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Whole-bean coffee retail. Help!

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  • noodles Jun 22, 2006 11:09 AM
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Does anyone know where I can get really high-quality coffee (whole bean for french press) retail anywhere in NYC? I am having a terrible time finding high quality fresh, and more than fresh, properly roasted coffee! Dont like Ozzie's, sorry. I know b/c of air restrictions that there are not a lot of in-house roasters allowed by law, so I am opened to anything that has GREAT whole bean, and please, feel free to tell me about any boro. I have been to many, and have not been happy. Help!

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  1. D'Amico, on Court and DeGraw.

    4 Replies
    1. re: LJ

      I seconded D'Amico's. Really good selection of fresh roasted beans and very fairly priced.

      1. re: max

        D'Amico in cobble hill

        1. re: cobblelurker

          my fave! i can't live without the dark roast colombian supremo... a little more expensive, but sooooooo good

          1. re: lisa

            Have you tried Leaf and Bean on 7th Ave off Union? They have everything there and the coffee is great. Get there frequent buyer card--buy 10 lbs get 1/2 lb or $5 off. The card gets stamped for every 1/2 lb you buy. I'm not a big fan of Coffee Gorrilla on 5th, I always get sick off their stuff.

    2. Whole Foods roasts daily. I like some for their medium blends. I usually pay around $5 for a half pound. What's nice is you could buy 1/8th or 1/10th of a pound (it's serve yourself) so it's not high risk if you don't like it.

      1. j
        JessicaSophia

        Have you tried Gorilla Coffee on 5th Avenue? I believe they roast in-house, and I really enjoy the rich taste of their coffee. Plus when you buy a bag of beans, you get a free coffee!

        2 Replies
        1. re: JessicaSophia

          I second the Gorilla recommendation. Excellent coffee.
          Whole Foods also sells Gorilla if you can't make it to the store in Park Slope.

          1. re: JulesNYC

            Plus, it's Fair Trade, so the farmers that grow it get a better price for it without the middle man.

        2. Fairway has a great coffee department. You can buy the beans whole or have them grind them to your specifications.

          1. I am also partial to the beans at Union Market--6th Ave & Union--though I prefer a medium roast. So cannot vouch for their dark roasts.

            (And agree that Gorilla is infinitely better than Ozzie's)

            1. I'm totally coffee obsessed - so much so that for years I went from the Slope all the way to east 85th in Manhattan to buy my coffee at Rohr's- a small coffee roaster that has been in business since the 1890's.When the weather was really bad, I'd have them send me 4 or 5 pounds.

              I tried (or thought I did- more about this in a minute) just about every coffee source in this part of Brooklyn- Leaf and Bean, D'Amico's, Ozzies, Gorilla,the Food Coop, and many, many others here and in Manhattan, but never found coffee as good as the beans at Rohr's. (I would not recommend Fairway- large selection, but they do not buy top quality beans.)

              Then one day, out of coffee and unable to get into Manhattan, I bought a 1/2lb of coffee (Thunder Road- their strongest bean) from Java Joe's on 8th St, just north of 7th Avenue. I've been hooked ever since. Truly great coffee.They have a large selection of coffee and tea.

              Prices are not cheap (but not outrageous) and they really know their coffee.

              1. I'm not sure where you are located, but do try to make it to Baruir's in Sunnyside -- near the 40th St stop on the 7 train (15 minutes from Grand Central). This place is very old world, and when you walk in you can smell the coffee roasting ... there is a large roaster right next to the door, and so if you are lucky they will actually be using it. When they are it smells so good! It's basically the anti-thesis of the whole Starbucks thing. The address is 40-07 Queens Blvd. Also, although we mostly buy the beans, their iced coffee is like none I have ever tasted -- with coffee iced cubes!

                4 Replies
                1. re: Catherine

                  I'm going to have to try Bairur's beans again. I live close and have tried them more than once and was disappointed. Somehow, there's no zing to it.

                  1. re: Catherine

                    I like Baruir too. I've never had their iced coffee but I buy my Turkish coffee there. I like the selection of dried fruits there too.

                    And as long as you are at Baruir, try the Euro Mart (?) deli about two blocks up - someone there is baking honest-to-God Hungarian pastries.

                    I'd suspected there must be some ethnic Hungarians (maybe from Transylvania?) in the area because once coming out of the Sunnyside Tangra Masala location I saw a poster for a music event in Hungarian, and then back in March I found this place. Euro Mart's salty miniature cheese breads (pogacsa) might remind you of Brazilian cheese bread. They also have some other Hungarian products like sour cherry juice.

                    A worthy double stop in Sunnyside. (Assuming you didn't already fill up on lacuman and ayran at Hemsin and then Tibetan momo at Yamakaze...)

                    1. re: plum

                      I third Baruir, but of course Porto Rico is always pleasant... I've rarely had bad beans from there.

