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When we say, “Picture a classic cup of coffee,” many people think of the same brew: a dark, luxurious coffee with tasting notes like chocolate, caramel, and roasted nuts. A coffee that fills all of your senses and tastes as good as it smells. We sat down with James Tooill, our single origin roaster and the 2015 U.S. Cup Tasting Champion, to go behind the scenes of a classically roasted coffee.

1. What are the essential characteristics of a classic cup of coffee?

A classic cup of coffee is one that makes you feel comfortable and happy. It’s the way that a good morning feels. For myself and many La Colombe fans, Corsica is the epitome of a classic coffee. It’s rich and chocolate-y and has the long aftertaste of a morning well spent.

2. What coffee traditions are represented in La Colombe’s Classic blends?

Our Classic blends come from a tradition of innovation. Todd and JP have traveled the world and sampled many coffee traditions. JP has French roots and has traveled extensively in Brazil, while Todd’s experiences include one of the world’s oldest coffee traditions in Ethiopia. Corsica takes all those experiences and delivers a high-end specialty coffee that is, for us, the quintessential American blend.

3. When roasting coffee, how do you know when the beans have reached that perfect, dark richness?

When we roast coffee, we use all of our senses to achieve the perfect roast. We check on the beans as they are roasting, because the color of the beans slowly changes to just the right shade of toasted brown. The beans pop and crack as they’re roasting and our lead roaster knows the sound of the perfect Corsica.

Most important is the smell. As the coffee roasts, the aroma is constantly developing until it reaches the distinctive smell of warm maple syrup. That aroma is the sweet spot for Corsica, and it’s exactly that point at which we release the beans from the roaster.

Check out Corsica and the rest of our Classic blends here.


  1. Why don’t you just tell us which coffee blend you’re making reference to as being the “classroom cup of morning coffee “? It’s a very vague and non-specific article.

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