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Fresh Roasted Coffee, Houston

s
shahkbhaji Oct 15, 2007 06:38 PM

Does anyone in Houston roast their own coffee beans? So that you could go and have the beans ground and take them home on the same day they were roasted?

  1. t
    texnosh Oct 15, 2007 08:12 PM

    Whole Foods roasts its own coffee at the stores. Not every type is roasted every day. I've been told by the roastmaster at one WF store that there's an advantage to buying coffee that's roasted two or three days earlier but that sounds like baloney to me. Would be curious if anybody knows of a good reason not to roast daily (sorry about hijacking the thread).

    1. b
      brucesw Oct 16, 2007 07:48 PM

      Try the House of Coffee Beans, the oldest boutique roastery in Houston:

      http://www.houseofcoffeebeans.com/

      I've been going there since the early 70s. They used to have an SUV sized roaster in the next room and it was maddening (the smell), but the actual roasting is done in a warehouse now. You could ask them when they roast whatever variety you like. I've always gravitated back to the HCB Special Blend.

      Spec's has a roaster on display at their big store downtown, as I recall, but I haven't been impressed with the freshness of what I've bought there. Those big plastic dispenser bins of beans are just a marketing gimmick I think, it can't be good for the beans to be exposed to light and air like that. I've never tried the WF or CM coffees.

      Oh yes, if freshness is a big thing, buy a grinder, adequate ones about $20 at Bed Bath and Beyond, and buy the beans and grind your own as you need it. You'll get much better flavor that way. Ground coffee really loses flavor rapidly.

      6 Replies
      1. re: brucesw
        s
        shahkbhaji Oct 22, 2007 05:54 PM

        Thanks y'all... will try whole foods. Haven't been to HCB in about a decade, somehow I got the impression they did mostly flavored coffee. Will try them again. I finally broke the polycarbonate french press I bought the last time I was there so I'm due back. By the way, the campfire french press was an awesome thing, since chowspouse has broken 2 bodum beakers in the last month.

        Have 2 grinders -- one is quarantined for spices only and the other, a larger-than-blender sized thing, spews grounds all over the kitchen. I just don't have it in me to grind every am anymore. Got used to buying beans on roasting day in Chapel Hill, a place called 3 Cups, worth checking out their website if interested in coffee.

        1. re: shahkbhaji
          b
          brucesw Oct 23, 2007 07:48 AM

          I see that I misinterpreted your first post as being a request from someone new to fresh roasted coffee. You've got me intrigued and I did some more looking around. I had heard about this one a year or so ago and bookmarked it -- it's in La Porte, but you might want to check it out:

          http://www.thepurpleturtlecoffeecompany.com/default.asp

          Here's another one that's new to me (mail-order only?

          )

          http://www.hopsoncoffee.com/index.php

          I was trying to think of this one before but couldn't remember it and assumed it had gone away: http://www.javacoffee.com/ Some friends of mine used to swear by this one but it was a less convenient to me that HCB and I only went a couple of times.

          Here's something I found that might be helpful:

          http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/members/coffeereviews/294628

          Of course there's the big boy on the block, supposedly supplies coffee to lots of upscale Houston restos; I've tried their beans (available at some Kroger Signature stores) and wasn't too impressed. http://www.duncancoffee.com/

          I know what you mean about getting tired of the daily grind. I'm currently working on a bag of Mello Joy from Lafayette, which claims to be the original Cajun coffee - bought it a long time ago when passing thru and was out of beans and decided to use it up.

          Please get back to us on what you find. I think I'll look into one of these others this time around.

          Oh yes, the Mitaluna mentioned in the link above used to be available in a coffee shop in the Randall's center at Westheimer & Shepherd and some of their coffees (ground only, I think) are available at Spec's. The Katz coffee co. website mentioned in the link above is not up and running.

          1. re: brucesw
            s
            shahkbhaji Jul 25, 2008 05:52 AM

            Nine months later...
            My favorite so far is Cuvee Coffee
            http://www.cuveecoffee.com/
            but I can't justify fedexing myself a pound of coffee from Spring. One of the restaurants around here orders from them, and the owner said I could pick up my order at her store if I liked but I haven't gotten around to arranging it.

