In our constant search for new coffee gems in a highly competitive industry, we recently came across a veteran and family owned coffee brand called Altruistic Joe. The name inherently speaks to the company's staunch commitment to altruism and social good. But the million dollar question remains: How's their coffee? In this detailed Altruistic Joe review, we'll take a closer look to help you determine whether it's worth a look.
There are many coffee companies out there that support charities through the products they sell. It makes us feel good to buy from them. Altruistic Joe, as per the name, is one of those companies and buying their coffee will make you feel good too. I could write a couple of pages describing Altruistic Joe’s charity ventures which are impressive to the say the least. It's clear to me that they give a lot back because this family and veteran owned business wants to offer more than just coffee.
However, if I'm being honest, while I appreciated Altruistic Joe's mission, I couldn’t help but feel a little dubious about the opportunity to try out some of their coffee. I’ll chalk that up to the coffee snobbery in me. I simply wondered when it comes to your daily brew, how much mediocre coffee can one take in the name of giving? I only share this perspective because I was more than pleasantly surprised by what I actually experienced.
Altruistic Joe Review
Let the critique begin. I wanted to conduct this Altruistic Joe coffee review from every angle, except from their big-heartedness. Allow me to restate what you everyone might already be thinking: a big heart doesn't always translate into a great cup of coffee.
I got my hands on one of their single origin roasts, Ethiopian Heirloom and a roasted blend called Big Iron Blend.
First, I love their packaging. The re-sealable bags seem like a smart solution to the common roll top bags. They were easy to use and stood up tall in the cupboard. Their logo and labeling were classy, professional, and simply appealed to me as I anticipated opening up a bag of their coffee.
Next, I went straight to the single origin Ethiopian Heirloom, which is a light-medium roast. In the coffee industry, the high-end brands follow a similar pattern in sourcing, processing, roasting and packaging and delivering their beans. Altruistic Joe certainly is in line with these standards and the Ethiopian Heirloom is an excellent reflection of that. In fact, once I did a little checking I found the Heirloom is from the Guji region in Ethiopian. Some of you may recognize that the most prominent Ethiopian beans come from the Yirgacheffe region. Well, beans grown in the Guji zone offer a very unique and distinct flavor profile as well and Altruistic Joe apparently knows this. Some would say Guji beans are a hidden gem of the exotic coffee world.
Simply put, I really enjoyed this coffee.
The beans are petite and milk chocolate colored with no residual oiliness. They ground perfectly at my medium-fine coarse preference and brewed wonderfully in both pour over and drip. The tasting notes mentioned something along the lines of berry, fruit and Earl Grey. I certainly tasted a lot in each cup and definitely found a mild sweetness mixed with a floral exhale. The selected roast of this bean was spot on and it really allowed the full expression of the beans' natural flavors.
Later on I spent some time with the Big Iron Blend. I have never been much of a fan of blends. (I did mention there was coffee snobbery in me right?) For some reason, the work and class associated with sourcing a single origin bean always appealed more to me. So I admit to having a slight bias as I went into this portion of the Altruistic Joe review. Big Iron is a medium-dark roast with beans coming from Guatemala and Sumatra. These two locations are over 11,000 miles apart and I began to wonder how could they possibly complement each other. Regardless, I noticed the beans were also petite with a slightly darker color than the Heirloom, but still without any oiliness.
Allow me to offer some brief context.
Now over the course of three weeks I first had a few cups of Ethiopian Heirloom. Then I had a few cups Big Iron Blend. To my surprise, I knew the Big Iron was the better coffee to me. That's not to take anything away from the Heirloom. My previous comments about the Heirloom being exceptional coffee still hold true.
But the Big Iron Blend was special. I simply wanted to stick to my theory about single origins, so I kept alternating back and forth between the two beans. But really, the Big Iron has so many flavors swirling in unison, complementing each other in a fantastic dance of aroma and taste. I was hooked. I also had this notion that medium-light roasts tend to open up the natural flavors of the beans. Well the darker side of Big Iron was irresistible to me. The tasting notes list milk chocolate, dried fruit and light smoke. Big Iron has that and more. It's a fantastic brew! I really think I discovered new subtle flavors in each cup. Big Iron has single-handedly changed my judgments about blended beans and roasting profiles.
That leaves me to my one minor complaint about Altruistic Joe. Perhaps not as much of a complaint and more of a snooping curiosity to know who roasts Altruistic Joe’s beans? There is no information on the packaging and Joe’s website is discreet with that listing. Is it Libby and Jamie, the veteran owners of this fine venture committed to not only creating great coffee, but also giving away a portion of their proceeds to benefit global health and human services (one of their many vetted causes)? Maybe I don’t need to know, because I already know two truths from Altruistic Joe: first, it feels good to buy their coffee and second, it feels even better to drink their coffee.
In closing this Altruistic Joe review, I'd encourage the reader to take a moment to read more about Altruistic Joe’s unique business commitment. It's impressive and noteworthy. But perhaps more noteworthy is their coffee…and that's saying a lot. And, when you decide to give back by ordering some of their coffee, rest assured you will soon be sipping excellence. Well-done Joe!
For a limited time, Altruistic Joe is offering 10% off your first order.
Altruistic Joe Review: Final Rating: 5/5