Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bean Box: Seattle Artisan Coffee Subscription Review and Giveaway!

I obsess over a lot of things. I marathon-watch TV shows, sing songs to my 3 cats and hoard makeup and skincare. But my longest-running obsession has got to be: Coffee!
I remember right before I had surgery in July, my doctor said I wouldn't be able to drink coffee for 24 hours before surgery. It was hard, but I managed with minimal tears. However, once I was out of surgery, the first thing I wanted was a hot cup of coffee. My nutritionist told me I "should never drink coffee again" now that I have had a serious stomach surgery. According to her, it would increase my chances for an ulcer. I burst into tears right there in her office. I was not about to give up my coffee, so I of course did days of research, talked to my surgeon and other nutritionists and found out it was just fine if I continued drinking my beloved coffee as long as I also drank lots of water throughout the day. Crisis averted.

So of course, with my unending love for coffee, it only makes sense that I try out a Coffee Subscription Box! I did my research; Delicious coffee research. There's a few of sub boxes floating around out there, but one of them stood out to me in particular, and that was Bean Box. Since I'm from New England, I of course think I know my coffee. We've got some great local coffee companies, like Red Barn Coffee Roasters (you've GOT to try their Tanzania Peaberry!) and Mystic Coffee Roaster, but every coffee lover knows that the USA's coffee mecca is of course, Seattle!

I've never been to Seattle, or anywhere on the West Coast for that matter, but I've always dreamed of visiting solely to try all the delicious coffees and sitting in all the cafes enjoying the recommendations of the regulars. The regulars in coffee shops always know what's the best cuppa!
 Interestingly enough, Bean Box is based out of Seattle, and features only Seattle's finest artisan coffees. They've made it so I don't need to leave my little Massachusetts city in order to try out all the best artisan coffees their city has to offer!
What's Inside?
Each Bean Box comes with 4 different roasts, and all are shipped within ONE DAY of roasting! Now that's fresh! They also include a little surprise! Mine was a yummy artisan chocolate from a local company. It lasted long enough for me to take a picture, and even that was hard to do.

The Cost
Bean Box costs $20 per month, which is a great deal considering each box will provide about 15 cups of coffee. That's just a little over $1 per cup!

Each bag of coffee I received had a roasting date, the company logo and type of coffee listed. It also included more in-depth flavor profiles and a small bit of information on the coffee or the roaster provided by Bean Box. 

Before I get into the coffees that were include in  Bean Box, I want to mention how we prepared them!
We're a coffee family here in my house, so we have an espresso machine, a Keurig, a drip coffee maker and of course, multiple french presses! If you've never had a cup of coffee using a french press, you're truly missing out!

Whenever I get a bag of whole bean coffee, I get excited because I know the french press is going to happen. While it does take a bit more time to prepare, you really get a fantastic flavor that doesn't come through with your typical coffee maker. 

How to French Press Your Bean Box Coffee!
 First, you're going to want to find an adorably dirty teapot and fill that baby up with water and heat it up! I do this first so I have something to do while the water is getting hot. The most important thing to note about preparing a perfect cup of coffee in a French press, is the temperature of the water. You can get super fancy and get a thermometer to test it out, but I usually can guesstimate it now that I'm used to it. Ideally, you want the water to be at 195-200 degrees F. What works best for me, is waiting for the water to just start boiling, removing it from the heat, and waiting 10-15 seconds. 

You're also going to need a coffee grinder and a french press, of course! The reason why you should only use freshly ground coffee in your french press, is because you'll want the coffee to be ground medium to coarse for the best flavor, and so it's not so finely ground that it ends up floating around in your coffee cup!
Check out that Kuma Coffee from Bean Box! Can't you just smell the deliciousness through the screen? At this step, I just poured the entire small bag into my coffee grinder, and pulsed it until it was coarsely ground. You then want to remove the plunger from the french press, and scoop in two rounded tablespoons of coffee for every 8 ounces of water.

After the coffee is ready to go in your french press, simply follow the previous water instructions and wait for the it to be the right temperature. Then you can slowly add it to the french press. Some people like to do a quick stir to mix the coffee a bit if desired. After that, you have to agonizingly wait for 5 minutes before slowly push the plunger down, which will trap the coffee at the bottom of the press. Then you can pour and enjoy!

