Rhetoric FAQ

What is your roasting philosophy?

Our goal is to bring the most out of every coffee while keeping those coffees delicious and approachable. That said, we focus on an approach to roasting called mélange.

What is mélange?

The mélange technique roasts to two different levels, one highlighting acidity, the other sugar development and blends them in a perfect ratio to have a perceptively sweeter cup of coffee.

How is mélange different from other roasting techniques?

Typical roasting aims to find a singular flavour profile in a coffee and seeking the roast at a level that best balances between acidity and sugar development. Instead of making a compromise between sugar development and acidity, the mélange method includes both.

If the mélange method is so great, why doesn’t everyone do it?

Most coffee companies (despite outward appearances) are operating on an incredibly slim margin. Roasting the mélange method nearly doubles labour hours, calls for smaller batches, and demands razor-sharp attention to detail.

If it is so much work, why do you use the mélange method?

Our goal is to offer the best tasting coffee we can find and roast it to perfection. 

What kind of roaster do you use and why?

We roast on a Loring S35 Kestrel. The Kestrel is the most efficient and sustainable roaster on the market. It also offers what we consider to be the most explicit expression available for roasted coffee. Two of our guiding principles are sustainability and quality; the Kestrel helps us check off both boxes.

What are your guiding principles, and what do you do to meet them?

Honesty, Sustainability, Quality, and Hospitality.

Honesty: We do our very best to give a great product with no B.S. attached. We do our best to avoid making claims about the coffee, the company, or our people that are not true. We ask that everyone that works with us be straightforward and open to feedback because that is how we prefer to engage with the world.

Sustainability: To us, this means both ecological and personal. Our goal is to reduce the amount of plastic waste in our environment. We do this by recycling, reducing, and reusing any plastic that we come in contact within our supply chain (which is why you will sometimes find random plastic wrapping in your boxes that is reused to ship your product, pay it forward.) On the personal end, this means we invest in our staff, giving them schedules that make sense, pay that is competitive, and offer training to further their careers.

Quality: We work with products, green coffee, and vendors that are known for the high calibre of their products and services. None of our coffees cupping scores is below 82, and our majority of coffees for single-origin offerings are 87+.

Hospitality: We go above and beyond with everyone we interact with to make them as happy and comfortable as possible. This applies to our staff, vendors, and guests.

What’s a cupping score?

Here’s a link to a basic breakdown on the score levels.
Cupping is the process by which roasters evaluate both which coffees to purchase, and the quality of the coffee they sent out.

Do you have a dark roast?

Yes, try our Black Dragon Dark Roast!

Do you have decaf?

Yes! Our Memento Mori Decaf is an agile blend that works well as both espresso and dripped preparations. We offer it as a single bag purchase from our shop and as its own subscription.

Is your decaf made with chemicals?

Sort of. We buy coffees that use the water-processed method (without chemicals) and the organic ethyl acetate solvent method. Okay, it sounds scary, but it is not. Ethyl acetate is found naturally in fruit, and such you may see coffee by this process called naturally processed or naturally decaffeinated, often this method is the best tasting option. 

What is single-origin coffee?

Single-origin coffee is a coffee that comes from only one place or crop. Although it is worth noting many single-origin coffees are actually from multiple lots, and the term describes a region instead of a fully transparent single lot purchase.

How long will your coffee stay fresh?

Coffee is a perishable item and does have a shelf life unless it is packed under bizarrely unsustainable conditions such as argon-flushed or nitrogen-flushed coffees. We encourage you to use your coffee within 21 days of the roast date, with an optimal flavour window being from day 7 -14 after the roast.

How often do you ship and why?

We roast and ship every two weeks.

It is just time for your coffee to be in the perfect consumption range, and your next bag arrives just in time after you finished your last.

Which Shipping Providers do you use?


Do you offer free shipping?

Free shipping is available in the continental United States via UPS Ground for orders $48.00 (net) and over, shipping to a single address. Orders under $50.00 will be charged at real-time rates and shipped via USPS. International orders will be charged at real-time rates and shipped via USPS.

Where do you get your coffee from?

We use three different Importers, Ally, Coffee Shrub, and Royal Coffee.

How long have you been in business?

Five wonderful years!

What is your favourite coffee?

We love anything that has a distinctive taste. Our founder James has a deep love for naturally processed coffees, anaerobic coffees, and wet-hulled coffees.

What beans will you be sending? Is it different every time?

We follow the harvest cycles from all corners of the coffee-growing world to get you the best tasting green coffee from top farmers, roast it perfectly, and deliver it to you in its prime.

Our Blends and Espresso subscription rotate between four static offerings. 

Our Cicero’s Choice subscription rotates through fine single-origin coffees on a roughly two-week schedule.

Are your coffees Certified Organic?

No. We are not CCOF certified. We do sometimes buy certified organic coffee if it tastes the best on the table, but as a general rule, it is not a focus. 

Why would you not focus on Organically Certified Coffee?

We’re faced with a few truths here:

  1. Organically grown coffee is better for the world in a variety of ways.

  2. Most farmers cannot afford or risk the investment to be certified (we buy mostly from small lots and individual farmers)

  3. Many small farms already grow organic coffee.

We must reward farms that have taken the leap towards organic. However, we can’t ostracise those that haven’t done so yet. Again our primary focus is on quality of product and taste, which in our opinion is destroyed by heavy pesticides anyway.
Can I pause my subscription?

Are you going on vacation? Too much coffee and need to hit pause? Just want to take a break? No need to cancel. It’s easy to skip one or more shipments.

Three steps…

Step 1

If you haven’t already, log in to your account.

Step 2

Head over to the Subscriptions section of your account dashboard and click the ‘Pause Subscription’ link.

Step 3

The ball is in your court:

  • Skip Next Shipment: Skip just your next scheduled shipment.

  • Pause my subscription: Pause your subscription until you log back in and unpause it.

That’s it! The subscription is now paused. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address associated with the account.
When will I be billed for my subscription?

Subscription shipments are billed Thursday’s every two weeks based on the two week period you signed up for your subscription in.

You can always check your upcoming bill and ship date by logging in to your account and checking out the subscriptions section of your account dashboard.

Where do you ship to?

Coffee subscriptions, one-off bags, and merchandise made through our webshop are currently available for shipment to addresses anywhere in the world!

What forms of payment do you accept?

Currently, we accept in-person, Cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. For gift subscriptions merchandise, and webshop orders, we also accept PayPal, where available.

What is your return policy?

At Rhetoric Coffee, our goal is to provide our fans with superb hospitality, the highest quality goods, and of course, delicious coffee. We want you to be happy with your Rhetoric Coffee experience, so we strive to make sure our return policies reflect that.

Whole Bean Coffee - Coffee is perishable, and our whole beans are roasted to order, so we're unable to accept returns on coffee. But don't worry—we can help!!!!

If there was a fulfillment error with your order, please contact us at hello@rhetoriccoffee.com within seven days of your purchase. We guarantee satisfaction with your coffee, if you didn’t like it, we will replace it. 

Everything Else - We no longer take responsibility for third parties in regards to shipping or theft. However, we do offer Route a shipping insurance option, which covers your products after they leave our hands up to the moment they are placed in yours.

Can I buy your coffee wholesale or in bulk?

We're growing our whole-bean wholesale program, so we happily provide wholesale pricing on items above five pounds of coffee a week. Please email Jarrett at wholesale@rhetoriccoffee.com.

If you have more questions, you are welcome to email us at hello@rhetoriccoffee.com.

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