- Why do I have to check out separately when signing up for the coffee club?
- Is your site secure?
- Do you only sell whole beans?
- How do I cancel or change my club membership?
- How do you determine which roasters to include?
- Can I find these coffees in the grocery store?
- How is Flyover Coffee not like one big grocery store for coffee?
- How is the coffee club managed? It seems like a lot to roast all at once.
- Will I get dark or light roast? Why can't I specify?
- Is there a contract or can I cancel anytime?
- When will I be billed and when will I get my coffee?
- Will the price change monthly or increase over time?
- How much coffee will be in the bag you send each month?
- What is a "top lot" coffee and when is it included in a shipment?
Our memberships are managed by a separate system apart from the back end of our store. You would think it would be harder this way but it isn't. Recurring monthly billing introduces a host of issues for retailers. Normally, when you buy something online, your credit card information is transferred securely from your computer to the payment gateway. The webserver should never have access to this information. After the payment is completed the payment gateway discards the information that could lead to identity theft. This level of PCI compliance is fairly straightforward. However, things need to happen a little differently in order to process a membership with recurring monthly billing. Payment data must be stored somewhere in order for it to be re-billed. The government and credit card industry have very strict standards for the types of security that is required to allow for the ongoing storage of payment information. In order for us to manage this billing securely and in a PCI compliant manner, your data needs to get into a special place within our payment gateway. We never see your credit card information; it is stored with a Level 1 PCI compliant 3rd party payment gateway system and recurring billing is handled automatically by this system. Because it is a separate system from our web store, you will need to join the coffee club using the forms in the Coffee Club section of our main site. Please note that this question is probably fairly meaningless because our online store has not yet launched.
See above. Our site is secured with an SSL certificate and we use a Level 1 PCI compliant payment gateway for card processing and membership management.
While the shelf life of ground coffee is up for debate, there is no debate around the fact that ground coffee begins to lose flavor to the elements as soon as it is ground. The surface area of ground coffee is so much greater than the surface area of whole bean coffee and therefore exposure to air effects this coffee much faster. Additionally, there are many brewing methods, all of which require different grind sizes. We couldn't possibly keep track of each customer's grind preference and it is highly likely that many of our customers will want to brew with varried methods at different times. We offer advice on grinders in other areas of this site. If you are new to this world of coffee we highly recommend you check our our resources.
Changes or cancellations of club memberships are easy and can be made at any time! Just fill out this form.
We taste them! Have a suggestion? Send it to us here. Seriously, though, we want to make sure we are including the best roasters so we talk to people, taste the coffee, and try to visit them when possible. All of our roasters are small. While we haven't determined exactly what that means yet, this isn't coffee that you would find en masse at every grocery store in town (see the next question).
We aim to support small roasters who are dedicated to quality roasting. Oftentimes these craft roasters are only able to sell coffee in their shop or at a few specialty markets. Grocery stores generally require food items to contain a "best by" date rather than a "roasted on" date. And the freshness and quality of coffee should never be determined by a "best by" date. Many roasters recommend different brewing methods based on the age of the roast; for example, by adjusting the time of the bloom in a pour-over.
Additionally, once a roaster has the ability to supply coffee to the many branches of a chain grocery store they really aren't considered a small, craft, or specialty roaster anymore. In our experience this is when quality really begins to suffer. The problem of connecting coffee lovers with an easy supply of quality, locally roasted coffee was one of the main issues that led to the founding of Flyover Coffee.
This is actually a great question and is something we thought long and hard about in determining our business model. If you look at any coffee product we sell in our store you'll notice that delivery can be up to two weeks away. Generally delivery isn't this far out, but different roasters roast on different schedules. We want to make sure all of our coffee is as fresh as possible. So, when you place an order on our site, we don't ship that order right away because coffee is not a product you can keep on a shelf; it is best enjoyed when freshly roasted. It may well be that the roaster has run out of the particular coffee you ordered and won't be roasting it again for 3 days. In that case, your order will ship within 2 days after we receive the freshly roasted coffee from that roaster. Whatever happens with your order you can rest assured knowing that your coffee will be as fresh as if you traveled to the roaster. We are fully aware that we live in an age that have people demanding things be delivered right now. We reject this notion and feel that the best things come to those who wait; especially when it comes to coffee.
We recognize that coffee is not wine. In other words, our coffee club can't operate like a wine club. Roasters don't get months of lead time to make their product and their product won't age well. We will try to let them know as far in advance as possible that we are including them in a given month but the last thing we want to do is overwhelm them with the size of an order. To remedy this we have created a tiered system of shipping. If a roaster thinks an order is too large to handle, even in multiple roasts, then we will divide our shipping orders in half. Half of the club will get beans from one roaster and the other half will get beans from a different roaster. The next month, the two will switch. This problem, though, is a long way off as we are just starting out and have very few club members.
