Coffee Cantata Review – “Raw Brews Yin-Yang Coffee and Tea Subscription Box (Allentown, Pennsylvania)”

Our flagship Yin-Yang Box was reviewed by Margaret from Coffee Cantata, check out her analysis below!

Posted on by Margaret

Coffee subscriptions are a great way to get to try a variety of coffees without having to do the legwork yourself of researching and sourcing and ordering. I’ve reviewed a number of coffee subscription companies already on this blog, but the folks at Raw Brews stood out to me because in addition to coffee, they specialize in tea as well. I am not a tea expert by any means, but I do enjoy it, so when they offered to send me a sample box of what they call their Yin-Yang subscription box (which includes 6 oz. coffee, 2 oz. tea, and artisan chocolate), I was all for it!

Before agreeing to do this review, I had a couple of questions for them about freshness and ingredients, and I am happy to report that they take freshness very seriously (their coffee is freshly roasted just prior to shipping), and that their chocolate selections are gluten-free. This coffee was roasted on March 30, and I received the box on April 3.

Raw Brews rotates their coffee and tea selections monthly. For the month of March, the featured country was Ecuador. The coffee was an Ecuador Carmen Gagnay from Elixr Coffee Roasters, and their tea was a Pai Mu Tan Silvery Needle from FloraPharm. The chocolates were from Pierre’s Chocolates.

The Coffee

Whole bean: chestnut, cherry, almond. Sweet and bright aromas.

V60: Super smooth brew and “savory” – there were no offensive or funky flavors but the coffee was really deep and clean tasting. Not nearly as sweet as the smell of the ground beans would suggest. Very traditional coffee flavor. I had watched an episode of Chopped on the Food Network the night before doing this tasting and for some reason, it came to mind that this coffee would be great as an ingredient to use in the baskets as part of a savory dish.

AeroPress: Syrupy and strong with a bright finish. Smells like chestnut but tastes more like almond and amaretto.

Chemex: This was a very silky coffee! A bit sweeter than the V60 cup but similar in character.

French press: Polar opposite of the V60 method. Too strong, and my mouth was puckering like mad. I brewed this at 4 minutes like I usually do, but it was much too long, apparently. This coffee tasted stronger and more intense than the AeroPress version!

Summary: I don’t recommend this in a French press, but I think this coffee is quite crowd-pleasing done in pourover methods like the Hario V60 and Chemex.

From the roaster: Hawaiian Punch, sugar plum, brown sugar

Review conducted 5-6 days post-roast.

The Tea

(The quarter is there for scale)

Tea experts out there will probably scoff, but the vast majority of the tea I drink comes in teabags. I can appreciate that loose-leaf is superior but it’s just not a rabbit hole I’ve gone down (yet?). When I saw that the tea in the Raw Brews box was loose-leaf, I went hunting around my kitchen for my tea ball strainer, but I then noticed that the folks at Raw Brews must have anticipated that not everyone would own a strainer, as they included this:

Cute touch! However, I ended up finding better results with another method, which I’ll detail below.

The instructions on the bag of tea stated to infuse 1 teaspoon of tea at 175 degrees for 2-3 minutes. I started with these parameters (and with the silicone shark) with around 6 ounces of water.

1 tsp tea, 3 minutes, shark: The tail didn’t even fully reach into my cup; I would have had to have filled the cup with way too much water in order to even begin the brewing process. Cute infuser, but I decided to ditch it for another method (and I wasn’t super comfortable with the idea of silicone + hot water for an extended period of time).

1 tsp tea, 3 minutes, tea ball: Bit better but I could barely taste any tea at the end of the process. Too little tea, too little steeping time? I also felt that the tea needed room to move around, as both the whale and the tea ball likely packed the leaves too tightly.

1 tsp tea, 3.5 minutes, French press: Tasted like bottled water and looked like dishwater (!).

2 tsp tea, 5 minutes, French press: Okay, this was a little better. The color here was a bit darker than the previous methods so I felt I was on the right track, but it was still too delicate. Had a slight scent of carpet.

2 tsp tea, 7.5 minutes, French press: Finally, I can recognize this as tea. It’s still EXTREMELY subtle in color in flavor, especially for someone like myself that is used to black tea, but at least now I can tell what beverage this is.

Please keep in mind that I am not a tea expert at all so I do not claim any authority here, but I don’t think using the provided silicone whale and following the instructions on the bag will lead to a satisfactory result for this particular tea. I think steeping a generous amount of this tea for 8-10 minutes in a traditional teapot would probably be the best bet, but as I don’t have one of those, the French press is a good alternative, as it will allow for the tea leaves to come into contact with the water more effectively.

The Chocolate:

These chocolates are the same (one was flipped upside down) and had a lovely smooth texture with a flavor of coffee. I enjoyed these thoroughly!

Verdict: This was a fun way to try both coffee AND tea from a particular area of the world. I think it would be an enjoyable and entertaining way to explore new flavors! And if you’re only interested in either coffee OR tea but not both, Raw Brews offers subscriptions to suit those preferences. The chocolates were a lovely touch!

Raw Brews Subscriptions

Disclaimer: I received this product gratis in exchange for a fair and honest review. Even though I received this for free, I treat and test it the same way as if I had paid for it out of my own pocket.


Health Benefits of Loose Leaf Tea Over Bagged Tea

Loose leaf tea provides the body full of chemical compounds found in the leaves termed catechins. Increasing exposure to catechins improves overall health benefits from a cup of tea, where the young leaves and whole buds are far superior to split leaf pieces, called dust and fannings — found in countless bagged varieties.

