Founders Alice and Ben first launched RiSE coffee box because they believed that everyone should put down their Starbucks caramel lattes, throw away that instant coffee, and start drinking specialty coffee from a variety of independent roasters from all over the UK. Variety is the spice of life and with so many different origins, farming methods, and processing methods that affect the flavour profile, why confine yourself to the same coffee every day? RiSE coffee box chooses their coffee selections for their multi roaster subscription by blind tasting coffees from dozens of roasters, before selecting only those that are the highest quality. You can watch the process of RISE cupping coffee on YouTube here. RISE also loves inviting their customers to blind taste and choose the coffees to feature in the box.
We first came across Olfactory when looking for Cornish coffee roasters, after doing a roadtrip last year. Olfactory are based in Penryn, Cornwall, and we loved the story of how the company came about. The founders are a couple, just like the founders of RiSE are, and first fell in love with coffee while studying at university. Olfactory set out to run a coffee business with the values of quality, transparency and ethical trading and to this day these values are firmly in place. Working with long-standing partner farmers all over the world, Founder Mariya extensively experiments, profiles and roasts coffees to bring out the most exciting flavours and characteristics. At RiSE, we always love working with roasters who share our values of transparency and ethical sourcing, which meant that Olfactory was always going to be a brand we loved working with. We were also intrigued by the name Olfactory and soon found out that the meaning of ‘Olfactory’ is also the sense through which we perceive smells, which also plays an important role in taste. We love this play on words and love how true it is for a roastery who really understands taste and elevates different tasting notes throughout their range of coffees.
The coffee we chose for our March coffee box was the “Steadfast” Ugandan and Honduran blend. Founders Alice and Ben had visited Uganda in March, and wanted to showcase a coffee that featured Uganda as a nod to this trip. Alice and Ben had visited the Western part of the country, specifically the Rwenzori mountains, to meet with the farmers in the region and better understand the value chain and the sustainable challenges they face. The Ugandan coffee in this blend is from the White Nile region in Uganda, on the same side of the country as the Rwenzoris but further North. Ugandan coffee from the western region is traditionally very fruity with strawberry and berry notes. We found we could taste berries in this blend, but the excellent roasting had also brought out the chocolate flavours, which we find are the most popular notes for our customers. The fruity and chocolate notes are perfectly complemented by the creamy hazelnut and sweet fig flavours from Ana Cecilia Esteves's farm in Honduras. We think these two origins in a blend work so well together. The aroma you get from opening the bag is delicious and the texture of the coffee is extremely creamy. The fig gives the coffee a sweetness and a delicious fruity aftertaste as you swallow. This coffee is also certified organic, which we love. You can tell the difference, as the cup is a lot crisper and cleaner.
This signature filter blend is the perfect brew for all filter methods from aeropress to cafetiere. We liked this best brewed in the Chemex because this method brought the inherent, delicate sweetness out of the beans the most effectively, but it really was good in all four methods that we tried. Overall an excellent versatile coffee which we are excited to keep drinking!