Well-Bean coffee is one of potentially thousands of options out there if you’re looking for the perfect cup of joe. If you peruse the shelves of your local co-op for a bag of coffee these days, you’re bombarded with a barrage of colorful packages and creative names. Coffee, it seems, is trendy again. Trendier maybe than it’s ever been.
What you’re also likely to find while perusing those shelves is an abundance of jargon – familiar terms like “fair trade” and “single origin” have now been joined by newer ones like “ethical supply chains” and “smallholder farmers.” That coffee is political, though, shouldn’t come as a surprise – it always has been. But many of us are just finding out about it.
What we thought of Well-Bean coffee
The bags I received from Well-Bean Craft Coffee Roasters are no different. With names like Scissor Kick (the dark roast), Hot Mess (the medium) and First Crack (the light), you can certainly check “creative names” off the list. On the front of the bag you’ll also find the coffee’s “roast level” (assessed with 1-5 filled-in bubbles) as well as designs that display featureless characters staring in dismay at an overturned carton of drinks or steaming in a mug of … water? It sure looks like water (it’s blue), but perhaps that’s because this is the design on Well-Bean’s bag of decaf.
Well-Bean Coffee Roasters don’t shy away from their origin story. Based in Wake Forest, NC, the roastery was born out of a desire to help support community mission work in Nicaragua. Once the concept for the craft coffee roasters was solidified, the mission to directly support coffee farmers through mindful sourcing and direct trade wasn’t far behind.
Well-Bean’s package will tell you, for example, about how its coffee is directly traded which, in contrast to “fair trade,” means the coffee is ordered directly from the source. This means “small farm holders receive up to 50% more pay since there is no middle man to deal with.” Can’t argue with that!
Well-Bean is also a “woman-owned coffee roastery” that “works to empower women of all kinds.” A coffee company that’s owned by women? Awesome!
On its website, you learn that Well-Bean helps to support the “physical, spiritual and emotional well-being” of local farmers and workers in Nicaragua. With that, it clicked into place for me. Well-Bean! Like well-being!
In my defense, I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet.
OK, you’re probably asking yourself – but how was the coffee?
I brewed Well-Bean’s coffee using a French press, which is my preferred method. I have my own opinions on these things, but I like grinding my own beans using a manual grinder and drinking it black – no cream or sugar. No added calories, and you can taste the coffee as it really is. You can add cream and sugar if you like (who am I to stop you?) but a good coffee shouldn’t require cream and sugar.
Well-Bean’s medium roast, Hot Mess, makes for an excellent start to your day. It’s got a peanutty richness to it along with a hint of apple that, when brought together, makes for a deliciously smooth cup of joe. It’s honestly one of the better coffees I’ve had in some time, and I can’t tell you what a relief that is. A woman-owned, “direct traded” coffee company? But what if it’s no good? Thankfully, we didn’t have to go there.
If you’re more of a dark roast person, Well Bean’s Scissor Kick has much to commend. It’s more chocolaty and altogether sweeter than the Hot Mess – and that’s without cream and sugar. It’s like they say – a bit of sweetness to start the day goes a long way.
The bottom line
When drinking any cup of coffee, only one question matters – what would FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper have to say about it?
If you’re not a “Twin Peaks” fan, let me translate that for you. Would a self-described “coffee snob” like Well-Bean’s coffee?
Well, from one coffee snob to another, let me assure you that this is – excuse me – a damn fine cup of coffee.
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