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Aug 13, 2006 10:09 PM

In search of Turkish Roast whole coffee beans in The Valley

You'd be helping me out a lot if you could recommend a place where I can buy Turkish roast whole coffee beans. I'm in North Hollywood. My husband loves the Turkish roast that Wild Oats in Long Beach sells, but I haven't found beans here. I've gone to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Maybe there's a bustling Turkish grocery in the area? Any help is appreciated.

wow, I said, "Love." Sorry. I didn't mean to be so mushy...

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  1. Well, Wild Oats has locations at Lake & California in Pasadena as well as two units in Santa Monica, one on Montana and the other on Wishire in the downtown area west of Lincoln.
    Maybe they can come to your initial rescue and then you can wait until you have had a chance to do further research.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carter

      Thank you, Carter. I've never been to the location in Pasadena. Is it one of the bigger ones?

    2. Call the valley armenian market - hye's?
      14845 BURBANK BLVD
      VAN NUYS

      it's at burbank and kester. ask them. - ask them if they have "Armenian roast" - same with greeks and armenians - it's armenian coffee, greek coffee never turkish coffee for them.

      then try calling the coffee roaster on ventura (just east of woodman) they may have the beans - esp if you want an ethiopian varietal.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jerome

        Oh Jerome! I remember that place! I used to walk by it on my way home from elementary school! That's the place next door to the chiropractor's office that used to always paint their windows. Yes, I will check it out and will be certain not to offend. Thanks! You are always such a wealth of knowledge!

        1. re: kiwi

          Hey Jerome, I went over to Valley Hye, but they only had ground coffee. I also drove by Coffee Roaster but chickened out on going in. Is it really expensive? I think $11 per lb. is my absolute limit. Thanks Jerome.

          1. re: kiwi

            Ok, so I got over my chicken sh**ness and went to coffee roaster. No Turkish Roast, and I was told again that there's really no such thing, and that it describes the prep, not the roast. But I did buy a 1/2 lb of French roast (their darkest). We'll see if the husband is happy.

        2. aww, we love you too Kiwi ! ;-)

          But I'm curious, what is it about this "Turkish roast whole bean coffee" that makes it Turkish ? I mean, is it the roast, and if so how is it different than say an Italian or French roast etc ? lighter, darker ? Or is it the beans as hinted at by Jerome in his post ?

          As I understand real Turkish/Greek etc. coffee, it's mostly about the method (ground powder-fine, mixed with water and briefly boiled-twice in an Ibrik), but I'm interested in the proper coffee beans to use.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mikester

            You have a really good point there. I haven't any idea what makes it Turkish roast, whether it's the style of prep or the roasting of the bean...

            According to my husband who thinks he knows what he's talking about, Turkish roast is a really dark roast, darker than say Italian or French. I might guess that the coffee is grown in Turkey, but it's just a guess. -I don't want to be accused of talking out of my ass.

            It's also possible that he specifically likes the Turkish Roast from Wild Oats and he may not like another (probably more authentic) source. Really, he's just a being a big whiny baby.

            -Oh, the things you do for love...

            1. re: kiwi

              I'm just asking because of a recent experience at a local coffeehouse here in The OC (Kean's, in Costa Mesa): I saw they had a few interesting-sounding house "specialty" drinks and one of them was called "turkish caffe latte" or similar. I asked the guy who was standing at the roaster, "so is it really turkish coffee, as in, is it made using the method for turkish coffee?" He gave me a withering look and said "no, of course not, nobody'd drink real Turkish coffee!" I was a little taken aback and said "well what makes it Turkish coffee then" and he said "because that's what we call it".


              Actually other than that kind of surreal exchange, I do like this place (Kean's in Costa Mesa/Newport Beach, on Westcliff Dr at Blvd.)

              1. re: mikester

                Laughable as it sounds, Mikester, the flip response of the Kean roaster is pretty accurate of the cynicism lurking beneath the surface of the commercial coffee industry, one that arbitrarily names a coffee "Turkish" or "French" or "Full City", for that matter, in order to appeal to consumer behavioral wish fulfillemnt or sensory ideation. Not that the Kean dude is a cynic or attempting to sell a cheap, lower quality coffee expensively by associating it with a cultural or visual totem. No, sounds like he's selling a high quality product to a clientele that can't seem to purchase it any other way..hence, "Turkish coffee". Highly recommend Kean's Coffee, by the way.

                1. re: mikester

                  I'm coming in a little late to this discussion, but just thought I'd clarify for anyone wondering as to why the Kean Coffee "Turkish Latte" is called that. My guess is that the Kean roaster, who is actually Martin Diedrich, was just trying to be lighthearted when he said "because that's what we call it". The Turkish Latte' at Kean Coffee is not trying to pretend to be Turkish Coffee, and is not arbitrarily utilizing marketing tactics. It is an espresso-based specialty drink which is flavored with cardamom, a spice that has been added to coffee throughout the Middle East and including Turkey for a very long time. So the "Turkish" in the name refers to the spice- not to the beans, the grind, or the particular method used in making traditional Turkish coffee. It is the cardamom flavor that gives it the name "Turkish", not some random marketing ploy. And it's a really good latte', too! ; )

                  Thought I'd clear up the surreal-ness of it all!

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Jon's Market. And they're only like $3.99 a pound there.

                6 Replies
                1. re: 2chez mike

                  DO you happen to recall how they were sold or a brand name to look for? If not, I'll just head over and start looking. Thank you!

                  1. re: kiwi

                    You will find the whole bean coffee on top of the deli counter. You can't miss it.
                    They usually have several kinds and it's very low in price.

                      1. re: MissNewEngland

                        Hey Mike,
                        I just came from my local Jon's (the one at Laurel Canyon and Magnolia). They only had ground Turkish Coffee, I looked and asked. I was wondering which location you had found it at. Thanks! Kiwi

                        1. re: kiwi

                          I'm in Hollywood, so I usually frequent the one on La Brea and Fountain. They always have the bulk whole beans there at the deli counter.

                        2. re: MissNewEngland

                          Last night my husband and I were at the deli counter at Jon's. I spotted it: in the back, way up on a shelf, were two big plastic canisters of coffee beans. I called over to my husband, "Honey! Look! They DO have Turkish beans!" He looked at me like I was nuts(as usual), came over to me, and whispered in my ear, "That does NOT say 'Turkish'. It says, 'Armenian'." Wow, I managed to embarrass myself by yelling, being blind, and misidentifying a product which could have insulted someone, all in one foul swoop. At least I know I can, as you said, buy Armenian Roast whole bean coffee at Jon's. So if anyone's wondering how they can make a total ass of themself, please refer them to me.