There are a ton of coffee roasters out there these days.
Wading through them can be a chore.
Let’s look at a relative newcomer to the game in this Lifeboost coffee review.
I’ll break down the company’s model and give you a rundown of their most popular coffees.
And I’ll even add some recommendations about what you should try first.
Let’s get to it!
Lifeboost Coffee: A Quick Overview
Lifeboost Coffee is a newcomer to the crowded coffee world. Started in 2015 by chiropractor Dr. Charles Livingston, it’s a flashy young brand.
But the question I always ask myself when a new coffee company pops onto the market is: are they doing anything new?
In other words, does Lifeboost do anything different from any other established coffee brand?
The answer is yes, and no.
Lifeboost is all about healthy and clean coffee. Its coffees are ethically sourced, and 3rd party tested for mycotoxins, molds, and other undesirable and harmful things.
It also claims to source low acid coffee.
And Lifeboost coffees have a number of certifications like USDA Organic, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance.
But that alone doesn’t make Lifeboost any better than any other coffee roaster. In fact, it all makes me skeptical of the coffee itself.
After all, there isn’t a ton of difference in terms of low acidity or healthiness between coffees. Most of the health aspects (or unhealthy aspects) of our coffee consumption happen in what we add to our coffee.
Black coffee is always healthier than, say, a sugary Starbucks Frappuccino. Regardless of which black coffee.
When it really comes down to it, I like Lifeboost. The coffee is actually good. And I trust that their sourcing, roasting, and packaging are all held to a high standard.
For that reason, they get my stamp of approval. Even if their marketing is too heavy-handed for my taste.
- Lifeboost goes to great lengths to provide a clean and healthy coffee with each bag you buy
- All Lifeboost coffee is 3rd party tested for mycotoxins, molds, heavy metals, and other toxins
- It has a wide range of roasts and blends, so you can definitely find a coffee that works for your personal taste
- Lifeboost coffee is roasted to order, which means you get the freshest possible roast every time you buy a bag
- The marketing is heavy-handed and misleading, there isn’t as wide a range of healthy coffees out there as Lifeboost would have you believe
- The rewards program is aimed at keeping customers and not at providing the best coffee
Lifeboost Coffee: A Closer Look
Let’s take a deeper dive into the Lifeboost coffee review and examine what I love and what I don’t like so much about the company.
And let me tell you, I have really mixed feelings.
Lifeboost As A Company
Look, the bottom line is that Lifeboost is a company that wants your money. The coffee itself takes a back seat to the subscription business model.
The main focus of the company is to get you to subscribe. Subscriptions are the driving force behind most of the marketing and the prices.
That doesn’t mean the coffee itself is bad, just that the quality of the coffee isn’t a huge focus. They hype up the health aspects of their coffee, but the bottom line is that all coffee is healthy when consumed in moderation.
Lifeboost doesn’t have a monopoly on healthy coffee, but the marketing tries to suggest it’s the healthiest coffee out there.
Ignore the marketing and try out some of the coffee. The coffee is actually pretty tasty, but don’t expect to become healthier just because you are drinking coffee.
The Growing Process
Alright, let’s talk about the coffee itself finally. Because, at the end of the day, Lifeboost is a coffee company.
Most of the coffee Lifeboost sells is from Central America.
Lifeboost likes to harp on three distinct features of the growing process:
- Shade grown
- High elevation
- Hand selected
- Certified organic coffee
As a coffee drinker and professional, trust me that these things are pretty standard.
Being shade-grown means that the coffee plant was grown with the correct balance between direct sun and shade. Just like any house plant.
Growing coffee at higher elevations results in higher-quality beans than coffee grown at sea level. But then again, any coffee worth drinking is grown at the correct elevations.
Hand-selected simply means that the farmers went out and picked the cherries themselves. Again, that’s pretty standard practice in the coffee world.
I don’t point all this out to say that Lifeboost coffee is bad. The opposite, actually. What this all says is that Lifeboost has a good supply chain.
While they aren’t doing anything extraordinary with their growing process, they aren’t doing anything to suggest their coffee is bad.
But let’s talk about the coffee itself.
The Quality And The Taste
Lifeboost claims that they only source the top 2% of coffees from around the world.
And that might be true. However, all the coffee that’s served in specialty shops is in that top 2%. With so much coffee grown around the world every year, the top 2% of coffee is actually a huge number.
So, while the quality of the beans might be high, the other thing to consider is the roasting process.
Lifeboost does roast to order. This means that Lifeboost only roasts your coffee after you place an order.
