I’ve made it very obvious in recent months how much I love the unique coffee subscription service Angel’s Cup. Their approach to training subscribers to taste coffee well is nicely developed, their products and mobile apps are well executed, and their impact on the industry is very significant. I once wrote about the original Tasting Flight that Angel’s Cup launched late last year – make sure you check that out!
Angel’s Cup’s new product launched this month, The Black Box. It is essentially a larger Tasting Flight with four 2.75oz bags instead of four 1oz bags, bringing the total to 11oz for $20. Now instead of only having enough coffee host a cupping and brew each once, subscribers to the Black Box have plenty of coffee for tastings and several later brews.
I was fortunate enough to try out a Black Box the first month of its release, and I was very well pleased. The coffees were very fresh when they arrived – not even six days past roast, a major feat for a subscription service. I invited two barista friends over and had a blast tasting these coffees, all of which were above par, even for our snobby standards. The roasters of this particular package, Luft Coffee and Tanager Coffee, have some offerings to be very proud of.
I asked Jeffrey Borack, the mastermind behind Angel’s Cup, some questions that popped up in my head while I was admiring these coffees. Here are his answers!
1. What vision do you have for Angel’s Cup in the next couple of years?
Next couple of years?! We have to make it through this year first! But the six-month roadmap has a lot of new app features we’re excited about. In less than a month, we’ll be releasing a new feature that lets people record brew method data (coffee weight, water weight, temp, grind size, method, time), and then plot the resulting strength and extraction on an x/y graph. It’s been a frequent request, so we think people will appreciate it. And we’re actually able to take it a step further by tying brew data recording into the subscription. Roasters will be able to upload their brew method data when recording notes for each coffee, and that will be presented to subscribers as a “recommended brew guide”.
So our customers will get coffee-specific, dialed-in brew guides from the roaster for every coffee we ship. If you like experimenting with different brew methods, it will be a dream come true. Not only will you learn to taste coffee better, but you’ll learn to brew it better too.
2. What challenges have been most instrumental in forming Angel’s Cup to what it is today?
Marketing, PR, and copywriting have been huge challenges for us. We just launched this black box to zero press, despite having spent a month on PR leading up to the launch and having a professional firm manage it for us. It seems so easy, I see companies on kickstarter, reddit, product hunt, all getting awesome press with… weird business ideas. Even coffee-focused publications have’t taken an interest in what we’re doing yet, and that hurts. I wish I could say it’s been a challenge we’ve overcome, but it’s not.
Abby and I are awake every night, chatting about how we can do a better job of communicating what Angels’ Cup is all about. For what it’s worth, though, I think these are the challenges we’ll look back on in a few years and be proud about how we grew as a company to deal with them.
3. What has been your personal favorite coffee so far?
I have a personal bias for natural Ethiopians, so I’ve loved all of those. One of the most memorable non-ethiopian coffees we’ve shipped has probably been the Colombian Enrique Torres from Copper Horse back in like February. We just got another sample from Copper Horse that’s really impressed us, looking forward to shipping it in a week or two. And just this past week we shipped a Hacienda la Esmerelda Geisha from Square One and a natural ethiopian that was aged in red wine barrels from Goshen. Both were obviously very interesting and I think will be crowd favorites!
Give Angel’s Cup a try or use their free cupping app at AngelsCup.com!