Staff Writer Rachael Medina
Rachael Medina is the senior content writer and operations manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests o…See full bio
Photo courtesy of Drink Coffee Do Stuff.
Like many Californians, my day doesn’t truly begin until I have a warm cup of coffee in my hands. This morning ritual has become increasingly important to me over the years, and the days when I have artisanal coffee beans are always my favorites. While the Golden State has dozens of incredible coffee roasters within its borders, there’s something about Drink Coffee Do Stuff that draws me back time and time again—and once you try it, I’m sure it’ll have the same effect on you.
I’ve been a fan of Drink Coffee Do Stuff ever since I first tasted its smooth espresso at Coffee Shop in the Bay Area. Simply sampling the rich, smooth coffee—which is pleasantly sweet and surprisingly lacking bitterness—was enough to win me over, but meeting the team and roasting a pound of green coffee beans with them made it an experience I’ll never forget.
Founded in Lake Tahoe by former professional snowboarder Nick Visconti, Drink Coffee Do Stuff specializes in crafting mountain-roasted coffees that are characteristically sweeter and less bitter than lower-elevation roasts. While this brand’s unique roasting profile is enough to win over coffee enthusiasts, its community involvement makes Drink Coffee Do Stuff an undeniable frontrunner in California’s coffee scene.
Fueled by the idea that incredible coffee can power an extraordinary life, Visconti and his team are dedicated to “doing stuff” locally. Committed to preserving their natural surroundings and fostering community, the team helps clean up Lake Tahoe, supports environmental nonprofits, and hosts educational classes.
While my first introduction to Drink Coffee Do Stuff knocked my socks off, I’m pleasantly surprised every time I sip a cup brewed from these magical beans. From lattes at Coffee Shop, to straight-up at the S.F. Coffee Festival, to home-brewed beverages, there hasn’t been an experience that’s let me down. Most recently, I opted for a bag of the Tips Up Tahoe French Roast and brewed it in a variety of ways to get a full picture of its complexity.
It took about a week from when these beans shipped to when they arrived, but the coffee was well worth the wait. The fresh beans have the traditional dark, roasted, slightly smoky scent but offer a brightness—almost like citrus zest—that wakes you up and makes you realize there’s something special about this coffee. After breathing in the intriguing aroma for a minute or two, I finely ground the beans and prepared espresso for a soy latte.
Unlike most other coffee, this espresso highlighted the bold flavors of the roast with a sweeter, smoother palate than most. I snuck a sip before adding plant-based milk and was struck by the lack of a bitter aftertaste, even in its purest form. That’s the beauty of the beans from Drink Coffee Do Stuff—they’re roasted to perfection, so there’s really no need to add anything else (even my non-coffee-drinking man asked for a few sips of this delicious drink).
The flavors are bold yet not overwhelming in any direction. Featuring the richness and grittiness of dark chocolate, the brightness of citrus without the acidity, and a full body that coats your mouth, this French roast is one of the best. As a dark roasted coffee, French roast often ends up tasting burnt because the darker the roast, the longer the roasting process takes. But somehow, Drink Coffee Do Stuff has achieved a deep palate—with umami and mineral notes—without over-roasting. This results in a pleasing mouthfeel but allows the more subtle flavors to shine through.
With Drink Coffee Do Stuff, it’s hard to go wrong with any brewing method. From a shot of espresso, to a Chemex pour-over, to an AeroPress cold brew, the sweet, low-acid finish enhances every style of coffee. Since the AeroPress Go is made to be taken on adventures, it only makes sense that it pairs well with the outdoor enthusiast–roasted beans of Drink Coffee Do Stuff, so for the smoothest cup possible, opt for the AeroPress. Whether you decide to brew with hot water or cold, this way of brewing coffee expresses the intriguing aroma and makes the resulting cup even sweeter.
Drink Coffee Do Stuff has become one of my staple coffee brands over the years. Though I’ve tried numerous roasters’ takes on a French roast, none are as pleasing as Tips Up Tahoe. This French roast expresses all of the craveable notes but replaces the overwhelming essence of burnt charcoal with a refreshing fruity note that puts a bit of pep in your step. If you’re hoping to try something else delicious after finishing your bag of Tips Up Tahoe, Drink Coffee Do Stuff’s classic Hell Yeah! Blend and Coffee Shop Espresso are great places to start.
If you’re planning a camping trip, a ski vacation, or just a walk outside (which is an adventure in itself these days), do yourself a favor and brew a cup of Drink Coffee Do Stuff to enjoy in the great outdoors.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Note: This product was independently selected and purchased by California.com. We did not receive compensation for writing this review, and we do not receive a commission for affiliate links.
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