Smokin' Aces Coffee Co.
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FAQ About The Coffee…

Q: Are the “Tasting Notes” listed on your bags flavors you have added to the coffee? Do you offer flavored coffees?
A: Nope! These flavors occur naturally. We provide them for you so you have a good idea of what to expect each coffee to taste like. Our coffees contain absolutely zero additives (except for love, of course).

Q: What does it mean when a coffee is naturally processed? What about washed processed?
A: Naturally processed coffees (also known as dry processed coffees) are more common in arid climates such as Ethiopia and Brazil. After the coffee cherries are picked from the tree they are laid out to dry. As the cherries dry and begin to ferment, the flesh of the fruit separates from the seed (or bean). The remaining flesh is then removed from the seed and prepared for shipment. Naturally processed coffees usually contain lower acidity and a heavier mouthfeel with obvious fruit flavors. These coffees can tend to have undesirable earthy and “funky” flavors, so we work hard to find unique and clean tasting examples of this process.

Washed processed coffees follow a different processing path. After the coffee cherries are picked from the tree they are mechanically processed (water is usually involved) to remove the majority of the fruit from the seed. They are then placed in tanks to ferment (water can also be used here); the fermentation removes the remaining mucilage from the seed. Once the seeds are completely clean they are laid out for drying and prepared for shipment. You can expect washed coffee to have higher acidity and cleaner flavors and mouth feel than naturally processed coffees.

Q: What does it mean when a coffee is honey processed? Is honey added to the coffee?
A: Sounds delicious, but no. Honey processed coffees fall somewhere between naturally processed coffees and washed processed coffees. After the coffee cherries are picked from the tree they are mechanically processed to remove the majority of the fruit from the seed. The mulicage (a sticky substance that coats the seed) is left. The seeds are then laid out to dry where fermentation begins allowing the mucilage to later be removed with ease. Costa Rica is the most common producer of honey processed coffees. These coffees usually have an enhanced sweetness, but an acidity and cleanliness similar to that of washed coffees.

Q: What does varietal mean? Does it really matter?
A: Just as there are many different varieties of wine (e.g. Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Frappato) there are many different varieties of coffee (e.g. Caturra, Bourbon and SL28). In our opinion the varietal usually has less direct impact on the flavor of a coffee compared to say the processing method, but we still make sure to include it when talking about our coffees. The more we know about where our coffees come from and exactly what they are, the more we are able to truly understand and appreciate them!

Q: Is your coffee organic? Fair Trade? Etc.
A: First and foremost, we seek out delicious coffees. As we search for them we work hard to find coffees that are sustainably grown and sourced. We work with importers such as Royal to ensure responsible sourcing practices and to maintain traceability. We do not seek out organic coffees. Our facility is not certified organic, so when we do purchase organic we cannot market them as such. We also do not seek out Fair Trade coffees. The prices we pay for green coffee are well above the set Fair Trade price. 

FAQ About Roasting, Our Website and Shipping...

Q: My favorite coffee is not on your website anymore. Where did it go?
A: Coffees come in and out of season, just like fruits and vegetables. We work hard to buy the freshest coffees that we can, which means your favorite coffee will come and go. If you are looking for a new coffee we recommend using our tasting notes to help guide you towards a coffee that best suits you. Keeping to a particular processing method is also recommended (i.e. - washed process, natural process and honey process). If you are having trouble finding something that sounds good to you, feel free to reach out and we will help point you in the best direction!

Q: I usually drink dark roast; what coffee is best for me?
A: We recommend using our provided tasting notes to help you find a coffee that best suits your tastes. Do you prefer more classic notes like chocolate and toffee? Or more exotic flavors such as tropical fruit and earl grey tea? Because of the their bigger body, coffees from Central and South American tend to accomadte dark roast drinkers best! 

Q: After I place my order, when should I expect my coffee to arrive?
A: We roast and ship orders within 48hrs of it being placed. As long as your order is placed by midnight Wednesday, we will have your order in the mail no later than Friday afternoon. All orders are shipped via USPS Priority, so you can expect it to arrive within 2-3 days of shipment.

Q: Can I return a coffee?
A: Unfortunately due to it’s perishable nature we cannot accept returns, but we do want to make sure that you are happy! If you have any issues with your order, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Seriously!


FAQ About Brewing, Grinding and Storage...

Q: What is the shelf life of your coffee?
A: Coffee doesn’t go bad (assuming there is no mold present), but it will eventually become “stale”. After coffee sits for too long many of the aromatics and flavors begin to fade. We recommend drinking our coffee within 30 days of the roast date. All of our bags include a zip-top and one way valve to help keep your coffee as fresh as possible. We recommend storing your bags out of direct sunlight.


Q: Do I need a certain type of equipment to make your coffee?
A: No, but we do recommend that you use a burr grinder. Buying a quality grinder is the best investment you can make to improve your coffee at home.


Q: Can you grind my coffee for me?
A: Of course! Just let us know exactly how you plan to brew it and we will do our best to grind it to the proper size.

Q: Why is my coffee so watery?
A: We recommend starting with a ratio of coffee to water somewhere between 1:15 and 1:17 (use a gram scale for best results). If you find your coffee to still taste watery, try grinding your coffee finer (with your burr grinder, of course), extending your total brew time and using hotter water. Still having trouble? Feel free to reach out and we can help!