General FAQ

Who is George Howell?
George Howell is popularly referred to as the grandfather of the specialty coffee movement. His dedication to coffee is unparalleled, with a career spanning almost fifty years. In 1974, he founded The Coffee Connection which grew to 24 locations in the Northeast before it was sold to Starbucks in 1994. In 1999, he co-founded The Cup of Excellence, a global coffee competition with the mission of bringing acclaim to passionate farmers doing outstanding work in coffee producing countries. Wanting to be back in his roots in coffee, George opened George Howell Coffee in 2004. Starting as a wholesale coffee business and growing to three retail locations by 2016, George Howell Coffee is continuously expanding. Our coffee can be purchased via our website, cafés, or select retail locations across New England and beyond. Read more about George here.

Where are you located?
We currently have three cafés in and around Boston located at The Godfrey Hotel, 505 Washington Street; Boston Public Market at Haymarket Station, 100 Hanover Street; and Newtonville Café, 311 Walnut Street, as well as our roastery in Acton, MA.
Visit our “Locations” tab on to discover more about each of our cafes.

Is your Roastery open to the public? 
Our roastery is not open for tours at this time but we do offer online order pick up Monday-Friday 1-5pm. Please place your order ahead of time and allow up to one business day for it to be ready. We will alert you when your coffee has been roasted, bagged, and is ready for pick up. 

How do I contact you regarding my coffee order or subscription?
For questions related to your coffee subscription or an order you’ve placed, email If you’d like to reach out via phone, call 1 (866) 444-5282 Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm. Please allow one business day for us to respond. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday as well as any major holidays.

When will my coffee be delivered?
Coffee deliveries depend on when and where you place your order as well as the shipping method chosen during checkout. We ship Monday-Friday excluding federal weekday holidays. Orders placed after 6am Monday-Thursday will not be shipped until the following day. Order placed after 6am Friday-Sunday will be shipped the following business days. 

Do you offer subscriptions?
Yes! We offer subscriptions on all coffees that are roasted full time. Due to supply, Limited Roasts are not available for subscription.

Can I send a gift?
Yes! You may add a gift message in your cart before checking out.

Can I have my bulk coffee ground?
Unfortunately, we cannot grind any of our 2 or 5lb bags.

Can I have my limited roast coffee ground?
Yes, please leave the grind you wish to receive in the “Note to Seller” box in your cart.

Do you sell gift cards?
Yes, but gift cards can only be used on the website. If you are looking to purchase a café gift card, please do so through café online store here (Powered by Toast).

Are you hiring?
We are always accepting applications to join our team of dedicated baristas and counter staff, and occasionally we have open positions are our roastery. We will contact you for an interview if we are actively hiring and think you’d be a good fit, or feel free to send your resume to

How can I find updates on the latest coffees, limited roasts, and other news?
Sign up for our newsletter for the most up-to-date information on the happenings within George Howell Coffee, including new coffee releases, events, notes from George, classes and more.

Do you teach coffee classes?
Yes! We host public coffee classes on a variety of coffee topics at our Godfrey Hotel and Boston Public Market locations. All classes are approximately one hour.. The class schedule for the current month is available here. And, sign up for our newsletter to learn about new classes we may be hosting. Not local? Watch our videos including brew methods, George’s demos and more on our YouTube Channel.

I’m new to coffee, where do I begin?
Don’t know what you like yet? Let us help! Different regional coffees provide distinct flavors based on their inherent terroir. Shop our store based on your preference of Light, Medium, or Dark coffee, as well as Decaf or Espresso. Tasting notes are available for each coffee to help you choose which bag is best for you. We even have “Coffee Coffees” which taste well, like coffee! Always a great place to start for a great cup of coffee.

Additional education tools are available on our website, including our Brew Guides which can help decide on a preferred brew method. And, brewing equipment is available to purchase online and in our café!
Still need help? Email and a team member will guide you to the best bag for you.

What is the best way to brew my coffee?
We suggest investing in a trusted brewing device, grinder, scale, and good water (filtered, spring, Third Wave) to get the most out of your brewing experience, as well as properly storing your coffee for the best cup. A good grinder will ensure even extraction in your brew, yielding a clean and flavorful cup. This cup is also achieved in part by weighing your beans to desired strength using a scale. To be ultra precise like our QC group, weight the necessary volume of water for the weight of the desired strength. Use filtered, spring water, or try Third Wave Water packets added to distilled water to ensure your cup tastes clean and balanced. Whichever method you choose to make coffee at home, we have many brewing guides you can follow for how to get the most out of your cup. View them here.

