I am a total sucker for good packaging. Throw in a clever name and I'm extra happy. Reference Olivia Newton John and it just gets better. I remember being so excited for the movie Grease. I had the soundtrack before I saw the movie and listened to it over and over and over. I still love the movie and the soundtrack and I've passed that on to my kids. The kid was "bad" Sandy for Halloween last year. I know Olivia Newton John was in other movies and I like her other music, but Grease is still the one I think of when I hear her name.
Hotbox has some other delightful names. Frank Sumatra & Kenya Dig It are the ones I've sampled. They also have a few blends, also with great names - the French Press of Belair, Soulshine and Moonshine which is their decaf offering.
Instead of coming in a bag they are in cans that remind me of the ones tennis balls used to come in. I loved opening a can of tennis balls. When we lived in San Francisco there was a handball court on base near us. Or maybe it was a wall to practice tennis against. Either way, my friend Vincent and I would spend time bouncing balls against that wall. We tended to lose the balls and have to get more. He was a gentleman and always let me open the can. Pretty chivalrous for a 6th grader!
If you read the website - and I think you should - you'll see that the can is not just for the sake of cool. It's recyclable and keeps the beans fresh. Stale beans are the worst. Yay for practical packaging!
There is something else about Hotbox that's more important than cool packaging or clever names - they have great customer service. Periodically paypal will decide that I can NOT use my debit card for a transaction. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason behind it. Just happens. The folks at Hotbox were very helpful and I was able to get the coffee ordered. It's nice to talk to a person when you're having problems. Kid says I'm showing my age because I still use the phone, but I'm almost 49. I LIKE phones and I like these guys for knowing how to use one. Not everything can be handled with an email. Again, check out the website to learn more about the people behind the coffee. The About page is really interesting.
And they support athletes. I've only said a million times that running saved my life. Just another reason to be a fan of the company.
Shipping was fast and they have a roasted on date on the can. I can not tell you how much it annoys me when there is on roasted on date. I don't hold fast to the drink it in 2 weeks or else rule that I have heard, but I also know that fresh coffee is better than old coffee. I don't want beans that were roasted 6 months ago, or even 3 months ago. I may have some that I drink a month or two later if they're still around, but they were fresh when I bought them. Hotbox shipped my beans the day after roasting and the date was proudly written in on the package. I like that.
The aroma was light with a hint of spiciness, some sweetness and an overall comforting coffee smell. The scent of coffee at breakfast.
The acidity was lighter and friendly. Sara (@mommyinpieces on IG) said it was Robust without hitting you in the head. I think that's a fair description. It was smooth but not dead. The body was medium. Not water, not syrup. Just a nice sturdy cup of coffee.
The taste was sweet, a little fruity with a lot of chocolate . The fruity was kind of a lemon berry. I got the citrus in the aftertaste and the chocolate was dark cocoa, but not bitter baking chocolate. Think of lux chocolate mixed with a high quality cream to produce a smoothness. As the cup cooled the acidity was a little more prominent and the citrus taste came through a bit more.
It wasn't bad at all as it cooled and might make for a great iced coffee. You know if it wasn't cold and I wasn't already frozing. (my husband rolls his eyes when I use that word) I won't be drinking this iced anytime soon, but I did have it hot several ways including as a latte. It made for a nice espresso. Not the dark roast that is traditional, but I'll make espresso out of anything I've found that good coffee always works even if it's a lighter roast. It did make nice cold brew coffee milk.
I had it with some ice cream and that brought out the spiciness that I picked up on in the aroma. Goes well with pineapple upside down cake ice cream if you're in the mood for that sort of thing.
You can find it on their website
Check them on Facebook, Instagram (where I found them) and the Twitters.
If you go to their facebook page I saw a coupon. Just have to use it fast because it's only valid through tomorrow, but there is no time like the present to order good coffee!