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Puroast Coffee Review, Round Two

Puroast Wide

Nearly two years ago I wrote a review on Puroast Coffee, and I wasn’t incredibly impressed. Puroast claims that their beans offer 70% less acid than traditional coffee, and 7 times more antioxidants. Back in 2015 I decided to take their health claims at face value, focusing my review instead upon the taste of the coffee – and it left a lot to be desired. I wrote, “The coffee was, in a word, tasteless. It lived up to Puroast’s promise in that it definitely was not acidic, but on the other hand it was also not…anything.” I didn’t hate their coffee, but I also didn’t recommend it based on the product I received and the brewing methods I used.

Then, about 10 days ago I received an email from Puroast asking for a follow-up review. I agreed, finding the prospect of reviewing the same coffee company again both compelling and a little strange. While I’ve never done this before, I’m always keen to offer coffee a second chance.

I’ve done my best to let this review stand on its own – I’d rather not spend time looking back and comparing Puroast’s 2017 product to that from two years ago. With that said, I will admit that I was more impressed with the company’s overall presentation and professionalism this time around. They’ve improved everything from the look of their website to their recommendations for brewing techniques/recipes. Last time I received a pre-ground bag of coffee and no instructions on how to brew it. This time I was given whole-bean coffee and brewing recommendations based on how Puroast baristas make the coffee in their flagship Miami coffee shop.

The Snapshot

Puroast sells coffee that contains higher antioxidants and less acidity than your typical brew. These benefits, however, aren’t the focus for their company. As one representative told me, “The roast comes first and the wellness is simply a byproduct of roasting innovation and putting quality above everything else. It can truly be said that no one else roasts their coffee the way Puroast does.”

This is something I can appreciate.

With that said, Puroast definitely makes sure consumers know their coffee’s health benefits. They’re listed front and center on the coffee bags, as well as on the home page of their website. In fact, they have a whole section of their website dedicated to their coffee’s health benefits. This page includes the research done by Dr. Shibamoto from UC Davis – his findings revealed the benefits that Puroast’s roasting process has on their beans.

I’m glad that Puroast’s roasting process makes their beans healthy and potentially more easily consumed by people who are sensitive to acidic beverages. What I’m even more interested in is whether or not their roasting process can produce a great tasting cup of coffee.

The Coffee

This time around Puroast sent me their Espresso Roast to try. Although the bag I received did not have a roasting date on it, it did have a “best by” date of July 31st, 2018. I’m assuming they sent me freshly roasted coffee for this review, but if I was a consumer at a supermarket or resell location, I wouldn’t be able to tell for sure.

Puroast Best By
Best by Jul 31st, 2018

Puroast recommended that I brew their beans using a Greca/moka pot. A representative told me that this is the go-to brewing method used in their Miami coffee shop. As a big fan of the moka, I happily obliged.

Moka_FireTheir recipe called for a fine ground size, and that the coffee grinds be left uncompressed (not packed down) in the moka filter basket. I found that for my moka pot about 21g of finely ground coffee was the perfect amount.

The thing with espresso roasts is that I expect them to have a darker, richer flavor when compared to roasts intended for filter brew methods. I knew ahead of time that Puroast’s coffee wouldn’t be acidic – that’s kinda their shtick. So in that case, I was looking for tasting notes like chocolate, hazelnut, caramel, or something similar. Unfortunately, I didn’t get those.

The Espresso Roast I received from Puroast was earthy, dark, and slightly bitter. It was distinctly espresso, but the kind of espresso I would expect from a standard second-wave coffee shop, like Peet’s or Caribou Coffee perhaps. It did not resemble specialty coffee.

That’s not to say that it was bad or undrinkable by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I enjoyed several cups, both black and combined with steamed milk to make a faux-latte. I found the coffee to be highly caffeinated – it was enjoyable to sip while burning through my email inbox and getting work to-do’s accomplished. It just isn’t what I expect from specialty coffee.

I actually think that’s okay, mostly because I’m not convinced that Puroast Coffee fits the mold of a specialty coffee company. They don’t sell a variety of single-origin roasts on their website, focusing instead on blends. They have sections of their online store dedicated to both flavored coffee roasts and K-Cup single serving pods. In short, they are selling to a completely different demographic than specialty coffee drinkers.

