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Taste: How To Pick Out A Coffee

One of the most exciting things for us at Ruby can also be extremely intimidating for our customers: an expansive coffee lineup. Because coffee grows seasonally, different parts of the world see harvest dates happen at different times. This means the lineup at Ruby might feature only a handful of coffees at a time or it might be enough to make it hard to make a decision. Picking a coffee to order can be difficult, and we want to help you make the best decision for your flavor preferences.

The first question to ask is this: Do you like consistency and comfort in your coffee, or are you looking to explore a variety of new flavors? If you’re a fan of always knowing what you’re going to get, our blends and year-round offerings are the best option for you. Even though the coffees in our Creamery Seasonal Blend, Portage Seasonal Blend, and Tomorrow Seasonal Project may change, all three of those coffee options are designed by flavor profile. That means that we work hard throughout the year to make sure that all of those coffees will taste the same for people who like knowing what they’re going to get.

If you’re excited about exploration, our seasonal offerings menu is always changing with new and unique coffees from single farms or co-operatives. These coffees can run the gamut from deep and rich and chocolatey to bright, citrusy, and sweet. If you know what sorts of flavor profiles you enjoy in a coffee, the best thing to do is to look at the flavor notes on our coffee bags — these notes are designed to help suggest different qualities of each coffee that we noticed in quality control tastings, and can serve as a roadmap. If you’re not quite sure what flavor profiles you like in coffee, it’s easy to look at broader attributes of different coffees.

Coffees are usually easy to categorize as big, heavy and round, or light, crisp, and delicate. Big, heavy, and round coffees usually described as having a big body, or the sensation of heaviness on the palate, while light, crisp, and delicate coffees usually have a brighter acidity level, which is the term that helps describe the type of fruit flavors a coffee might have and how quickly the aftertaste fades from your tongue. 

In general, most coffees from the same country, or even the same continent will have similar flavor profiles. In South America, coffees from high elevation farms in Colombia and Peru might showcase bright acidity matched with a big body, while coffees from moderate elevation farms in Guatemala and Costa Rica in Central America could be more balanced with subtle chocolate and spice flavors. Most coffees from East Africa will feature a citrusy acidity, but more often than not coffees from Ethiopia tend to be more lemon/lime and coffees from Kenya resemble the acidity of a grapefruit. 

These broader flavor categories might not always do a coffee justice, but they might help you decide which types of coffees you might enjoy.  We pride ourselves on sourcing and roasting in such a way that you can confidently try any coffee in our lineup and know that at its core you’ll find some common traits: sweetness, harmony, complexity. 

At the end of the day, if you need a recommendation, we’re always excited to help. Our customer support team at is always available to help you find a coffee to order, or if you stop by our Stevens Point, Wisconsin cafe, our barista staff is glad to walk you through what’s available.

The important thing to know when picking out a coffee is the sort of flavors you normally like in your cup: once you know that, there’s a whole world of people ready to help you find what you’re looking for.

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