Lifestyle, The Buzz

Top 5 Coffee Shops In The US That Aren’t Starbucks

February 18, 2015
Top 5 Coffee Shops

There’s a rare breed of coffee connoisseurs out there who prefer to drink their coffee out of ceramic mugs, absorb the cafe experience, and connect with the journey of their java. If this sounds like you, we’ve compiled a list of unique coffee shops around the US that aren’t your neighborhood Starbucks. Those who made our list all feature excellent customer reviews and a stellar ambiance that will make alternative coffee seekers feel right at home.

Pip’s Original – Portland, Oregon - Though Pip’s is famous for its creative, made-to-order doughnuts, their coffee is also first class. This family owned and operated business is bursting with unique Portland charm. Pip’s truly gives coffee lovers an authentic and complete cafe experience. In addition to the doughnuts and coffee, Pip’s supplies five blends of hand-crafted chai. Coffee enthusiast or not, Pip’s has a little something for everyone.

Ultimo Coffee – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Located in South Philly, Ultimo Coffee strives to ensure customers will have the finest cup of coffee that the city of brotherly love has to offer. Now at two locations, Ultimo offers all drip, hand-poured coffee either in Chemex brewers or on the drip bar in Beehouse drippers. Next time you’re in Philadelphia and have a hankering for a delicious, premium cup of joe be sure to stop this local gem.

Cafe Grumpy – New York City, New York – New Yorkers get a bad rap for being a little on the cranky side. Cafe Grumpy’s mission is to make your day a little less grouchy by fulfilling your coffee needs, the eco friendly way. There are three trained and calibrated coffee experts on staff, also known as Q Graders, who professionally grade coffee using the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) cupping protocol. With a focus on sustainable quality, Cafe Grumpy selects coffee beans from environmentally and socially responsible producers and spends time developing roast profiles to educate consumers about the dynamic nuances of their product. A special, sustainable treat for the city that never sleeps!

Blue Bottle Coffee – Bay Area, California – Originating in Oakland, Blue Bottle Coffee has grown into a small network of cafes throughout California and New York. They’ve expanded to wholesale partners, espresso carts, and are even going global by opening their first cafe abroad in Tokyo. Blue Bottle sticks to it’s traditional-yet-sustainable roots by roasting coffee on vintage gear, using compostable bags, and focusing on admirable customer service. At Blue Bottle, customer satisfaction is the number one priority, and they don’t disappoint!

Verve Coffee Roasters – Santa Cruz, California – Located in the heart of this charming beach town, Verve Coffee Roasters take pride in brewing coffee as close to the source as possible. Wherever there’s a farmer is determined to grow the finest, sustainable coffee beans, Verve Coffee strikes up a friendship. Their goal goes beyond supplying your daily caffeine boost, they want to share the inspiring source-to-cup journey. Your genuine cup of coffee is served!

Not ready to fly across the country for the love of coffee? Don’t worry, Coffee Cargo will ship quality, hand-selected k-cups directly to your doorstep. Experience artisan brews in the comfort of your own home, while sipping from your favorite mug.


A Look Inside December’s Box

January 8, 2015

Every month we look for coffee blends that are rare, organic, single origin, and/or limited edition to help you discover premium coffees that you wouldn’t find on the shelf of your local market. Below are the coffees we have selected for December’s box and are just a sample of what you can expect from your experience with Coffee Cargo.

INK! Coffee’s 6610 Blend

INK! Coffee's 6610 Blend

A bold blend of full-bodied coffees roasted special dark to reveal a rich taste, slightly smoky undertones and bittersweet, dark chocolate. Roasted at 6610 ft., the high altitude, slow roasting process brings out the deepest, smoothest flavors of each and every bean.

Roast: Special Dark / Full Body, Low Acidity Coffee

Roaster Location: Denver, CO

Pannikin’s Blue Sky Blend

Pannikin's Blue Sky Blend

It has a spicy flavor that is enhanced by its gentle, dark roast. The combination of these specially selected coffees creates a fuller sweet and richly aromatic cup. Made from the finest Arabica coffee beans and carefully roasted to Pannikin’s exact specifications for your enjoyment.

Roast: Dark, Bold Roast

Roaster Location: San Diego, CA

Recyclable Single-Cups


Maud’s Righteous Blends Coffee “Sister Hazel(nut)”

Maud's Righteous Blends Coffee "Sister Hazel(nut)"

Light roast flavored coffee that has the rich, nutty flavor of fresh Hazelnut creating a smooth coffee experience with a hint of sweetness. Batch Roasted, 100% Arabica beans.

Roast: Light Roast, Flavored

Roaster Location: San Diego, CA

Recyclable Eco Kups!

