Origins

We offer a variety of coffees that taste great — and you can feel good about buying. It all starts with finding the best beans. For more than 20 years, we have roamed the planet seeking top quality coffee regions with growing conditions that meet our high standards for environmental and economic sustainability. We search for and purchase only the top 1% of Arabica coffee beans that are picked and sorted by hand.

 

Our buying criteria set a high standard for selecting beans. The product must be:

100% Coffee Arabica


100% traceable to a specific farm or cooperative


Produced sustainably with regard to environmental impact, without the use of non-organic fertilizers and pesticides


Growers and laborers are compensated with a fair market wage

CBD Origins

We can’t talk about our superior selection without talking about our relationships with the farmers who grow the beans. We look for farmers who practice sustainable farming practices. We work hard to establish long-term partnerships based on trust, mutual respect and fair compensation, which ensures a quality product and improves the quality of living for our farm partners.

Coffee By Design Craft

Ever since our first trip to a coffee grower in Central America, we have continually visited the countries and farms we buy from currently and explore those we are considering. Before we select which beans to roast, we extensively research and sample the product. So sip your cup of CBD coffee with confidence; the beans it was made from are exceptional in quality, 100% traceable, and treated with the utmost care.

Roastery

As an artisan roastery, we take the word handcrafted seriously. We pay just as much attention to how our coffee beans are roasted as we do to the precise details of the harvesting and processing. Everyone on our roastery team knows the importance of each tiny detail that goes into producing a great cup of coffee. They’ve been trained extensively to understand the aroma, sound, look, and feel of beans prepared with our roasting equipment.

Craft-Roasted Coffee Roasting

We roast only the best quality coffee beans in small batches in our two Loring Roasters, a Kestrel 35 kilo and Peregrine 70 Kilo, plus a San Franciscan sample roaster. Our roasting equipment helps us foster superior roasting conditions and guarantee that the coffee you get is consistent and full-bodied. Drum roasters like ours tend to be more expensive and more challenging to use, but it’s all worth it for the fully developed flavor of the final product we serve you.

We have a strong reputation among many of Maine’s top chefs with whom we have worked closely to develop unique coffee blends to complement their menus. Because of our small size and the way we roast our coffees, we can custom roast and blend in small quantities. And we keep very little back-up inventory, which means we roast to order so our wholesale partners get the freshest coffee.

Roast Levels

Roasting unlocks the aroma and flavor inside of “green coffee” beans, or beans that have been milled but not yet roasted. The roasting process causes chemical changes to take place as the beans are rapidly brought to very high temperatures. When they reach the desired roast level, the beans are quickly cooled to halt the process.

There are no industry standards for roast levels, so how do we measure different roast levels at Coffee By Design? Here’s an easy guide.

Craft Coffee Roast Levels

Light Roast

Many people assume that the strong, rich flavor of darker roasts indicates a higher level of caffeine but, in fact, light roasts have a slightly higher concentration.

Most of our coffees are light roasted to a select flavor standard, rather than to a specific color. This level of roasting creates coffees with balanced flavor and full aromatics, allowing enthusiasts to distinguish taste differences attributed to coffee origins and qualities. Atlantic Sunrise Blend, Indonesia Sumatra Lintong Dolok Sanggul, and Costa Rica Tarrazu La Minita Estate are just a few of our most popular light roast coffees.

Buy Light Roast Coffee

Medium Roast

Vienna Roast: Vienna Roast is the lightest of our dark roasts and is characterized by a slightly deeper color than our Light Roast. With small spots of oil present on the bean’s surface, it slightly intensifies the character of each particular coffee according to origin.

Espresso Roast: Our Espresso Roast coffees are roasted light enough to retain delicate aromatics, yet dark enough to moderately caramelize sugars within the beans. The Espresso Bella Crema blend was created especially for the CBD coffeehouses.

Buy Medium Roast Coffee

Dark Roast

Italian Roast: Italian Roast has an extended roasting time that causes the beans to caramelize to create a spicy, bittersweet flavor with smooth, mellow undertones. Although the color of an Italian Roast is similar to that of an Espresso roast, the flavor is dramatically different. Try the Organic Italian Roast.

French Roast: French Roast is a darker roast with a spicier, bittersweet flavor and lower acidity than other types of roasts. It’s a long-time favorite of many coffee drinkers. The Organic French Roast is very popular.

Double French Roast: Our Double French Roast coffee, known at CBD as Alanzo’s Double Dark, exhibits a robust, bittersweet flavor that cannot be matched by any lesser-roasted coffee. Roasting for a mere 15 seconds longer and 10 degrees higher than our regular French Roast, you’ll be amazed at how a short variation of time and temperature completely changes the taste.

Buy Dark Roast Coffee

Certifications

MOFGA  B Corp  Rainforest Alliance  USDA

Brewing Methods

There are many different methods of brewing coffee, but most of them fit into two categories: drip and immersion.