That ensures you get the freshest possible roast every time. I’m a fan of that model.
They also have a pretty wide range of roasts, from light to super dark. That makes sure that you’ll find a roast that works for you no matter what your taste is or how you brew.
More than just roast levels, though, Lifeboost also offers K-Cups. So you can get Lifeboost coffee for brewing in your Keurig or K-Cup-compatible machine.
The coffee is fine. It isn’t anything special when compared to other companies. The coffee isn’t a magical healthier coffee. It’s just coffee. How you brew will make more of a difference than the kinds of beans you buy.
Types of coffees
Let’s jump into each coffee.
While sweeping generalities about the company and the coffee are fine, I’d like to give you a better idea of what each coffee is like.
I’ll give you a brief overview of the coffee and then recommend who should probably buy that specific roast and blend.
There are actually two light roasts in the Lifeboost lineup: Optimist Light Roast and Light Roast Africa.
Both are great options for a light roast coffee lover. However, the big difference between these two options is that the Optimist whole bean coffee blend is from Central America while Light Roast Africa is not.
The Optimist blend is a slightly mellower cup that has notes of chocolate, caramel, and a hint of orange citrus.
Light Roast Africa is a brighter and punchier coffee that has notes of pomegranate and pink lemonade.
I’d recommend Optimist for someone who likes a splash of cream in their morning cup. Or someone who wants a smoother and heavier body in their pour-over.
Light Roast Africa is perfect for summer mornings or for someone who wants a livelier brew.
Overall, I’d recommend Optimist for its versatility.
Lifeboost’s medium roast coffee is maybe my favorite in the entire lineup.
That’s because it has a mellow brightness without losing a balanced sweetness and smooth finish.
It’s a Central American blend, which means it has notes of chocolate and caramel. Like the rest of the lineup, the medium roast is 100% Arabica bean coffee.
There aren’t any surprises with this coffee, it’s a middle-of-the-road drinker that tastes great either black or with cream and sugar.
It is a great brew no matter how you prepare it. And it’s forgiving, so even if you don’t have a dialed-in recipe, it will taste great every time.
I’d recommend this coffee to someone looking for a daily drinker.
As with the light roasts, there are actually a couple of options when it comes to dark roasts.
There’s the classic Embolden dark roast. And then the Midnight roast.
The Embolden dark roast is a Central American coffee that will retain some of the chocolate and caramel notes from lighter roasts. But it will have a heavier body and a smoother finish.
There is almost no sweetness to speak of in Embolden, and it’s probably best for batch brewing or in a French Press.
The Midnight roast is even darker than Embolden.
This is a classic diner-style coffee that’s drinkable all morning. In my opinion, it’s best to drink this coffee with a splash of cream and sugar. That is unless you enjoy the bull-bodied dryness of a super dark roast.
I’d recommend Embolden to a dark roast fan that likes a little bit of nuance to their coffee.
Lifeboost offers two ways to enjoy cold brew: with a specific blend and in a box.
When I say in a box, I mean it.
Think boxed wine.
The boxed cold brew comes in a box ready to drink. All you have to do is open the package and pour yourself a glass.
And I admit, I haven’t seen this anywhere else. And I’m a fan. After all, most cold brew is pretty solid. So why not box it up and serve it ready to drink?
The ground cold brew offers you some versatility and control over your cold brew.
Have a specific cold brew recipe you want to try?
Or maybe you have a specific taste you’re going for?
Perfect, buy the packaged cold brew ground coffee.
What makes them cold brew grounds?
Lifeboost adds extra nutrients into their Biotics cold brew coffee to make it even easier to drink.
Lifeboost hypes up the benefits of its coffee a lot. But the cold brew is where it actually makes a difference.
I’d honestly recommend the boxed cold brew to anyone who likes cold brew. It’s convenient, tasty, and at a reasonable price.
Okay, it’s kind of a trend, but Lifeboost offers two espresso options.
First, Luxuriance. It’s a Central American espresso roast. While it’s not the darkest espresso roast I’ve ever come across, it’s definitely dark.
It has a nice balance and smoothness to it. There are some notes of cacao and molasses. And as an added bonus, it tastes good brewed as well as espresso.
I’d recommend this coffee to espresso drinkers, but also to someone looking for a really balanced and smooth dark roast coffee.
There’s also Luxuriance Blonde Espresso. This is the light roast espresso blend. It’s the same blend as the espresso roast, but a light roast.
That gives this espresso a livelier flavor and a punchier brightness. It has notes of orange citrus and caramel apple.
