Gay Coffee: Not Quite As Fabulous As the Name Suggests

Categories: Humor

​First, we giggled; then, we became skeptical. What, exactly, can be so gay about coffee?

Well, in the case of Gay Coffee, a roasting company based in Williamsburg, Mass., the exact gay nature of the coffee stems more from management (gay owned and operated) and the packaging ("Stone Butch Breakfast Blend," for example) than the coffee itself.

When the coffee made its debut at the Castro Street Fair a week ago, we're betting it was quite a giggling hit -- after all, the target audience probably enjoyed the novelty of names like "Red Hanky Roast" (with a photo of a voluptuous butt -- and red handkerchief) and "Weekend Pass" ("All Aboard," the subtitle reads).

The company also does some admirable things: the coffee's organic and fair trade, and 1 percent of all proceeds are donated to the LGBT Task Force.

But once we brewed the roasts in our own SFoodie kitchen, we thought to ourselves: if you're going to market your coffee as celebrating the boldness of gay culture, maybe you should make sure your coffee isn't, well, weak.

The Stone Butch Breakfast Blend ("Untouchably Delicious") was a light roast that came out at a tea-like strength, even after we brewed it a few times to rule out a fluke. Red Hanky? Somehow we thought the name would have suggested a roast that was a bit more, er, forceful. But even as a dark roast it remained pretty neutral. No thanky. And the Weekend Pass was one we'd probably pass up.

Matt J. Smith
​To the company's credit, the designs are sassy and would make a cute gift -- and considering our fair city's reputation, we're betting this isn't the last $13 bag of gay coffee you'll be seeing. (Do let us know if you try some of the other roasts, including the I'm-so-excited Good Morning Mary!)

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I know the owner's coffee well as I've been drinking it for years in Western Massachusetts. It is delicious- the best coffee I've had, and I grew up in Northern California and Seattle, and had delepoped quite a picky taste. I have to think the flaw lay in the brewing, or that you would prefer other roasts. She roasts every batch by hand in a small roaster that she refurbished herself, and quite honestly, she is a master at choosing the beans and coming up with new roasts. To all the california readers, give her a shot. Make sure you grind the beans to the right size for your coffee system! All of her roasts are different- some are subtle and some are really rich and powerful. ( I love the Good Morning Mary blend.) I live in new Jersey now and I still get all of my coffee from her.


I just read Melissa's earlier reply to this review and I urge you to take her up in it! I hadn't thought of the possibility of getting a bad seal, I that is the case, you've got to do yourself the favor of trying another. The labels are fun, but I've been drinking and buying her coffee for 4 years without the lables. Even living 6 hours away now, I only drink Melissa's coffee!

Melissa Krueger
Melissa Krueger

Wow!  I am so bummed to read that you didn't enjoy Gay Coffee!   The branding is meant to be fun, for sure - but the coffee is supposed to be absolutely great, too, and I am really scratching my head on this one.  I have been a coffee roaster for over 5 years, and a cafe owner for 7 - so making good coffee for people is essential to me.  So is your feedback.   I can only guess that somehow the seals were not complete on these introductory bags - perhaps causing staling of the coffee in transit?  Or perhaps the grind was too coarse, which would result in weak coffee.  In any event - I would like to send you a fresh batch asap.  Not everyone will like the same kinds of coffee, to be sure - but quality is job one here at Gay Coffee and I hope you will consider another try.  Just let me know where to send it, and thanks for your input.

Melissa KruegerGay

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