            Central Market gets there Lola Savannah on Tuesday after having been roasted on Monday, so I've been doing that lately because its convenient and I found those coffees to be tasty.

            House of Coffee Beans told me that they roast every variety every day. I've tried most of their mild single-origin coffees, but they were, well, very mild. I may start going again soon to try others.

            1. re: shahkbhaji
              j
              JJC Jul 25, 2008 03:42 PM

              Try R. Dalton on Hempstead Highway. They will sell to you by the pound. The Filadelfia Estate Genuine Antigua is awesome!

              http://www.rdaltoncoffee.com/houston....

              1. re: JJC
                s
                shahkbhaji Jul 25, 2008 07:56 PM

                very interesting, looks tasty, thanks.

              2. re: shahkbhaji
                Jayro Aug 7, 2008 08:06 PM

                Thanks for the Lola Savannah/Cental Market info. I knew that CM sold Lola but I never asked about when they receive shipment. I'll have to always go on a Tuesday now that I know. Thanks again!

        2. danhole Aug 2, 2008 01:38 PM

          I just stumbled on an interesting tidbit about roasted coffee, reading an article about the White Linen Night in the Heights. There is a coffee place in my neighborhood that supplies to restaurants and the public. I haven't tried it, but I'm not a coffee drinker. They serve it at Waldo's House in the Heights and here is a link (to the coffee not Waldo's):

          http://www.katzcoffee.com/store.php

          Actually they have a pretty impressive list of restaurants they sell to.

          2 Replies
          1. re: danhole
            danhole Aug 2, 2008 01:44 PM

            Never mind! I don't think you can go into the place, and if you want it you have to go to the farmers market, or do mail order which defeats your purpose.

            1. re: danhole
              i
              isabel13 Jun 3, 2010 02:00 PM

              Not true! You can also go straight to the roaster and purchase on the spot. They will do custom blends for you as well if you order that ahead of time. As neverfull mentioned.. Catalina coffee also sells their custom blend from Katz. Katz is the best freshly roasted coffee I have found in the area.

          2. neverfull Aug 5, 2008 03:30 PM

            call max at catalina coffee. i know he gets his beans from katz but i think he might roast his own too. they are very serious about their coffee there.

            1. Jayro Aug 7, 2008 07:58 PM

              Maybe you could give Lola Savannah a try:
              http://www.lolasavannah.com/index.html

              Over the last few years, several people in the food & beverage industry have mentioned it to me. I have never taken the time to find out if they have a storefront open to the public. They are downtown at 1701 Commerce St Ste 1A, Houston, TX 77002.

              I also prefer to buy coffee beans from The House of Coffee Beans (already mentioned by a fellow chowhound) and Central Market. I have occasionally purchased coffee beans from Spec’s simply because it is so close to me. I usually get their “coffee of the month” special because it’s always $5.99 a pound. So far, have never had a problem doing that. But then again at that price, I am not expecting the best coffee of my life.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jayro
                d
                dexmat May 10, 2010 11:03 AM

                I had never heard of Lola but apparently they've been around for years and the website says they roast every day. I'm going to check it out.

                I tried some of the Katz but all I could find were dark roast and I prefer a medium roast. I've been using the Honduran coffee San Marcos Supremo from Copan Trade which I had read is imported and roasted up in Tomball but from the website maybe it's just imported by this company in Tomball?

                http://www.copantrade.com

                It's available at Spec's.

              2. l
                louisev Nov 9, 2009 12:22 PM

                Java Pura Coffee Roasters roast their own coffee it's the best I've tasted so far in Houston, they have a master roaster who knows what he's doing.

                8 Replies
                1. re: louisev
                  n
                  neointima May 17, 2012 06:07 PM

                  Hey all- just wanted to bump this thread and see if anyone has any new thoughts or suggestions. Moving here in a month and a half and need my fresh roasted (with roasting date on bag) fix!

                  1. re: neointima
                    l
                    louisev May 17, 2012 07:07 PM

                    I PROMISE you need to get Java Pura, at Central Market- best coffee in Houston! And yes it is date stamped! You can also go to the warehouse in Bellaire where it is roasted and buy it right there.

