drink coffee. be happy.

Archive : 2015-12

rainy day and phone rings.

caller says they are on an epic road trip and
want directions to come find us. they walk
in and i have french presses lined up.
“austin was fun,” she says.
“i love austin,” i agree.
“who wouldn’t love it! and we went hiking in flagstaff, and the grand canyon, spent a week in san francisco.”
“that sounds amazing,” i agree.
“we stopped in nashville for a smoothie and ran into a famous singer.”
“what a trip!” i say.
“but about half way through we cringed every time we ordered coffee — started skipping coffee — because it was all so disappointing. we went to hipster coffee shops, we went to the third wave roasters, we went to nationally known specialty roasters, we bought the best coffee money could buy, and none of it was as special as what we order from you.”
i’m smiling as i pour them mugs of rwanda gishamwana island, sumatra mandheling, bali blue moon, new guinea waghi valley, and colombia san antonio.
they just get quiet and smile as they sip their coffee. “yeah, this is what we were missing,” he finally says. they buy 8 pounds of beans and head back out in the rain to continue their journey.

word off the street is that we’re selling some pretty good coffee.


part of the culture at happy mug is the desire to bring the geekiest, rarest, most amazing coffees of the world to the average coffee drinker without intimidating them with fancy language and high prices. but as we celebrate our 5th year in business, we regrettably have to raise prices for the first time ever. in january, every package we mail out is going to cost us 70 cents more in postage. our insurance rates are going up 20% — we’ve never had an incident, but the industry as a whole has had a lot of them. happy mug has a great team right now with a lot of passion and talent, but our talent needs a raise before someone snatches it away. we needed more space, and so our rent went up 40%. we need a new website, and that’s not cheap either.
there’s just no way around it — if happy mug is going to survive another 5 years, we have to raise our prices. the standard mug line is going up $1 a pound, and the special mug line is going up $2 a pound. but even after the price hike, we are really cheap.

the new rwanda gishamwana island — the cheapest price i could find online is $17/lb and we are at $13
the new ecuador hakuna matata — the cheapest price i could find is $19/lb, and we ask $13
the new india veer attikan — i found it for $18….we are asking $11
our popular ethiopia yirgacheffe halo bariti — i found it for $18.50…we only are asking $13

the reason we are cheap is because we operate in rural western PA where cost of living is far below average compared to the rest of the country. on top of that, i fight and bargain for every nickel from vendors and freight carriers. i don’t spend money on things we don’t need; we minimize mistakes and reward efficiency. we fight bills that aren’t fair, shop around for bids on services, and we buy in bulk and stock up when supplies go on sale. i barter coffee for oil changes and haircuts. turn lights off when we leave the shop. re-use shipping boxes and packaging materials. i’ve been dragging my feet on this price hike for a long time, and i hope customers understand.

thank you for your support. we will continue to bring you the best coffee in the world, from the fairest farms grown by farmers with incredible passion for what they do, and get it to you quickly at prices far below what you would have to pay from other roasters.

drink coffee. be happy. stick with us. 2016 will be a great year.

moving day

The new 1200 pound roaster arrived on an oversized pallet, without a pallet jack or liftgate or anything on the truck.  I rounded up 5 big guys and we pushed it to the end of the truck, and then stood on the edge of the pallet to counterbalance the weight.

It’s 2.5 times bigger than our first roaster.  Once we put it in place, it made our old roaster look like a toy.

We can now churn out 120 pounds an hour when we have both running at full capacity.