Customize Your Coffee

Looking for the ideal wedding favor or a one-of-a-kind giveaway promotional gift for your company? A few years back, coffee gifts and coffee favors were all the rage. Generally, they combined a generic coffee in a custom printed gift bag with some little coffee accessory like a silver measuring spoon. The thought was a nice one, but the coffee was generally abysmal. Well, coffee favors and custom promotional gifts are back – with a new twist. Thanks to specialty roasters like Dean’s Beans and Pierce Brothers you can now offer your guests and customers your own signature blend of coffee, packaged in customized bags.

Customizing Your Coffee

Pierce Brothers Coffee is a family run operation in the western mountains of Massachusetts. Brothers Sean and Darren Pierce have been roasting and brewing gourmet coffee for over a decade, and recently gave up their retail cafe to concentrate fully on their coffee roasting business. Pierce Brothers Coffee is available online and through select retailers. All of the beans roasted and sold by Pierce Brothers are Fair Trade certified, shade grown and organic. It’s coffee that feels as good as it tastes. And it does taste good. I fell in love with Pierce Brothers Fogbuster blend a few years ago, and it’s still my choice way to start the morning. It’s a blend of five different coffee beans and two different roasts to create a rich, thick brew that will open even the sleepiest eyes. It’s only one of dozens of signature blens available through Pierce Brothers, who have turned their business into a socially conscious do-good business. In addition to their own commercial coffee blends, Pierce Brothers also sells custom “charity blends”, designed for specific charities with proceeds going to benefit those charities. The charities that benefit include the Shanghai YMCA, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, B’Nai B’rith, Pioneer Valley Symphony and Chorus and Mr. K’s Pet Shelter.

In addition to charity blends, Pierce Brothers will customize a blend for your wedding, company event, new product launch or any other occasion. A phone call starts the process that ends with a customized blend of coffee designed just for your business, charity or event, named and packaged just for you.

Pierce Brothers also sells straight roasts and green beans for home roasting, so you can design your own blends at home. The prices for green beans and custom blends are surprisingly reasonable – less than you’ll pay for a pound of Starbucks.

Dean’s Beans lets you create your own customized blend right online with a very cool little animated flash application. Dean’s Beans offers a choice of about ten different straight roasts in both light and French roast. Each of the choices is rated for five different qualities including body and acidity to help guide your choices. You click on the little coffee scoops to add a blend, click on a coffee bean to remove it. A nifty little graphic keeps track of the relative acidity, body and flavor of your coffee as you blend. When you’re done, you click on the Roast it! button and sit through the animation while your blend is being recorded. Once your coffee is ‘roasted’, you get to name your signature blend – it will come packaged in a custom bag, and choose from whole bean or three different grinds. The price? A very economical $8.99 a pound, just about what I pay for decent coffee at Trader Joe’s – and yes, you can buy just one pound. I get the added satisfaction of knowing that all of Dean’s Beans are shade grown, Fair Trade certified and kosher, and that Dean’s Beans, like Pierce Brothers, invests in world betterment.

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