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5 Steps to Outsmarting Coffee Snobs

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Can’t We Just Enjoy Coffee?

Can a coffee snob really tell the difference between a cup of Ethiopian Harrar and a Papua New Guinea Village Premium Morobe? Wine Snobs can’t. Robert Hodgson, a winemaker from California, conducted an eight year experiment at the California State Fair’s wine competition.

Hodgson had this to say about the results,  “The results are disturbing. Only about 10% of judges are consistent and those judges who were consistent one year were ordinary the next year. Chance has a great deal to do with the awards that wines win.”

The fact is, Coffee tasting like wine tasting is subjective. We all have our own opinions. So in this blog post we’re going to poke a little fun at the “coffee snobs” of the world. Here are the 5 steps to outsmarting even the most seasoned coffee snob. You’re going to blow them away!

Step 1: Breathe.

Take a deep whiff of the cup of coffee before you sip it. Try to pinpoint the aroma. What does it remind you of. Note: if it just smells like coffee say something like, “Hmmm. This one seems to have a nutty-like base, with a hint of walnuts.” Look at the amazement on their faces. And you haven’t even tasted it yet.

Step 2: Take a Sip.

Just like the coffee sniffing, take a quick sip. What flavors can you identify? Note: if it just tastes like coffee say something like, “Oh that’s really interesting. Very interesting. It has a piquant and nippy acidity with a hint of cardamom.”

Step 3: Now Get Slurping!

I know this might sound funny, but just slurp the coffee. This is a real coffee tasting technique! Slurping allows you to spread the coffee evenly across your tongue and palate, enabling you to take in a greater variety of flavors. Now, what flavors can you identify? Note: if it still tastes like coffee then say, “I can really taste the lemon and apricot notes. They’re so delicate. It’s a delight!”

Step 4: Really think about your palate.

With each subsequent taste just ponder the multitude of flavors washing over your palate. It’s like a sea of flavor, rainbows, and unicorns. Note: if it still tastes like coffee just say, “Hmmmm.”

Step 5: Sit Back, Relax, and Watch.

Now is the time to sit back, relax and receive all of the coffee snob accolades you deserve. Watch the other coffee snobs try to match you in coffee snobbery. Look at ‘em try! You’ve really stumped them.

I have a confession.

I’m a wannabe coffee snob. I know, I know. I love to try and determine the flavors, undertones, aromas, body, and finish of espresso, pour-over, and drip. But really, I think it’s fun to just drink coffee. I leave the coffee snobbery to our experienced coffee roasters.

I think it’s fun to be “hoity toity” about coffee. And obviously, I think it’s fun to make fun of coffee snobbery.

Can’t we all just have a little fun?  

For all you Wannabe Coffee Snobs

If you’d like to be a wannabe coffee snob like me, check out these awesome diagrams below!

Use this tongue diagram when you’re slurping your coffee. Try to determine the types of flavors that come to mind.


Use the flavor wheel to attach familiar flavors to these coffee sensations!



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7 Tips To Make The Best Coffee — French Press

7 Tips to make the Best Coffee - French Press


We as Americans have had a tempestuous relationship with the French. Anyone remember “Freedom Fries”? Well, at CICR we like to give credit where credit is due. So, Viva le France! Thank you France for giving us the best coffee extraction method known to man — the French Press. Here are 5 Tips to Make the Best Coffee — French Press.


Yes. How do I make the best coffee?

1. The First Step to Make The Best Coffee for French Press —  The Right Water.

Using tap water will handicap your flavor. You must use filtered or spring water. Nope, distilled water won’t work either — you need minerals to aid in the extraction process. So, only use cold filtered, or spring water. That’s the first step to make the best coffee for french press.


2. The Second Step to Make The Best Coffee For French Press – The Coffee.

Yes, the coffee beans make a difference in your cup of coffee. You need the best coffee in the world. Of course this means you need certified organic, shade-grown and freshly roasted coffee. But how do you grind it? Coarse! The beans must be ground coarse to prevent the sludgy post-brew grounds from ending in your cup. You need 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces. That’s the second step to make the best coffee for french press.


3. The Third Step to Make The Best Coffee for French Press – The Equipment.

You need a good filter. The best filter will keep the coffee grounds in the press — not in your cup. Bodum makes some of the best french presses. Their filters come in three pieces that you can take apart and clean. That’s the third step to make the best coffee for french press.


Bodum filter system

4. The Fourth Step to Make The Best Coffee for French Press – Don’t Boil The Water.

Never pour boiling water on your freshly ground beans. Boiling water will scorch the beans and alter the taste. You need hot water that is just off of the boil. The ideal temperature is between 195° and 205°F. That’s the fourth step to make the best coffee for french press.


5. The Fifth Step to Make The Best Coffee for French Press – Bust the Crust!

Once you have doused all of the grounds in water, wait for the “crust” to form. The “crust” is the grounds that will rise to the top. To aid in the extraction process you must stir the grounds and break up this “crust.” If you have a glass french press, only stir using a wooden stirrer or chop stick. Over time, a metal stirrer or spoon can cause the glass to crack and break due to the high temperature of the water. That’s the fifth step to make the best coffee for french press.


6. The Sixth Step to Make The Best Coffee for French Press – Let It Sit!

 Let your coffee sit for 3 to 5 minutes — depending on how strong you want your brew. Then, finally, press and pour. That’s the sixth step to make the best coffee for french press.


