Are you, much like many other coffee connoisseurs, always on the hunt for a new coffee brand to try? If you answered “yes,” allow us to introduce you to Fire Department Coffee.
This brand boasts a pretty impressive roster of coffee offerings, plus some cool company gear. But are these beans worth running through your brewer, and what makes Fire Department’s joe stand out from the other incredible coffee beans on the market?
Roasty is answering those questions and more, so keep reading to find out whether this brand is one for you to skip or try.
About Fire Dept. Coffee
When Luke Schneider and Jason Patton teamed up to establish Fire Department Coffee in 2016, they wanted their beans to do more than brew a stellar cup of coffee.
Sure, these men, inspired by the role coffee plays in keeping first responders alert during long shifts, wanted their joe to taste great. However, they also wanted the brand to give back to emergency workers.
The company’s charity, the Fire Department Coffee Foundation, supports firefighters and first responders injured on the job or battling physical and/or mental health issues.
Not only that but the veteran-owned Fire Dept. Coffee also employs active and retired firefighters and first responders at every company level.
A Fire Dept. Coffee Review
It’s safe to say that the firefighters, first responders, and coffee experts involved in Fire Department’s java production process are committed to their work.
Unfortunately, though, good intentions don’t always result in coffee worth buying. Is that the case with Fire Department, or do these beans get us fired up to drink more? Let’s dig deeper.
Things We Like:
- The brand supports a good cause. We love knowing that 10 percent of the net proceeds from this Fire Dept.’s beans help first responders with physical or mental health challenges access necessary resources.
- There are plenty of options. You’d be hard-pressed not to find a Fire Department Coffee product that suits your preferences. Light roasts, decaf beans, flavored coffee blends — Fire Dept. has it all!
- The company roasts the coffee beans to order. We can all agree we don’t want to pour stale, flavorless java into our coffee mugs, can’t we? This means using the freshest beans possible, and Fire Department Coffee makes that easy by roasting green coffee beans after you order them and shipping them in a few short days.
What Needs Work:
- The brand’s subscription service leaves little room for customization. We at Roasty tend to be big fans of coffee subscription services, so we appreciate that Fire Dept. has one available for its customers. However, the options for customizing your deliveries are limited compared to other subscription services.
Noteworthy Characteristics of the Fire Dept. Brand
We had the pleasure of trying two batches of this company’s beans, one single-origin, and one spirit-infused, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t impressed.
First, let’s talk about Fire Dept.’s single-origin Mexican Chiapas coffee. We used an espresso machine to brew these bold-bodied, medium-acidity beans. As we sipped the espresso shot, we couldn’t help but notice the sweet notes of milk chocolate and a bit of pleasant citrusy orange.
Ultimately, using these beans for espresso was a good call on our part, and if you manage to get your hands on it, we recommend doing the same; they made for a spectacular shot!
Drink the coffee black or mix it with steamed milk and foam for a cappuccino; either way, it’s delicious.
The second Fire Dept. offering we tried was part of the company’s spirit-infused collection: Pumpkin Rum coffee. In our opinion, these beans are a perfect choice for any pumpkin fanatic who wants to sip something other than the classic PSL in the fall.
For the best results, use a drip machine to brew these coffee grounds; you’ll taste hints of cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, pumpkin, and, of course, rum in every sip!
Spirit-Infused Coffee Beans
Fire Dept.’s offering of spirit-infused coffee beans was one of the first things we noticed about their coffee. Believe it or not, coffee and alcohol have long been a dynamic duo (see: Irish coffee), and the company’s bourbon, whiskey, rum, and tequila-infused beans are proof.
Fire Dept. has a signature infusion process that beautifully merges the flavors of hard liquor with the high-quality unroasted coffee beans the company sources. The good folks at the Rockford, Illinois-based business load the freshly infused whole-bean coffee into the roaster.
