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.

Get Cooking

Get Cooking – Coffee Rub Recipe

February 13, 2015
Coffee Rub Recipe

Premium coffee beans can be used for a lot of things these days. You can keep a bag in your refrigerator to keep things fresh, pile them in your garden to prevent slugs and snails, or even suck on them to freshen your breath.

More recently, food enthusiasts, including celebrity chef Bobby Flay have started to create rubs for meat with fresh ground coffee beans. Premium coffee rubs are a great alternative to meat marinades because it reduces the amount of sodium and extra calories while not compromising smoky flavors.

Here is one of our favorite coffee rub recipes, that we are sure won’t disappoint.

Coffee Rub Recipe (serves 4)


  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/3 cup finely ground premium coffee (or ¼ cup of espresso for bolder flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika (Spanish paprika preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 rib eye steaks (or other steaks) 


  1. Mix all spices together in a bowl.
  2. Brush steaks on both sides with olive oil.
  3. Rub all sides with the spice mixture.
  4. Let steaks stand out of refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  5. Preheat BBQ grill to high.
  6. Cook steaks directly on grill for 2 minutes, flip and rotate 1/4 turn. Repeat three more times until steaks have been cooking for 8 minutes total, 4 on each side. The rotation will leave nice grill marks on the steaks.
  7. Move steaks to upper rack of grill, reduce heat to medium, and close lid.
  8. Continue cooking, flipping every few minutes, until desired doneness is reached. I find 1 1/2 inch thick steaks generally take 16-18 minutes of total cooking time to reach Medium rareness.
  9. Let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it, so that the juice and flavors settle.
  10. Eat and Enjoy

Now that you see how easy it is to create a great meat rub, grab your favorite coffee — our curated k-cups are perfect for the occasion — and start cooking.

The Buzz

2015 Coffee Trends – The Year of the Single Cup and Gourmet Coffee

February 11, 2015
2015 Coffee Trends

A new year indicates inevitable change. Thankfully, there’s one constant we can count on to get us through the trenches of transition — coffee. There’s no doubt that the worshiped cup of joe is here to stay, but even in the world of caffeine, there are new-and-improved trends on the horizon that are sure to excite even the most traditional of coffee lovers.


American’s love their coffee. So much, that many are developing an acquired taste for the gourmet experience. According to the National Coffee Association, of the 61% of people who drink coffee daily, 34% prefer their coffee to be gourmet or in single k-cups. Why the hype over fancy java? The NCA largely credits espresso for inspiring the increased demand for artisan coffee in America.

The K-Cuppers

Another trend to watch is the growing number of K-cup coffee drinkers, comprising of almost 40% of the coffee community. Roughly 15% of American households own a single cup brewing system, and additionally 25% of other households plan to buy one in the next six months. Like we said, coffee is here to stay. The good news for the coffee subculture is that the coffee aficionados are keeping up with the times and putting forth an effort to get coffee drinkers and caffeine connoisseurs quality products.

The Butter Effect

Some people are going as far as putting butter — yes, butter — in their morning cup. Though it seems counter intuitive, drinking bulletproof coffee (coffee with butter) is believed to curb hunger cravings and increase metabolism. According to American technology entrepreneur Dave Asprey, this trend is designed to boost energy levels, brain power, and burn fat. Asprey claims to have lost over 100 pounds on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. For best results, it is preferred the coffee be organic and the butter come from grass-fed cows. Some people additionally add a dash of organic coconut oil. Too extreme for extra taste? We’ll let you be the judge of the butter effect!

Bottom line, regular coffee drinkers and coffee enthusiasts alike are no longer satisfied with a simple cup of black coffee. Now that Americans have had a taste of the good stuff, artisan varieties, coffee bean farming, and quality roasts are of the utmost importance to consumers. To indulge in quality cup of coffee yourself, check out Coffee Cargo’s premium roasts and order a selection today to be delivered directly to your door.


Valentine’s Day Gift For The Coffee Lover

February 9, 2015
Coffee Cargo Valentine's Day Gift Box

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, meaning so is the challenge of finding a thoughtful gift for your significant other. Rather than scrambling last minute to buy a generic present like flowers or chocolate, take a moment to discover a unique experience that you and your loved-one can enjoy together — Coffee Cargo.

What is Coffee Cargo?

At Coffee Cargo, we only supply coffee blends that are rare, organic, single origin, and/or limited edition. Enjoy a 3 month box subscription, and have three of our k-cup coffee roasts delivered to your door monthly. Many of our selections support local artisan roasters around the country, giving you an elite coffee experience that you can’t find at a big box store.

Order online today and say ‘I love you’ by sharing a steaming cup of premiere java with your valentine this month. Be sure to use promo code, LUV49 at checkout to receive $5 off your order. Shop Now and spread the love!


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!