Here's the thing — I require coffee to live, but I am not a coffee snob. My main criteria is strength, with robust, interesting flavor but an added bonus. I am, however, a sucker for surprises in the mail and beautiful, vibrant packaging. Make of that what you will when considering my opinion on Atlas Coffee Club's curated selection, but my opinion is this: It's freakin' awesome.
I opted for light-roast whole beans, as I'm generally a fan of lighter-roast brews when I have the option, and I prefer to grind my beans in my humble Proctor Silex grinder for the freshest and most flavorful cup I can get. The two varieties I was sent were from Ethiopia and Colombia, both regions known for their stellar coffee, so I was pretty pumped immediately upon opening my delivery.
Needless to say, they both smelled amazing, and honestly? It's probably the best coffee I've brewed at home yet. (I'm typically a Stumptown kinda gal, no offense to Stumptown!!) Look, I don't have a particularly refined palate when it comes to coffee, nor am I particularly aware of what flavor notes I prefer (again, see above), but I know I delicious brew when I taste one! The berry and chocolate flavors in the Ethiopian batch, for one, were delicate and just subtle enough to elevate a ho-hum cup o' joe to one I look back on and think, Damn, that was a good cup of coffee.
I also appreciated the cute touches, like a personalized note from my "coffee tour guide," a pretty postcard from each country, and flavor profiles/tasting notes for each. (Note that I did not use the suggested pour-over method to brew, since I have a standard coffeemaker, and it worked out just fine.) These extra details — while, let's face it, unnecessary in the grand scheme of things when ultimately I'm just hoping to get my paws on a quality cup of coffee that's going to kick-start my brain's ability to function — would make this a fantastic gift for any coffee lover, even if that coffee lover is you and you just want to treat yourself every so often. Caffeine is a form of self-care, and I won't let anyone tell me otherwise.
Main takeaways: This coffee is delicious, Insta-worthy, and makes for a both practical and super-cute gift, and for that reason, I stan Atlas Coffee Club.