extraction.

You might have to experiment a bit to get your coffee exactly the way you love it, but that’s part of the adventure!

Cleaning Your Wandercup Grinder

We recommend washing the grinder before your first use. Allow it to fully dry before grinding your coffee.

We also suggest cleaning your grinder every month to remove build up of fine particles and oils that can cause stale and undesirable flavors in your brew.

HANDWASH ONLY

  1. Unscrew and remove the grounds catcher from the bottom of the grinder.
  2. Unscrew the adjustment knob, then grasp the bottom edge of the inner burr mill.
  3. Pull the burr away from the grinder to slide it off of the axle.
  4. There is a plastic insert that sits below the burr mill, and a spring and small washer that sits above the burr mill. These are used to level and adjust the burr. Remove.
  5. Carefully remove the top of the grinder from the hopper.  Do not wash the top handle assembly; it contains a gearbox that can be damaged if exposed to water.
  6. Remove the axle from the hopper.
  7. Gently hand wash the hopper, grounds catcher, and burr. A toothbrush is useful to clean the burr mill.
  8. Allow to air dry.
  9. Once everything is clean and dry, insert the axle into the hopper (the screw should be at the bottom). Then place and lock the top onto the hopper. Then replace the washer, spring, the inner burr mill, bottom insert, and tighten the adjustment knob onto the axle.
  10. Place and lock the grounds catcher to the hopper.

Additional Tips

  • Make sure the grounds catcher is screwed on tight before grinding.
  • Gently shake the grounds catcher to pour the grounds out of it.
  • Very lightly roasted, small, and stale beans are harder to grind.
  • Grind your coffee right before brewing. Once coffee is ground it will quickly lose it’s best flavors and aromas.
  • Place the grinder on a flat, smooth surface and hold in place while turning the handle.
  • Place the grinder on the top of your thigh, with knees bent. Hold in place and begin grinding.
  • Wrap your hand around the hopper, just below the top. Gently turn the handle to grind.

Caution

  • Your Wandercup grinder was designed to grind coffee beans. We do not suggest grinding anything but roasted coffee beans.
  • If the handle becomes hard to turn, try shaking the grinder or turning the handle in reverse to dislodge any hard or stuck beans.
  • Ceramic is a brittle material. The burr can break if dropped on a hard surface.  Replacements are available by contacting us at info@wandercup.co.
  • Do not use an electric drill to power the grinder. This can cause unnecessary stress on the components and lead to parts breaking.
  • Keep out of the reach of children. There are small components which can act as choking hazards.

Share Your Stories!

You are now part of the Wandercup tribe and we’d love to hear about your experience!

Share your photos and daily coffee rituals with your new #wandercup coffee grinder, and use #wandercupjourneys for a chance to be featured!

Support

If you have a problem with your grinder or other question please contact us at info@wandercup.co

Thank you from Team Wandercup

Wandercup was made possible by the coffee lovers like you from around the world. Starting from day one we have aimed to make your life a little bit better through this delicious beverage.

We are constantly improving our products to satisfy your needs, and would love to hear any feedback you have.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support, and we are excited to be on this journey together!

Cheers!
Sonam & Dan

ONE TREE PLANTED

Wandercup Gives Back

One of Wandercup’s core values is sustainability. This comes from our respect for our planet, the people, and the numerous ecosystems that make our world and our coffee incredible. To give back, we’ve partnered with One Tree Planted, an environmental charity dedicated to reforestation all over the world.

For each purchase, Wandercup donates $1 to plant one tree on the country or continent from which your coffee is grown. We’ve already planted our first 46 trees, and we can’t wait to keep the momentum going.

Ecological biodiversity is critical to our coffee. Coffee comes from trees, and without reforestation, this beautiful crop that we love so much will disappear forever. We aim to plant trees after fires, floods, and other disasters, as well as to create jobs, build communities, and protect habitats for biodiversity.

We feel an overwhelming responsibility to keep our planet as beautiful and lush as it is for all of our future generations, so that they too can experience the thrill of traveling to exotic places, and start their day with the perfect cup of coffee.

About One Tree Planted

Started in 2014, One Tree Planted has more than doubled the number of trees planted year over year. Fast forward to today, and they have planted over 4 million trees in North America, South America, Asia, and Africa! One tree planted has set the ambitious goal of planting 15 million trees in 2020! Learn more at www.onetreeplanted.org.

