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A coffee subscription box service is launching in Baltimore

Virtuous Coffee, a coffee distributor offering subscription boxes for customers, is launching in Baltimore.
Virtuous Coffee, a coffee distributor offering subscription boxes for customers, is launching in Baltimore. (Courtesy of Virtuous Coffee)

A pair of brothers from Harford County are starting a Baltimore-based coffee distributor with the hope of introducing customers to freshly roasted coffees through subscription boxes.

Akash and Aman Magoon, 21 and 25, respectively, are launching Virtuous Coffee this week. The pre-launch of the online-based distributor will begin Thursday, with the full roll-out to follow the first week of November.

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The company's office is based in Highlandtown, and it has a network of about seven roasters across the country, including locations in Maryland, Seattle and Chicago. Coffee is best brewed within one to three weeks of roasting, and Akash Magoon said he hopes the roaster network will help Virtuous Coffee get its beans to customers at their freshest.

Baltimore staple Zeke's Coffee is moving to new, larger digs in the spring.

"We've set up a network of roasters throughout the country and then what we want to do is ship the coffee within a day or two after it's been roasted," Magoon said.

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Virtuous Coffee sources single-origin coffee — which comes from one specific farm or region — in Central and South America, as well as East Africa.

"We personally have tried hundreds of coffees, and we've kind of narrowed it down to interesting ones in different areas," Magoon said.

The brothers grew up in Fallston. Akash expects to graduate from the University of Maryland in May with a computer science degree, and Aman works in management consulting.

Akash spent time working at Amazon's Seattle headquarters, where he said he found good coffee shops on every corner.

"Seattle is kind of in a different place," he said. "You just walk across the street and you can find a handful of artisan coffee shops."

With white walls and machines, and long, clean communal tables, Ceremony Coffee Roasters in Mount Vernon feels more like a laboratory than a coffee shop.

But he noticed that's not as easy in Baltimore, he said.

Virtuous Coffee has been in the works for about a year. Starting Thursday, the company will host a pre-launch to build awareness before its full launch in November. During the pre-launch, Virtuous Coffee will offer free sample boxes to customers who register on its website and refer friends.

Beginning in November, Virtuous Coffee will sell subscription boxes that customers can have delivered to their doors bi-weekly or monthly. The company will also sell bags of coffee a la carte.

Boxes range from $20 to $25 each and include 12 ounces of coffee and to-go style cups.

Because Virtuous Coffee does not have a brick-and-mortar shop, Magoon said they hope to build hype through farmers' markets and tasting events, in addition to their online presence. They may ultimately open a tasting room, he said.

"One of the things we intend to do is kind of build a community online around learning how to do this and brew it at home," Magoon said.

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