Now let's get into the coffees!
1. Kuma Coffee- Guatemala La Esperanza
 A lifelong love of African coffee inspired Mark Barnay to start Kuma in 2007. Kuma is known for their precision roasting and award-winning coffees. 
Guatemala La Esperanza
From Finca La Esperanza (1600-1800m) in the mountains of Huehuetenango, a 2013 cup of Excellence award winner. Semi-sweet chocolate, nougat, vanilla, rainier cherry and grape.
This coffee was probably one of the best I've tried in a while! It's a light roast to my taste buds, and has a very dessert-like taste to it. Jeff thought it tasted like "cracker jacks" but I could more taste the chocolate and nougat undertones. It was the perfect coffee enjoy while sitting on my porch during this chilly Fall evening. Super tasty!

2. Longshoreman's Daughter Coffee Roaster- Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
An anchor of Fremont coffee culture since the early 80's Longshoreman's Daughter focuses on small batch, single variety coffee roasting.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Sweet, lively taste with hints of citrus, cane sugar and black tea. Light to medium roast development. Sourced from Dama Co-op in Ethiopia. 

  Ethiopian Yirgacheffe was one of my favorite coffees when I was working at a local coffee shop downtown. It was also a house favorite because it's what I like to call a perfect light roast. It does have the slight undertone of tea, but I still think it's one of the most perfect roasts for a morning cup of coffee. This one was exactly as I remember yirgacheffe being, and made an awesome cup!

3. Herkimer Coffee- Drip Blend
The Herkimer roasting team has been at the forefront of Seattle specialty roasting since the 90's. They are known for meticulous attention to detail in their roasts.
Drip Blend
Soft, refreshing light acidity with a clean finish. Hint of cherry with deeply caramelized sugar and chocolate. Velvet mouth feel and weight. Directly sourced from El Cedral and El Cielito in Honduras (900-1200m)
This is Herkimer's signature blend coffee. Although I haven't tried this one yet, I'm assuming it's a basic medium roast, although the caramelized sugar and chocolate note makes me want to bust it open as soon as possible. Saving this one for Tuesday morning when I have to drag my butt back to work after a 4 day weekend!
4. Lighthouse Roasters- Roaster's Choice
One of Seattle's original cafes to roast on site, Lighthouse prides itself on 20+ years experience hand roasting premium batches using vintage cast-iron roasters.
Roasters Choice
A full-bodied blend of Ethiopian, Sumatran and Latin high-grown arabicas. Rich and complex, Roaster's Choice touches the whole palate and stays clean. Our signature coffee.

Woo this is a bold one, just the way I like it! I read Bean Box's note that said it's one of the boldest roasts they've cupped, and they're not kidding! I love a bold coffee, although I do prefer my bold or dark roasts with cream. This one is rich and clean, it doesn't have that "dirty" taste that a lot of bold coffees possess. I brewed this one up for some friends during a late night board game and we were all very impressed! 

Overall Thoughts
Bean Box is a WINNER! If you love coffee, you absolutely have to subscribe to this box. I love the variety of coffees, and how they include so much great information on each company and each roast. This is truly a perfect gift for any coffee lover in your life, even the picky ones! I'm really looking forward to trying what I have left of these coffees, although I'm sure it's not going to last much longer in my house!

Bean Box has graciously provided a 3 month subscription to be given to one of my awesome readers! Simply fill out the entries below to be entered. Good luck!

This giveaway is for US residents only, age 18 years or older. This giveaway is sponsored by Bean Box, and the winner's prize will be fulfilled by Bean Box. Harlot Beauty reserves the right to disqualify any entries that do not follow the requirements of the giveaway, or the entry form. Winner will be chosen at random. Winner will be contacted through e-mail provided by rafflecopter account, and will have 48 hours to respond before they are disqualified and a new winner is chosen. Name and address will be required and shared with Bean Box in order for prize fulfillment.

For an extra chance to win:  
Check out Bits and Boxes Bean Box Review and Giveaway!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.


  1. I'm lucky enough to live in Portland Oregon. Great coffee and beer on literally every corner.

  2. I need this awfully bad!!!!!!! Rachel, I have to win this so I can get away from caffeine headaches!!! A cup or two a day keeps the headaches away!!! ☺️��☺️��☺️

  3. Yirgacheffe is one of my favorites too. My BF says it's too "light" for him but more for me, I guess!

    1. I love dark roasts, but there's nothing better than a really solid light roast in the morning!

  4. My fave was also the Yirgacheffe!

    1. It was So good! A perfect brew for even people that aren't big fans of coffee. My roommate loved it and he's very picky!