B reviews,  coffee!coffee!coffee!

Happy Cup! French Pressed and Reviewed

Happy Cup Coffee

It’s coffee review time! Secret Agent Josephine here, reporting for duty. If there is a coffee to be reviewed, I shall review it!

It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

Today I am reviewing Happy Cup Coffee from Portland, specifically their Morning Madness blend. Also I’m going to French Press it so if you’re someone like me who had to google how to use a French Press maybe this post will help you.

First of all I love their company name. I know my coffee cup always makes me happy. It also makes me happy that they have a great logo and lovely packaging design. I always judge packaging. It does make a difference. I honestly think that coffee tastes better when it comes out of a sharp looking bag and gets poured into my favorite cup. I’m very particular about these things.

Morning Madness

The second thing that makes Happy Cup Coffee special is that they hire special people to help them roast it. And by special people I mean people with disabilities. How cool is that? This bag you see right here was packaged by Alec. I didn’t really expose the photo well so you can’t see his name stamped on the bag but it’s there. I like that personal touch.

Happy people work at Happy Cup Coffee

I don’t know who Alec is but I’m hoping it’s that super smiley guy they have a picture of in their brochure.


Now let’s get down to business and review the actual coffee. The beans they sent to me were not as dark and oily as I usually like mine but I realize not everyone likes their coffee super burnt like I do. Moving on…


It smelled delicious when I ground it up. Mmmmmm!

Bethany's trick

Since I’m sharing step-by-step photos I figured I might as well include this tip that I learned from Bethany. Basting brushes work great for sweeping out those clingy bits of ground up coffee. It might seem like a fiddly extra step but since I’ve been doing this, my coffee grinding area and the cupboard where I keep all my coffee supplies is so much cleaner!

4 tablespoons

Four heaping tablespoons into my French Press…

add hot water

Fill with hot boiling water.


Stir lightly to make sure all the grounds get soaked evenly.

let sit for four minutes

Steep for four (FOUR! no more, no less) minutes.


Press down gently with both hands. Of course I can’t show you both hands because I’m always holding my camera with one hand. This is all sorts of awkward but my photography assistant was off playing with Pink Kitty and not available, as usual.

add cream

Then it’s ready to be sweetened in your usual manner. My usual manner is a swirl of sweetened condensed milk. (Though lately I’ve moved back to my usual glurg of half and half and a pinch of sugar. The sweetened condensed milk was getting too sweet for me.)


Time to taste! (I think my ugly face might have ruined this review. Please try to ignore.)

Result: A bit on the acidic side with a berry twinge but DELICIOUS! I think I should move to Portland.

Oh right, it rains all the time. Nevermind.

Happy Cup Shirt!

So guess what! Happy Cup wants to make you happy too! Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Comment below with your two cents on what makes your favorite coffee great and I get to pick three lucky people to receive a bag of their choice of coffee.

You can see what kinds of coffee they sell here. Just click on that little link at the top of the page that says “Happy Cup can be purchased online and at our Coffee Shop at 3331 NE Sandy Blvd.” and then the coffee section and you’ll see the flavors in a pop up window. Great names for coffee right?

I also get to pick one lucky winner to receive a gift box. Inside the gift box is a cute mug like the one I received, a bag of coffee and a t-shirt! Hot diggety! So comment away! I’ll pick a winner by next Monday.

p.s. I received this product for free but I was not paid for this review. Opinions are my own! :)


  • Kim

    My chemex coffee pot makes any coffee taste amazing. (Well I haven’t tried folgers but I wouldn’t be surprised). I like it dark and rich, with a little cream and sugar.
    Perfect that you get to review coffee! I’m going to check out their coffee shop when I’m in Portland in October! Sounds like it is a place I would like!

  • Lori

    I love making frozen coffee in my magic bullet. My favorite is with soy milk, brown sugar, and vanilla.

  • Kimberly Busby

    My love of coffee is pretty intense, but basic! I LOVE a HOT cup of STRONG BLACK coffee. We too use a french press as it eliminates one appliance from my small kitchen and makes really INTENSE coffee. Drinking some as I type this…..Ahhhhh!

  • Golden

    Coffee, coffee, coffee, with some chocolate on the side. Black Decaf is fine, or if I’m feeling fancy, an iced latte with unsweetened vanilla soy milk. Please.

  • Melissa

    I am the opposite of a purist. I like my coffee sweet, with milk and sugar and caramel and chocolate and peppermint and whatever else the-coffee-man can dream up to put in it. But my favorite is my homemade Thai coffee ice cream. Little else more than cream, sweetened condensed milk, and strong brewed coffee. MMMMMM. It’s the only time I brew coffee at home (have to cold brew because I don’t have a coffee maker).

  • Elaine

    Like other commentary above, I formally protest you calling my friend ugly.

    Now that we’re past that, my perfect cup is the sweet one in my hand. I’m not picky, just grateful!

