Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about our products, services and policies.

This is such a fun question to answer because the answer is YES–and also, NO. The coffee roasting process does not get hot enough to “cook off” caffeine, so the same coffee roasted to different degrees will have the same caffeine content by weight. Operative words: “By weight”. Roasting does get hot enough to sublimate moisture within the beans. The lighter the roast, the more moisture is still left in the beans. More moisture = heavier beans. Therefore, if you are measuring coffee by volume, you are likely to have more coffee by weight with light roasts, which means more caffeine.

Variation in caffeine content depends primarily on the varietal of the tree stock the beans were harvested from. We only carry 100% Arabica coffees, so our coffees have a very similar caffeine content to one another.

Air, light, and heat will all degrade the freshness of coffee beans. The best way to maintain freshness is to store your coffee in an airtight and lightproof container, like our aluminum cans, in a cool, dark place. Keep the container closed and sealed until ready to use. Whole bean coffee will sustain freshness longer than ground.

Because of the low moisture content in roasted coffee, it should not mold or grow bacteria with proper storage, unlike other food products. We find that our coffee maintains excellent flavor for up to a year after roasting when stored carefully, but for the best possible experience, use before the “best by” date. Ground coffee will taste best within 14 days after opening.

Our goal is for each of our coffees to knock you out with deliciousness no matter how you slice it (or brew it). However, as a general rule, we prefer darker roasted coffees for the less-fussy brew methods, like automatic drip, french press, or cold brew, and lighter roasted coffees for more technically advanced brew methods, like pour-over or aeropress. Our favorite coffees for espresso can be found in the “Espresso” category on our shop page.

Check out our BREW GUIDE for detailed brewing tips and our favorite coffees for some of the most popular brew methods!

Sure you can, if you have a reusable K-Cup or insert. For best results, use the REGULAR grind setting and go with a darker roast. (Do we recommend it? Ummm not really.)

Brewing coffee to your preferred taste is equal parts craft and science. Not every coffee is for every coffee drinker, and that’s okay! But with a little knowhow, you can tailor your brewing style to your preference.

There are five main brewing variables that impact what flavors end up in your final cup. In the coffee biz, we call that extraction: basically, it all comes down to how much flavor you get out of your grounds, which flavors they are, and how you pull them out. Evaluate each of these one by one to troubleshoot your brewing issues.

  1. Grind size. See the explanation below about grind sizes for different brew methods!
  2. Agitation. Automatic drip brewers create agitation as the water enters the filter basket. For manual methods, stirring or swirling coffee during brewing will increase the strength of the coffee. If your coffee tastes weak, add a stir or two with a spoon or pour your water more aggressively; if it’s too strong, be more gentle.
  3. Time. Extended contact time between the coffee grounds and the water will increase earthiness and body, and a shorter contact time will allow more clarity of flavor and acidity to shine.
  4. Temperature. If your water isn’t hot enough, many of the flavor compounds in your ground coffee will take longer to dissolve. (This is why Cold Brew takes up to 24 hours!) However, some of the undesirable flavor compounds present in coffee are most soluble at temperatures above 205°F, so using water that is too hot can result in an acrid or “burned” flavor in your final cup.
  5. Ratio/Dose. How much coffee you put in your brewer impacts the rate at which the flavor compounds in the ground coffee dissolve. If you use too little coffee for the amount of water, more of the flavor compounds will dissolve, which can result in a flat and bland-tasting cup. Too much coffee, and the water can’t penetrate the grounds deeply enough so your cup might taste sour and unbalanced. We recommend about 13 grams of coffee per six ounces of water as a starting point.

For more detailed brewing suggestions, check out our brew methods guide. Tweaking your technique to get your cup just right is half the fun, so take time to experiment and see what works for you!

Again, this is all about extraction. Basically, smaller particles take less time to absorb water & release flavor, and larger particles will take longer; smaller particles have more surface area and vice versa. Every brew method is unique. For brew methods with a shorter contact time, like espresso, you need a finer grind or your shot will taste watery and sour; likewise, for a french press, if you were to use the same grind size as for espresso you would literally have a cup full of mud.