Why Trees?

Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and provide habitat to over 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. They also provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people, absorb harmful carbon from the atmosphere, and are key ingredients in 25% of all medicines.

Cost to Plant a Tree

Thank you so much for being a part of our journey! Let’s keep this planet beautiful together!

Cheers!
Sonam & Dan

BREW BETTER COFFEE

Why is it that coffee brewed by your local barista always tastes different than the beans you brew at home?

There are so many factors involved in brewing a perfect cup – from temperature, water chemistry, particle size and distribution, time, and quality of the beans – that making a quality cup might seem like an impossible feat!

But excellent craft coffee doesn’t have to be complicated if you learn and practice the technique of whichever brewing method works best for you.

Here’s a breakdown of each brewing method so you can achieve your perfect cup, every time!

POUR OVER

Pour over
Photo Credit: @jeffreyhh

When you first see a Chemex, you may want to use it as a vase rather than a brewer… but there’s a reason it looks the way it does: it makes friggin amazing coffee, and it does it in style.

The primary benefit of using a Chemex over other drippers is capacity- you can easily make 3-4 cups in one go, making this gem a crowd pleaser.

You’ll need to practice mastering the finer details regarding grind size, water temp, and coffee volume, but once you do, prepare to fall in love!

Check out this step-by-step guide by @craftcoffee: https://www.craftcoffee.com/how-to-make-coffee/chemex-brew-guide

ESPRESSO MACHINE

Espresso machine
Photo Credit: @rocketespresso

Anyone who knows anything about coffee knows what an espresso machine is- they’ve been keeping us caffeinated since 1901.

Today they come in various shapes and sizes, with loads of features and gimmicks. Don’t get confused by flash machines though because the basics are the same: pressurized water is pushed through a chamber/puck of finely ground coffee beans, through a filter, resulting in what we call a shot of espresso.

This method is best suited for you if you like a milky brew (e.g., a latte) or if you’re the type that likes a quick and sharp hit of caffeine. The only drawbacks? They take up kitchen counter space and they’re an absolute b**ch to clean.

Check out this guide by @homegroundsco on how to pull the perfect espresso shot: https://www.homegrounds.co/how-to-use-an-espresso-machine/

STEEPED

Steeped
Photo Credit: @steepedcoffee

The idea of instant coffee is great- it comes in a small jar so you can take it anywhere; just add hot water. There’s just one major problem, though… it tastes like ass. Enter the coffee bag: the solution to ass-tasting instant coffee.

Ground coffee (not dissolvable coffee, which is how instant is made) in a filter bag is plunged straight into your hot water, and you have your brew. If you can make tea, you can make steeped coffee!

Have you ever tried making your coffee this way?

MOKA POT

Moka pot
Photo Credit: @kinimacoffee

Don’t have a few hundred bucks to spend on an espresso machine, but still looking for that espresso-shot-like-kick that comes from a pressurized brew?

The stovetop espresso maker (aka the Moka pot) is the next best thing.

The magic behind the Moka pot is in its 3-chambered brew process. Water in the bottom chamber boils, and the steam causes pressure that pushes water up through the coffee grounds into the top chamber.

If done correctly, the end result is a bittersweet and super strong concoction that will get you through the day. Here’s a guide by @bluebottle on brewing Moka pot coffee: https://bluebottlecoffee.com/preparation-guides/bialetti-moka-pot

FRENCH PRESS

French press
Photo Credit: @aaron_films

The French press is the unofficial mascot of home brewed coffee; it’s been steeping coffee in households since before your grandparents were born, and it has a very loyal, cult-like following amongst the home barista community.

Why so?

It’s likely thanks to multiple reasons, but our money is on the fact that it’s super easy to use, can be picked up for pocket change (almost), and produces a brew with a distinct taste and feel like no other method.

If you’re into the French press, make sure to use the right coffee grind as this little known but super common mistake taints French press coffee all over the world.

Check out this recipe by @crema.co: https://crema.co/guides/french-press-coffee

VACUUM POT

Vacuum pot
Photo Credit: @i.ho3eyn

Ever feel like brewing coffee is a job for a chemist?

