We’ve discovered the perfect gift for the coffee lovers in your life: a Miss Ellie’s gourmet coffee box and one of her cinnamon coffee cakes. RFT editors recently received such a box and, we’ve got to tell you, it made for a fun gift.
Miss Ellie’s Coffee, aka Coffee.org, is a family-owned company run by the McClures of Arizona. Founder Bill McClure, the brains behind Flowers.com and other internet businesses, is a wizard at creating and marketing e-businesses. Miss Ellie’s Coffee, which offers wholesale and retail coffee and teas, coffee cakes, snacks, coffee machines, and other products, is his latest venture and has become the leading online distributor of coffee and coffee products.
Coffee.org offers both gifts and subscription coffee and tea packages they deliver to your door each month. The Miss Ellie part of the company refers to Ellie Glidewell, Bill’s stepdaughter and the face and spokesperson for the company. Bill’s idea was to create an internet coffee distribution company with an image that evoked the warmth of the South. He approached his stepdaughter and the Miss Ellie brand was born. The brand’s tagline is “we serve a smile with every sip.” The company sells the Miss Ellie line of coffees and coffee cake as well as a number of other brands.
What’s different about Coffee.org is Bill’s insistence that his internet company be “run like an old-fashioned hardware store in an online world.” The company has some unusual ideas about how customers should be treated, including offering orders free if a customer is on the hold for one minute or more. They also offer 100% guarantee on every order. The idea is to make buying from Coffee.org easy and hassle-free.
Miss Ellie’s is a family owned and operated company. The Company is a certified diversity supplier, meaning they support hiring all kinds of people. Founder Bill McClure is a proud citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Miss Ellie Line
While the company sells all kinds of coffee and other products, our editors sampled only the Miss Ellie line. The cinnamon coffee cake (with or without walnuts) is a 7.5-inch, round coffee cake that’s moist, dense and soft. It resembles a pound cake with a thick, crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping. It’s entirely satisfying and a coffee cake that might convince me to buy rather than bake.
Our box also contained a sampling of Miss Ellie coffee: pot packs (ground coffee portioned for a single pot), K-cup style pods, and coffee beans. Miss Ellie’s coffee are all 100% South American Arabica beans and they sell a number of flavored and non-flavored varieties. Our gift box included pot packs of Southern Pecan, Hazelnut, Breakfast Blend, Get It Earlier, Donut Shop, and Decaf, K-cups in similar flavors, and two 1-pound bags of Colombian beans and New Orleans Espresso Beans.
I’m the coffee expert around the RFT offices and I’m pretty picky. For me, the problem with pre-ground coffee is that it tends to get stale pretty quickly and lose subtle flavor notes of the coffee. That’s true for pot packs and especially for K-cup pods, regardless of the brand. So while Miss Ellie’s ground coffee offerings deliver convenience, I prefer the whole beans. However, most coffee drinkers won’t notice the difference and they’ll find the Miss Ellie’s ground coffees flavorful and satisfying.
The 1-pound bags of Colombian and New Orleans Espresso beans definitely tasted fresher than any of the ground coffees. The Miss Ellie’s brand goes for a medium roast on their Arabica beans, even the espresso beans. While I like more aggressive roasting, especially on espresso, I found the coffee incredibly smooth with nice round flavors that were satisfying.
Real Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for an online coffee supplier, Coffee.org, will treat you right. With their Miss Ellie brand, they offer a wide range of coffees that will satisfy most coffee drinkers. And that coffee cake? I’m ready for another one. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor; photos Anne Weaver, RFT Editor