Who is Blue State Coffee, and what makes it stand out?
Blue State Coffee is an independent family-run chain with venues across the New England area. Now, you may be expecting just another coffee company here.
However, they do things a little differently from your typical coffee shop.
Blue State Coffee has its own unique formula that puts great coffee side by side with an ethical and philanthropic ethos. Something that results in exceptional coffee for patrons and a better standard of life for those involved in the coffee-making process.
They do all they can to minimize their business impact on the environment. They also donate a percentage of their sales to local nonprofit organizations.
In fact, the figure currently rests at over $1,000,000, and you can even find out about the individual charities they have helped on their website here.
That’s not all either, as Blue State offers excellent and tasty coffee that is sourced, produced, and transported in the most ethical way possible.
That means fair trade, and they even regularly visit coffee growers farms in Honduras and South America. To build relationships and learn more about the enticing beans, they select for their micro-lot range.
Finally, Blue State set itself apart from others in the coffee industry because they buy their beans green from all over the world. They then wait until they get to their own personal roastery to roast them in small batches to preserve the exciting flavors.
All about the mud
Now you know a little about who Blue State is, and what it stands for in the coffee world, it’s time to find out about the beverages that it has built their business upon.
First of all, it’s worth noting that there are some signature coffees that every venue serves all year round. You can also buy these blends online to enjoy in your own home, as well.
Perhaps the most popular of these is organic blend True Blue, which is a mix of medium and dark beans for a flavourful cherry-chocolatey, taste. Then there is the Espresso #9, a blend sourced from some of the farms that Blue State regularly visit, and provides drinkers with pleasant rich notes of dark chocolate, with just a hint of citrus!
Although, if it’s an iced coffee you are after, it is a smart idea to ask for the smoother, natural sweeter Liberty blend which you will notice hints of nuts and toffee that perfectly hold up to the chill!
Oh, and their decaf is pretty impressive too, and the fact that they go to some effort to get it to taste like their regular caffeinated blends certainly shines through.
Another thing that sets Blue State apart from the closest competitors is that they choose smaller lots of coffee from trips to South America, and offer these on a rotating yearly basis. Something that means coffee aficionados that have tried every blend and method can still find something exciting and stimulating to their tastes buds on every trip.
Apart from coffee and other beverages, you can also get some darn fine vittles, or food as it’s known to you and me from Blue State. In fact, their menu is chef devised and changes seasonally.
Still, you can expect delicious delights perfect for breakfast, such as bagels with lox and egg sandwiches (free-range, of course). Which you can add all manner of scrumptious extras, including turkey sausage, ham, or bacon.
Alternatively, if you are looking for something a little more substantial, you will often find there are offers such as the BLT Ranch Sandwich which, apart from applewood smoked bacon, also comes with a spicy buttermilk ranch on a sourdough batard.
Then there are excellent and varied vegan options on offer. Which includes the Chickpea Hummus Plate that comes with spicy bagel chips and veggies.
Although, many of the vegan persuasion, and some that aren’t, opt for the Balsamic Tofu Sandwich, a dish that comes on multigrain bread with pesto dressing and is simply delicious!
Of course, as you would expect from a coffee business of such high caliber, they have some pretty sweet desserts to snack on as well. In fact, a firm favorite across all the are the humongous cookies that come in a variety of flavors!
Venues and locations
Finally, when it comes to making your decision about whether to patronize Blue State, you’ll need to know as much about what you can expect from their venues as possible.
You will, of course, find that their decor is clean, modern and minimal, with just an added dash of patriotism in the form of USA flags and political quotes about the place.
Also, with so many venues, Blue State is often very conveniently placed for a quick shot of espresso, or a more leisurely lunch or breakfast.
Of course, with shops located in New Haven, Hartford, Providence, and Boston.
With some close to the Yale and Brown University Campuses, you can expect a pleasant, collegial feel. Yet, not one that is so strong that it will put the non-students among us off a visit.
Additionally, you will find that Blue State’s venues are all clean and bright spaces where you can expect free wifi. They even run events such as coffee tasting and educational activities from time to time.
That’s not to say they are no problems whatsoever though, as sometimes their venues can get so busy that they become a little loud and too tightly packed for some. In fact, if you are hoping to get a table at peak times, it’s best to arrive a little early and accept you may have to wait around 10 minutes for a table to become free.
Service, on the other hand, is often rated as high, with friendly, approachable baristas. Which apart from the fantastic coffee underpinned with an impressive ethos is an excellent reason to frequent a Blue State Coffee, next time you need a mud fix in New England.