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Oct 11, 2007 12:32 PM

Coffee beans - any recommendations?

I would love to find a good coffee for home. I'm not big on Starbuck's beans or maybe I just haven't found the right blend for my taste. I don't like it too strong or bitter tasting. Any and all recommendations welcome.

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  1. I quite like the Kicking Horse Cliffhanger espresso beans. The flavour is very smooth and even a little bit sweet, which is what I personally like in an espresso... though it's versatile enough that we've also used it with our French press and a regular perk coffeemaker.

    It's a bit pricier since it's fair trade, but you can usually find it for around $15 for 454g bags in larger grocery stores, or you can buy online.

    1. Hi, Millygirl -

      I myself like to order coffee over the Internet from a Montreal firm called "Tatum" ( They have a large selection of coffees, arranged by geograhical location. My own preference is for Celebes Kalossi brown (a bit pricey) and Mexican Altura, although you might enjoy experimenting with some others.

      They used to have Cuban Turquino Lavado beans, but the supply was interrupted due to some local preoccupations. If they ever show up again, grab them.

      1. Hi mg, these are what I currently am hooked on at home, I use a french press...from Moonbeam in Kensington: Morning Buzz or Heaven (each about $9/lb)...I had a friend who went to Jamaica and brought me back 2 lbs of Blue Mountain, a grocery store variety but delicious none the less (and only $15 a pound!)...I love the Black Cat coffee from Intelligensia and I'm sure all others are good too, sold in half pounds for $9 ($18 for 1 lb), though they use fancy equipment, have mad java skills and it is pricey, I'm sure they'd be happy to send you off with tips to get a great cup if you wanted to try back if you come accross something amazing!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Recyclor

          Recyclor....I am amazed that your friend was able to buy Blue Mountain Coffee for only $14.00 a pound in JA....I live there during the winter months and authentic 100% Blue Mountain coffee is generally around $18.00 a pound (that's what I paid last winter).. You must be careful to buy 'branded' coffee when you purchase's usually in a tin/burlap bag and has the government seal verifying that it is 100% PURE. I don't buy it frequently because I prefer a dark french roast and it is only a medium roast, I do keep some on hand for guests. Jamaicans are not big coffee drinkers, in fact they really don't drink that much in the way of coffee or tea or any other hot beverages. Big juice drinkers and of course Red Stripe! Now that our CDN $ is either par or higher than the U.S. I'll have to wait till December to see if coffee prices have been lowered in the stores.

          1. re: pearlD

            ..believe it pearlD, it is in a burlap bag and is 100% Blue Mountain, I don't know where in the range it falls for quality, I know there are better, but I'm enjoying it...a darker roast version would be good, is JBM a medium roast because the beans wouldn't fair well for longer?

            1. re: Recyclor

              That's right, they are almost always roasted medium.
              There is a range of quality in JBM, with the best coming from single estates high up on the mountain range. But even blends from further down the slopes can be quite good, and much less expensive.
              I can sometimes find JBM from the lower slopes in the big box club outlets, usually in the spring, for $8/lb, and very good indeed.

              1. re: jayt90

                ...thanks for the info jayt90...

                1. re: jayt90

                  jay90......very accurate post...What 'brand' are you buying at the 'big box club ' curious. In JA I have bought something called 'High Mountain' coffee for much cheaper than JBM...comes in a beige coloured plastic bag with brown printing and when I run out of what I bring down from Toronto I buy and use it as my daily coffee. I, too, am wondering (thanks Recyclor) whether it is a case of the beans not standing up to a longer roasting time...I'll try to get an answer when I'm down there this winter (December...Soon COME!!) I have been going to either Kensington (House of Spice) or Alternative Grounds to buy my 5 pounds to take with me(or prevail on our 'winter guests' to bring down some fresh TO. coffee.

                  1. re: pearlD

                    The brand I found, in 2lb bags, orange and blue, was from Magnum coffee in Michigan. The bag indicated pure JBM but a blend. It was the best low priced, medium roast I have found, but only available in late winter/spring, possibly a late season purchase by the buyer.

          2. I buy my beans at Everyday Gourmet in the St Lawrence Market and make my own blends based on what hubby & I are in the mood for. If the only thing we're out of is coffee and need nothing else at the Market I'll still make the trip they're so good.

            1. If you are near the Annex, at 225 Brunswick Av. is worth a visit. They are a bit disorganized, but have a large selection of beans and brewing equipment. I bought fair trade Chiapas, and an excellent roaster, for a really nice morning mug. They have a daily roast available. They are non profit, so prices are low, but they are closed weekends.