As a person that loves coffee, I am always on the lookout for great new products to try. My most recent find is Volcanica Coffee. This online coffee seller is one of the most unique coffee brands on the market.
They are not only committed to creating a high-quality coffee product, but they are also committed to protecting the critical environments that grow amazing coffee.
We were recently presented with the Volcanica Coffee product and thought it would be great to take a look at this company and its line of whole-bean coffees. In this article, we will take a look at Volcanica coffee and how it differs from other online coffee sellers to offer unique aromas and an unforgettable taste.
Things to Consider Before Buying Coffee Online
Shopping for coffee from an online retailer can be difficult. I like to enjoy the aroma of coffee before I make a purchase. When I shop from an online retailer, it is really hard to have that sensory experience. Often I rely on the experiences of other coffee lovers to make my decision.
One of the newer online coffee brands is Volcanica Coffee. This brand is quickly setting itself apart from the crowd with freshly roasted, sustainably grown, coffee from around the world. When shopping online, we consider some particular factors that we also looked at before buying from Volcanica.
- Bean Freshness – Can you tell how fresh the beans are? The best-tasting coffee comes from beans that are used between 2 and 5 days after roasting. In reality, it is hard to find beans that are fresh from most online retailers, so make sure that they have some way of noting the age of the beans.
- Small Batch – Small batch roasting allows for a more precise and consistent roasting process. You also know that the beans are going to be relatively fresh.
- Sustainable Practices – This applies to the way the coffee is farmed, harvested, processed, and shipped. Coffee relies on good environmental practices for healthy plant production. I like coffee producers that keep this in mind in their business model.
- Truth in Labeling – I have found that some online coffee sellers will call their product a blend when in reality the bean that they are pushing is only a small percentage of the total product.
- Good Customer Service – Have questions about a product? Receive a bag that is damaged or the beans are not fresh? Getting help from customer service shouldn’t be hard. Especially if you are buying a food product online.
For me, Volcanic Coffee hits all of these online shopping must-haves. They are small-batch roasters that ship only the freshest beans. Each bag of beans clearly notes what is in the bag and Volcanica products are all sustainably farmed.
A portion of their profits goes back to the farmers and coffee producers to improve farming education and provide support for sustainable harvesting practices.
Finally, Volcanica has wonderful customer service. You can call and ask questions before you buy, and if you have a problem with the beans that you receive they will happily work with you to provide a replacement product.
When Volcanica Isn’t the Right Product
As with any product, Volcanica Coffee isn’t a great option for every coffee lover. There are some times when Volcanica doesn’t meet everyone’s needs.
- Coffee Pods – If you want a product that is packaged for your Keurig, Nespresso, or other coffee pod coffee maker, Volcanica isn’t a good pick. They do have a few products that come in coffee pods, but this packaging style does not fit with their company’s sustainability practices.
- Catered Subscription – Volcanica Coffee does have a subscription service but, at this point is higher priced than most competitors.
- Variety of Roasters – Some coffee brands use several different coffee roasters. Volcanica on the other hand roasts all of its coffee beans in-house. This means you get beans that are roasted similarly each time.
Volcanica Coffee Review
When Volcanica Coffee first opened its virtual doors, they were focused on selling coffee from its home country of Costa Rica. However, their business has grown and today they offer more than 130 different coffee varieties from all around the world.
All of the beans that you’ll receive from Volcanica Coffee are roasted in their facility in Atlanta, Georgia. While this does limit the range of roasting techniques to just those of their in-house roasters, you can be assured that the quality of the roast that you receive is consistent.
Beyond their wide variety of unique coffee styles and single-origin beans, Volcanica does offer some budget-friendly bean options. You don’t have to have a huge budget to enjoy the high-quality coffees from Volcanica.
- Wide variety of coffee types
- Unique coffee beans like Kopi Luwak and Jamaican Blue Mountain
- Small batch roasted
- Select whole bean or three different grind sizes
- Fresh beans have amazing flavor and aroma
- Even their “normal” coffee styles are a bit more expensive
- Do not offer light roast beans
- You have to watch for organic or fair trade labels
Volcanica Coffee Features & Benefits
One of the most appealing things about shopping with Volcanica Coffee is how easy it is to find what you are looking for. Their website is very easy to navigate, allowing you to easily select coffees based on their region, particular certifications, or other coffee features like roast, decaf, low-acid, or peaberry.
Some coffee subscription sites offer a coffee flavor matching quiz, which can be helpful for those who are new to gourmet coffee. However, Volcanica does not offer this type of service on its site, which can make it a bit challenging for new coffee drinkers to find the coffee styles that they prefer.
Unique Coffee Offerings
One of the things we like the best about Volcanica is the availability of unique and single-origin coffees. Volcanica has one of the largest selections of coffee styles that you won’t find with other online retailers. Some of their most unique offerings include:
- Kopi Luwak or Civet Bean
- Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
- Jamaican Blue Mountain
Volcanica also offers a wide range of coffees from unique places such as Nepal, Panama, Yemen, and Malawi.
Many online coffee sellers only offer whole beans. This can be a bummer if you are buying beans to travel, or if you do not own a grinder. Sure, you can take your beans to the store and grind there, but that’s a pain.
Volcanica Coffee solves this problem by offering three different grind styles. Depending on how you want to brew your coffee, Volcanica offers drip grind, espresso grind, and even a French press grind.
