Coffee has always been enjoyable for me, but since I started doing these reviews I have discovered a new love for the beverage.
Finding local and small coffee roasters is so much fun. And, honestly, there are so many out there!
Every roaster I’ve ordered from so far is always so kind and helpful and they really are just trying to make the best possible product they can, all while having great customer service too.
And, frankly, that goes a long way these days.
I came back a little closer to home (at least home for now…we’ve moved 3 times in the past 5 years, lol, so we will see how long this place is “home”).
I stumbled upon Crucible Coffee Roasters, by way of Rockbridge Vineyard & Brewery.
Rockbridge Vineyard & Brewery is my absolute favorite winery. Their wine club membership is awesome and they have really great wines. The property is wonderful and the staff is great too.
No matter where we end up, I’ll probably keep our membership and just pay for shipping because I really love supporting these guys.
But anyway, the way they tie into coffee is through the brewery and a collaboration with Crucible Coffee Roasters.
A few months ago the two companies partnered together to brew a Nitro Coffee Stout, which was a delicious coffee and roasted malt combination (ABV 6.5% | 30 IBUs).
The stout was really good (and I’m not big into stouts actually) and it sent me down a path of learning more about Crucible Coffee Roasters.
Located in Staunton, Crucible Coffee Roasters is a veteran-owned small business founded by two friends (Kean and Brandon) who wanted to share their love of coffee and “respect for the hospitality that brings communities together in their local coffee shops.”
Like many coffee roasters, they have a gorgeous storefront where they brew coffee daily (7 AM to 5 PM to be exact!). And, they sell their roasts online too!
I really enjoyed the stout they created with Rockbridge Vineyard & Brewery, so I was excited to order some coffee and give it a try.
For this review, I ordered the following items.
- Tanzania Peaberry
- Ella – Women-Owned Farms
- Some Steeped Coffee Bags
I ordered the Tanzania Peaberry ground and the Ella whole bean because I’m getting fancy with my coffee now, lol.
I’m not actually…I’m a mom, who works from home full time…I keep it real when it comes to my coffee.
Really, I just want my coffee to last longer. So, I like to get a bag of whole beans when I order a few bags so I don’t lose the flavor.
Fun fact, pre-ground coffee is freshest and maintains its best flavor for about two weeks after you open it. If you don’t open the bag of ground coffee right away it will last for a while, but once you open it, you have about two weeks until it starts to lose flavor/taste.
But, if you have whole beans and grind them fresh yourself, the coffee keeps much longer.
So, since I’m buying and drinking a lot more coffee these days, I’ve started buying more whole beans so the coffee keeps longer.
If you are on the hunt for a grinder, this is the coffee grinder I use. It’s nothing fancy, but it was a good price and it gets the job done!
It creates more work for me in the mornings to grind up some fresh coffee, but my toddler enjoys being held and watching me grind the coffee, so it’s mostly a win-win. (I say mostly because it does cramp my style when it comes to setting the coffee pot to auto-brew the night before, lol).
Since I ordered the Tanzania Peaberry from Crucible Coffee Roasters ground, that’s the blend I drank first.
Its origin is Mount Kilimanjaro and it has notes of Black Tea, Orange, and Peach.
I LOVED this brew so much, I think it’s been one of my favorite flavors so far (maybe even ahead of the Oak & Bond bourbon barrel blend I reviewed back in May 2022…maybe…I can’t decide right now).
But, what I loved about the Tanzania Peaberry is that I actually tasted that hint of Black Tea.
I really love Black Tea, especially with a splash of milk, and this coffee was the perfect marriage of a coffee/tea flavor, so I really enjoyed it.
It was probably gone in about 2-3 weeks, so well within that ideal coffee flavor timeframe 🙂
I wish I had gotten two bags of Tanzania Peaberry because it was just that good to me. Lucky for me this place isn’t too far of a drive from home!
The second blend, Ella, I chose because of the message behind the beans.
With notes of brownies and candied pecans, the Ella blend comes from women-produced lots in Guatemala.
In retrospect, I should have known that the Ella wouldn’t really be my favorite.
Throughout the past few months of doing these reviews, I’ve learned that sweeter coffee blends are not for me. Ironically it’s not because they taste too sweet to me, it’s because they seem to taste more bitter.
Milk always helps, but I really like just a good old cup of black coffee.
But, I couldn’t resist trying the Ella and supporting what Kean and Brandon are doing at Crucible Coffee Roasters with this blend.
“Across Guatemala, women are the majority labor force on coffee farms, from picking to export. And around the world women comprise up to 70% of farm work while owning disproportionately few assets and land. Despite limited access, discrimination and violence, many women have forged their own paths for their families through their coffee farms.”
Crucible Coffee Roasters, Ella Description
And, although it wasn’t my favorite, I absolutely love that I was able to support some female-owned and operated coffee farms in Guatemala.
I do think that if sweeter blends are your style this would be a good one to try.
In addition to the sweet/sugary notes, it has hints of milk chocolate and light tropical fruits. And, I think it would pair really nicely with cream if you drink your coffee with creamer.
Lastly, I purchased a few steeped coffee bags because I was really intrigued by this concept and I’ve never seen an instant coffee like this.
It looks just like a tea bag, honestly, and you treat it in the same manner by simply adding hot water!
The nitro-sealed bags hold Crucible’s classic Iron Horse blend inside compostable packaging.
And, you know what, it was pretty good!
It was just like making a cup of tea, but instead, it was coffee.
It wasn’t as strong as a traditional brew method, but I could totally see these being useful for camping trips or any type of travel…even traveling overseas it would be awesome to bring a little cup of home with you.
If you can I suggest using boiling water, so something you heated up in an electric tea kettle or on a stove. I did the microwave for my first bag and I felt like it didn’t get it hot enough to what it needed to be.
I think I’ll pick up a bag of their Iron Horse blend next time I’m up near this place.
Overall, I’m so glad I stumbled upon Crucible Coffee Roasters.
I highly recommend the Tanzania Peaberry.
And, the Iron Horse steeped single-serve coffee bags are a great unique product and way to drink coffee, especially if you travel or camp frequently.
The things they are doing to provide support to small, female-owned farms make the Ella truly special as well.
I hope you’ll check out Crucible Coffee Roasters!
You can find them at:
300 Church St #201
Staunton, VA 24401
As well as on Instagram, @crucible.coffee.
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