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Gourmet Coffee

The Cooper’s Guide to Gourmet Coffee

Gourmet Coffee

December 5, 2023

closeup of woman in kitchen showing how to make an espresso using a moka pot

For some coffee, taste is just the thing you have to endure to get your caffeine fix. Gourmet coffee, on the other hand, is an uplifting experience that sticks with you long after your cup is empty.

If you’re looking for flavors to grit your teeth through and hopefully forget quickly, you’ve got plenty of options out there. We are not one of them. Cooper’s Cask Coffee is on a never-ending mission to push the limits of coffee potential. 

Everybody’s had bad coffee. Many have tasted good coffee. But true gourmet coffee is about experiencing the best—the best single origin beans, the most exquisite roasts, the kind of flavors that can heighten and brighten any day.

“Gourmet” – Is it you or your coffee?

In your everyday conversations about the finer things in life, there’s a good chance you’ve either heard or used the word “gourmet” as an adjective. A gourmet meal, a gourmet dining experience, maybe even a gourmet coffee. 

But did you know that, as most dictionaries have it, the primary definition of gourmet is a noun—a person with a refined, discerning palate? You might even fit that description. 

That clearly isn’t the whole definition. While the noun form of the word (“Caviar for breakfast? He is such a gourmet”) might have come first, the adjective has helped introduce the world to the novelty of fine foods and drinks found at restaurants, in coffee shops, and from the comfort of home.  

Gourmet is more than just a fancy word for fancy things; it’s an idea and an experience.

As an adjective, the basic idea is that coffee that is gourmet is suitable for a coffee gourmet. So, to answer the question (Is it you or your coffee?), we’d have to say both.  

What makes coffee gourmet? 

When it comes to your favorite way to start, make it through, or even end the day, gourmet can mean a lot of different things. Unlike, say, grade 1 or single origin, gourmet is not an official coffee term. Not everyone agrees on what gourmet coffee is, because there is no such thing as certified gourmet coffee. 

When we say gourmet coffee at Cooper’s, we’re not trying to say our definition is the only right one out there. But that also doesn’t mean we don’t take the term and the idea very seriously. 

What makes Cooper’s Cask Coffee gourmet?

For us, gourmet coffee is about setting sky-high expectations, yours and ours. Before we raise your coffee bar, it’s got to meet our standards first. All of our coffees are made from grade 1, carefully sourced, single origin beans. 

True gourmet is our promise to you. And it all starts with quality, attention, care, and time. 

Grade 1 beans have to be virtually free of defects, and the farms we source them from have to check all boxes. Top quality isn’t something we aspire to; it’s our bare minimum. 

4 bags of single origin coffee included in the single origin box set

Single Origin Gourmet Coffee

Like wine grapes, the complex flavor profiles of premium coffees are shaped by where they’re grown. By sourcing each of our signature single origin coffees from a single geographic region, you get to enjoy the complexities and nuances unique to those regions. 

Cooper’s Organic Sumatra Dark Roast Coffee, for example, is earthy, bold, full-bodied, and smooth in a way that no other coffee can replicate. Our Tanzania Peaberry Medium Light Roast Coffee, on the other hand, is bright, acidic, sweet, and fruity.  

It’s all in the beans—no added flavoring. The differences in taste are due to the climate, elevation, and soil where they were grown. How the beans are processed can also make a big difference. 

Some other single origin coffees to expand your horizons and refine your palate include our Brazil Medium Dark Roast Espresso—with its signature creaminess and notes of brown sugar, black cherry, and sweet orange—and our Colombian Dark Roast Coffee—with its mild flavor and hints of cocoa, rustic sweetness, and notes of dark fruit.  

The art of true gourmet coffee that makes its way into each bag and into your favorite cup is made possible by carefully sourcing grade 1 beans from single regions and roasting them to perfection by our master roasters. 

Barrel Aged Gourmet Coffee 

For our barrel aged coffees, we take gourmet to yet another level of flavor intensity and sophistication. Still using grade 1, single origin coffee beans, our barrel aged coffees are infused with the essence of your favorite spirits by special aging them for 60 days in oak barrels previously used to store and age whiskey, rum, or wine. 