Even though all of the alcohol burns out of the coffee, the subtle taste of the spirit remains, creating a uniquely flavorful approach to morning coffee.
Most of Fire Dept.’s spirit-infused joe is available year-round, but occasionally, the brand unveils limited-time beans infused with spirits and flavors that match the season.
For example, FDC’s coconut rum-infused coffee makes a satisfying treat during the summer months, while a glass of the company’s blackberry bourbon joe served over ice is best enjoyed on the first day of spring.
- Coffee of the Month Club: FDC’s Coffee of the Month Club is for the coffee fan with adventurous taste buds, willing to try anything at least once. With this service, you get one high-quality single-origin joe delivered to your doorstep. These products come from all over the world. It’s an easy, low-effort way to experience different regional profiles.
- Spirit-Infused Coffee Club: FDC’s spirit-infused javas combine the signature flavors of drinks like Irish whiskey, rum, and bourbon with those found in coffee beans to create a unique-tasting brew. When you join the Spirit-Infused Coffee Club, you get access to a new booze-infused coffee every month.
- Sticker Club: Perhaps you love having merch from your favorite coffee brands to show off to your friends, or maybe you just like stickers. If so, FDC’s Sticker Club might be the right choice for you. With this subscription, you get a four-pack of unique Fire Dept. Coffee stickers to share with friends or keep for yourself.
Unfortunately, neither FDC coffee subscriptions leave much room for customization. You can choose what size bag you want each month (12 or 24 ounces for standard coffees, eight or 16 ounces for spirit-infused joe).
Also, you can choose whether you want to get the same beans or a different kind of joe every month and pick whether the coffee arrives pre-ground. However, you don’t have much control beyond these choices.
If you’re content with consistently drinking the same beans, or you have more adventurous taste buds and no preferences about what type of coffee bean goes into your brewer, having such limited options probably won’t bother you much.
However, you probably won’t be content with surprise deliveries if you’re somewhat picky about your coffee (i.e., a medium-roast person who can’t stand dark-roasted coffee beans).
Overall, you might end up getting stuck with coffee beans you won’t even use for an entire month.
However, if you have more adventurous taste buds and don’t particularly care what type of coffee bean goes into your brewer, this lack of control probably won’t bother you much. You might even be excited at the thought of experiencing such a wide variety of coffees.
Most diehard coffee lovers swear up and down that your cup of coffee tastes better when made with freshly ground beans. And while we agree, we also understand that not everyone has or wants a coffee grinder in their kitchen.
Rather, some prefer to purchase pre-ground beans, while others trust Keurig brewers and K-Cup pods to do the job. Happily, FDC manages to cater to java enthusiasts in each camp.
Each of the company’s coffees, both standard, and spirit-infused, are available in whole bean and ground form so customers can select their best option. A select few coffee blends are available in K-Cup form, so Keurig lovers don’t have to miss out on the fun.
Fire Dept. Coffee FAQs
Is there alcohol in the spirit-infused coffee?
Even though real liquor makes contact with green coffee beans, the alcohol burns away during roasting. So, drinking this joe won’t give you a buzz, but your taste buds will still know the booze was there, as it leaves a pretty distinctive taste and aroma behind.
Where can I buy Fire Dept. Coffee?
The easiest way to get your hands on Fire Department Coffee is to eliminate the middleman and order it directly from the company’s website.
Is Fire Dept. Coffee fresh?
Yes! This company ensures each customer receives fresh coffee by roasting the beans to order and shipping them on the same day or a few days after.
This practice means you’ll be able to enjoy the coffee within seven to 14 days of the roast date. Better yet, most java experts agree that this window of time is when you’re most likely to get the best-tasting brew.
Should you become a fan of Fire Dept. Coffee?
Whether you support Fire Dept. Coffee is ultimately your choice. However, if you want our two cents, we suggest taking a chance on the products this dedicated team produces, especially if you’re looking for an excuse to branch out with a batch of spirit-infused coffee beans.