Some frequently asked questions about the coffee you are purchasing.
We get it, you are buying coffee from this roaster in a little town located on the Delaware River that not many people know of... We hear this all the time and we even get that our coffee roastery is not expected to be in a town like ours. That is a badge of honor for us and a challenge we love to rise to on a daily basis. Take a look below at a few of the questions we are commonly asked and we will continue to add more as we grow. Thank you for checking us out and going on the journey of our evolution to provide more than just coffee!
General Coffee questions:
Our sourcing policy is to strive to maintain as much traceability to the farmer as possible. We also look to support small farmers who are impacting their communities and helping them advance forward by providing education, water, housing etc.
We purchase coffees that are certified when we come across a selection that would elevate our offerings, and work with importers that we know pay fair prices to the producers and farmers directly.
One of the reasons why we don't always have coffees that are certified is that, frequently, producers can’t afford to be certified. Even though they need the help and may be doing everything required, all of these certifications cost money. For farmers who don’t have the capital to pay for the certification, they’re unable to qualify.
Further, by only purchasing within these certifications, we feel that you would be missing out on some seriously amazing coffee selections. Most times, one crop may be certified while the same crop on the same farm is not. They are using the same high standards but could not afford the actual certification.
Certifications should be supported, but they are not the only way of helping producers. Many efforts are unofficial and remain uncertified.
Usually starting at 3 days from roast date and before 21 days from roast date. Coffee doesn't go bad, but it does get stale, which causes it to lose any distinct flavor characteristics, and taste more and more ordinary. As long as you store the coffee in an airtight container, away from sunlight, coffee can retain flavor and nuance from 14 to 21 days from the roast date.
- Lighter roasted coffees will stale more slowly, so you can expect a lighter roast (our Fruity and Balanced profiles, for example) to retain flavor and nuance up to 21 days.
- Darker roasted coffees will stale more quickly, so for our Classic and Bold profiles, expect a range closer to around 14 days.
Also, some coffees like a Peaberry, we have found need some time to rest right after roasting, so they’ll actually taste best if you wait a couple of days after the roast.
For several reasons, none of our coffees are artificially flavored.
The tasting notes that you see on our bags and on our website are actually descriptions of naturally occurring tastes in the coffees noted by Q-Graders. Pretty incredible, right?
Many factors contribute to the flavor notes that you taste such as processing method, roast level, variety, and terroir. Coffee is form of art from farm to cup. As long as a coffee is grown well, harvested, processed, stored, shipped, roasted and brewed properly, you will be more likely to taste the true nature of the coffee.
We offer roasts from Light to Dark according to specialty coffee standards.
We understand that some roast levels such as white coffee (Nordic slightly underdeveloped style) to Spanish Roast (Edge of Charcoal) are things some look for but, at this time until we can give a roasted product we both understand better and can fully stand behind we don't offer those styles of roasting.
We offer roasts from Light to Dark according to specialty coffee standards.
- Light Roast - Tends to highlight the acidity and juices with a slight bit of floral and tea like notes.
- Medium Roast - Smooth body and flavors with some notes of spices, chocolates, and with subtle notes of browned sugars.
- Dark Roast - Smoky and Full body with strong notes of wood, earth, and rich molasses.
- Very Dark Roast - Visually Charred and oily with smells of ash and bitter smoke. These are often called French, Spanish, and Italian Roast. THey can be great for cutting through milk and sugar added to your coffee but, at this time we don't roast this dark as we will when we feel comfortable with preserving the natural flavors.
There are a ton of great grinders out there, both hand grinding as well as electric. Also, you will see blade grinders vs. burr grinders as well. We would recommend trying to get into a burr grinder as the machine blade angles on it provide a nice even slicing of the bean, think of it like microscopic layers of tissue paper. A blade grinder, similar to the kind used for spices or chopping food is going to crack the beans rather than slice them and you will be left with microscopic boulders both big and small. This in the end will provide you with a very inconsistent extraction unlike the evenness that you get from the microscopic tissue paper layers of a burr.
Ah the age old question... Best way is to buy whole bean and store it in a dark dry area at room temperature, simple as that. DO NOT FREEZE your coffee. Unless you can weigh out the doses and guarantee it is free of all oxygen and moisture, you will allow moisture to build on the beans or grinds every time you open the container. This will allow oxidization and promote the growth of bacteria's that will degrade the flavors and could harm you in the long run with a nice stomach ache. Roasted coffee also does not like UV and Oxygen as it pulls the flavors out over time. Oxidization is your enemy so again we recommend whole bean rather than grinding...ground coffee begins to off gas about 60 seconds off grind, don't miss out on those flavors!
While not currently certified, our coffee is free of all major allergens recognized by the FDA. This includes: dairy, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soybeans.
General questions about King's Gambit Coffee Co:
Fair question, we are strivers. Full stop, we don't settle or put out a product we haven't been incredibly harsh on ourselves about. We have spent hundreds of hours hands on and in our education of the craft. The team has spent time training and being educated by Championship roasters, science experts, roasting veterans, and Directors of Coffee from around the country.
All that said, we are not finished or content. We are always looking to find a new way to bring out the hidden potential inside each coffee seed. We hope that as you enjoy your coffee or teas from us that you can have a piece of mind that this was delivered by a team that strives to be better than the day before in every step of what we do.
King's Gambit is an opening move in chess which is a sacrificial move to setup for an advantage to win. The word Gambit also means the opening phrase in a conversation. With that said what better way to start a conversation about the world of coffee and bring to the consumer the education and understanding of the sacrifices that are made each day in the supply chain to get something as "simple" as a cup of coffee into our hands. Coffee can be very complex and delicate and we wanted our brand to be a beacon of understanding that when you drink that cup, you reflect on all the steps and people involved to help you reward yourself in your own personal journey.
Having grown up in the area there was a base level understanding of what was needed along with what would be a great location to incubate the ideas with our small roastery. I guess we took to heart the saying "If you build it, they will come!"