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Good local coffee roasters, and where to purchase their products?

l
Laura D. Dec 18, 2006 05:01 PM

I have an extensive thread going on the General Topics Board of this site, regarding what coffees are similar in taste but not price to Kona, as well as the best ways to use a french press in order to get the best flavor out of the final product. Long story short, I'm a non-coffee drinker, but I've purchased a french press for someone as a Christmas present, and want to present the press with some coffee. It appears as if freshness can be an issue when getting coffee shipped from somewhere, so someone recommended that I consult with locals to find a local coffee roaster to either buy from directly, or to buy from via a local coffee shop. Given that Philadelphia is a decent sized city, and given that I know we have decent coffee here, can anyone recommend either a local roaster I can contact, or a coffee retailer that sells beans roasted locally? I'm in the Chestnut Hill area, but am willing to travel. Oh, and as an aside, I'm not stuck on Kona, but would instead prefer recommendations for roasters dealing with a wide variety of beans. Thanks in advance.

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  1. bluehensfan Dec 18, 2006 05:02 PM

    Old City Coffee in Reading Terminal Market has a lot of varieties and can make up a nice gift basket of you'd like. There is also Fante's at the Italian Market too.

    1. b
      Buckethead Dec 18, 2006 05:25 PM

      I love Anthony's Italian Market Reserve. It's pretty much all I drink these days. They have several other varieties, I believe they have a Mandheling and an organic blend, but I like the Italian Market Reserve too much to stray. You can order them online at www.anastasiocoffee.com, but you're better off heading down to the store, it's a few doors south of Christian on the east side of 9th St.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Buckethead
        a
        alexicon Jan 9, 2007 03:30 AM

        i moved to los angeles 2 years ago and still miss the italian market reserve. best coffee ever.

      2. m
        misexec Dec 18, 2006 05:28 PM

        Hi,

        La Colombe makes great coffee for retail sale as well as it being served in the areas finest restaurants. Jean Philippe and Todd started out locally and have received national attention. You can pick up their beans from Baker Street right on Gemrantown Ave or at any Whole Foods Market nearby.

        In addition, right here in Chestnut Hill, where I live, you can buy your beans from at Chestbut Hill Coffee Company across from Borders. They have been opne a little over a year... won a best of Philly last summer, and have just begun roasting their own blends for retail.
        These guys (Sultan and John) are from Seattle and know their stuff. I ALWAYS enjoy their coffee.

        1 Reply
        1. re: misexec
          l
          Laura D. Dec 18, 2006 05:43 PM

          Thanks for the Chestnut Hill Coffee Company recommendation...while I knew they were well regarded in the area, I wasn't sure specifically what for, since I know nothing about coffee. So, I'll definitely check them out as it will be easier for me to get there before the holidays than for me to get downtown. Thanks again!

        2. c
          Capn Dec 19, 2006 04:04 AM

          I would agree with Chestnut Hill as a good choice but just as a (future) FYI, Crescent Moon Coffee & Tea is an amazing roaster right over the bridge.
          And if you're really set on the Kona, I was just @ Crescent Moon the other day and they have pounds of 100% Kona for the holidays; to my knowledge, you can probably order online it @ www.cmroasters.com though it might be in too short supply for online sales (?). Happy hunting!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Capn
            rockhopper Jan 5, 2007 12:38 AM

            You can walk into Cresent Moon to buy their beans rather than order online?

          2. b
            barbjack Dec 27, 2006 08:05 PM

            Have you tried Kimberton Coffee Roasters?
            It is very fresh and compares favorably to Peet's etc.
            Many different roast styles-we like Rooster's call and African Queen
            It is available in some Whole Foods and Acme and Artisan's Cafe in Phoenixville .

            1. m
              medford Dec 30, 2006 01:28 AM

              A second vote for La Colombe. I believe that they have their own coffee house/retail shop in Manayunk. While I am by no means a coffee expert, theirs is the only coffee I drink black--made in a French Press of course!

              1. b
                barkinbob Dec 31, 2006 01:34 PM

                Main Line Coffee Roasters at the Wayne farmer's market (I think it's called Lancaster farmer's market) on Rt 30 has an excellent selection of coffees. They also sell coffee at the Head Nut in Havertown where Haverford Ave meets Eagle & Wynnewood Rds.

                I can't argue with La Colombe. They sell and serve it best at Le Petit Mitron on that other
                Haverford Ave in Narberth. They also sell the very best pastries & croissants in the Philly Metropolitan area.

                I recommend the chocolate almond croissants (early birds only) and the raspberry chibouste, which is the best use of the air besides breathing.

                1. l
                  liz19401 Jan 2, 2007 11:30 PM

                  Fonseca coffee is wonderful and it's brewed in our area. I thought they were in Norristown, but their web site gives Audubon as their address. I tasted this coffee at a friend's house recently and it is excellent. They are online at http://www.fonsecacoffee.com/index.htm They have quite an assortment and they are a FAIR TRADE company (very important to some of us!) The coffee is always fresh because they roast to order. Peace, Liz

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: liz19401
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                    tilemaker Jan 9, 2007 11:41 PM

                    Fair trade in coffee is not as wonderful to independent small growers as you would like to think. It is a very big scam initiated in Germany and in fact penalizes small growers who are strong armed into joining their approved cooperatives. The exposees done on Fair Trade is shocking and depressing. It is solely a euphamistic term. La Siera Coffee is grown and sold by one family, the Arias family. It is roasted in north Jersey and is superb. Because there is no middle man and basically a one family operation except for the custom's agent it is very fairly priced.

                  2. pikawicca Jan 5, 2007 12:48 AM

                    Well, it's not local unless you live in Berkeley, but I have an automatic order with Peet's. I fell in love with his coffee when I was a student there back in the late 60's, and I've never found anything better.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: pikawicca
                      rockhopper Jan 8, 2007 08:49 PM

                      You can find Peet's at Genuardi's when you run out.
                      Undated so probably more stale than the mail order you get.
                      No Major Dickason though.

                      1. re: rockhopper
                        h
                        Hungryin theBurbs Jan 10, 2007 01:19 AM

                        Whole Foods sells Peets, including Major Dickason's.

                    2. t
                      trumpeter Apr 19, 2007 06:42 AM

                      Lehigh Valley Coffee Roasting Co, in Easton, without a doubt. Their website is www.lehighvalleycoffee.com. They do free delivery in the towns surrounding Easton, and ship elsewhere. I know they want to open up a retail location, but the owners are debating whether or not to make it a cafe, or just stick with the roasting. All I know is that they roast a great coffee.

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