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Apr 30, 2007 08:37 AM

Mmmmm... good coffee!

After going through phases with Starbucks, Peet's, and miscellaneous small brand organic/fair trade/fancy brands, a friend recommended Trader Joe's French. I am not typically a fan of French (too strong), but this stuff is GOOD! Better yet, it's cheap ($4.99 for the regular can, $6.99 for the organic / fair trade version).

Ahhh.. no more extra trips to an overpriced coffeehouse to buy my home brew.

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  1. I love the TJ's Sumatra as well.

    My friend is completely addicted to the Mexican Pinon at TJ's, but it's not for me (too mild).

    I still love Peet's though. Such friendly service, the ability to buy as little as 1/4 pound, and a discount on my latte when I buy beans.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      I'm a big Peet's fan, also in part because of the customer service (I always ask for personal recs, when the holiday blend will magically appear, all kinds of annoying things) - I think buying a 1/4 pound at a time is actually much better because it gives you fresher brews, so if it's not out of the way, I would recommend taking advantage of that. I live in NYC, where there are no Peet's (sadly...though we've got lots of little cafes to make up for that), but during the school year it's a weekly stop (Evanston, IL).

      And a cup of regular coffee/tea is always free with the beans...didn't know about the discount on other drinks though! I'll have to scope that out next time.

      1. re: theannerska

        I don't know if the discount to other drinks is standard policy or just something nice that they do occassionally. Sometimes I ask for it and sometimes I just get the black coffee, so I'm not sure. But give it a try!

        1. re: Pei

          Standard policy. You can apply it to anything. And did you know that you can order a cup of any of the in-stock teas made up. I don't think they even charge a premium on the really really expensive stuff?

          I just bought some of Trader Joe's Limited Edition Mexican Peaberry. Very nice if you like medium roast and cheap! Especially for Peaberry. I want to say $5.99 for 14 oz.

      2. re: Pei

        I to love TJ's Sumatra. It is a great taste for the right price.

      3. We do a mix of the Decaf French Roast and the Double Dark, which would likely end up being too strong for you as the Double Dark is two different beans, roasted much darker than the French Roast. But TJs has been our house blend for years now.

        I am a fan of Starbucks' travel mugs though :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: ccbweb

          Some interesting information here...hate that there is no Peets in New York except at JFK in the United Terminal (go figger...anytime I'm there I'm on my way to the West Coast anyway, so what's the point?)

          Been getting regular Peets deliveries and brewing at home, but I'll give the Trader Joe's a shot.

        2. Give California Coffee Roasters, actually out of Texas a try. They offer mail order, prices are very good.

          3 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            HillJ, Tell me more about California Coffee Roasters. What brought you to them? What's your preferred style of coffee?

            The DH and I love bold-flavored but not overly caffeinated coffee. Our favorite coffees come from Starbucks, Gold Coast Blend being our everyday coffee. We've had Peet's, Gevalia, Green Mountain, and several others by mail order clubs and they just didn't do it for us. I'd like to find an organic coffee with a flavor that makes you think you're in the mountains of Mexico or anywhere in Italy.

            1. re: fershore

              fershore, We originally gave CCR a try because they offered Mocha Java at wholesale prices, and great per lb. prices at that. Our original order was for 4-1 lb. bags (whole bean) and we were very pleased. Beans held up, brew was primo and turnaround on shipping was above what we expected. We've gone on to try other beans they offer and again, never disappointed. The folks at CCR are very friendly. Call them and pick their java brains.

              Costs $4.95 to $7.95 a pound. Free shipping with orders over 20 lbs.

              1. re: fershore

                fershore update: we just rec'd 4 bags of Mocha Java beans on Sat from Cali Coffee Roasters and the roasted beans made an aromatic, semi-bold brew Mother's Day morning. Even with the horrific weather in that part of TX, the order arrived in record time. 4-1 lb bags with shipping came to 34.00.