When compared to commodity-grade diner coffee, or even the more common roasts from big companies like Starbucks, I think Puroast has a great product that I would recommend. On the other hand, they don’t hold a candle to specialty coffee companies like Intelligentsia or Blue Bottle.

Puroast Latte
The faux-latte I made with Puroast’s Espresso Roast
Final Thoughts

This is the first time that I’ve reviewed the same coffee company twice, and I must say that I began with more than a little trepidation. I’m happy to report that my opinion on Puroast has improved since our paths last crossed.

I still would not recommend their coffee to those who are interested in buying specialty beans to brew at home, and I would add that Puroast has a ways to go if they hope to become a third wave coffee producer. However, I think that the average person will find Puroast’s coffee to be rich, caffeinated, and more tasty than the big chains they may be used to. I agree that the moka pot is the best way to enjoy Puroast at home.

Puroast continues to fill a niche for those who’s stomachs may be sensitive to acidity. However, I agree that the quality of their product makes them a great option for anybody who might otherwise buy their coffee from a large chain.


You can buy Puroast coffee from their online store, here. Right now first time customers get 25% off their order. Just use offer code “Pur1st” at checkout.

The Official Guide to (Inter)national Coffee Day 2016

Inter(national) Coffee Day 2016

Coffee lovers, now is the time to rejoice. This week grants us not one, but two days dedicated to our favorite beverage: National Coffee Day (September 30th) and International Coffee Day (October 1st). Tons of coffee chains and local coffee shops around the world are celebrating by offering deals, discounts, and free drinks for us over-caffeinated to enjoy.

Below I’ve compiled two lists to help you find the deal closest to you, but keep in mind that local coffee shops are likely to be participating as well. Be sure to check in with your local cafe to see what deals they may be offering! In that vein, I’ve included a few deals from coffee shops local to Idaho – my home state.

National Coffee Day (September 30th)

  • Coffee Studio (Meridian, ID) is offering a free 12oz latte to anybody who utters the phrase “where love & locals meet.” Find out more here.
  • Guru Donuts (Boise, ID) is offering a free cake donut or vegan mini raised with any coffee purchase. Nothing better than free donuts with your coffee!
  • Flying M offered (Boise/Nampa, ID) offered a free 8oz drip coffee between 6:30am and 11pm today. Hopefully you scored one!
  • Dunkin Donuts is offering medium coffees for only 66 cents to celebrate their 66th anniversary. Find out more.
  • Krispy Kreme is handing out a free cup of coffee and free donut to visitors. No purchase necessary. Find out more.
  • Starbucks isn’t offering discounts, but they are donating a coffee tree for every brewed cup of México Chiapas coffee sold today. Find out more.
  • Pilot Flying J is giving away a free cup of coffee – or any hot beverage – to people who show the coupon found on their website. Here it is.
  • Tim Hortons is running some sort of social media campaign using #TimsCoffeeDay and #WhyWeBrew. Check out their Twitter page for more details.
  • Caribou Coffee is giving away a free medium brewed coffee for every pound of coffee purchased from now until Oct 2nd. Also, for every cup of “Amy’s Blend” coffee purchased, they’re donating a cup to nurses and caregivers at cancer centers throughout the country. Find out more here.
  • Peet’s Coffee is giving away a free coffee with the purchase of any food item.
  • Sheetz is giving away free cups of their new cold brew. You must be a loyalty card holder to qualify.
  • Wawa is keeping it simple with a free cup of coffee (or any 24oz self-serve beverage) all day. No purchase necessary.


International Coffee Day (October 1st)

International Coffee Day is a bit different, and quite frankly more organized, than National Coffee Day. There are dozens of events happening around the world on October 1st, so I’ve chosen to highlight a few notable ones. You can find the full list here. You can even sort by events happening close to you!

