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The Color of Coffee

Most roasters score coffees on numerical scales. This certainly seems sophisticated, but ignores an important truth: flavors and aromas don’t translate very well into numbers. It’s a forced connection at best. The most natural way to represent flavor is with color. From an early age, people around the world develop clear and reliably accurate flavor-color associations. It’s why children try to eat their crayons and parents worry they’ll swallow marbles.

Understanding this innate connection between flavor and color, we've embraced a novel way to characterize coffees. Rather than adding up numbers and arriving at "scores,” we draw pictures of the coffees we cup in our Brooklyn Navy Yard lab. We invite you to take a sip with your eyes: Citrusy yellow and blueberry-blue East African coffees; deep, dark chocolate brown Indonesians; milk chocolatey brown Central and South Americans … We like to remember that coffee beans are, after all, the seeds of tropical fruits. And this colorful essence is always at play beneath the surface of the dark-brown brew we all know and love.

This engaging approach to tasting “The Color of Coffee” is exactly what we mean when we say that we are serious, not snobby, practical, not pretentious, and accessible, not exclusive in everything we do. It’s a vision that informs our brand as a whole, from how we design our cafes to our distinctive packaging. We like to say that the outline of our logo, like the map of Brooklyn, is bold and unmistakable. But what’s inside—the dynamic characters of our coffees, our customers, and our employees—is always changing.