We believe that well roasted coffee from skilled farmers can be enjoyable to anyone regardless of how long it is roasted for. As coffee is roasted for longer (darker) the flavor profile of the place of origin decreases as do many of the subtle notes associated with the combination of well sourced coffee and a talented roaster. Many of the theories associated with coffee roast darkness are due to the Starbucks' model of coffee production. Starbucks uses an unimaginable quantity coffee from many different sources. Combine that with the fact that their market consists of mostly those who want uniformity in what they consume, and it becomes obvious why they need to roast their coffee to such extreme levels of blackness. If they didn't then it would be almost impossible -- given the wide range of sources, growers, transport times, harvest times, etc. -- to produce a consistent coffee at 21,000 locations (Yes, there are nearly 21,000 Starbucks).
We aren't saying there is anything wrong with a dark roast, or even the taste of Starbucks' coffee per-say. But what we are saying is that we know people are misjudging coffee if they gauge what they think they will like on roast style. We know this from experience. I myself, the founder of Flyover Coffee, was once an exclusive dark roast drinker. I thought light roasts were bitter and acidic tasting and I brewed Americanos exclusively. My wife disliked dark roasts and loved to put light roasts through the espresso machine. Slowly, over the past several years, that has all been changing. The other day my wife said that she disliked a roast we were drinking. She agreed it had a lot of depth but, still, she couldn't place her finger on what she didn't like. It was a light roast. In fact I don't believe we've had a "dark roast" in the house for several months. Now, with new knowledge and brewing equipment, I'm excited to go back to what I "grew up" with and see what I think now. And I've noticed that stepping outside my comfort zone in this new way has really led me to appreciate great coffee and be more critical of what it is I don't like in other coffees. Experimenting with different brew methods has also led me to be able to make a determination on how I'll like a particular roast the best. So we now prefer to think of the color of the final bean as a byproduct of those parts of the coffee's flavor profile the roaster was trying to accentuate or hide.
The Flyover Coffee Club will feature a variety of roast styles. We hope all of our customers can appreciate the varied styles of coffees and brewing methods out there. But, if you've tried the club for a while and are consistently getting something you don't like, then let us know that what we are sending isn't for you. If we get enough requests we may consider adding a style selection option.
For more information on roast styles, see this link.
There are no contracts or minimum terms for the Flyover Coffee club. Members may cancel at any time. Coffee for pending shipments or confirmed shipments will still be shipped (or billed and then shipped). A pending shipment is one that has already been placed with the roasters but has not been billed to the club members. Lead time for pending shipments can be up to 30 days so customers still may be billed for an additional month after cancellation. It is impossible to stop a pending order once it is placed and we consider the order for the next month's coffee as placed as soon as we make the prior month's shipment. A confirmed shipment is a shipment for which members have already been billed and is in the process of being shipped. The takeaway here is that we order your coffee before you are billed. If you cancel after we order your coffee we will still bill you (and you will still receive) one final shipment.
Billing happens between the 15th and 17th of every month for both club levels. Shipping happens between the 16th and 19th of every month. An additional shipment is made between the 1st and 3rd of every month for members who have joined at the two bag per month level. Declined payments will not be shipped until the payment issue is rectified. It is possible that a declined payment will lead to a missed shipment. Our billing system will automatically attempt a rebill. If payment is not approved prior to shipment, we reserve the right to double your next shipment, provided that payment has been made.
No and yes. The price of everything increases over time, but we've worked hard to make sure that we are able to charge you the same amount each month, even though our roasters have widely different retail rates for their coffee ($10-$24 as of April of 2014). Sometimes this means we will actually lose money in a given month. Still, we want to make sure that our customers know what their cost will be so that they are able to budget appropriately. From time to time it will be necessary for us to raise the cost of club membership. It would seem that this is simply the way of the world. Remember when gas was 89¢ a gallon? What about 10¢? (Ok, you probably shouldn't admit to remembering 10 cent gas because that was 1925). Anyway, should we need to raise the price of club membership we will publish this information in our club newsletter the month prior to the price increase. You have the option of signing up for our club newsletter upon checkout.
This depends on the roaster's packaging methods. A couple of our roasters package by the pound. Our shipping cost on this is high but we've decided to ship our coffee just as you would find them in the roaster's shop. Most roasters sell 12oz packages and this is what you'll receive most often. Rarely, you'll see roasters packaging 10oz bags. This is a practice we discourage but if a coffee is truly phenomenal then we may include it. If we do include a 10oz package it will be followed by the shipment of a pound in the next shipment cycle. We hope that, by doing this, the shipping average will be at least 12 ounces.
A top lot or reserve coffee is essentially the most expensive coffee a roaster creates. These are typically more expensive exclusively because of bean price and may include exotic varieties from very special farms that are imported in small quantities. These top lot coffees can retail for more than $25 per bag (not including shipping). We typically select from a roaster's offerings of top lot coffees for inclusion in our club whenever we can. These top lot coffees are included in the 2 bag and 4 bag shipments. Single bag members will not receive top lot selections.