                    1. re: louisev
                      b
                      brucesw May 17, 2012 07:35 PM

                      What variety of Java Pura are you drinking that you like? I've only tried their Sumatra Ishkandar and found it had too many floral notes for my taste. I've been through many of the Lola Savannah and Katz varieties at CM and many of the varieties at WF and am back to House of Coffee Beans and their Sumatra Mandehling. I like that you can buy 1/2 # at a time; Java Pura, you have to buy a whole #. What's the benefit of buying the day it's roasted if it takes weeks to use up?

                      Any body want to talk about brewing methods? I just got a Hario Slim Mill and Clever Drip Coffee maker from Sweet Marias yesterday and made my first coffee with it today, a cup at a time. Going to take some practice to get the measurements down to produce a cup that I like.

                      1. re: brucesw
                        s
                        shahkbhaji May 17, 2012 08:26 PM

                        I thought Java Pura was excellent but had the same issue with the 1 lb. bags.

                        5 years later I always buy from Whole Foods Allegro because they have several fresh roasted varieties every day from light to dark roast and single source to blended beans, some organic or sustainable, and you can even stick your head in the bin to get a sniff before you buy (not that i would ever do that!). You can get less than half pound too.

                        HCB is great, super friendly and like I say, they told me they roast everything fresh every day but I believe half pound is smallest amount.

                        Solution to chowspouse's Bodum beaker breakage bonanza? Double walled stainless steel press! Plus it stays warm while I get the baby ready in the morning. I'll have to look into the items brucesw mentioned...

                        1. re: shahkbhaji
                          b
                          brucesw May 18, 2012 06:58 PM

                          For many years I've almost exclusively drunk darker roasts, at least City roast, but more recently I've been gravitating towards lighter roasts. That's part of the reason I like the Sumatra Mandehling at HCB over the Sumatra Blue Batak at WF.

                          It's sure a lot different from the Ethiopian Harrar and Yrgacheffe from Katz and Lola I was buying at CM.

                          I've only gone to the Bellaire store of WF, the closest one to me. I think they may roast different varieties and blends at each store. Because of the distance, I was always buying a half pound at WF anyway so the half pound minimum at HCB doesn't bother me.

                          1. re: brucesw
                            n
                            neointima May 18, 2012 07:12 PM

                            So, this is a bit if a stretch. I'm in town for a brief visit before our move and I happen to be staying near the Galleria. Is there anything nearby that I can walk to so I can take some beans home with me?

                            Thanks for all the suggestions! Keep me coming!!!!

                            1. re: neointima
                              b
                              brucesw May 18, 2012 09:14 PM

                              Central Market is about 1/2 mile east of the Galleria on Westheimer @ Weslayan. Is that too far to walk? Houston is not a very walkable city but that is a very nice neighborhood; you will not encounter much foot traffic nor street people, although you will have a couple of big intersections to negotiate.

                              http://www.centralmarket.com/

                              It is the most upscale grocery store in Houston and you will want to be familiar with it no matter where you're going to be living. Allow for the journey and also allow about 1/2 an hour for a tour of the store. You'll be able to take advantage of lots of samples, especially in the produce and bakery departments, and get an idea of what all there is. In the coffee department you can peruse all the offerings. There will also be one brew for free samples. In the front of the store is a cafe with a sandwich bar and a coffee bar. I think they always have a couple of Java Pura brews ready to pour at the coffee bar. You could have a meal there in lieu of a meal at your hotel?, or pick up some goodies to take back to the hotel. I think you will enjoy it. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

                              1. re: brucesw
                                n
                                neointima May 20, 2012 10:22 AM

                                Thanks Brucesw! Just have to say Houston Chowhounds rock!!! Thanks for all the suggestions! Walked over to Central Market last night and fell in love! Went crazy at their olive bar and had their fresh fruit punch which were both awesome! Picked up a couple pounds of Java Pura for myself and friends. Will definitely have to check out Lola and Katz when we move next month.

