Roast Review: Happy Joe Coffee

“You have to try Happy Joe!” 

This is what my friend Alex told me one day on a sunrise hike outside of Denver, Colorado. Like me, Alex appreciates good coffee and early morning adventures. I looked up Happy Joe Coffee and fell in love with their branding and thoughtfulness of combining direct-trade coffee with organic CBD. It’s safe to say that my interest peaked, so I reached out to the company and was immediately met with professionalism and kindness by their team.


I was thus far happy with the experience connecting with the brand and the team, now it was time to try out the coffee!

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe 

Since Alex introduced me to Happy Joe, I requested her presence at the coffee tasting!

First Impressions

I spilled the beans into a glass bowl and we passed it back and forth, taking turns guessing flavor notes simply by smell. Alex smelled bourbon, mousse chocolate, and sweet grass. She imagined herself kicking back in a cowboy hat and boots on a chilly morning with this coffee.

“Wow,” I said, “you gathered all that from just smelling the beans, imagine what will happen when you actually taste it!” Personally I noted a sweet syrupy undertone, some sort of fruit, dark wood, and chocolate.

It’s always fun to introduce someone new to the Wacaco products. It’s like doing a magic trick showing them how easy it can be to produce a fresh and delicious cup of coffee or espresso. I opted to use the Pipamoka for this coffee. Alex examined the Pipamoka, commenting on the neat design that she had never seen anywhere else. I brewed the coffee and split the warm liquid between two cups.

Tasting Notes

We sipped our coffee in silence at first, each in our own experience, thoughtfully considering what we tasted. I finally said that I noted a syrupy mouthfeel and that it was definitely light and fruity. There was also something earthy and grounding about it! 

Alex was impressed with how smooth the coffee was. She noted sweet grass and a “crisp Fall taste.” We went back to the visual Alex had initially painted (the one with the cowboy hat, boots, and sipping coffee outside) and added dogs, a rocking chair, and simply loving life. This is definitely a mountain-view kind of coffee and one that can help anyone start the day off right!

The Reveal

If you could win a coffee tasting, I think Alex would take home the trophy with this one. Happy Joe describes this coffee as having notes of caramel and green apple (very Fall!) as well as jasmine tea, sweet peach, and lemon zest.

Espresso Blend 

Since I had too much fun drinking the Ethiopian coffee, I saved the espresso for another day! I called on two coffee tasting assistants for this Happy Joe CBD Espresso Blend: my friend, Corinne, and my husband, James.

First Impressions

I performed the ritual of pouring beans into a glass bowl so we could take turns smelling them and taking guesses. I quickly became entranced by chocolate and marshmallow notes. Corinne noted chocolate as well and James added on that there was something bright about the smell. Perhaps a fruit? I said that it could be a berry but a dark, punchy berry. Corinne guessed it could be currant. 

We pulled out the Picopresso and Corinne watched in amazement as it produced a beautiful espresso.

Tasting Notes

“Oh interesting,” said Corinne on her first sip, “it’s mellow but complex.” She said that she’s had a lot of experience with espresso being bitter and “punching you in the face with caffeine” but this was more like a warm hug.

I laughed and agreed. I love when you can enjoy the espresso on its own instead of choking it down or needing to add tons of milk to make it palatable. I noted a sweet taste on the front end with a bit of spice on the backend.

James said it could taste a red fruit but there was something a bit nutty as well. He mentioned that this seemed like the ideal coffee to share with friends or before doing focused work, since it has the perfect blend of caffeine-to-mellow ratio.

Tasting Notes

I love how Happy Joe describes this coffee, so I honestly don’t want to put it any other way! They say:

“This balanced and complete coffee is blended with respect to the history and tradition of old-world espresso. Ideal for drinking straight or pairing with milk. Black cherry, Meyer lemon, and strawberry are supported by sweet graham cracker and tamarind. Hints of cocoa nib and baking spice appear in the finish.”