Coffee enthusiasts Cory Westerfield and David Huff want to help you kick up your morning routine a notch. On June 8, the two launched Coffee Kick, a subscription-based sample box that includes seven packets of coffee from seven different Denver roasters, along with tasting notes to help guide your palate.
The Coffee Kick boxes come with seven 1.1-ounce packets of whole-bean coffee— enough for two eight-ounce cups of coffee every day for a week. The beans represent a solid lineup of roasters: Unravel, Sweet Bloom, Huckleberry, Jubilee, Middle State, Corvus and Copper Door comprise the introductory box. The variety of roasters allows Coffee Kick consumers to compare multiple styles and origins with unique flavor notes to help them pinpoint their preferences.
"I didn’t know about the wonderful world of coffee," says Huff. "Meeting these [roasters], I've been able to learn about coffee and I was surprised to learn how similar it is to wine. If you get an origin from one place, it tastes earthy. versus from another place that tastes fruitier, and so on."
Huff's learning experience is similar to what he and Westerfield hope subscribers gain from sampling each coffee— a mini coffee education without pretense.
Huff and Westerfield were software developers who met on a work project in 2016, but they bonded over coffee, not coding. So when Westerfield decided to expand on an idea he had for a coffee sampler box, he knew Huff would provide feedback critical to the development and success of the product.
"Coffee Kick came as an off-the-cuff idea when I was working with Queen City, back in 2017," Westerfield recalls. "I was working on building out their coffee company at the time, [trying to] figure out what are things they needed for their business...to make their lives easier."
After initially floating the sampler idea, Westerfield says, it got shelved for a year and a half until he was looking through some old notes and thought, "I wonder if that’s a thing?" As it turns out, it wasn't. Nobody else was offering anything similar, so he set to work, employing his developer nature to build a prototype, and Coffee Kick was born.
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Although the idea hatched well before the coronavirus pandemic, Coffee Kick's model follows the delivery services that have sprung up or evolved from brick-and-mortar businesses since social distancing became the general rule. And the interactive nature allows customers to easily order more coffee so they can expand their knowledge while supporting local businesses. Even though it's not a quarantine project, Coffee Kick fits into the current way of life by serving cafe-quality coffee at home.
"When you have the same [coffee] over and over again, you might not notice how unique or special it is," Huff notes. "You gotta find those moments, how can you go inward, enjoy the small things. It still delights me."
Coffee Kick sources beans from Denver-based coffee roasters but ships nationwide. The ultimate goal, says Westerfield: "We're bringin' cool coffee to the people."
The Coffee Kick sampler box is currently selling for $24 online, and you can also purchase twelve-ounce bags from all seven roasters once you find your favorites.