How should I store my coffee?
We recommend that once your coffee is opened, it be stored in your freezer either vacuum sealed, in its original packaging, or better yet, in single dose Ziploc bags with the air expelled. Take your coffee out of the freezer and grind immediately for best results. We keep all our pour over coffee frozen at each of our cafes to ensure maximum preservation!
We also store all of our green, unroasted coffee in commercial freezers. Freezing green coffee allows us to stop the aging process of coffee to maintain its flavor and integrity. This also provides us with the ability to roast year-round and not depend on the harvest schedule, therefore allowing us to sell you freshly roasted, high quality coffees every day!

Do you have decaf?
Yes, we have a few different decaf coffee options to best suit your needs, from light roast to medium/espresso profiles.

How do you source your coffee?
Our coffee sourcing is based primarily on relationships we build with coffee farms over many years of visiting and buying coffee from them. The Cup of Excellence, co-founded by George in 1999, has also provided an essential tool in discovering quality farms through coffee auctions in origin countries. We buy directly from many of these farms and pay above Fair Trade pricing to ensure farmers are being compensated appropriately for their work. Learn more about George’s mission here.

What kind of roasts do you offer?
Our specialty, and what George is dedicated to perfecting, are our light roast coffees. Light roast highlights the vibrant acidity and complexity from each region. However, we also offer medium roasts of some coffees which are ideal for a richer drip coffee, espresso and excellent as an iced coffee. If you prefer dark roast coffees, we have a few options and a cold brew blend. Read more about our roast profiles here, and you can easily shop our website by roast profile by navigating our “Coffee” drop down menu.

Do you sell brewing equipment and supplies?
Yes! We have everything you need to brew the perfect cup. For a full list of equipment and supplies we currently offer online, visit “Gear” on our website. We also offer equipment and supplies at our Godfrey Hotel and Newtonville locations.

Where can I buy your coffee?
We sell our coffee on our website as well as at our cafés, most New England area Whole Foods locations, coffee shops, and retail locations in New England and beyond. All online orders on our website over $50 ship free! Email us if you need help finding a location near you!

Do you sell gifts?
Yes! We offer café gift cards, logoware, equipment, and more as well as gift cards for our online store. And of course, coffee makes a great gift too!
You can find many these items in each of our retail cafe as well as our website. Café gift cards can only be used at retail café locations or through our Toast Takeout app. Gift cards for our website can purchased here and can only be used on our website at

How can I sell George Howell Coffee at my café?
Visit our page for information on our relationships with our partners and fill out a form if you’d like to be one, too! You may also email

Can I return my coffee? 
We would like you to be satisfied with your coffee purchase, however we can only accept returns of coffee if there is an issue with the roast or an error with your order. All requests for coffee returns must be made within 7 days of receiving your order and you must provide us with the roast date, batch number, name and order number. If packages are returned because they went undelivered due to error, we reserve the right to charge additional handling/retrieval fees. Contact us at or call us at (978) 635-9033 Monday-Friday 10am-4pm Eastern Standard Time. Coffee purchased on our Website can only be returned to our roastery, it cannot be returned at any of our cafes.

Can I return merchandise?
We hope you are happy with the merchandise you purchased from us—we take great care and effort to pick the best coffee equipment currently available. We will only accept returns on unused items packed in their original box, complete with all manuals and documentation and shipping prepaid to the point of origin within 30 days of purchase subject to the terms and conditions under the section titled Disclaimer below. Contact us at or call us at (978) 635-9033 and please include your name, order number, the item(s) you wish to return/exchange and the reason. We will contact you with instructions regarding how to return your items. Except in the case of damaged merchandise, we cannot refund the price of shipping. Upon inspection of the returned merchandise, we will credit our account without 2-5 business days. Merchandise purchased on our Website can only be returned to our roastery, it cannot be returned at any of our cafes.

I have a question/ comment about my experience with George Howell Coffee, who do I contact?
Please direct any comments, questions, or concerns to and we will be in touch in a timely manner.

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