            2. I use TJ's French Roast, three scoops, in my AeroPress and microwave ten ounces of non-fat milk, then pour the milk in my blender, and whizz it frothy, If I want a sweeter latte, I add a couple of teaspoons of Z (available at Whole Foods; I used to use Splenda) and then pour the frothy non-fat milk into the espresso coffee. The result: the best latte ever! No fat, not many calories, and a first rate way to start the day. Who would pay $3.00 or more for a latte when you can make such a wonderful eye-opener yourself? You can also try some canned Melitta French Roast, very good and consistent if you can't find the TJ store nearby.

              12 Replies
              1. re: EclecticEater

                Let's clarify something before other people get the wrong idea - Aeropress is not espresso. It's simply a different way of making coffee. "Espresso" is a method of extraction applying heat and water pressure to coffee grounds. Aeropess uses less heat, considerably less pressure and much coarser grounds to achieve its extraction. They both leave pucks, but that's about the only similarity.

                As to the question of "who would pay $3.00" - lots of people because there is both greater skill in making microfoam than what you've described (and no microwaves) as well as coffee with significantly more flavor than anything sold at TJs.

                You have your own personal tastes. That's fine. But "best latte ever"? Using non-fat milk and artificial sweeteners? Why not take that recipe to the SCAA convention this week in Long Beach and find out for yourself.

                1. re: EclecticEater

                  It might taste good for you but this has nothing to do with Latte. As written before good espresso and excellent microfoam are key to this and you won't get any of it with your set up.

                  1. re: honkman

                    Chances are, it tastes better than a Starbucks latte, where you can barely taste the coffee.

                    1. re: mlgb

                      Get a smaller cup, less milk, higher coffee ratio = more coffee taste :)

                      1. re: ccbweb

                        But do you really want more of that charred taste?

                        1. re: Pei

                          I don't find the same problems with Starbuck's coffee that many do. I think the drip coffee tends to be slightly overroasted, but I don't get the same char taste that a lot of people pick up in the espresso.

                          1. re: ccbweb

                            Just goes to show everyone has different tastebuds. I taste more char in the espresso than the drip coffee!

                            1. re: Pei

                              Yep, its all different for everyone. The odd thing is that I usually go with the drip even though I think its overroasted because unless I'm eating something the milk from the lattes doesn't sit so well. I've got many other coffee shop options near my office (which is the only time I really buy coffee) but I find the other choices even less interesting than the Starbucks.

                        2. re: ccbweb

                          I'd rather go to Peet's and get one that isn't made by a computer chip.

                          1. re: mlgb

                            Now, i do think that Peet's coffee is definitely overroasted and I find both the drip and espresso unpalatable. Further, the one nearest my house has a pretty rude staff. One of the cafes near my office serves Peet's (its not a Peet's itself, but serves their coffee) and I find it to be some of the worst coffee I've had. That may have everything to do with the way they cafe makes it, but that's my experience.

                            The point of the exchange Pei and I had, there, is that people's tastes differ. That's why both Peet's and Starbucks and the gazillino other coffee shops that exist all exist.

                            1. re: ccbweb

                              Doesn't Starbucks own Peet's?

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Nope, though Starbucks was started by some guys who were at least aquaintences of Alfred Peet and originally sourced their green, unroasted coffee beans from Peet's. The guys that started Starbucks later bought Peet's, but then sold Starbucks, so the two are still separate.

                                Starbucks does own Seattle's Best.

                  2. peace coffee all the way.


                    call me fancypants, but coffee just tastes better when it's delivered by bike.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: soupkitten

                      Peace coffee isn't bad and they have great corp. ethos, but there are better tasting options for coffee in many larger cities. And this is still a food board, not an eco-forum. Otherwise we'd all be sucking on hemp about now.

                      FWIW, Batdorf & Bronson uses 100% renewable energy, which I think trumps bikes.

                      1. re: Panini Guy

                        i dunno, my coffee cred may not be stellar, but i guess i really like a lot of the peace blends that may or may not be available in "many larger cities." my town is sure full of transplants who order their peet's from cali; to me it doesn't make so much sense.

                        it was not my intention to out-eco anyone, i just wanted to give a nod to my local coffee co--guess i forgot i was on the chains board.