I’d like to start off by saying that my experience may have been unique due to two factors: first off, I’m not a customer. Java Bean Plus generously sent me three samples of their coffee for this review. The great thing is that they were kind enough to send them for free. Unfortunately, this means I didn’t get to interact with their customer service department – I’ll talk about that in a bit. The second reason my experience with Java Bean Plus was probably unique is due to the fact that this review is long overdue. Being a part-time blogger and a full time student, it’s taken me far too long to get to this post. I’d like to publicly thank Java Bean Plus for their patience with me!
Those two points aside, I feel as though Java Bean Plus is worthy of a quality review because of their clear dedication as a wholesaler.
On their website they list three points that set them apart from competitors:
1) Unlike many other coffee and tea suppliers, we don’t compete with our customers. We will not sell to individual consumers for home use
2) We aim to ship all orders within 24 hours. We understand the importance of your order and your need to maintain a fresh stock of coffee and tea for your customers
3) We are dedicated to quality and service. If you are not satisfied with your order please call or e-mail us and we will be sure to refund your purchase
Java Bean Plus’ website feels cold and calculating to me, robotic even. There’s not a sense of community here – it’s simply an online store. Browsing around and looking for various coffees feels like a generic experience. “Freshness guaranteed” doesn’t sound like a rallying cry to me, it’s actually the bare minimum of what I would hope for from a quality coffee supplier. That being said, their promise of providing information to small business on a case by case basis seems like it would be indispensable to a local coffee shop trying to get on their feet.
What JBP lacks in the overall feel of the website, they make up for with their clear focus on the customer. Small businesses reign supreme: JBP will allow you to pick bag colors, use a label you design, and customize a variety of other factors. “Customer Service” is a link that appears on the top right of every page on the website. You can contact them by phone, email, form on the website, or even by sending a letter to their address. In small business little things make a huge difference, and it seems like Java Bean Plus hit the nail on the head in this regard.
Java Bean Plus’ website is full of different headers and menus used for shopping for different regions, roasts, and types of coffee. They sent me three coffees: the Guatemala Antigua, Mexico High Growth, and Costa Rica Tarrazu.
The Guatemala Antigua had a rich flavor, but not a very full mouthfeel. It was definitely the most mild of the three, with a low acidity. The flavor was constant, and each sip provided wave after wave of deliciousness. While I’ve never licked a tree in my life, the word “dogwood” came to mind as I sipped the brew. Take that for what it’s worth!
The Mexico High Growth was straight up bitter the first time I brewed it. High acidity gave it a poor aftertaste that I wasn’t a big fan of. After using both my Aeropress and Clever to brew various cups, I realized it was actually a very complicated coffee. Something must have been off in the brewing process for my initial taste test that muddled the notes and caused the coffee to taste bad. I gave it a chance and came away with another opinion. The coffee itself smells fresh, like tilled soil with hints of fruitiness and some flowers. In that sense the acidity definitely peeked through and gave it a unique zing. While I initially didn’t like the coffee at all, I ended up appreciating it the most out of the three.
The Costa Rica Tarrazu had a rich, carmel-esque smell when I brewed it. On my initial taste, the first word that struck me was “depth.” The coffee had an earthy mid not with a bright aftertaste, leaving your tongue dancing and waiting for the next sip. There were definite hints of oak.
Java Bean Plus isn’t something I would recommend to the average consumer – which is a good thing. They aren’t trying to cater to the average consumer. Instead, they are trying to bring good, quality specialty coffee to businesses that will cater to the average consumer. And quite frankly, they are perfect in that regard. Their website may not be the flashiest on the web, but it is functional, and it is easy to find coffee in. I found their coffee to be delightfully delicious.
The thing that I love most about a great cup of coffee is that it is the result of the combined efforts of people from all over the world. Everyone from the grower to the barista has a say in how the final product will turn out. I am happy to say that Java Bean Plus does their job in that process well.
The Coffee Guy