                2. DoobieWah May 18, 2012 04:51 AM

                  http://www.javacoffee.com

                  Java Coffee and Tea on Westheimer and Fondren.

                  Many varieties and they're roasting daily.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DoobieWah
                    Cheflambo May 20, 2012 09:42 AM

                    Katz on 34th roasts every day (I live so close I can smell it). They sell at the Farmer's Market but you can also go directly there and buy minimal quantities right from the warehouse. I have also visited the Lola Savannah and Java Pura roasters and I do know you can buy small quantities on site from them too.

                  2. j
                    Jaymes Jun 2, 2012 01:27 PM

                    Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious but it seems to me that anyone that cares that much about freshly-roasted coffee might do well to check into roasting their own.

                    Half of my family does this.

                    They buy the green beans either from a local source, or order from Sweet Maria's.

                    You can buy a perfectly-fine dedicated coffee roaster for as little as $150, but if even that is more than you want to spend, you have several excellent options.

                    You can make a simple coffee roaster for next to nothing.

                    You can roast coffee in a regular pan that you already have.

                    Or, you can do what all of my family members do, and use a hot-air popcorn popper.

                    My nephew absolutely loves coffee so, for Christmas a few years back, I bought him a couple of books about roasting your own coffee, and a gift certificate to Sweet Maria's for the beans. He already had a hot-air popcorn popper. I tell you, he's never looked back. And it's worked out really well for me, too, since now I get freshly-roasted coffee from him at every traditional gift-giving occasion.

                    You can buy a book or two for information and instructions as to how to go about this, or you can just go to Sweet Maria's website. They have all the info you need to get started.

                    And, I feel the need to add that if my young nephew can make such a huge success of this, anyone can.

                    Plus, if you think you like the smell of coffee roasting at some commercial location, you should try filling your own home with it. Ambrosial.

                    http://www.sweetmarias.com/index.php

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Jaymes
                      n
                      neointima Jun 4, 2012 03:56 PM

                      Thanks Jaymes - I actually home-roasted on and off for about 6 months, then non-stop for a year, then gave it up. I started with oven-roasting, moved on to hot air popper, then finally got a dedicated hot air roaster as a wedding present from a friend. I finally gave up for the following reasons:

                      1) Hot air roasting seemed to have been drying out the beans and I think I was losing a lot of flavor oils, even if I just roasted right up to second crack. Unfortunately, stopping the process at this point meant I was getting really high acidity in the cup on my Rancilio Rocky/Silvia, which I didn't really like as much. I also suspect I was having temp regulation problems, but I never put the effort into checking...

                      2) Sourcing good quality green beans in my area was hard, unless I bought from Sweet Marias, which is a bit pricey when you factor in shipping. I found that my local source was really subpar when I actually learned how to evaluate unroasted beans.

                      3) My favorite local purveyor finally started listing roasting dates. In this way, I could guarantee getting a batch that was no more than 48 hours old and drink it without suffering too much by the end of the week.

                      So, now I'm spoiled with a local roaster who has relationships with Central and S American, African, and Indonesian bean farmers and consequently sells FTO beans - but since I'm moving to Houston, I desperately needed to find a new fix - uh, I mean source.

                      Eventually, I might upgrade to a rotating drum roaster, which I suspect will be the key if I can find a local green bean source - if you have suggestions in Houston, I'd love to hear them!

                      That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! I should follow-up by saying I loved the Java Pura Mexico and Costa Rica, as well as the Sumatra! Was able to get 1/2 lb bags at Central Market.

                      P.S. The final reason is that in our house in St Louis, we installed a dedicated Asian kitchen ventilation hood which was perfect for bean roasting - not going to have that in our apartment in Houston, and I don't really want to go back to standing outside while roasting! Although, I suppose in Houston, I don't have to worry about the ambient temperature being -20F!

                      1. re: neointima
                        b
                        brucesw Jun 4, 2012 08:29 PM

                        What I have read about roasting your own beans is that you need to do it outside and I've never gotten that committed. No, you don't have to worry about ambient temperature of -20; but how about +100? ;).