The basic difference is in the name: drip brewers allow water to drip through the coffee bed/filter freely as dictated by the grind size, dose, and gravity. Immersion brewers retain a given quantity of water in full contact with the coffee bed for a desired period of time before filtering. Additionally, drip brewing methods re-introduce fresh water to the grinds with every pulse or pour, while immersion methods use the same water throughout the brew.

Experiment with different methods at home or at one of our coffeehouses!

Drip Methods

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Automatic Drip

The drip method is widely considered to be the most popular way to brew coffee in the United States. Water heated to 195 – 205°F is slowly poured on the grounds and drips through a filter, resulting in a clean, smooth cup of coffee. While drip machines are easy to use, remember that the longer the coffee sits in the pot on the warmer, the less exceptional the cup of coffee.

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Manual Pour Over

With the pour over method, you have a lot of control over the different elements of the brewing process. Some popular brands include Melitta, Kalita, and Hario. All you’ll need is a filter, filter holder, hot water, and, of course, your fresh grounds (a medium-sized grind works best). Start by heating the water until it is 200°F, then place the filter over the top of the cup. Pour just enough water onto the grounds to fully wet them. Let it soak for 15 – 20 seconds, and then drain into the cup. Repeat this process until you have a full cup of coffee to enjoy.

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Chemex

The Chemex is an easy and reliable method for brewing coffee. Bring to a boil twice as much water as you’ll need for the actual brewing (about 42 ounces for a 6-cup Chemex). Pour your ground coffee into the filter (for best results, the coffee grind should be about as coarse as that of a French press). Starting at the center of the bed of grounds, pour twice the amount of water that you have coffee into the grounds. Work your way outward slowly, avoiding pouring down the sides of the filter. Allow the coffee to expand, or “bloom” for between 30 – 45 seconds. Then continue pouring into the center of the grounds. The brewing process should take about four minutes.

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Espresso

The Espresso brewing method is a way of brewing coffee that involves hot water, very fine grounds, and strong pressure. An espresso machine takes water that is just under the boiling temperature and uses pressure to force it through the fine grounds of coffee. The espresso method extracts the flavorful and aromatic oils while leaving behind the bitter elements of the bean. The result is a strong, concentrated cup of coffee that is full in flavor without the bitterness.

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Immersion Methods

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AeroPress

In this method, the ground coffee is totally immersed in the hot water, which results in quick, extensive, and uniform extraction of the flavor compounds. The device consists of two nesting cylinders. One cylinder has a flexible airtight seal and fits inside the larger cylinder, similar to a syringe. Coffee is steeped for 20 –40 seconds (depending on grind and preferred strength) and then forced through a filter (paper or thin metal) by pressing the plunger through the tube. The AeroPress’ shorter brew time is known to reduce acidity and bitterness.

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Cold Brew

Cold brew, or cold-water extract, refers to the process of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period. Cold brew coffee is not the same as iced coffee, which is coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled by adding ice – although iced coffee can refer to cold brew coffee served on ice!

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Siphon

Also known as the “vacuum coffee” brewing method, a siphon works by heating water in the lower vessel of the device until expansion forces the contents through a narrow tube into an upper vessel containing the coffee grounds. When the water exceeds the boiling point, the (water vapor) pressure in the lower vessel exceeds the (atmospheric) pressure in the top vessel and water is pushed up the siphon tube into the upper vessel. When the water cools, the pressure in the lower vessel drops as steam condenses into dense water, taking up less volume and hence dropping the pressure. This creates a partial vacuum, causing the atmospheric pressure outside the container (along with gravity) to force the liquid back into the lower vessel. The liquid can then be decanted from the lower chamber, and voilà—coffee!

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French Press

The use of a French Press is a sure way to brew an excellent cup of coffee—as long as you pay attention to the correct size of the grinds and temperature of the water. The grinds should be a medium to coarse grind (any smaller and they will clog the filter and seep into the brewed coffee). Because of the larger grind, this brewing process tends to take a little longer than other brewing methods. When you’re ready to add the water, it should be between 195 – 200°F. As the coffee brews, the grinds stay in contact with the water, which allows for a fuller, more defined flavor that would otherwise be lost to the filter of a drip machine.

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Clever Dripper

The Clever coffee dripper is a Japanese-manufactured cone brewer similar to a Melitta (but made of medical grade plastic), or the ceramic drippers (like the Hario V60). Unlike most dripper cones, though, the Clever marries the principles of immersion brewing – or steeping like a French Press – with the principles of extraction via pouring water over the grounds into a conical brewer which suspends the immersion until you release the coffee (via a weight-controlled valve) over a cup. To brew a cup, place a filter in the brewer, add ground coffee, pour water over the coffee, steep for 2 – 4 minutes, and then place the dripper on top of your cup. The cup’s rim engages the release valve and the coffee begins to drain through the bottom of the dripper into your cup.

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