Local Coffee Bean Suppliers (Split from 33 Revolutions thread)
At work, I've been working through a short list of local bean suppliers.
Blue Bottle tasted *HEAVENLY* but seems to have growing pains. Different weeks, they'd short us or "long us". Our admin found them snippy and unbearable. We were ordering the Temescal Blend. The blend had crema for *days* and a great richness.
We switched to Ritual's espresso blend. Arguably, I should have asked them which blend is best for our taste here, but we found the beans to be very dry and lacked a certain depth we had come to expect with Blue Bottle. And, I couldn't get crema out of the stuff to save my life, although I had been playing with the espresso pressure and didn't necessarily have a clean A/B test.
Which brings us to last week's trial of Barefoot in Santa Clara. First, I disapprove of shipping beans in 12oz bags. We though we were getting a good price - $11/bag - but they're the same price, and the sizes are clearly stated on the website. The office assessment is they're on par with Blue Bottle. One person likes Barefoot better, two like Blue Bottle better, but they're running pretty neck-and-neck. Depth is exceptional, crema is acceptable.
If anyone else thinks there's local mail-order/internet beans suppliers in the same league, I'd like to hear about it.
You might give Catahoula in Richmond a try. He is a new roaster and not everything is successful. However, I've heard his Chiapas roast is right up the with Blue Bottle's best. Also, Timber who owns the place is a dream to work with. After my cup of Ritual Sunday, it was ... Ritual. I'm more likely to stop by Catahoula.
a)Ecco and in a week or two b)Four Barrel in the city......they'll be roasting Hairbender, which you'll know if you've been to Stumptown in Portland.....the espresso blend that all other are measured against...