Update 12/7/2023: I originally did this Out of the Grey Coffee review nearly 5 years ago. Half a decade and thousands of impressive cups of coffee later, I can still say this is one of the best coffees I’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking. They epitomize the essence of the Third Wave Coffee movement and Specialty Coffee with their expert curation and roasting.
Original Out of the Grey Coffee Review
As a long time coffee lover, the prospect of discovering new coffee never gets old. Recently, I spent some time with two whole-bean varieties from a coffee brand called Out of the Grey Coffee. While I hadn’t had the pleasure of tasting anything from them before, I was aware of the fact that they’re intensely focused on sourcing small batches of organically grown beans from around the world. Those beans are then artisan-roasted, packaged, and shipped on short order, with an emphasis on freshness and quality. It’s true that freshness and quality are common selling points for many coffee brands. But with a name like “Out of the Grey” coffee, you’d expect something truly out of the ordinary. I jumped at the chance to do this Out of the Grey Coffee review to see just how special their coffee really is.
Out of the Grey offers around 179 different single origin and blended varieties but I decided to stick with the single origin and selected a bag of Ethiopian Harrar and Yemen Mocha Mattari. In sampling two different beans, my hope was to get a better sense of the the diversity within the Out of the Grey Coffee arsenal and provide a good representation of the quality and taste of their offerings. As noted above, both beans were grown certified organic. They were roasted to what I’d actually call a medium dark roast which is generally my preference.
I know most reviews wait until the end to announce their findings, but in the spirit of doing things in an “out of the” ordinary way, I’ll share here a small preview: Wow!
Before I get into more detail with this Out of the Grey Coffee review, I think it’s important to note Out of the Grey’s packaging. I appreciate the smaller details of a product since I think those are often reflections of a company’s overall mindset and standards. The company used a thick, natural-feeling paper appropriately lined and vented with a reusable press and seal. When I think of fair-trade, organic beans from a far-off country, I picture people working hard in the sun and soil to grow, harvest and produce a truly high quality product. The natural and uniquely earthen texture of the packaging emboldens this image for me and thus becomes another enjoyable part of experiencing a good cup of coffee. Kudos to the company for the care it put into its packaging, a good sign of things to come.
Out of the Grey Coffee Review : Grind, Aroma, Taste, Conclusion
Onward to the grinding and brewing. I noted the Ethiopian Harrar bean was dry and dark chocolate brown in color. It smelled slightly sweet and the raw bean really offered a dense flavor that tapered to a mild after taste. The bean seemed to require a bit more of a grind to get the medium coarseness that I like best. The brewing aroma was very pleasant and not overpowering. It was a subtler scent instead of a start-the-morning blast.
The Yemen Mocha Mattari bean was noticeably oilier and obviously a bit darker in color. I immediately detected a fresh scent that seemed to foreshadow a deep complex flavor. The raw bean was powerfully crisp with a taste that lingered, but had no bitterness. The Mattari bean ground much smoother, likely due to the moistness and I noted I needed to be careful to avoid a too grind that was too fine.
On separate occasions and also back to back, I continued to grind fresh and drip-brew both the Harrar and Mattari. As expected both beans provided very complex flavors, but not what I anticipated based upon the initial grinds. The previously mild odor of the Harrar exploded during the brew. It had power and brought me right back to the cup with eagerness. The dry, lighter bean provided a bold flavor and I tasted chocolate, jam, and hints of several other flavors that were all rich and dense. Interestingly, the Harrar was light in the mouth. That is, where one would expect a thicker, heavier feel to complement the deep flavors, it was very smooth and the richness ended in a dry, excellent aftertaste. A real treat!
The darker, oily Mattari bean provided an excellent brew scent that was likewise inviting with premonitions of strength. However, the flavor was gentler with hints of fresh berries and mild nuttiness. Yet, the coffee had more texture in the mouth and despite the sunnier flavors it just felt like a thicker brew. Very pleasurable and an excellent example of complexity of smell, taste, and feel.
Throughout the day I kept coming back to the excellence of the Harrar, simply because its intensity of flavor was complimented so well by the light, dry finish in the mouth. Nevertheless, the smooth grind and fresh flavor of the Mattari was my day-starter. I really enjoyed hints of herbs, perhaps fresh flowers, and light caramel that was emboldened with a syrupy mouth feel. It was what I wanted first thing in the morning.
Not all organic, fair-trade certified, shipped-to-order coffees are alike. Out of the Grey obviously offers a premium product and the quality of their coffee is something that every coffee lover will deeply appreciate. They stay true to their name by offering a multi-sensory coffee experience that’s totally “out of the” ordinary. From the faraway packaging to the distinctly complex flavors, both beans made me feel like I was sipping fresh coffee in a foreign café. The only difference was I was experiencing all the class of an organic, expertly roasted bean on my home counter from a drip machine. Like I said earlier, “Wow!” Having finished my Out of the Grey Coffee review, I can say with confidence that with Out of the Grey Coffee it doesn’t get any better. This is one of the best and highest quality coffees I’ve had. And that’s not a statement to take lightly. I can’t wait to explore more of their offerings.
If you’ve had the opportunity to try this coffee and would like to leave an Out of the Grey Coffee review, we’d love to hear from you.
Who is Out of the Grey Coffee: Company Profile
Out of the Grey Coffee is a rare coffee gem of a company indeed. Over the past few years, Best Quality Coffee has become intimately familiar with their coffee. More importantly, we’ve had the opportunity to meet their founder Jack Barton or better known as Java Jack. His passion for coffee is surpassed only by the quality of the coffee he produces. Out of the Grey Coffee is best known for their small-batch premium quality coffee that’s actually made our list of best exotic coffees more than once. They offer a wide (very wide) variety of organic and Fair Trade Certified coffees both online and at their cafe based out of Eerie, PA. We highly recommend their coffee and have yet to come across any blend of theirs that hasn’t impressed us to our core.