Why is loose leaf tea better than tea bags?

  • Catechins tend to degrade over time.
  • Teabagged tea tends to be stored for a more extended period of time than loose leaf, resulting in fewer catechins.
  • Concentrations of catechins are higher in whole leaf form than in fannings and dust variations – surface area, fewer amounts lead to faster nutrient loss
  • Tea bags absorb some catechins rather than providing more nutrients to the tea drinker, thus losing nutrients.

Additionally, bagged tea quality is less prominent than full leaf tea.  Once broken tea leaves are steeped, they release more substantial amounts of tannins than whole leaf tea, producing a bitter, astringent taste, since they have lost most of their aroma and essential oils.

Curb Boring Coffee with a Flavor-filled Experience

The coffee industry is adapting to the customer’s palate rather than their roast choice. Flavors are king in the coffee community, so our goal is to help incorporate the best-flavored coffee that is custom to your preferences. How so? Well, with Raw Brews, we will send a survey via a link in your subscription box to help identify your custom roast profile.

Some statements we hear often are, “Why should I bother with flavors with my roast? I have enjoyed my regular medium coffee for over thirty years!” While we understand most customers have a favorite roast, we rebuttal with the question, “Yes, we know you have a favorite roast, but would you prefer a nutty or chocolate flavor in your roast? How about a nutty almond flavor?” Now, this is the crucial difference between allowing an individuals roast to go that much further, to their unique flavor palate.

We aim to provide a blissful experience in every cup, which is custom created for you, by you. All of our flavor selections contain none of the industry additives found in some commercialized products.

Here at Raw Brews, we strive to improve your experience with coffee, not just indulging in the caffeine experience, but the flavor, as well.

P.S. Check out our blog on what we offer here!




Raw Brews – Coffee and Tea, Simplified


Raw – adj. (of a material or substance) in its natural state; not yet processed or purified.

Brew – verb. Make (tea or coffee) by mixing it with hot water.

We chose the name, Raw Brews simply because it signifies precisely what we as customers cherish, an untainted, pure experience by a trusted source.

Every day, we strive to provide you with an outstanding cup of coffee or tea, while continually improving our relationships with industry leaders.

We share this as an action to you, why settle for less? Join the family, here at Raw Brews.


We Optimized Our Site, and We Love It!

We transitioned our website to a new modern platform. Since the transition, we managed to improve our site in several ways, which increased performance and stability.

Here are some key features:

  • Responsive design
  • Quick ordering process
  • Informative descriptions sections without switching pages
  • Reliable up-time speeds
  • Faster page load-outs

Since our switch, we have improved our sites speeds and performance ten-fold, which have led to improved conversion rates and durability.

Dunkin’ Donuts Girl Scout Cookie Flavored Coffee, Blurring the Lines of True Coffee

Dunkin’ Donuts unveiled their new signature line of Girl Scout Cookie flavored coffees, which had media in an uproar as of late, and rightly so, the coffee community is losing the focus on naturally crafted coffee beans for chemically enhanced flavored ‘coffee’.

Three new flavors were rolled out on Monday, February 26 to all participating Dunkin’ locations, nationwide. These flavors included a Thin Mints®, Coconut Caramel, and Peanut Butter Cookie; all flavors will remain until May 2018.

These flavors may bring in an initial coffee-craze, but once the chemicals settle, coffee-goers will realize that their true cup of coffee will stem from adequately sourced beans from far-reaching places throughout the world.

At Raw Brews, we believe naturally sourced products and flavors will remain in the public’s eye of coffee standards. As the role of organic, and non-enhanced products remain atop the leaderboard, good quality coffee will stay in the hands of the smaller businesses.

As stated in our story, our mission is “to indulge our customers with fresh, flavorful coffee and tea with convenience and ease, one brew at a time!” and we aim to keep this promise.





Get Blended with Aroma from Our Coffee/Tea Subscription!

Let’s go for a cup of coffee! Most of us have heard or experienced this line when it comes to impressing someone special or merely taking a break from the long tired hours of work. Also, just being able to take some time off from those horrifying nights of extended studies during final exams times. Whatever the reason be, coffee or tea is always a savior, and that small cup has tremendous power to merely flip our moods to a better outcome.

We here at Raw Brews offer you some of the best coffee/tea subscription boxes that would make each of your mornings the perfect one and leave you feeling energized for the rest of your day. Our collections of teas and coffees are produced from fine-quality sources, which are selected from all across the world. So hop on to our website and order your subscription today.

Ying-Yang Coffee and Tea Subscription Box

If you love surprises, then we are here to surprise you every month with our Ying-Yang Coffee and Tea subscription box, which would reach you on the very first day of the month. The perfect blend of combinations is exclusively designed so that you can DIY an ideal cup of coffee/tea just like a pro.

Roaster Coffee Subscription Box

This subscription is specially designed for those coffee lovers who like to taste all variations of coffee. You may always select your preference, such as a light, medium, dark, or decaf, as well as get further variations in the monthly subscriptions. The aroma is so pleasant and tempting that we are afraid you might have a daily guest visit for a cup of coffee at your home.

Explorer Tea Subscription Box

Nothing can match the feeling of having a sip of hot tea and looking at the sunlight falling on the ground, with cute little birds visiting your garden. Tea’s are meant to be very special. Hence, we come up with a great monthly subscription of tea’s which include variations of green, white, black and oolong tea.

We, here at Raw Brews, make sure that every sip of your tea/coffee is just as unique as the first one. Hence, we provide only the best quality products to our most esteemed customers. So do not wait anymore, we are just a click away.