7. The Seventh Step to Make The Best Coffee for French Press –Enjoy.

The dark brew falls, splashing and swirling til it comes to its resting place — in your warm mug. Warm your mug prior to pouring to maintain the heat and flavor of your coffee. Lastly, drink your beautiful french press coffee within 10 minutes of pouring. The flavors of the coffee will change as the temperature cools. This provides you with the widest range of flavors. That’s the seventh step to make the best coffee for french press.

So there you have it — the 7 tips to make the best coffee for french press. The best coffee extraction method — French Press, running the length and breadth of Coffee’s vast variety of flavors.


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Are Gangsters Holding Your Keurig Hostage?



“I don’t want your BuzzBox Coffee — I have a Keurig!”


This is what a friend of mine told me recently. I told her, “Great! But, did you know your Keurig is being held hostage by Gangsters?


“Wait! What are you talking about?”


Here’s what I told her. . .

1. Big Coffee’s Gangster Tactics Are Shackling Your Keurig’s Potential.

The Keurig machine is awesome, because it’s convenient. You just pop in your puck and go. But, consider this: a few of the big coffee companies have paid to have the exclusive rights to produce K-Cups.

Why does this matter to you? Well, for one, it severely limits your choice. Second, these coffee companies roast their coffee in big batches, pre-grind the coffee, and then store it for months in prepackaged K-Cups. These K-Cups can be 3 to 12 months old by the time you pop it into your Keurig. Since coffee goes stale after around 10 weeks — and even sooner after grinding — you’re being robbed of the beautiful flavors of freshly roasted coffee.

2. How Do I Beat These Coffee Gangsters?

How do you beat big coffee’s stale cronyism? Make your own K-Cup. Simply purchase freshly roasted coffee, grind it, and place it in your Keurig using the Solofill reusable filter. “Batta-bing-batta-boom” — you’ve got yourself a quick and easy, fresh and flavorful, K-Cup. The Solofill reusable filter also helps to alleviate the environmental burden on local landfills since prepackaged K-Cups aren’t recyclable.

3. Show me the money!

Why let big coffee companies extort you for K-Cup convenience? A stale, prepackaged K-Cup costs around 70 cents a cup. For around 35 cents a cup you can give yourself the top 1% of fresh, micro-roasted coffee. We’re talking USDA Certified Organic, Shade Grown, and Fairly Traded, and it’s still cheaper than that stale K-Cup.

When you consider that most people go through a pound of coffee every 2 weeks, this works out to saving $602 a year* just by using fresh, better-tasting coffee!

For example, here at Buzzbox Coffee, you can buy coffee that is hours young not months old. Buzzbox Coffee roasts and ships within 48 hours. So it’s the freshest coffee you can buy


Freshly roasted coffee is the most important factor in producing the best tasting-cup of coffee. So combine the convenience of your Keurig machine with the fresh taste of locally roasted coffee with Solofill’s reusable filter.


*Based on an average price of 80 cents per K-Cup versus 33 cents per cup of Buzzbox Coffee and drinking on average 2lbs of coffee per month.



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The Best Way to Store Coffee — Avoid These 5 Easy Polar Bear Mistakes

The Best way to Store Coffee: Avoid these 5 Polar Bear Mistakes

Why do Polar bears brew terrible coffee? Because, like many humans, they continue storing coffee in the freezer. I know. I know. HAAAARDY HAR HAR. But it’s true. Want to learn the best way to store coffee — check out the 5 Steps to NOT Storing Coffee Like a Polar Bear.

5 Steps To NOT Storing Coffee Like a Polar Bear

1. Want the best way to store coffee? Don’t expose the beans to extreme temperatures.

Many coffee lovers mistakenly store their coffee in the freezer, thinking they are preserving the freshness of their beans. Instead, the extreme cold deteriorates the oils that gives coffee its great flavor. So, don’t store them in the freezer or the oven. That’s right, the oven is just for cooking.

2. Want the best way to store coffee? Don’t expose the beans to direct sunlight.

The sun can cause the beans to fade in appearance and taste. So, keep the precious little beans in a cool, dry, and dark place. Just another step to the best way to store coffee beans.

3. Want the best way to store coffee? Don’t store your fresh roasted beans in the fridge!

The fridge will make your fresh roasted coffee stinky! Coffee is a deodorizer. If you leave it in the fridge, your coffee will absorb the flavors in your fridge. Leftover salmon. Last night’s kimchi. The carryout box with the bleu cheese burger — they’re all going to give your coffee a very different taste. But hey, if you need to get that smell out of your refrigerator, just leave a bowl of coffee beans in there. Just don’t brew them!

4.Want the best way to store coffee? Don’t expose the beans to oxygen.

Fresh roasted coffee beans are kind of like a loaf of bread. If you leave them out they’ll go stale. Stale. In fact if you don’t use them within 6 to 8 weeks they start to go stale too. Stale. Stale. Stale. So, oxygen deprivation is extremely important to maintaining the quality of your fresh roasted coffee beans. Stale.

5. Want the best way to store coffee? Don’t store your coffee in its own package.

You can store your beans in their packaging, just make sure to place the packaging in an airtight zip-loc bag and keep in a cool, dry place like a cupboard. Remember, coffee is a bakery item. It’ll go stale if you don’t keep it sealed. So, that’s the best way to store coffee! Just another step to the best way to store coffee beans.