                        The only source of green coffee beans locally I know of is Maru Grocery, an Ethiopian grocery on BIssonnet. Very small quantities and only a couple of varieties of Ethiopian coffees. I wonder if you could talk Lola or Katz, et. al, into selling some?

                        How did you manage 1/2 #'s of Java Pura at CM? I've never seen anything but full lbs. there.

                        1. re: brucesw
                          j
                          Jaymes Jun 5, 2012 12:30 PM

                          Admittedly, I had never looked for green coffee beans in Houston until about three hours ago when I walked into my local HEB. But it was very hard for me to believe they'd be difficult to find in Houston.

                          As I said, I have a great many family members that roast their own coffee so, although I haven't, green coffee beans are something that I very much like to send to them on gift-giving occasions. Previously to my moving to Houston, I spent time in Springfield, MO, helping my father to care for my ailing mother. Even though Springfield only has a population of about 160K good folks, and is nobody's idea of a culinary Mecca, I had no trouble at all finding the green beans there.

                          Surely Houston, a city of over six-million, can do as well as Springfield, MO.

                          So this was on my mind as I headed into my local HEB. It's not a "special" one in any way. Just a typical suburban grocery store. But it often is redolent with the aroma of the coffee that they roast back in the coffee department. I had never taken the time to investigate but, this morning, I did.

                          There is a small kiosk at the end of the aisle that sells coffee, tea, etc., and it's staffed by a fellow named Joe. I said to Joe that, since they obviously roast coffee right there (you can't miss that smell), they must have green beans and could I buy some. Yes, indeedy said Joe, they do, and I could, for $9.99 a pound. Or, he said, pointing to a sign that said as much, I could let him know which beans I wanted and how I wanted them roasted and he would roast them for me while I finished my shopping.

                          True, the selection of green beans available for roasting was limited, but the choices include their most popular blends: a Colombian/Guatemalan and a Colombian/Zambian/Costa Rican (if I remember correctly).

                          Then I left, and went into a small coffee shop, Dunn's, located in the same strip-mall. They're also roasting coffee daily, so if what I want is coffee freshly-roasted by somebody else, I can go to the Dunn's about a mile from my house, in addition to my local HEB. I asked about buying green beans and the fellow said that the owner (who wasn't there at the time) had been thinking about doing that, but they would have to load all of the prices into the computer and she hadn't gotten around to doing that and that, in four years, I was only the third person that asked but that he thought I should call the owner directly and he thought she might well be willing to sell me some. And, come to think of it, he added, the Dunn's on Weslayan does, if you call them in advance and let them know what you want so that they can weigh it out (because it's not loaded into their system, either) and let you know how much it will cost.

                          So then I got on the telephone and called those nice people at Lola Savannah. Yes, the man said, of course they sell green beans. Of course they sell them in small amounts, like one pound. Of course they sell to the public. I was welcome to come any time and buy any amount of any beans they have.

                          Oh, and by the way, not only are you welcome to come and see us and buy some green coffee beans but would you like to take a tour of our roasters while you're at it?

                          Honestly, I don't get where y'all came up with the idea that green coffee beans are difficult to source in Houston.

                          Many good options after less than one hour's worth of research.

                          1. re: Jaymes
                            b
                            brucesw Jun 6, 2012 01:14 AM

                            I have no idea whether it's easy or hard to buy green coffee beans in Houston as I have never tried to. As I mentioned, the only place I knew of is the Ethiopian place and I know that only because they have them on display; I didn't have to ask.

                            I'm not surprised by the information about Lola Savannah. I've always found them very accommodating. However I am surprised by the information about HEB. I don't shop at HEB very often because the two stores nearest me are dumps and the one closest to me has no concept of customer service. I do go in other HEB stores when I'm in other neighborhoods and need to do a little shopping as there are some HEB brands I prefer but I never realized any of them have coffee roasters on premises and have never smelled coffee roasting. That is news to me.

                            At Whole Foods and Spec's downtown, the coffee roasters are out in the open so you can observe the process. Never seen one at HEB but I may have missed them as I don't typically go to HEB to buy coffee.

                            1. re: brucesw
                              j
                              Jaymes Jun 6, 2012 10:58 AM

                              That's pretty nifty, isn't it? That they'll roast your beans "to order" while you finish your shopping?