Tasters and Subscriptions
This is one of the places where Volcanica is a little more limited than other coffee retailers. They do not offer free samples of their coffee styles. If you are still learning about different coffee types, this is kind of a bummer. However, considering that Volcanica only does on-demand, small-batch roasting, this isn’t a surprise.
When you do find the coffee style that you like the best, you can set up a refill order that will send you a fresh bag weekly, every other week, monthly, or on the schedule that works best for you.
We don’t consider this a traditional subscription service, in the traditional sense, since in our minds, the subscription service gives you a couple of different coffees each month.
The benefit of setting a recurring refill order? You’ll get 10% off the price of your beans.
Coffee farming is a highly competitive industry, and many farmers will use practices that are unhealthy for the environment. These unsustainable farming practices allow large corporate coffee farms to produce beans at a lower cost, and make a larger profit.
The owners of Volcanica Coffee know that these practices are not only harmful to our planet, but also to the people and communities that rely on the coffee industry. All of the coffees that are sold by Volcanica are sustainably sourced; meaning, they come from growers that use farming practices that benefit the land and protect water, soils, and provide a safer and more reliable working environment.
Certainly, this does increase the price of Volcanica Coffee, but with every bag, you know you are getting the best product, and are doing your part to support the environment and the cultures that rely on coffee growing.
We mentioned earlier in this review that freshness is the key to a great cup of coffee. You won’t normally find the freshest coffee from online retailers like Amazon or even some of the more well-known coffee retailers. Volcanica coffee is the exception to the rule.
Each batch of Volcanica Coffee is small-batch roasted. They base the size of the roasting batch on the expected demand. This “on–demand” roasting may mean that you have to wait a day or two before there is coffee ready for your order. While this may seem like an inconvenience, what it means is that you are getting the freshest coffee possible.
The freshness of the roast and the quality of the beans is evident when you first open the foil bag and you are hit with the amazing aroma of freshly roasted beans.
When I consider value, I think about the quality of the product compared to the price. Volcanica Coffee may seem a bit more expensive than other products, however, considering the exceptional quality of their coffee, the higher price is worth it.
Some added incentives to buying from Volcanica include larger-sized bags of coffee and free shipping of orders over $60. Sure they are a little more pricey, but the quality you get makes Volcanica a great value.
While you will find that Volcanica has a wide range of unique coffees, both single origin and blends, it is the “oddities” that they offer that make shopping with Volcanica a fun experience.
Volcanica Coffee is one of the few online retailers that you will encounter that sell wild-gathered Kopi Luwak. These coffee beans are collected from the feces of the Indonesian Civet Cat.
This coffee bean is very rare, and though considered to be a traditional coffee type for many Indonesian peoples, it is a delicacy for the rest of the world. If you are brave enough to try this unique coffee, Volcanica provides a certificate of authenticity, so you know that the beans are wild-gathered, and not from inhumane farming practices.
Alternatives to Volcanica Coffee
If you find that Volcanica Coffee isn’t what you are looking for, or if you just like to comparison shop before you jump into a product, here are some alternatives I have enjoyed. While I enjoy Volcanica, the coffee products I’ve listed below are comparable to Volcanica and offer similar quality products.
1. Blue Bottle Whole Bean Organic Coffee
Blue Bottle Coffee is a great company if you are focused on buying organically grown coffee beans. This company specializes in a wide range of coffee products all from farms and coffee plantations that utilize organic farming practices.
One of the things we like about this coffee company is that they have some offerings that you won’t find at Volcancia. One of the offerings that we are fond of is their instant espresso. This is a delicious way to enjoy a cup of espresso without all the work.
Blue Bottle specializes in coffee blends and offers five different, tasty blends for you to try. They also have a line of single-origin beans that you can enjoy. One thing to know about the Blue Bottle single-origin coffees is that the offerings rotate, so if you find something you like, you should buy a couple of bags before it is gone.
2. Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean
Lifeboost Coffee offers a full line of coffees that are naturally low-acid. These coffees are easier on your stomach, while at the same time, giving you the same flavor and aroma. All of the Lifeboost Coffee offerings are non-GMO and organically grown, and are processed using clean practices like sun drying and washing with spring water.
Lifeboost’s company philosophy is that a better product means a healthier body. That is why all of their products are carefully sourced from growers in Central America. All of their beans are shade grown and come from farms that are protective of native wildlife.
3. Fara Coffee Whole Bean
Fara Coffee is a great product that is roasted in Austin, TX. This coffee company focuses on beans that are sourced from Nicaragua. Most of their coffee offerings are blends, so you won’t get the experience of single-origin coffees from this company. However, Fara only uses organically grown beans, so you know that you are getting an outstanding product.
Like Volcanica, Fara also believes that it is important to give back to the communities that support coffee production. Portions of their profits go to their Foundation which provides healthcare, education, and community resources to the villages where their coffees are sourced from.
Fara is one of the online coffee retailers that we like to use for coffee pods. Their products are flavorful and are a better value than the coffee pods from other online coffee retailers.
At this point, my experience with Volcanica has been limited due to its vast selection. However, I can say without a doubt that I am ready to give more of their coffees a try. With more than 130 different coffee types from all over the world, it is hard to go wrong with this online coffee company.
While I rave about their coffee, it is important to remember that Volcanica is a company with a conscience, sending profits to underserved communities globally, that are central to coffee production.
If you are looking for a coffee company that gives you a high-quality product at a competitive price, but also one that is environmentally and culturally conscious, then Volcanica Gourmet Coffee should be at the top of your list.