                    2. re: Catherine

                      A hearty second to Baruir! They have been in the same location since the 70's - a testament to providing a great product to a niche market.

                    3. I am a huge fan of the coffee from Dallis Bros. Coffee Roasters on Atlantic Avenue at 103 Street in Ozone Park, Queens. They no longer have a retail shop but you can order on-line, or by phone or fax. They ship or you can go there and pick up your order. Orders must be placed the day before to do so. I think the coffee is excellent and the prices are as well.

                      Dallis Coffee, Inc.
                      100-30 Atlantic Avenue
                      Queens, NY 11416
                      1-800-424-4252

                      www.dalliscoffee.com

                      1. Porto Rico on Bleecker near 6th Ave. Amazing coffee. Once, I got my favorite (Mexican organic espresso) right off the truck from their roaster in W'Burg. The beans were still warm...

                        1. we have used d'amico's for years but recently switched over to blue apron's whole bean french roast. they get it from the same people who roast for zabars and it is the best french roast i've tried in years. very strong and full but not horribly acidic. and well priced.

                          1. I tend to avoid roasters like D'Amico's and Porto Rico Coffee where the dominant smell when you walk in is hazelnut. That means they roast their "flavored" beans (to my mind, a concept that never should have been created) in the same bin that they do their regular coffee, which inevitably imparts odors you don't want. Gorilla Coffee is quite good--but I highly recommend Gimmee Coffee in Williamsburg which even if they don't roast on site (they get their beans from Ithica, New York) still get shipments in twice a week.

                            1. I do like porto rico myself, altho i agree the hazelnut smell is rather intense there. but, whatever ive bought has been great and ive enjoyed. Good Luck

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: BC7903

                                You cant beat Porto Rico's prices for your daily coffee--$7 a pound for fair trade. I am trusting that their sources are legit. They keep adding more organic/fair trade options all the time. I go to the St Mark's Place (2nd Ave) store in the East Village, nice music and staff too.

                              2. I really like the coffee beans from Sahadi's - and the price can't be beat. What do other people think of the Sahadi's beans? I like their house blend, and the Jamaican roast.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: brooklynbee

                                  Just tried Sahadi's house blend (caf and decaf) and loved it and the price is excellent, as you said.

                                  1. re: brooklynbee

                                    I'm a big fan of Sahadi's coffee. I haven't found a better buy in the city for fine quality coffee. My theory is that the unbeatable price keeps a fresh high turnover going.
                                    My other stop is Puerto Rico Importing warehouse in Williamsburg. You can get a pound for 5 or 6 dollars there on S. 1st at Driggs, and you can also see what's just been roasted. I haven't ever noticed any hazelnut issues though... just smells like a lot of coffee to me.

                                  2. Israeli corner store on 108th Street in Forest Hills called Carmel (maybe corner of 64th ave?) I used to buy their freshly roasted French Roast regularly...have not been for about 2 years, but at that point a lb. was very reasonable at about five bucks....Would sometimes get a bitter batch, but almost always very good....I was then brewing through a melita filter and enjoying a full/very strong cup at a time....

                                    A good reason to walk that few blocks w/ other Israeli and also Russian specialty stores to explore....

                                    1. The Garden of Eden stores in Manhattan sell very good whole-bean coffee, particularly the house blend. The store on Montague should be similar.

                                      1. I highly recommend buying online from Peets. I've never had better, fresher, coffee.

                                        1. Oren's Daily Roast rules. You can buy whole beans at any of their stores (Waverly Place, Grand Central, several other Manhattan locations) or from their Web site. Absolutely my favorite. And, what do you know, they roast daily!

                                          Oren's site: http://www.orensdailyroast.com/

                                          1. i must enthusiastically add my second for java joe's in park slope! it is the best coffee i have found so far in the city, and i do love coffee. all of their dark roasts are amazing. i alternate between that and less expensive beans from union market or sahadi's. the french roast from sahadi's is great and an awesome value.

                                            1. some of the sources already mentioned here may not appeal to those who are really serious about coffee due to various issues, especially freshness.

                                              one coffee roaster that I am surprised was not yet mentiones is a gillie's. located in brooklyn, they have been around forever, and have extremely high standards. while much of their business is wholesale, they also sell retail, and have a website.

                                              1. D'Amico's most definitely. Try the Red Hook and the House Blend is great and the price is great too. I've never tried Sahadi's but their bulk mint is out-of-this-world for tea.

                                                1. Blue Spoon Coffee on Chambers St between Broadway and Church brews Intelligentsia Coffee ("Blue Spoon Blend") for their regular coffee and Black Cat for their espresso and decaf regular. Intelligentsia is incredible coffee, with an extraordinary taste, very complex, and an intense amount of caffeine to boot. Black Cat is very nice as well, although I usually just hit up the regular drip coffee when I'm there. The owner/barista is also very cool. Its my favorite coffee beans spot, to say nothing of its merits as a neighborhood cafe.