                              This particular HEB is on South Fry, in Katy. The store is fairly new, I think (although it was here when we got here, about three years ago), but otherwise, don't think it's anything special. I don't know how many HEBs offer that service. Perhaps just the newer ones.

                              I wouldn't have realized either that they were roasting coffee except that I'm in there all the time and, when they are, you can smell it all over the store.

                              ETA: Okay, so impressed with my own ignorance, I telephoned "my" HEB. It's been opened six years. It's an "HEB-Plus" store, one of HEB's new stores, conceived around a sort of a "Central Market Lite" concept.

                              The woman with whom I spoke said that she didn't know of any other HEBs in the local area that roast their own beans, so when I said above that this store wasn't "anything special," it seems that I was incorrect. She said that the rumor is that many of HEB's new stores will fall into the "Plus" category.

                              1. re: Jaymes
                                l
                                louisev Jun 6, 2012 11:17 AM

                                Just FYI, Java Pura in Bellaire might sell green beans (yes, I'm a big fan and steady customer) they will also glady give you a tour of the roasting facilities. They have a fairly large selection of beans since they buy from all over the world, definitely worth a visit.

                                1. re: Jaymes
                                  b
                                  brucesw Jun 6, 2012 02:19 PM

                                  Yes it is. I've been in HEBs from the Valley to Corpus to the Hill Country and here and for the most part, they're not very impressive. Large, maybe, but lacking ambience and pretty much the same range of only-the-best-selling products that WM has, but they are capable (and perhaps are being forced by competition) to do some really nice stores. That new store in Montrose is awesome. I like it better than CM. Not the same range of products but laid out much better (not a fricking maze) and very spacious. I find excuses to go to Montrose when I need to shop for some HEB stuff. I'll be on the lookout for coffee roasters but, as you say, expect the variety to be limited.

                      2. j
                        Jay Francis Jun 25, 2012 10:50 AM

                        Here is a response to this question as of June 25, 2012. The best coffee can be had at the following places that all do roasting on premises or bring in freshly roasted coffee.

                        Boomtown Heights Coffee on 19th Street in the Heights. Also maybe the best breakfast taco in town. Matthew Dwight Toomey does the roasting. He brings in a single estate from the Nayarit region of Mexico, not typically thought of as a coffee region, that is very good. Additionally, lots of creative coffee option here. A group of us Houston Chowhounds meets here at 9:30 every Sunday morning.

                        Greenway Coffee in Greenway Plaza, soon to move to Haymarket/Underbelly. If the Greenway location is inconvenient, go to Revival Market to buy your coffee. Also, Revival has excellent barista(s) and a Faema E61 machine. David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto are the magna cum laude of the Houston artisan coffee movement.

                        Catalina Coffee on Washington Avenue. Max Gonzalez is the summa cum laude of the Houston artisan coffee movement. Catalina is the gold standard.

                        I have not visited it but a friend whose opinion I respect speaks highly of Pearland Coffee Company.

                        For grocery store coffee, Java Pura at Central Market and Lola Savannah Colombia Bucamaranga are recommended. For Italian coffees in vacuum sealed packages, Lavazza is recommended and can be found at Nundini's on N. Shepherd and Spec's on Smith Street.

                        In a pinch, Community Coffee is acceptable.

                        In a pinch, the Whole Foods on Waugh Drive does not over roast their coffee and you can find some acceptable coffee there.

                        Sean Beck who is importing coffee from Yemen will soon be opening a coffee shop on Montrose. I expect it to be excellent.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Jay Francis
                          n
                          neointima Jun 28, 2012 09:06 PM

                          Jay Francis- thanks for the awesome and thorough post. Hopefully will get to catch up with you guys at Boomtown Heights one of these Saturdays. For now however I am going to pick up some Catalina in anticipation of my espresso machine coming off the moving truck tomorrow (as well as the rest of our stuff!). We've been deprived of that beauty for nearly a week!

                          Brucesw- sorry never replies about the half pound java pura. Saw it again after we finally arrived for good this week. Thought about snapping a pic but dont know how to serve it.

