The best coffee is a largely subjective issue, but in our experience, single estate coffees are just better for productivity. They’re well-sourced, usually without added chemicals and pesticides, with full profiles of micronutrients that can provide additional benefits beyond a caffeine boost. Plus, they taste great, with subtle flavors and careful roasting that makes some big-batch, big-name coffee taste more like overcooked char. And single estate coffees have additional benefits even above and beyond single origin types.
But coffee is a big and complex world, and it’s tough to figure out where to start among the many thousands of varieties, farms, roasters, and brands producing “boutique” or “speciality” brews. We haven’t tried all the world has to offer, but we’ve made our way through some of the more common single estate coffees, and we’ve compiled our favorites below. Everyone has their personal preferences, but these are five companies with coffees that have helped us get more done (and enjoy our morning fix) time and time again.
1. Caveman Coffee Company
It’s no secret we love Caveman Coffee, and one of their founders, Tait Fletcher, was among the first to turn us on to the intersections of fitness and biohacking. Caveman Coffee is just a couple years old, and they don’t have a ton of products available, but that’s largely because they’ve taken their time sourcing incredibly specific coffee varieties. In fact, they go beyond single origin and single estate, focusing on single family coffee varieties from Colombia, Brazil, and Ethiopia.
From their website:
Caveman Coffee is not only a Single Origin/Single Estate Coffee, it is a Single Family Coffee. Our beans are grown, washed, dried, and roasted by one family. That’s right, a father and son team run the growing and drying in Colombia and the other two sons handle the small batch roasting.
We’ve found Caveman Coffee to be incredibly consistent in flavor profile, and it goes well with MCT oil and other productivity enhancers.
2. Picacho Coffee Micro Lots
Produced seasonally in very limited quantities, Picacho’s micro lot coffees are actually split between single-estate and cooperative growers. But the highlights, at least in our opinion, are definitely the single estate varieties, including several from the farm of Colombian farmer German Valenzuela.
Are Picacho Coffee’s micro lots cheap? Rarely. Are they delicious, well-sourced, and complex in their flavor profiles? Absolutely. It’s the kind of coffee you’re going to want to savor and enjoy, whether you’re crushing work or looking for a smooth weekend wakeup.
3. Intelligentsia Coffee
Intellgentsia is a pioneering company in well-sourced, single estate or single origin coffees. Their single origin coffees include information on location, farmers, and harvest dates. If you’re a coffee nerd or just want to learn more about what’s behind the brew in your cup, their website and packaging is full of enough information to keep you occupied. Their single origin coffees come from a variety of countries and climates, so you’ll be able to narrow down which you like best based on everything from growing season to elevation.
4. Union Hand Roasted Coffee
With varieties from Costa Rica to Indonesia, Brazil to Rwanda, Union Hand Roasted Coffee produces some excellent coffees with easy-to-follow pedigrees. Are you someone who cares, highly, about what you’re putting into your body? Learn how each batch is grown, harvested, and roasted, along with who’s doing each step of the process along the way. Union takes a lot of the worry out of coffee so you can concentrate on enjoying your brew, and using it to get more done.
5. Bulletproof Coffee
Bulletproof gets their “Upgraded” coffee from single estates in Guatemala (though to be fair, some may argue their final roasts aren’t technically “single estate” but more “single origin,” coming from the same region but not necessarily the same farm). Their company popularized the combo of high-quality coffee, butter, and medium-chain triglyceride oil, it’s called “Bulletproof Coffee” for a reason!
And Bulletproof isn’t a newbie in the world of nootropics and productivity enhancement; in fact, it’s largely the foundation of their company, and they’ve made their coffee to reflect the high-performance edge their customers look for. We can’t say for sure if Bulletproof’s Central American-sourced beans make you leaps and bounds more productive than the standard roast off a supermarket shelf, but they sure do pair well with fats, like the company’s own Brain Octane oil, that may enhance mental clarity and focus. When it comes to mentioning high-performance, well-sourced coffees, Bulletproof’s is one we would feel bad leaving off our list.