  • Italy – Free guided tour and coffee at MUMAC coffee machine museum. Find out more.
  • Norway – Join the world’s largest coffee party in Oslow. The Norwegian Coffee Association is attempting to set a world record in coffee brewing. Their goal is to serve at least 5,000 cups of freshly brewed coffee to coffee lovers in the afternoon on October 1st. Find out more.
  • Canada – Experience the tastes and aromas of small batch roasting in Nova Scotia. River Run coffee shop is hosting an open house; the grounds will be open to explore, and the animals for petting, but inside is where the excitement will take place. They will be holding 30 minute coffee roasting demonstrations at 10am and 1pm. Find out more.
  • South Africa – Enjoy the tasting menu at Bean There Coffee Company in Johannesburg. Try a Chemex, Hario V60, AeroPress, or French Press combo for just R30. Find out more.
  • New Zealand – Vanguard Specialty Coffee presents a screening of A Film About Coffee. Tickets are $17 and are available through our Facebook event page or by emailing ahead. Screening is being held Saturday October 1st, at 6:30pm. Every attendee will receive a complementary cold brew concoction created by local roaster/coffee guru Jason Moore using a single origin Ethiopian Dumerso. Find out more.
  • Germany/Online – Save 20% on the Hile Set by Hile Products. The Hile Set includes Sola paper filter holder and Kapu (a measuring spoon/fastener in one), handcrafted in Finland.  Use offer code HILE1 on their online store. Find out more.
  • France – Free cupping of AVPA award-winning coffees in Paris. Find out more.
  • Australia – Coffees from around the world at Pomeroys in Queensland. They will have coffees from a range of origins, brewed using a variety of methods. Find out more.
  • Austria – Coffee Battle: Head to Head for the Best Espresso in Vienna. From 9am-7pm baristas will be duking it out to see who makes the best espresso. Find out more.


Did I miss anything? If so, comment on this post and let me know. Enjoy your free coffee, and have a great day!


Coffee doesn’t have to suck, and neither do the people who make it.

Latte LeafThis week and last week have been filled with a litany of discussion, articles, and rising tempers from the specialty coffee community due to an offhand comment made by Anthony Bourdain in an interview. Below is the comment in question.

“There are few things I care about less than coffee. I have two big cups every morning: light and sweet, preferably in cardboard cup. Any bodega will do. I don’t want to wait for my coffee. I don’t want some man-bun, Mumford and Son motherfucker to get it for me. I like good coffee but I don’t want to wait for it, and I don’t want it with the cast of Friends. It’s a beverage; it’s not a lifestyle.”

Tony Konecny, founder of Tonx (which was acquired by Blue Bottle Coffee), wrote a great piece partially in response to this quote, and partially as a way to call out the specialty coffee community. He’s been involved for nearly 15 years, and his voice means something to many active baristas, roasters, and writers. If you care about coffee, stop what you’re doing now and go read it.

I’d like to highlight some of Tony’s thoughts and share a few of my own.

I’ve been working in and writing about coffee for the better part of the last seven years. I’ve attended coffee conferences and reviewed coffee shops and roasters from around the world. Early on, I discovered that the bitter coffee I grew up watching my mom drink wasn’t necessarily what coffee had to taste like; I found a world of flavors, brewing techniques, and gadgets that could help me achieve a better cup. I started experimenting – first on my own, and then with the help of recipes I found online or from other coffee fanatics. I found what I liked and what I didn’t, and I learned that there’s a huge gray area between “good” coffee and “bad” coffee. I also found out that people will vehemently defend their definition of “good” coffee.

Something that I had taken for granted, until I read Tony’s piece, was the culture. If you’ve ever been into a specialty coffee shop, you know the culture I’m talking about. It’s the same environment that Anthony Bourdain was speaking about in his throwaway comment. Call it hipster, call it trendy, call it whatever you want. It’s the environment that reeks of arrogance, upturned noses, and high school level cliqiness (if that’s a word). Perhaps you’ve felt it when you’ve walked into a coffee shop and suddenly had the overwhelming sensation that you just don’t belong. That somehow, someway, everyone behind the counter knows something that you don’t. Maybe it’s the way the barista won’t meet your eye. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone in the shop is staring at their MacBook screens behind designer glasses.

Or maybe it’s the coffee.

The reason why I say that I took the culture for granted is because I never really stopped to think about it. In the beginning I felt out of place – like attending a metal show in cargo shorts and a polo shirt. I pushed through, ordered my coffee, and got on with my life. Who really cares what the vibe of the coffee shop is as long as the coffee tastes good, right?