Cooper’s Malt Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee complements and enhances the woody earthiness, sweet tobacco, and tropical fruit notes of Sumatran coffee, with notes of caramel and vanilla imparted by the charred oak barrels once used to store American Malt Whiskey in another life. 

Similarly (but uniquely, too), our Rum Barrel Aged Coffee combines the natural dark toffee and molasses notes of single origin Rwanda coffee beans with the complimentary caramel sweetness and slight spice of rum from used Thomas Tew Rum barrels.

While the essence of whiskey and rum is a delight to even the most casual connoisseur, nothing says gourmet like fine wine. Cooper’s Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Coffee elevates the natural sweetness of grade 1 Rwanda beans (reminiscent of honey and brown sugar) by aging them for up to 60 days in used pinot barrels. As a result, the coffee takes on a caramelized sweetness like creme brûlée crust.  

For something darker and fruitier, our Cabernet Barrel Aged Coffee uses retired Cabernet barrels to intensify the notes of dark fruit and chocolate in our grade 1 Costa Rica beans. 

What Gourmet Coffee Isn’t

In general, when you’re promised gourmet, you can assume what you’ll get is not mass-produced and is prepared with the care and expertise only possible with small-batch quantities. A single cut corner or overlooked detail is enough for us to confidently say that it is not gourmet—not by our standards, and not by yours. 

All of our coffees use grade 1 single origin beans and are roasted fresh to order in small batches. Sometimes, you’ve got to think small for the biggest flavor. 

Gourmet Ways to Brew Gourmet Coffee

So, is there a wrong way to brew gourmet coffee? No, we’re not the coffee cops. What matters most is that you enjoy the taste, the aromas, and the experience. That being said, we can definitely think of a few ways to bring out the best in the best coffee. 

Pour Over

One of our favorite ways for getting maximum extraction and maximum flavor from our gourmet coffees is the pour over method. The pour over method uses a deceptively simple setup for brewing coffee to your taste. 

A big part of what makes it the top choice of so many coffee enthusiasts is how easy it is to customize and control. 

To brew your gourmet coffee using the pour over method, you’ll need a kettle (preferably a gooseneck kettle like the Stagg EKG Pro), a dripper (like the Hario V60 Ceramic Dripper), and a cup or carafe. A Pour Over Kit is another great way to get started.

Many coffee gourmets enjoy the precision of using a digital scale to weigh out the grounds as opposed to using a measuring spoon. You’ll want to use about 29 grams of medium-coarse ground coffee per cup of water. 

While the pour over method can be a fantastic way to get the most out of your gourmet coffee, it can take some time and experimentation to find the best way to brew it how you like it. When you do, though, your coffee-soaked existence will never be the same. 

Espresso Machine

Brewing your gourmet coffee with an espresso machine requires more elaborate hardware than a pour over, but it sure feels, looks, and tastes classy. If you’ve ever sipped espresso from a tiny demitasse cup, you know espresso packs a flavorful punch for such a small quantity of coffee. 

But you don’t have to drink espresso in a miniature mug to live life on the bold side. An espresso machine opens the door to the wide world of espresso-based drinks, from the latte to the cappuccino to the Americano.

If you’re grinding your own beans, you’ll want to select a super-fine grind for espresso. Contrary to popular belief, any coffee can be brewed with an espresso machine, so long as the grind is right. All of our coffees at Cooper’s Cask Coffee can be brewed into espresso, and we’ll even grind it for you.

If you’re really looking for the freshest possible gourmet espresso experience, we recommend ordering whole bean and grinding immediately before you brew. Cooper’s Brazil Medium Dark Roast Espresso is a great place to start if you’re new to making your own espresso. This low-acidity single origin roast is naturally sweet, creamy, and fruity.

Small portions are often seen as a hallmark of gourmet dining, and the same can be said of gourmet espresso. Making (or more technically referred to as pulling) espresso is done in increments of 1 to 2 shots, or about 1 to 2 ounces. You can pull as many shots as you want, but anything more than a double can take up a bit more of your time, depending on your setup. 

When it comes to brewing concentrated coffee like espresso, it’s important to keep in mind that it concentrates the flavor. With gourmet coffee like Cooper’s, it’s hard to go wrong with your selection, but be warned—a substandard, poor-quality coffee cannot be improved by any brewing method, especially not espresso. If there’s something you don’t like in the flavor profile of a coffee, espresso will only intensify it.