Also known as the siphon pot, making coffee this way is as unique as it comes; it’s a combination of brewing methods; a full immersion brew (as your coffee goes into the water) but also uses siphon action to create a great tasting cup.

At the very least, mastering this brew style earns you some serious bragging rights- whip it out when your friends are around and show them how advanced you are in the art of the brew.

Just make sure you warn your neighbors before using one, otherwise they might think you’re on the set of Breaking Bad…

AEROPRESS

Aeropress
Photo Credit: @bogachangunes

The aeropress has a cult-like following amongst the traveling coffee community, and it looks more like a science project than a brewer. But if you ask us, it’s the best thing that happened to coffee. And many people say it brews the best cup they’ve ever tasted.

When it comes to the aeropress, simplicity is the name of the game; the right water temp, the right air pressure and the right size grind leave you with an excellent tasting brew in a matter of minutes! (Seriously, it’s one of the fastest coffee makers you can get your mitts on). This method is best suited for you if you’re a traveler or just someone who appreciates a quick, clean and great tasting coffee. Or perhaps you love camping? The aeropress ticks all the boxes!

COLD DRIP

Cold drip
Photo Credit: @startwithryan

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of this one! Cold brew is one of the most popular caffeine-infused innovations of our time (and no, we’re not talking about iced coffee). In a nutshell, it’s made by slowly dripping cold filtered water through your fresh grinds for a long period- often 10 hours or more.

Is it just like hot coffee, but cold? Hell no. In the end, your patience will be rewarded with a strong, intense, unique-tasting coffee with a super smooth finish- no acidity or bitterness. Since you can taste the real origins of the coffee bean and where it comes from, there’s no need for milk or sweeteners.

Our personal favorite part? Cold brew coffee stays fresh for up to 2 weeks, so fill up a few old jars in the fridge and with one cycle you’ll stay happily caffeinated on damn-great-tasting coffee for days.

TURKISH COFFEE

Turkish coffee
Photo Credit: @tea.coffee.dp

From 1299, the Ottoman Empire ruled Turkey for an impressively long stint. What was their secret? We bet it was strong Turkish coffee!

Brewing Turkish coffee might seem easy, but like most brew methods, there’s skill in doing it right. The most common way involves a Turkish coffee pot, water and very finely ground coffee beans.

After simmering a number of times, you’ll end up with a brew that you’ll either love or hate: strong, but exceptionally tasting with a thick foam on top.

For a complete guide on how to brew the perfect cup of coffee, check out this article that provides comprehensive tips: https://www.coffeebitz.com/blog/how-to-make-perfect-cup-coffee/.

We hope you enjoy your cup a little extra today!

Cheers,
Sonam & Dan

CELEBRATING THE SEED-TO-CUP JOURNEY

Ever wonder what goes into a perfect cup of coffee? They say each bean is touched over 22 times before it’s consumed, which makes drinking coffee a celebration that should not only be savored, but shared.

The seed-to-cup  journey is truly something special. It’s amazing to see how much time, commitment and heart goes into your morning cup!

SEED

Seed

Yes, this is how a coffee tree actually sprouts! It pushes the seed (or what we refer to as the bean) up through the soil as the roots begin to form. After a little while, a pair of leaves will emerge through the seed and push it apart, and then the “bean” will fall to the ground.

It’s special to be reminded that there’s life in coffee – yes, after drying and roasting, the germ dies – but to think that the entire coffee industry and millions of lives revolve around a seed is mind blowing.

PLANT

Plant
Photo Credit: @fazendamaanaim

It takes 4-5 years to produce the first crop of a coffee plant, while the land on which it grows will produce fruit for about 25 years.

Each coffee plant has a yield of 1-2 pounds of roasted coffee. To put that into perspective, it takes 2,000 cherries (5 lbs) to produce one pound of roasted coffee. So in one year, a 2-cup-a-day drinker will consume the annual harvest of 18 coffee trees!

CHERRIES

Cherries
Photo Credit: @fairtradecertified

Did you know that this is how coffee grows? The coffee beans used to make your morning cup of joe are actually the seeds inside of these coffee cherries.

The red ones are ready to be harvested, while the green ones still need more time to ripen up. This is why coffee is so often picked by hand!