I’d recommend Luxuriance Blonde to someone who likes drinking espresso straight. Or to someone who wants a little more sweetness from their lattes.
Lifeboost offers a ton of decaf options. Any flavored coffee also comes in decaf. And any roast level can be decaf as well.
But let’s focus on the quality of the decaf medium roast as an example. (It also happens to be my favorite.)
What you have to understand is that there are two main ways coffee gets decaffeinated: with chemicals and with water.
Decaffeination with chemicals is faster and cheaper. But it is much less flavorful and potentially pretty unhealthy.
The water process is more expensive and slower, but the coffee retains all of the flavor and health benefits of regular coffee.
Lifeboost chooses the latter.
Using water means that the decaf coffee beans taste similar to the regular beans. There are notes of chocolate and sandalwood.
These decaf beans are a touch less sweet, so going for a lighter roast might be a good idea.
I’d recommend Lifeboost’s decaf coffees to anyone who likes decaf already. Seriously, these beans are great.
Lifeboost does offer a handful of single-estate coffees.
Single-estate coffees are coffees that are grown on a single farm. No blends of farms, farmers, or even crops.
These bags come from one single crop on one single farm.
And the price does reflect that. But so does the quality of the coffee.
My personal favorite is the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
It’s a medium-roast Ethiopian coffee. That gives it notes of blueberries and stonefruit.
In all honesty, there are better single origin coffees out there, but this is definitely worth a taste.
I’d recommend it to a dedicated home brewer who wants to try something new. But just make sure you have the extra cash on hand.
Lifeboost has a number of flavored coffees, so many that I had trouble narrowing it down to one recommendation here.
This is why I’m actually going to recommend you try the Flavored Sampler Pack.
It’s a small amount of coffee from seven of Lifeboost’s flavored coffees:
- French Vanilla
- Irish Cream
- Highlander Grogg
- Caramel Macchiato
- Bourbon Barrel – Aged
- White Chocolate Mocha
To be perfectly honest, I’m not much of a flavored coffee kind of guy. But I trust Lifeboost with its flavors.
Why is that?
Because they use the same coffee bean for flavored coffees as they do for their regular roasts.
That means you’re getting the same quality in a flavored coffee as you would in a regular roast, just with the added flavor.
For me, that’s a huge selling point.
I’d recommend the Sampler Pack to anyone curious about Lifeboost’s coffee bean flavors.
Lifeboost offers coffee pods in any roast and any flavor you can buy in beans.
That makes it pretty hard to narrow down a recommendation.
But let’s start with the pods themselves.
The pods are K-Cup compatible. That means that any machine or Keurig that takes K-Cups will accept Lifeboost’s pods.
But it also means that the wasteful nature of coffee pods is true of Lifeboosts pods as well.
If that doesn’t bother you, then it’s a great option!
Otherwise, you can buy Lifeboost coffee grounds for use in reusable coffee pod filters.
I’d recommend you try Lifeboosts 24 Variety Coffee Pods sampler. You get eight different flavors to try, and then you can buy bigger boxes of the flavors you like later on.
Let’s chat quickly about the certifications that Lifeboost coffee beans come with.
Fair Trade, USDA Organic coffee, and Rainforest Alliance are the big ones.
While these are great designations, they don’t make or break a coffee company for me.
From my time spent in the coffee industry, it became clear that these certifications are very expensive for coffee farmers to obtain. And not having them doesn’t mean those farmers use bad growing practices.
A better indicator of a company’s coffee quality is its willingness to discuss its farmers. I trust a company that can name-drop its farmers more than a company with a lot of certifications.
That’s because a company that treats its farmers fairly is a company dedicated to quality coffee.
While Lifeboost does have a lot of certifications, it falls in a middle ground. It does boast its certifications, but it backs it up with quality coffee.
The bottom line is that I trust Lifeboost’s dedication to quality coffee. The coffee is healthy, clean, and delicious. But don’t get hung up on buying coffee only from companies with a lot of certifications, do your own research.
My Final Thoughts
Lifeboost is an up-and-coming roaster with a bright future.
It uses clever marketing and a subscription-based model to attract and keep customers.
While that isn’t a good or bad model for a coffee company, I’m more concerned with the coffee itself.
And Lifeboost tends to deliver when it comes to coffee.
Lifeboost’s coffee is consistent, delicious, clean, and easy to drink. No matter how you brew or what you prefer, there’s a coffee in the lineup that will be perfect for you.
I’d recommend starting with the Regular Roast Sample Pack!
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