A package of coffee that reads “small batch”, essentially, means that rather than farming, drying, and roasting coffee beans on a massive scale, the small batch coffee roasting company carefully produces the coffee– from farm to cup– in much smaller, quality-controlled quantities.
Are you still buying your coffee from Walmart, Costco or your grocery store? Did you know that small batch coffee is far tastier, more ethical, and better for the planet, as well? It’s true; small batch coffee not only tastes much better than mass-produced coffee, but it’s also ethically and sustainably produced, so you can feel better about every bag you purchase.
Small batch coffee begins at the farm. Rather than the giant industrial coffee farms that produce coffee for those brands that you’ll see inside any grocery store on the planet, small batch coffee producers work with small-scale, family-owned farms.
This ensures two things. First of all, small batch coffee producers are kind to the land they farm the coffee on. Huge coffee brands often use unsustainable methods to bring massive quantities of their coffee to every grocery store possible; small batch coffee brands, on the other hand, work hard to tend the land sustainably, keeping the earth healthy for generations to come.
Secondly, small batch coffee producers are kind to the families and workers who farm and dry their coffee beans. While corporate coffee brands cut workers’ wages in order to save money, small batch coffee companies pay their workers a living wage, and ensure that the families who farm their coffee are well cared for.
Small batch coffee production extends beyond the farm, however. Usually, local roasters independently roast their own small batch coffee on a daily basis– this is the process that turns coffee beans from green to that sweet-smelling brown bean we all know and love.
What’s the big deal with small batch roasting? First of all, small batch roasting keeps the coffee fresh; you’ll be able to taste the difference between coffee that was roasted today, as compared to coffee that was roasted a month ago. Freshly roasted coffee tastes richer and more lively, whereas less freshly roasted coffee can taste burnt or stale.
Last but not least, small batch coffee is roasted in– you guessed it– smaller batches. This improves the coffee’s quality because it ensures that the roast is consistent, meaning that no beans end up tasting burnt and over-roasted.
As you probably gleaned from the section above, small batch coffee is better on your conscience, first of all. You’ll feel good knowing that the human beings who produced your coffee were paid fairly, and that the land your coffee was grown on is being treated sustainably.
If that’s not enough to make you want a hot cup of small batch coffee in your hands, remember that small batch coffee also tastes much better than large-scale coffee brands!
In short: yes, small batch coffee tastes better. But how, specifically, is the flavor different from large-scale coffee?
When you sip a cup of small-batch coffee, you’ll notice that the flavor is much more nuanced, rich, and expressive, whether you’re enjoying a light, medium, or dark roast.
Have you ever noticed while drinking a cup of Folger’s, for example, that the coffee tastes like it’s been sitting in the coffee pot for twelve hours, even if it’s fresh? Large-scale coffee tastes burnt because roasters use higher temperatures to roast massive batches of coffee quicker, in order to save time.
Small batch coffee roasting, on the other hand, is much more quality-controlled when it comes to the roasting process. Roasting at lower temperatures for a longer period of time, with careful monitoring, allows the roaster to stop the roasting at the perfect time to make sure the beans don’t get burned.
Why does this make your small batch coffee taste better? Simply put, over-roasting coffee beans obscures their delicate, nuanced flavors. You’ll notice that small batch coffee contains hints of many flavors, which may include chocolate, cherry, or citrus notes, for example. This is made possible because the coffee is delicately roasted in smaller quantities.
You will find, when purchasing a package of small batch coffee, that it’s a little more expensive compared to your generic grocery store coffee brands.
Why is this? As we mentioned earlier, small batch coffee producers strive to pay their farmers a living wage. In order to cover those fair wages, small batch producers must raise the price of their coffee.
In addition, both sustainable farming and small batch roasting are costlier than industrial farming and roasting in massive batches. Producing small batch coffee takes more time, effort, and manpower, all of which require more financial investment; that’s why you’ll see a higher price tag on a bag of small batch coffee.
So, what is small batch coffee worth, and is the higher price tag worth choosing a bag of small batch over a bag of industrially-produced coffee? We think that small batch coffee is worth spending an extra few dollars. Here’s why.
First: buying small batch coffee feels good. You’ll smile with each sip, knowing that you’ve helped small-scale farmers put food on the table for their families, rather than spending money on an industrial coffee brand which doesn’t ensure its workers are cared for. In addition, knowing that you’ve supported a brand which cares for the planet will warm your heart every time you pour a cup.
Second: the intense flavor differences of small batch coffee, compared to large-scale coffee, is impossible to pass up– but don’t take our word for it! Try a taste of small batch coffee, and you’re sure to fall for the intense, delicately refined flavors in every sip. We promise, after one sip of small batch coffee, you’ll never be able to enjoy mass-produced coffee again. And that’s a good thing, for small-scale farmers, local roasters, for the planet, for your taste buds, and for your conscience.
Bottom line is: if you’re not drinking small batch coffee every morning, you’re missing out! You can delight your taste buds, support coffee-farming families, and help save the planet all in one by making the switch to small batch coffee. You may pay a little more per bag, but in the end, it’s entirely worth it for the delicious taste and clean conscience that you’ll receive.