HARVEST

Harvest
Photo Credit: @cortneywhite_

Coffee cherries turn a bright, deep red when they’re ripe and ready to be harvested. It’s within this essential time frame that they must be picked in order to produce a high quality cup.

A good picker averages approximately 100-200 pounds of coffee cherries a day! This will produce 20-40 pounds of coffee beans. Understanding the labor-intensive work behind each cup makes us appreciate each sip a little bit more. 

WASH/DRY

Wash/dry
Photo Credit: @roaster_john

Once the coffee has been picked, processing must begin right away to prevent fruit spoilage. Depending on location and local resources, coffee is processed in one of two ways:

In the DRY (natural) method, the freshly picked cherries are spread out on huge surfaces to dry in the sun (which makes for an ideal napping spot for this little guy! ^^). In order to prevent the cherries from spoiling, they’re raked and turned throughout the day for several weeks until the moisture content drops to 11%. The result on taste? Naturals tend to have more fruit and fermented flavors because the bean has more time to interact with the sugars from the cherry as enzymes break down the mucilage around the bean.

The WET (washed) method removes the pulp from the coffee cherry after harvesting so the bean is dried with only the parchment skin left on. The result on taste? Washed coffees are prized for their clarity and vibrant notes. Removing all of the cherry prior to drying allows the intrinsic flavors of the bean to shine without anything holding them back.

While processing methods likely aren’t something you consider when choosing your go-to coffee, this distinction really has an impact on how “fruity” versus “classic” the flavor profile in your cup will be. Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, you might want to consider sticking to dry/natural processed coffees!

MILL

Mill
Photo Credit: @frinjcoffee

Coffee beans have a natural barrier called the parchment layer that protects them from environmental changes. Removing this layer requires a delicate but abrasive approach in order to be efficient without damaging the bean. Once milled, the “green coffee” beans are graded and sorted before they’re ready for export.

ROAST

Roast
Photo Credit: @coffeetranslator

Turning a raw seed into a dynamic, water soluble bean is both an art and a science. It’s at this stage of the process that the flavors in your resulting cup are shaped and the promise of the green bean is fulfilled.

Roasting requires both craft and instinct, as well as attention to smell, appearance, and sound. By carefully planning how much heat the bean gets during various phases, you can accentuate particular characteristics, mute others, and even develop the mouthfeel and body of the beverage. Becoming a skillful roaster is no easy task, which is why we’re thankful for the experts we’ve had the opportunity of getting to know since we began our Wanderup journey!

GRIND

Grind
Photo Credit: @kaffeemaniac

Every great cup of coffee starts with a fresh grind!

Believe it or not, you can have the highest quality coffee, the perfect roast, pure water, premium filters and an excellent coffee maker and still ruin it all with an incorrect grind. But don’t let your woes stop you! Some basic knowledge about coffee grinding goes a long way toward helping you achieve that perfect brew.

Regardless of your brewing method, the basic goal of grinding coffee is the same: break down the roasted bean to expose the interior and allow the right amount of oils and flavors to be extracted. Ground coffee has much more surface area than whole bean coffee, allowing water (the extraction agent) to make contact with more coffee when brewing. More contact means a more vibrant, flavorful cup!

The main “rules” of coffee grinding are:

  1. Grind your coffee right before you’re ready to brew
  2. Choose the right grind size (fineness/coarseness)
  3. Select and use a high quality coffee grinder
  4. Keep your coffee grinder clean

Stay posted for more on grinding tips and check out our Wandercup grinder to help you achieve that perfect cup every time!

BREW

Brew

Coffee is personal- the “right” way to make it is however you like it best!

Today with all the new and progressive coffee brewing options available, you might have a tough time deciding on just one method as your go-to. Cold-drip? Pour over? An AeroPress brew? You may swear by French Press, but unless you’ve tried them all, how do you really know what you’re missing?

Since there are so many ways to achieve an amazing cup, check out our coffee series, which covers each of the different brew methods in depth.

ENJOY

Enjoy

At last, our favorite step of the process!

Knowing the labor of love behind the coffee you drink makes savoring each sip even more special. For over 600 years, coffee has changed the world politically, socially and intellectually. It’s a beverage that brings people together and fuels us to achieve amazing things.

We hope you enjoy your cup a little extra today!

Cheers,
Sonam & Dan