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Red Bird Espresso: Popular Espresso Beans Reviewed

Making espresso at home is no small feat. You have to learn an entirely new set of skills, get the right equipment, and practice for weeks or even months.

It helps when you have high quality beans to serve as a constant, and that’s where Red Bird Espresso comes in.

Located in southwest Montana in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, Red Bird is widely known throughout the specialty coffee industry for consistently tasty beans.

Even though you may have not heard of them before, they’ve made waves by offering delicious coffee at budget-friendly prices. Here’s a closer look at this small batch roastery.

Why Red Bird Coffee Is So Popular

In short, Red Bird gained fame through the Internet. They’re talked about a lot on the /r/coffee subreddit, and it helps that they offer fairly inexpensive coffee.

Their namesake blend Red Bird Espresso is considered to be an excellent baseline for what good espresso tastes like, and it’s used by home baristas all over the world.

So what makes their Red Bird Espresso so good? There are a few important factors.

First, it’s crucial to understand that there are no such things as “espresso beans.” Almost any type of coffee beans can be roasted for and prepared as espresso.

Many coffee chains like Starbucks claim that their super dark roasts are espresso beans, but often, medium or even light roasts are great for espresso. Red Bird understands this and doesn’t roast their beans for too long.

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Instead, they roast the bean delicately so that all the natural flavors are preserved, making it ideal for espresso.

This results in a bean that will give you a smooth, silky shot of espresso (if made correctly, of course).

Second, Red Bird’s beans just taste great.

If you’ve ever had a great shot of espresso, Americano, or latte from a high quality coffee shop, you know how good espresso can taste. (And you’ve probably had your fair share of burnt, bitter espresso, too.)

Red Bird Espresso has flavor notes of hazelnut, chocolate, and caramel.

These flavors are easy to distinguish in shots of espresso, and in milk-based drinks like lattes, they cut through the milk so you’re not just tasting hot milk foam.

Third, the prices. I’ve alluded that these beans are cheap, but let me put that into perspective for you.

A one pound bag of Red Bird Espresso costs just $14.25 before shipping. Compare that to beans from some of the bigger coffee roasters, and the difference is immediately apparent.

Take Stumptown’s Hair Bender, the blend they recommend for espresso, which is $15 for 12 ounces. That works out to $20 a pound (before shipping!).

Or consider Blue Bottle Coffee’s Hayes Valley Espresso, which is about $22 a pound (again, before shipping costs). Red Bird’s beans are a steal, especially considering their quality.

Red Bird Coffee’s Many Offerings

Red Bird Espresso isn’t the only type of coffee the company sells. Currently, they have a whopping 33 coffees listed, which is far more than most other roasters offer.

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They have just about everything, from single origins that taste great in a pour over brewer to blends that are ideal for French Press.

Two of their most popular coffees (aside from Red Bird Espresso) are Blue Jaguar Espresso and Brazil Sweet Blue.

Blue Jaguar tastes like milk chocolate with some fruit on top, while Sweet Blue is described as tasting like a spicy chocolate bar.

Both beans work great for espresso, and many Red Bird customers actually prefer them to Red Bird Espresso.

So whether you want a bright and fruity coffee that’s really unique or a classic standby that you can just pop in your Mr. Coffee machine, Red Bird has you covered.

Conclusion

If you make espresso at home and want an affordably priced bean to use consistently, give Red Bird Coffee a look.

I recommend trying their Red Bird Espresso first. (Side note: I’ve tried their Blue Jaguar Espresso, and I recommend buying it if you want a little kick to your espresso shots.)

At prices that nearly everyone can afford, Red Bird’s high quality beans are definitely worth a try.

image: Reddit

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