In gravity-based brew methods, like drip/filter coffee and espresso, your grounds also create resistance to the water flowing through your brewer. A coarser grind allows water to flow through it more quickly than a finer one. Fine-tuning the grind size in these brew methods will also affect your contact time, so you might have to increase or decrease your dose as a result. These variables all work together and impact one another to give you a delicious cup.

We take great efforts to maintain the highest possible standards for cleanliness and storage to minimize the possibility of any contamination by any allergen. All of our coffee is intentionally unadulterated or contaminated by any additional ingredients.

Conventional pesticides are no joke. They might kill pests, but they also negatively impact the health of the people who are spraying them on crops day in & day out, plus they can be not-so-good for the surrounding environment. Coffee producers are our friends, and we aren’t super cool with spraying chemicals on our friends. It’s a sustainability thing.

Likewise, paying a fair price for coffee goes without saying. The Fair Trade price is well below, like nearly half, of what we pay for our coffee. If you haven’t noticed, we are about doing it our way, not just sticking a label on a bag to check a box.

Our espresso blends are designed to perform great as espresso, but other than that they’re not meaningfully different from our other coffees in any way. See the above question about caffeine content– historically, espresso blends frequently use Robusta beans, which is where the assumption that espresso is more caffeinated comes from. We don’t do that though.
On average, a double espresso actually has a little less caffeine than a 10 oz cup of drip.

Right now, we have a sugar-cane decaf, aka ethyl acetate decaf.

Coffee beans develop more intense flavors and distinctive acidity when grown at a higher elevation. Like high altitude endurance training for athletes, it builds character. This is why mountainous terrains like Ethiopia, Colombia, and Papua New Guinea produce excellent coffee with sparkling acidity.

Coffees grown at a lower elevation tend to have a lower acid content. Kona is our favorite coffee for those with sensitive stomachs: it combines extremely high-quality beans with an unusually low elevation, giving you lots of flavor with less tummy upset.

Dark roast coffees are generally easier on the stomach. A chemical compound produced during roasting has been shown to reduce the production of hydrochloric acid in our bodies. Due to this phenomenon, Brazil, Punkstock and our other darker roasts can be considered stomach-friendly as well.

Whole Bean: Any brew method as long as you have a grinder! Or coat them in chocolate for an on-the-go caffeine kick.

Coarse: french press, cold brew, percolator (We see you perc lovers!)

Regular: Auto drip, Keurig, pour over, Chemex, Kalita and so on. There is not enough space to list all the makes and models, but you get the gist.

Fine: AeroPress and moka pot. Or french press if you like sludge in your cup.

Espresso: espresso (duh), baking

Free gifts are great, until you want to throw your phone or computer across the room because you can't figure out how to get it. Never fear, follow the steps below and save your sanity.

1. Add the qualifying item to your cart. If it's a free mug, the mug has to be in the cart.

2. The cart has to be at or above the minimum purchase amount AFTER you apply the coupon. For example, if you have to spend $35 to get the free item, the cart has to be $35 PLUS the item.

3. Don't forget to enter the coupon code on the check out page if the discount is not automatically applied.

Please contact info@rarebreedcoffee with any questions.

Subscriptions are a great way to make sure you’re never out of coffee! Set it and forget it. Turn any coffee or tea order into a subscription and save 10% off the top! Once you create a subscription, it will automatically renew based on the selected frequency. Your login will give you access to hop, skip and jump, AKA pause, skip and modify the frequency for your subscription. To actually change what coffee or tea you get, you’ll need to cancel the original subscription and create a new one. If you want even more information about subscriptions, click here.

We have done a lot of taste testing with the cans. Not surprisingly, coffee cans preserve integrity of flavor significantly better than coffee bags. (Yet, another reason to love on cans.) The Best Buy date is seven months out from the roast date. It seems like a long time, but as mentioned, we have done lots of taste testing. Whole bean coffee does preserve the flavor longer than ground coffee. To guarantee the freshest coffee, order directly from us.

Coffee for people who give a sh*t about coffee.