Coffee Reviews
7.5 min read

Looking for Your Next Coffee Fix? Here’s Your Huckleberry

The flavors were consistent throughout each sip, which is a massive compliment in coffee testing. Each swallow included strong tastes of rich chocolate, followed by lighter nuances of caramel and toasted nuts.

Cost: $$
5/5 Beans
Pros: Eco-friendly business practices
Cons: The amazing Flores Belas blend is only available through Trade Coffee
Final Thoughts: From partnering with sustainable, smallholder farms and coffee co-ops for high-quality ingredients to a healthy, positive workplace, Huckleberry Roasters had a recipe for success from the beginning.
HUCK coffee roasters: Flores Belas

No matter how much you love your current coffee brand and beans, you’re always on the lookout for something new and — dare we say — better.

So are we. When we found Huckleberry Coffee’s Flores Belas blend, we knew we had to test it and see if all the talk about its tempting taste was true.

What’s the scoop on Huckleberry Roasters (familiarly known as HUCK)? Are their beans top-of-the-line? And is their Flores Belas the first product you should try?

We’ve done the research to help you decide whether it’s worth passing on your regular cup to try this one next.

The HUCK Coffee Story

Like many start-up success stories, the Huckleberry Roasters began almost accidentally.

Two friends in Denver, Colorado, Koan Goedman and Mark Mann, shared a love for coffee. In a garage, they’d play around with different beans, flavors, and brewing methods, trying to outdo each cup they created.

Over time, word of their coffee’s quality got out, and the two opened a small room on Larimer Street. Eventually, business boomed, and the company moved to a shop in Sunnyside with a production center south of Denver’s center.

Today, the company has expanded, including wholesale and a large (though discerning) array of products.

Related: Red Rooster Coffee Review: Old Crow Cuppa Joe

The Secret to Their Success

It’s no secret that coffee shops abound in nearly every town and city in the world. Where there’s a love of this drink, there’s a place that sells the brew, and many of the products are downright delectable.

Yet, not all these shops achieved the success of Huckleberry Roasters. What’s their secret?

The founders decided early to dedicate their time to providing consumers with top-quality, delicious-tasting coffee. But they also pledged to go further than that and build a business model on sustainable practices.

In an environmentally focused world, the business upholds a reputation as eco-friendly through:

  • Recycling methods
  • Composting
  • 100% wind-powered facilities

Besides using renewable resources, they also source all products from responsibly farmed beans.

Valuing Employees and Partners

The business’s sense of sustainability and pride extends to its partners and employees. Local community farms receive competitive pay and share long-term business relationships with HUCK.

The founding partners recognize that their employees are integral to the success of their business. They value their workers and respect their opinions on how to improve the systems in place.

To extend this recognition, they ensure their staff receive:

  • Competitive pay
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Gym membership access
  • Eco-friendly incentives for biking to work and staying healthy
  • Encouragement to engage in learning opportunities through training and certifications

The employee-centric work atmosphere, in turn, impacts customers by producing positive interactions. This unique take on a large company’s business model helps the brand’s culture stay in place and leaves staff and customers highly satisfied.

Denver mural

A Small Start With a Big Impact

In an economic society, profit often comes before quality, workers, and consumers. Given that, it’s easy to see why HUCK’s founders started small and made a massive impact.

From partnering with sustainable, smallholder farms and coffee co-ops for high-quality ingredients to a healthy, positive workplace, Huckleberry Roasters had a recipe for success from the beginning.

But are their products really as good as the culture of the company? Let’s check them out, starting with a test of the Flores Belas blend.

You may also like: Archipelago Coffee [+ Our Curated Review of the Rindo blend]

Our Review of the Flores Belas Blend

flores belas bag

Flores Belas is a Trade-exclusive blend, so that’s where our journey with this HUCK brew began. The natural dry, processed, medium-roast beans are sourced seasonally from Latin America.

We knew we were in for a treat from the instant we unpacked our Flores Belas box. The brew’s colorful packaging in bright, can’t-miss-hues is HUCK’s signature style. We chose the standard bag (10.93 oz) for $15.95, but you can also nab this in a two-pound option if you love it.

The Big Reveal

Sliding open the resealable package unleashes our favorite aroma:

Fresh whole beans with an underlying hint of chocolate.

But would the beans continue to share that powerful scent through the grinding process?

We’re happy to answer that with a yes!

The Aroma Test

flores belas beans

Once we brewed our freshly ground Flores Belas beans in our French press, we started with the first, most crucial step: the inhale.

We recommend you never skip this step since it’s often easy to predict how great your coffee will taste just by that first smell.

Upon the initial aroma test, the inviting fragrances of nutty milk chocolate and a slight wisp of caramel delighted the senses.

The Taste Test

flores belas brewed

On to the real test: the taste!

The flavors were consistent throughout each sip, which is a massive compliment in coffee testing. Each swallow included strong tastes of rich chocolate, followed by lighter nuances of caramel and toasted nuts.

Slight hints of caramel and vanilla linger, along with a zing that might have been from the website’s list of orange acidity. However, we didn’t pick up on any orange-ish tastes in the flavor profile.

Adding a splash of milk to the brew enhanced the caramel flavor and reduced the minty aftertaste. With or without milk, this cup of joe could quickly satisfy your craving for a coffee fix any time of day.

Discover: How to Make French Press Coffee

What Products Are in the Huckleberry Collection?