                          Thanks all again for making my transition here infinitely easier. Will be picking your brains in other threads for the good eats!

                          Oh, and btw our tiny 2ft wide balcony faces south, and with the 108f we got the other day, I am not roasting anytime soon... But thanks for the green bean advice!

                          1. re: neointima
                            j
                            Jay Francis Jul 20, 2012 03:05 PM

                            A group of us is pretty much at Boomtown every Sunday now at 9:30 a.m. Always a welcoming hello from our group if you want to hang with us. All ages in our group depending on who shows up.

                            1. re: neointima
                              n
                              neointima Aug 26, 2012 11:12 AM

                              Forgot to post experiences with the two places in the Heights:
                              1) Catalina was excellent - had their Mexican beans (don't remember the exact origin) at home, and really enjoyed it. As sold, creamy, chocolatey, and caramel flavors. In-store, I had an iced espresso which was just enough acidity and beautiful. Wife had a cap which was also quite excellent. When we went, there was only one varietal of the beans for sale, and I didn't get to ask about other offerings.

                              2) Boomtown - wife picked up their Espresso beans (again, sorry, don't have the origin), and we really enjoyed this at home. In-store had a decaf cap which was also quite excellent with great microfoam. Only complaint was it was a bit cool, but otherwise very good. Seems like their bean selection is huge, but we've only tried the Espresso so far...

                              Will be definite regulars to both, probably mainly for take-home beans.

                              Brucesw - my wife is now telling me she has had trouble finding half pound bags of the Java Pura at Central Market. When I first started going to Central Market in July, it seemed like they were roasting/delivering everyday. Not sure what has changed, and haven't had a chance to go over myself and ask...

                              Oh and btw, we both disliked the French Roast (bitter and some odd undercurrent of chemical flavor) so much that we removed it from the grinder immediately and planned to return it (promptly forgot it in the trunk for several weeks). Costa Rica and Mexico are our favorites from JP...

                              Again, thanks to all for the suggestions!

                              1. re: neointima
                                b
                                brucesw Aug 27, 2012 10:04 AM

                                I've been to CM just once since this came up and - tada - there they were, 1/2 # bags. There were only 5 bags, 3 or 4 varieties, so not much to choose from. I don't know if they had been there before and I had simply not realized the bags were smaller or if they were always sold out before. I think I remember reading Java Pura delivers on Tuesday??? Will try to find that.

                                I've been to the offices on Gulfton. Not exactly walk-in customer friendly (location-wise). I was surprised to be handed the coffees I ordered and they were well chilled and had clear plastic front bags. Light is one of the things you want to avoid when storing coffee beans so I was surprised. As far as them being cooled (couldn't tell if they'd been in a freezer or just refrigerated), so far as I understand that's not a problem so long as they're tightly sealed and allowed to come to room temp before opening, to prevent moisture condensation on the contents. But it did suggest to me they weren't roasted that day.

                                I have yet to find a variety of JP I like; all but one of the roasts are darker than I like at the present time.

                            2. re: Jay Francis
                              n
                              neointima Oct 11, 2012 04:21 PM

                              Bump! Jay Francis- any updates on the tip on Sean Beck opening a coffee shop on Montrose?

                              I really shouldn't even be asking because I think we're utterly spoiled with the amount of good coffee we have access to - but hey, if it's there!

                            3. j
                              Jay Francis Jun 25, 2012 10:52 AM

                              For those looking to roast their own beans, my guess is that Matt at Boomtown Heights Coffee might let you rent time on his in-house roaster. Call him and ask.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jay Francis
                                g
                                geekstah Oct 12, 2012 06:59 AM

                                Matt is very friendly and courteous. I've usually seen him there at night near closing time roasting his coffee beans there. He will come out and talk to you if you have questions while he is working too so don't be afraid to ask whoever is working ot speak to him.

                                I defintely recommend this place to go and get away with a cup of coffee. Not loud like Starbucks or over crowded. They have a small patio area outside their door and allow dogs to come out there too. Ask for a water bowl for your dogs and they will happily oblige.

                                Never been disappointed here and will continue to go back to show my support here.

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