Lifestyle, The Buzz

Gift Guide for the Coffee Lovers

December 3, 2014

Gift Guide for the coffee lover

The holiday season is in full swing, but sometimes part of the stress is deciding what to get for your friends and family. You want it to be thoughtful, something that they’ll love. If you know someone who loves coffee, we’ve got some great gift ideas for you!

Coffee Cargo Subscription

To celebrate the launch of our site and Cyber Monday, we have a couple holiday promotions. You can use them for yourself too! Sign-up for a six-month subscription, receive $5. Sign-up for a year’s subscription of great coffee, you will receive your first month free. It’s time to discover a better cup.

Cafejo My French-Press $40

K-cup french press coffee

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Who says you can’t have both French-Press and K-Cup® coffee? Cafejo is a French-Press for all. It comes with adaptors for both single-serve and ground coffee and allows you more control over the brew for a better cup of coffee, regardless of what packaging it comes in.

Chefman My Barista Personal Single Serve Brewing Machine $150

K-cup coffee brewer

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Not sure which K-Cup® coffees your friends and family prefer? The Chefman Single-Serve Brewing Machine has two different sizes to support all K-Cup® brands. Not only that, but it heats your water in just 6-seconds! This small-but-mighty machine also won’t take up too much counter or desk space, making it a great gift for the home or office.

 Freedom Clip by Rogers Family Company- FREE

Want to try new K-Cup® coffee blends but worried you machine might not accept them? The Rogers Family Company has developed the Freedom Clip just for that. This small plastic ring allows for any K-Cup® to be used with any single-serve coffee machine. The best part? They’re free to anyone in the continental US!

The Birth of Coffee by Daniel Lorenzetti $13

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If you ever wanted to know the full journey you coffee takes before it ends up in your cup, then take a look at The Birth of Coffee by Daniel Lorenzetti. Lorenzetti realized that coffee is more than just a drink; it’s steeped in history and tradition. As he set out to visit major coffee exporting countries, he discovered that harvesting coffee is not just a job but a way of life.

Hario Woodneck Drip Coffee Pot $51

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For the patient, meticulous coffee lover in your life, the Hario Woodneck Drip Coffee Pot doesn’t just brew a great cup, it’s also nice to look at. The reusable flannel filter allows for the full extraction of your coffee’s flavor notes. This is the perfect gift for anyone who takes time to make their coffee and enjoys the ritual of it all.

Falcon Enamelware Mug $12.50

coffee gifts

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Every great coffee needs a great mug. The Falcon Enamelware Mug features a classic design and is made from porcelain fused onto heavy-gauge steel. It’s smooth, it’s durable and dishwasher safe.

Have a great coffee-related gift? Tell us! Let us know on our Facebook page or tweet it at us on Twitter!


An Introduction to Coffee Cargo

December 1, 2014

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It’s an exciting time for coffee. We’re now in a time called Third Wave Coffee, a time where the industry as a whole is shifting to more premium, high-quality, and artisanal varieties. Third Wave Coffee doesn’t just focus on the final product but where it was grown, how it was roasted, and how it was packaged.

Within Third Wave Coffee, there was a need to apply these principles to the single-serve coffee format. K-cups now make up roughly 40% of the market and that number is expected to rise. However, the single-serve industry is being dominated by big brands at the retail level. Shelf space is tough to come by for smaller coffee companies. Sure, if you’re looking to explore the different coffee options out there, you can find them online, but many don’t offer sample sizes. There are websites that let you put together boxes of different K-Cup varieties, but who has time to search through all the different blends?

That’s where we come in.

Coffee Cargo was founded by coffee industry insiders. Coffee is not just our job, but our passion. We are committed to bringing you a better coffee experience through different brands, blends and flavors you might not have discovered otherwise. Whether it’s South American coffees with their mild acidity and citrus notes or a Hawaiian coffee company that specializes in natural flavors, we’re dedicated to quality, to fair trade practices, and to giving small to mid-sized roasters the attention they deserve.

Single-serve coffee is experiencing a transition. K-Cups are no longer filled with just mass market coffees, but premium blends from independent roasters. Coffee drinkers, regardless of their prefered brewing method, are looking for a better cup of coffee. That’s always in the forefront as we select each coffee for your subscription each month.

There’s been a lot of debate around the use of K-Cups and the impact they have on the environment. It’s true; extra packaging is never good for the planet. However, because of our close, personal connections in the coffee industry, we are working towards more sustainable practices when it comes to K-Cups. When we are putting together our boxes, we use recyclable cups wherever possible. We work closely with a company that packs our high-quality coffees in recyclable cups at zero extra cost to the roaster. It’s our belief that over the next couple years, the entire industry will make major strides toward sustainability.

If you have questions about us and why we do what we do, we’d love to hear from you. Leave your questions in the comments!