From light-roasted coffee beans to espresso, the HUCK Collection has everything a coffee lover could ask for (and more!). Made from natural ingredients like wild huckleberry and other fruity and vegetal flavors, the variety of Arabica coffee blends ensures there’s a taste for every palate.

While the product lineup changes, with specialty products coming and going, you’ll find some consistent coffees available all year. Let’s check out a list of the favorites, including a Good Foods Award Winner, here.

Rwanda Ruli

The Rwanda Ruli is straight from Rwanda’s women’s group cooperative in Rambagirarakawa. Coffee from this area grows in rich, red clay soil, which gives it a sweet, sugary taste with fruity acidity in every bean.

All premiums the co-op receives are then reinvested into women’s health and education and other benefits for its members.

Colombia Los Cortes

Rebranded and renamed to honor its people, Colina del Viento, an old, wild favorite, is back as Colombia Los Cortes.

The flavors in this coffee are due, in part, to the fermentation step created while processing. This unique fermentation process achieves the “wild” effect of a strong, fruity taste of raspberry and mulled wine.

Blue Orchid

Huckleberry’s house espresso blend, Blue Orchid blend, is available at every HUCK cafe and for online purchase. This brew is the go-to choice when you want an all-around bean that’s just as tasty as a cup of coffee or an espresso, served with or without milk.

In Huckleberry’s cafes, lattes are always brewed with a Blue Orchid base, and they’re one of the most popular drinks served daily. The blend changes, but it’s always made from Central and South American beans with a full-bodied profile of chocolate and caramel. It’s the ideal choice for a comfort drink and perfect for every taste bud!

Have you ever had a Spanish Latte? Learn to make one here!

Skeleton Key Decaf

When you want a strong, flavorful cup of coffee without the jolt of caffeine, the Skeleton Key Decaf* blend hits the spot. This brew was solely served in Huckleberry’s cafes, but due to demand, it’s now available to bring home in bags.

The foundational flavors get rotated seasonally to ensure versatility as a coffee or espresso. Next, they go for processing at sugarcane decafs in Colombia. With this brew, every cup gives you hints of fruit, strong chocolate, and caramel, topped off with sweet tastes of nuts.

*HUCK brews other decaf options, too, including a version of the Los Cortes blend we talked about earlier.

Phantom Limb

And now, for the 2021 Good Foods Award Winner we promised you: Phantom Limb!

It’s an unusual name, but this is not your usual cup of joe. Phantom Limb is HUCK’s wildest blend with fruit-forward tastes that most wouldn’t expect in traditional drip coffees or espressos.

Sourced from East African beans, Phantom Limb includes natural and washed coffees with unique flavors like jam, berries, and florals. It’s the go-to shot for espresso in Huckleberry cafes and makes the perfect at-home brew for a perky pick-me-up.

The taste of each bag of Phantom Brew will vary depending on the seasonal flavors, but they’re always bright, fruity, and as varied as a bag of Skittles.

On a more serious note, the Phantom Limb blend name comes from the global problem of phantom pain that stems from the loss of a limb. Huckleberry Roasters chose this name to draw attention to the condition which impacts some of its customers. For every sale of the blend, a portion of the proceeds goes to local amputee support organizations.

Merch and More

Want to show your support for this small-town coffee shop made big?

Check out HUCK’s merchandise, which includes beanies, hats, Colorado mugs, t-shirts, and hoodies. Local visitors can also nab a signature HUCK coffee club jar.

HUCK also offers a coffee club subscription that you can keep for yourself or gift to others. The selections are bi-weekly or monthly.

Gift subscriptions are available in pre-paid batches of your (or the recipient’s) preferred blends that will last for three, six, or 12 months. Your favorite person will receive a new bag of coffee monthly to remind them how much you care.

Good news for wholesalers! You can partner with HUCK to add their signature blends to your employees’ coffee room, sell in your restaurant, or provide incredible-tasting brews to your customers anywhere.

Trivia Facts

question mark/trivia facts

Have you ever wondered where the minds behind Huckleberry Roaster’s products get their funky names?

Wonder no more!

Each coffee blend is named after a song that was significant to the company at some point in its history. For instance, Phantom Limb by The Shins was discussed in one of Koan and Mark’s first conversations, and it became relevant when they met a customer with phantom limb syndrome.

Where Can You Buy Huckleberry Products Online?

You’ll find most of Huckleberry’s products on the HUCK website. However,  Belas Flores is exclusively available through Trade as a subscribe-and-save or one-time purchase.

Visit their site to find out if your favorite ground coffee or espresso blend is available and check for new product lines. (Many blends are temporarily discontinued and then returned later, so bookmark HUCK’s page and visit frequently!)

Considering a Trade subscription? Read this first: Trade Coffee Subscription Review


Ready to see if Flores Belas or another HUCK product is your new coffee favorite?

If you have the opportunity, visit a Huckleberry Roaster in person — they have four locations in Denver. Or, use the online checkout and try their specialty coffee with your favorite tasting notes, shipped fresh from the roastery.

Comments (0)

Posts We Think You’d Like
Archipelago Coffee [+ Our Curated Review of the Rindo Blend]
Archipelago Coffee [+ Our Curated Review of the Rindo Blend]
Coffee Beans
5.5 min read
5/5 Beans
The manufacturers focus on top-quality products using organically sourced beans, never touched by artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Because of the
Read More