Growers Cup Coffee Review

A single serve specialty coffee hits the mark

Mexico, a premium Grower's Cup single serve gourmet coffee
Mexico, a premium Grower's Cup single serve gourmet coffee

By Rick Shandley

Grower’s Cup specialty coffee is a recent entry into the growing trend of single-serving coffee market. We are not talking about “instant” coffee here, so you can eliminate the majority of retail grocery shelf offerings right from the gate. Grower’s Cup is a specialty or gourmet coffee, meaning that only the finest Arabica coffee beans are used. Arabica coffee beans are selected for each variety’s bean characteristics, flavor and aroma.

Grower’s Cup really does appear to be shooting to actualize their claim as the, “Worlds Best Coffee Brew.” And for such a bold statement to be printed on their single serve packaging, Grower’s Cup must have a ton of confidence in their product. After preparing and tasting the Grower’s Cup “Mexico Mild,” we can attest that the Grower’s Cup single serve coffee taste excellent.  Only Arabica beans are used for the Growers Cup product line. Arabica beans are high quality beans that allow for a more flavorful and complex tasting coffee.

The three coffee flavors of Mexico, Bolivia, and Ethiopia each offer a distinctly different set of flavor characteristics that may work fantastic for your daily morning cup of coffee. But you may also see Grower’s Cup coffee as a practical choice as a support staple for mountaineering expeditions, back country horse packing trips, and even military applications since Grower’s Cup coffee packaging is compact like meals ready-to-eat (MRE).

In addition to straight forward brewing instructions, each Grower’s Cup coffee package gives you background on the specific coffee. Information such as country, region, the city, the farm where the coffee was grown, the processing used, and the elevation the coffee was grown at. You immediately get the affirmation from the packaging information and the taste of the coffee itself that you are getting true gourmet coffee.

As an outdoor enthusiast, I envisioned using the Grower’s Cup single-serving coffee as a great back country morning cup of coffee.  Each single serve package of Grower’s Cup coffee has everything you need to brew that great tasting cup of coffee except the hot water. What I like about the packaging is the slim profile and only slightly more than 26-grams of weight. The thin profile of the packaging works perfect for loading up a backpack for a multi-day trip and you can realistically take as many of these Grower’s Cup coffee servings as you like, they lay flat.

Grower’s Cup single serve coffee is also a fantastic choice for road trips and car camping where you can have gourmet coffee with every cup, but the messy proposition of dealing with coffee grounds and soaked up coffee filters are contained in a zip-lock package that you can toss in the trash.

Grower's Cup Ehiopia and Bolivia coffee choices.
Grower's Cup Ethiopia and Bolivia coffee choices.

The Bolivia Grower’s Cup coffee is considered a strong brew. If you like robust flavor and a medium dark roasted coffee, Bolivia may fill your cup. For those folks who like a medium flavor to their coffee, the Ethiopia may be to your liking.

The packaging is designed to function as an all-in-one brewing and pouring vessel, with the exhausted coffee grounds still contained in the packaging so you can pack it out of a trail trek or toss it into the trash if you are at home. This packaging and serving envelope functions similar to a French Press except you don’t plunge the coffee grounds to the bottom of the container before your pour it. Instead, the coffee filter that contains the grounds also acts as a screen to filter the hot liquid as you pour it into the cup.

Grower’s Cup packaging does seem to do its job pretty well. You heat up a half-liter of water to just shy of boiling temp. Following directions on the package for exposing the brewing chamber and pour spout, you fill the package with hot water, seal it up, and wait for five to eight minutes before you are ready to pour your morning buzz.

My first choice to assess the Grower’s Cup offerings was the mild Mexico region coffee.  And I chose it because Mexico grows some of the best coffee in the world, and it’s not easy to import to the U.S., so you can’t always get it from your local specialty coffee roaster.  I drank it black, and it smelled, tasted, and settled with the best specialty coffee roasts I have had.

If you can drink coffee black and enjoy it, it’s a contender for brand of coffee you might buy again and again. Is this coffee consistently great? I couldn’t tell you at this point. But the effort Grower’s Cup has gone through to package this high-end coffee in a platform that allows the traveler, backpacker, or everyday rat-racer to enjoy a good cup of coffee in a single serve package, I would expect the quality to be consistent.

One caveat I would put out there is that dealing with hot water and getting every bit of that half-liter (or two cups) accurately into the brewing chamber was a little awkward. Grower’s Cup does offer a composite pot holder, with handle, that may be useful. In the back country, a slip could mean a scalded hand. It takes a little getting used to, and possibly using a funnel, to get the two-cups of hot water into the package. And once the hot water is in the package, you just close it up and wait for five to eight minutes depending on how strong you want the coffee to be.

Another observation is that for a suggested retail price of $3.50 per package, you really only get 16 ounces of coffee. That is an ultra-premium price, but not out of line with high-end specialty coffee from your local coffee house.

In fairness, specialty coffee growing, selection, and exportation/transportation is costly. Grower’s Cup coffee’s are not only premium “best of crop” beans, but they are also Fair Trade and Organic so the added costs must be passed on to make the business venture worth the risks. Is it a value? That depends on your reasons for wanting a single serve coffee in the first place. As an option to carry while traveling on business, camping or backpacking, then I’d say it does because that’s how I intend to use Grower’s Cup.

If you enjoy drinking great coffee for its taste, then you can expect to drink Grower’s Cup coffee black. And that’s about as high a recommendation as any gourmet coffee could hope to achieve, you can drink it without cream and sugar, just black.

SportHansa of Longmont, Colorado is the U.S. contact for Grower’s Cup coffee. You can contact them at (303) 872-5335 or

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