If you’d rather stick to ordering espresso instead of making it yourself, score some points with any barista worth their grounds by ordering a doppio espresso—the official name for 2 shots of espresso usually served in a small (demitasse) cup. If you enjoy undiluted espresso, a doppio (or double) is a wonderful way to savor the experience and revel in the full, flavorful force of bold flavors. 

Moka Pot

Despite many a marketing effort to sell moka pots as stovetop espresso machines, let us be clear: a moka pot does not make espresso. It can make a mean cup of concentrated gourmet coffee, but it’s not exactly the same as the foundation of all your favorite espresso-based drinks. 

The flavors of moka pot coffee and espresso are similar, but the difference is more than terminology snobbery. Both brewing methods use steam pressure to brew strong coffee, but a moka pot only generates 2 to 3 bars of pressure, compared to about 9 for espresso. 

The flavor difference: properly brewed moka pot coffee is strong and robust, but tends to be less concentrated than espresso. Keep that in mind if you plan to dilute your gourmet coffee with milk.

PSA: you do not want to use espresso grind in your moka pot. Espresso machines use a super-fine grind, whereas a moka pot requires a somewhat coarser fine to medium-fine grind. 

An espresso grind can clog the metal filter of your moka pot and cause an excessive, even dangerous, buildup of pressure. Most moka pots are equipped with a pressure release valve, so it’s unlikely it would explode, but the steam released from the valve can be dangerous.

But don’t let that scare you away from the moka pot. Done right, the moka pot is an excellent way to spice up your gourmet coffee experience with a no less Italian style of coffee. While we do not recommend using an espresso grind for your moka pot, an espresso roast is still a fantastic choice. 

If you’re new to this brewing process and aren’t sure what kind of coffee you like a la moka pot, our Espresso Coffee Box Set comes with three 8-oz bags to get you started: Brazil Dark & Smoothe, Ethiopian Light & Bright, and Kenya Dark and Bold. Just make sure you select whole bean for the grind level. Using your own coffee grinder like the Baratza Virtuoso+, you can get the perfect grind for whichever gourmet method you fancy.  

A kitchen scene where Cooper's Craft Coffee is being poured into a French press showing the coffee flavor profile

French Press 

There’s no way we can talk about brewing gourmet coffee without mentioning the French press. No, it isn’t simply gourmet because it has the word French in it. Using a French press to brew gourmet coffee can elevate your sipping experience with strong, full-bodied flavors. 

The absence of a paper filter means more aromatic oils make it into your cup, affecting aroma, taste, and mouthfeel. Paper filters, like the ones used for pour over, aeropress, and drip coffee, may reduce these oils, resulting in a slightly smoother flavor profile.  

As with pour over coffee brewing, a French press allows for a greater degree of customization than espresso machines and most drip coffee makers. In other words, there’s more room to play around with water temperature and steeping time.

Any of Cooper’s signature coffees can be brewed in a French press. We even give you the option to select a courser French press grind if you don’t have your own coffee grinder. 

If broadening your coffee palate is something you’ve been meaning to do, our Single Origin Coffee Box Set comes with four 4-oz bags, giving you the opportunity to sample four different gourmet coffees from around the world, including Sumatra, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. A French press can help you explore the full scope of flavor our gourmet coffee has to offer.

Gourmet To-Go

If you’re looking for gourmet coffee, coffee probably means more to you than just its caffeine content. It’s about enjoying the taste, the aromas, and the experience of drinking coffee. While there are a lot of things you can do to make your brewing and drinking experience more novel and fancy, gourmet coffee doesn’t have to be inconvenient. 

With the right coffee—the best coffee—you can enjoy gourmet coffee on-the-go. Cooper’s gourmet coffee can work with any lifestyle. 

Our Bourbon Barrel Aged Single Serve Cups can be used with pod-style beverage machines, turning that gourmet coffee (the same single origin, grade 1, small batch coffee we sell in bags) into a moveable feast for the senses. The variety box comes with 24 single serving cups, including our signature Bourbon Whiskey Barrel, Rye Whiskey Barrel, Single Malt Whiskey Barrel, and Rum Barrel Aged coffee.


The AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Maker is a great go-to for on-the-go gourmet coffee. Not only is it optimized for brewing 1 to 3 cups of American or espresso-style coffee while traveling, it’s also perfectly suited for camping and backpacking. 

It’s durable, it’s compact, it’s lightweight, it’s easy to clean, and it’s your ticket to gourmet coffee wherever you go. 

So What About Drip Coffee Makers?

Gourmet coffee in a drip coffee maker?! You wouldn’t… Would you? This is another situation where the quality of your coffee can make a world of difference. You can make gourmet coffee in a drip coffee maker, but it’s difficult to get the most out of premium coffee using your average coffee drip coffee maker. 

If you’re going to use a $10 to $30 coffee maker, we strongly recommend taking it off the heating plate as soon as it’s done dripping. Otherwise, your brewed coffee will continue to “cook” and quickly taste burnt. 

It’s a lot easier to consistently brew a good cup of coffee using the right drip coffee maker. And consistency is one of the things good drip coffee makers do well—that and brewing a full carafe. You want to look for a coffee maker that lets you customize the settings, like water temperature and even the temperature of the warming plate. 

If you’re in the market for a drip coffee maker that lets you take a more hands-on approach to gourmet coffee, you can’t go wrong with the Moccamaster KB. It gives you the perfect mix of control and consistency.

How to Savor Your Gourmet Coffee (Tasting)

Tasting gourmet coffee is a bit like taking in a jaw-dropping view through the window of a moving car. It’s a fleeting, delicious experience for the senses. You don’t need an explanation to enjoy it, but knowing how to look and what to look for can help you appreciate the subtleties and nuances in front of you. 

Cooper’s provides tasting notes on each of our bags to point out a few things to expect and look for. You don’t need that to enjoy an incredible cup of coffee, but it can help you make the most of the experience. On top of that, tasting notes can also help you discover what you like and point you in the direction of future favorites. 

Pairing Gourmet Coffee With Food

You can absolutely enjoy gourmet coffee by itself, but if you’re looking for yet another way to elevate your everyday experience into the realm of the extraordinary, you could do worse than pair your coffee with a complementary treat. 

The tasting notes on each of our bags is a good place to get started when (thoughtfully) pairing coffee with food. Food pairing isn’t as complicated as you may think. One way to approach it is to choose food items that will bring out the nuances in your coffee of choice. 

Cooper’s Brazil Medium Dark Roast Espresso, for example, pairs nicely with dark chocolate. The rich, bitter sweetness of dark chocolate brings out the sweet creaminess and subtle fruitiness of the coffee.

For dairy-heavy foods like cheese, milk, and buttered bread, you want a coffee that can hold its weight. Our Organic Sumatra Dark Roast Coffee can cut through and complement the creaminess of dairy with hints of dark chocolate and cherry.

And last but not least, you’ve got to have a good gourmet coffee to go with your bacon, eggs, and your choice of pancakes, waffles, or toast. This might not sound like an intuitive choice for everyone, but Cooper’s Malt Whiskey Barrel Aged Coffee can transform a typical breakfast into something unforgettable, with its earthy fruitiness and notes of caramel and vanilla. 

Gourmet Your Way

At the end of the day (or the beginning), gourmet coffee is best enjoyed however you enjoy it. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. 

We don’t use the word gourmet to turn up our noses at anyone’s idea of an elevated coffee drinking experience. The way we see it, gourmet is less about exclusivity and doing things the “right way,” and much more about possibility. 

We’re not snobs about how you enjoy your coffee, but you better believe we take every possible step on our end to ensure you get nothing less than the best the world has to offer when you order from Cooper’s Cask Coffee.

Sip Your Way to Satisfaction With Gourmet Coffee

Happiness can’t be bought, but you can come pretty close to brewing it with Cooper’s Cask Coffee

You won’t hurt our feelings if you don’t just take our word for it. Check out the more than 7,000 4- and 5-star Amazon reviews about our products. 

Still, the best way to find your way to the finest coffee is to explore our selection of Single Origin Coffee, Barrel Aged Coffee, and brewing gear to make the experience your own.  

If you’re not sure which gourmet coffee is for you, we’d love to help. Our Coffee Finder Tool can help you find the perfect coffee to gift yourself or someone else. 

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