In Michigan, we boast an excellent coffee scene that is growing every day. However, some passionate coffee lovers are taking the craft to a whole new level with the latest innovation in coffee subscription services: Nerds Coffee.
For those of us who enjoy brewing coffee from the comfort of home, a coffee subscription is a dream come true. Fresh coffee from your favorite roaster is delivered right to your front door. Subscribers pay up front for a designated number of deliveries and then coffee is sent according to subscription schedules. It’s a super simple and fun way to not only get your daily fix, but also to expose your palate to new coffees. That’s where Nerds Coffee is taking the traditional subscription service a step further.
Started by Andrew Heppner, owner of Populace Coffee in Bay City, Nerds is a subscription service aimed toward, you guessed it, coffee nerds. “The goal with Nerds Coffee is to foster communication amongst coffee nerds and casual coffee drinkers by allowing them to interact with each other using social media to figure out coffees based on tasting notes,” says Heppner.
So, how does it work? Every month, Andrew and his pals at Nerds taste coffees from roasters all over the nation, choosing just four that they think are the best. They then package up “Nerds Boxes” with four unmarked 100g bags, each filled with one of the coffees they’ve chosen. The subscriber must then brew, taste, compare, and take notes on the coffees, then share with fellow Nerds via twitter. Each bag will have its own unique handle, such as @NerdsCoffee1, to make communicating simple. (Are you social media buffs excited yet?) If you’re feeling particularly confident with your tasting abilities, you can submit your guesses to Nerds. Correct guesses three months in a row will win you a free month’s subscription and six months will earn you a place on their website as a featured “Nerds Coffee Scientist.”
To some, this idea might seem absurd. Why would you buy coffee without knowing what it is or where it came from? However, that’s precisely what makes Nerds so awesome. It allows coffee lovers to experience coffees from a completely unbiased perspective. Without a bag to tell you where it’s from or what tasting notes to expect, the subscriber eliminates any expectations about what the coffee should be. Nerds provides coffee drinkers with an opportunity to challenge their palates and connect with (and potentially learn from) fellow coffee lovers all over. The possibilities are endless – from new brewing techniques to insight on processing methods, origins, and roasting, even the most experienced coffee nerds can find something to gain from such a creative business endeavor.
Erica Starr, Contributing Writer