Now I have more buy in. I’ve dedicated time and effort towards the coffee community, because I think it’s worth it. I’ve met some amazing people that are doing incredible things in war-torn countries using coffee. I’ve looked into the history of coffee and discovered that it wasn’t pushed forward because of large scale corporations or faceless kingdoms – coffee became the widespread commodity it is today because of individuals who cared. I’ve researched the Chemex and Aeropress – some of the brewing devices that specialty coffee fans love to brew with – and found that their inventors were eccentric, interesting, and passionate people.

Slowly, over time, I’ve become a coffee disciple. And so, I started to proselytize.

Often, I talk with my friends and colleagues about how they can brew their coffee better. I frequent online coffee forums to discuss brew ratios like some people discuss MLB stats between games. I’ve been trying to get people to come to specialty coffee.

Tony’s post showed me that I have it backwards. Specialty coffee needs to come to people. Craft beer has done it. Why hasn’t coffee? To a large degree, I think it’s because of the culture that we (the specialty coffee community) has developed. The outrageous barista competitions. The atmospheres at coffee shops. The sanctification of coffee, as if brewing it is some lofty religious experience. At some point down the crazy, windy road that coffee has taken over the past two (or more) decades, we lost sight of the fact that it’s a beverage that many people – not a select few – enjoy. It’s a ubiquitous drink that we’ve turned into a rare experience.

I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater here – I will remain passionate about coffee. I can’t help that. I strongly believe, however, that the community as a whole needs to do a much better job of reaching out to the millions of people drowning in K-Cups, Nespresso, and Burger King coffee and extend a lifeline. We need to make specialty coffee 1) affordable, 2) as good as we claim it to be, and 3) approachable.


Buying specialty coffee brewed in a coffeehouse is expensive. Buying a bag of specialty coffee and brewing in your home is much more affordable, but most consumers won’t start there. If we’re talking about bringing great coffee to the masses, we need to begin in coffee shops. As it stands, paying upwards of $4 for a cup of third wave coffee is normal. That’s just too expensive. Tony has been working to achieve a “buck-a-cup” coffee, as this article points out. I like this project, and I love the point that it’s making: affordable specialty coffee is possible.

Great Quality

If we’re going to be bringing coffee to the average joe, it needs to taste amazing. This may seem like a given, but trust me when I say it’s not. Just because a coffee shop roasts their own coffee doesn’t mean they do it well. On top of that, just because a shop offers $6/cup single origin roasts doesn’t mean the product is actually worth the price tag. Consumers play a big role here: if the coffee you’re getting sucks, respectfully talk to the barista or manager. If they’re a truly great coffee shop, they’ll make you a new drink. If they’re a crappy coffee shop, they’ll refuse. If they refuse, never go back. It’s that easy.

This is also a call for specialty coffee roasters and shops to take a good hard look at their product. Take the time to make sure the product you’re putting out will convince an average coffee drinker to come back to your shop. Again, this may seem obvious. It isn’t.


I’m talking specifically to coffee shops here, but I think the overarching concept applies to the community as a whole. Approachability is where the culture, environment, and other intangibles that make a coffeehouse unique come into play. Customer care also has a vote. I’d like to be clear: I’m not advocating for a certain atmosphere, music choice, or style of doing business. Instead, I would argue that whatever the atmosphere you choose to develop, make it inviting. New customers should feel welcomed, not like they’re on the outside of some sort of secret handshake. They should feel free to ask questions, not scared that they’ll be judged because they’re used to Folgers. What a coffee shop’s brew tastes like starts way before it touches a customer’s lips.

I don’t own a coffee shop. I do, however, own the words that come out of my mouth. This discussion has given me new insight into how I approach specialty coffee, and to be more precise, how I don’t want to act. Coffee became a passion of mine because it was something that seemed so simple on its face, but held so many mysterious beneath the surface. If we’re going to change the culture, we need to do a better job of shifting the paradigm to show that those mysteries are available to everyone.

I spent the first seven years trying to convince my family and friends that specialty coffee is special. I’d like to spend the next seven helping show that there’s nothing special needed to achieve a great cup.