  • Katie

    I love coffee! I have been getting New England Breakfast Blend coffee recently, because it tastes great, is affordable, and is available at my local grocery store. But my favorite coffee is Highlander Grogg. The closest place to buy it is 1.5 hours away. Needless to say, I don’t get it very often. Highlander Grogg is the best because it smells heavenly and makes the best cup of coffee. I just add a pinch of sugar and some cream. Delicious!

  • Jennifer

    I’m pretty simple coffee and a little skim milk. This post came at the perfect time as we are in a coffee rut and have been looking for a new brew!

  • Aspenroad

    I love, love, love coffee. I didn’t realize how much until I went camping and forgot my coffee pot….oh my! I like early morning coffee, black, with a toasted bagel. Coffee helps with waking up….ps, you are beautiful, inside and out!

  • Jenni

    I’ve been spoiling myself on Latte’s lately but with an expanding waistline – I think I better switch to skim milk or maybe a splash of half & half and some “diet” sugar (Domino’s sugar + stevia). Anyway…I always love to try a new coffee! Yum!!

  • Jennifer

    I love a touch of sweetened condensed milk in my coffee too. I also like drinking it while reading the newspaper :)

  • Katy Potaty

    For me, part of the bliss of the coffee is the scent. Smelling the aroma change as the beans are roasted, then ground, and then turned into an amazing liquid… sigh!

  • Stacy

    I agree with so many of the comments I’ve read!

    I adore the clean, retro vibe the packaging has. Super cute. I love that “people with potential” are being given the opportunity to be amazing. We have an organization in Las Vegas called Opportunity Village that provides almost 1000 disabled individuals with training and employment.

    My favorite part of the coffee ritual is watching the cream swirl into the hot, black coffee and turn that perfect shade of brown. :)

  • MrsJ

    It’s been too hot here for coffee! But I can’t wait for fall, when I start making coffee at home in the mornings again, and taking it to my classroom in a travel mug. It’s the perfect temp by the time I get there! Great review–thank you!

  • Heidi

    Mmmmmm….Coffee! I love it all but my favorite is always from the side of the road truck stop places in a good to-go cup. What is it about that coffee that I can’t duplicate at home? Maybe these beans will do the trick.

  • Annie

    I make my coffee super sweet with creamer and Splenda! And I like it super hot.
    I’ve never ground my own though, I’m sure it tastes better that way.

  • dianne

    i like my hot coffee with skim milk but i do like my iced coffee to be a bit sweeter.
    I need to get my french press out again – i haven’t used it in ages!

  • Susan

    What makes my coffee great? When it’s a weekend, and I’m able to enjoy a cup of home roasted coffee (I’ve become obsessed- god love that Catherine Newman who got me started) with just a bit of cream, the girls are happily playing by themselves for 5 minutes, and I can read the paper and enjoy the hell out of that coffee. Those times are rare and precious.

  • Brittany D.

    Ice and a little bit of sugar make my coffee great, especially in the summer. Though I still drink iced coffee in the winter. But I’m always looking for a different brand to try!

  • Rachel

    What an amazing organization–giving from the purchase of the coffee they roast, to the folks they employ to do the roasting, to the profits from their sales. WOW!!! I live relatively close (N of Seattle) and will have to visit the next time I am in Pland!!

  • sioux

    yay coffee! i like a strong cup – i usually go for an americano, hot or iced. a little raw sugar, a drop or two of skim. YUM. i love indy coffee places, and this one is extra fabulous!

  • Dana

    No more ugly comments Brenda! :) You are beautiful!!

    I’m in love with their packaging and tshirts and their whole concept – 100% of their profits to help people with disabilities?? They’re definitely on my list of new companies to buy from!
    I love a strong coffee, with lots of half and half and some raw sugar. When I go for coffee Peet’s is my coffee of choice. At home I use a bialetti or my 1940’s stovetop percolator with the glass bubble that lets me see that my coffee has brewed nice and dark. Drinking it over a good conversation or sitting having a quiet weekend morning also seems to improve the flavor of any cup of joe. :)

  • Hil

    I drink coffee from gas stations. I don’t know anything, but I love the ethically grown and helping people with disabilities. Super win-win. Yum!

  • Heather

    A great cup of coffee for me is one that i did not have to get out of bed to make but brought to me by my son after my hubby made it. Love makes all brands taste awesome, of course cream and sugar help too!

  • Cindy

    I wish I could LOVE coffee. I’ve tried but it just doesn’t come naturally for me. I’m a Diet Coke in the morning kind of girl. But I really want to drink coffee. I’d love to try some Happy Cup!! I especially love this company. What a worthwhile project!!!

  • Annmarie

    I love dark roast coffee, strong and black. I always try to purchase fair trade coffee and I love the idea that special people make this coffee. Companies with a good mission deserve their success.

  • Kerry

    I like my coffee black! No add-ins please :) I have never done the whole beans thing, though I think it would smell heavenly. Side note: A friend of ours was the “head bean roaster” at a coffee shop and brought his french press EVERYWHERE. Even camping :)

  • Jamie

    Never tried coffee from a press maybe now is a good time. I love a good smelling coffee, not too dark either. : )