I am a coffee drinker, and recently a coffee shop opened up near me called Captain + Stoker. I found out they offer their own beans, so I grabbed some beans to write a review about them. (I’ve got such a cool job, I know!)
The Captain + Stoker coffee is single-origin coffee. That means it’s not a blend of any sort and it doesn’t go through all the processing that a lot of other major brands of coffee go through.
And boy can you taste the difference. The first time I tried single-origin coffee, it didn’t even taste like real coffee to me. It tasted like some sort of fruity drink.
In fact, I wasn’t immediately drawn to single-origin coffee the first time I tried it. I was used to “normal” coffee, and that’s what I was expecting and wanting.
But over time, I’ve grown to love it. And now it’s hard for me to go back.
The single-origin coffee at Captain + Stoker was just as good as others I’d tried at places like Blue Bottle. Each time I go there, I can’t wait for that first sip.
What’s also cool about Captain + Stoker is that when you get the coffee in person, it’s the perfect temperature right when you get it. When I order from Starbucks, a lot of times I have to wait several minutes for the coffee to cool down because it’s so hot.
I mentioned those fruity coffee flavors before. These two pictures might help give you an idea of why there is a difference in flavor. First, here is some Starbucks coffee that I made at my house:
To me, that looks like what I’d expect with coffee. It’s a very dark brown color and is what I usually see when I spot people drinking coffee.
Now, compare that to the Captain + Stoker single-origin coffee that I made at my house with their beans:
Notice the color! It’s like a reddish-amber color. And it tastes completely different to me than the Starbucks coffee. This one was fruity.
To give you an idea how different they are in flavor, when I drink Starbucks coffee (or any other coffee that isn’t single-origin), I drink it with cream and sugar.
With the Captain + Stoker, I could drink it with no cream or sugar. It was already delicious enough just as it was.
For fun, I tried drinking a single cup of Starbucks coffee with no cream or sugar, and it was hard not to gag. It was just so bitter. It seemed like a burned flavor to me. If I cover that with cream and sugar, then it tastes like normal to me and I like it. But as a stand-alone beverage, it’s hard to tolerate.
There is one other aspect of Captain + Stoker coffee that I want to highlight: its potency. I don’t know the science behind it, but this stuff is strong. And the way they make it at their coffee shop is, for me, almost too strong. I get beyond wired when I drink it.
After drinking Captain + Stoker for a few weeks, I was out one day and decided to drink Starbucks instead. It seemed so weak by comparison. It was almost as if I hadn’t actually had my cup of coffee yet for the day.
Maybe that’s a sign of my increasing my caffeine tolerance, which isn’t necessarily a good thing! But for better or worse, Captain + Stoker coffee seems to be quite strong.
So for all those reasons, I give Captain + Stoker my highest rating. I set myself up with a bean subscription so that the Captain + Stoker coffee is constantly flowing at my house.
I can’t imagine ever purposely choosing to drink a different coffee at this point unless I’m out of town. I’m very thankful it came into my life and I have this part of each day that I look forward to where it feels like I’m giving myself a gourmet treat.