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everyday coffee

cheeser Jun 9, 2009 10:14 PM

what is the coffee that you buy for home everyday drinking? brand? type?

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  1. Michelly RE: cheeser Jun 9, 2009 10:24 PM

    I usually get either Starbucks -from their stores, not the megamart- and/or Whole Foods. Our every day combo is 3/4 of the freshest dark roast (usually French) and 1/4 of the freshest medium roast (usually Sumatra), and we grind the blend at home. I can't drive, so I have to go where it's convienient.

    1. l
      Lenox637 RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 03:10 AM

      Barrington Coffee Roasters: Italian Roast...... hands down the BEST coffee I have ever had. freshly roasted in small quantities. They ship all over as well.http://www.barringtoncoffee.com/

      Barrington Coffee
      165 Quarry Hill Rd, Lee, MA

      1. Fritter RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 04:12 AM

        Costco Kirkland brand roasted by Starbucks.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Fritter
          ginael RE: Fritter Jun 10, 2009 12:48 PM

          Good to know! I now purchase Peet's, and love it, but initially paid more for Starbuck's. Since I am a frequent Costco customer, will be sure to buy their brand since it is a lot cheaper.
          Do you recommend one type of Kirkland coffee?

          1. re: ginael
            Fritter RE: ginael Jun 10, 2009 04:42 PM

            I use the whole beans that come in a vacum sealed bag. 2# for less than $12. If you don't have a grinder most of the stores here have one at the front of the store by the check outs.

            1. re: Fritter
              ginael RE: Fritter Jun 10, 2009 09:22 PM

              I will have to try that out.

              Do you find there's a huge difference between whole beans and already grounded beans?

              1. re: ginael
                Fritter RE: ginael Jun 11, 2009 03:08 AM

                Yes I prefer whole beans. I do grind mine daily but even if I ground them at the store I would still buy whole bean. Just be sure to set the dial to the proper grind for how you are making your coffee. If you need help just ask as you check out.
                I picked up a Cuisinart bean grinder a few years back at Costco ($25) that has a hopper on top and you can set it to grind up to 18 cups of beans at a time but the grind setting takes a little fiddling with to get used to.
                Costco does sell Kirkland brand coffee in 3# cans for like $8 but I don't think that's a Starbucks product.

                1. re: Fritter
                  chipman RE: Fritter Jun 12, 2009 05:16 PM

                  The biggest single thing one can do to improve their coffee, no matter how it is brewed is to grind just before brewing. Coffee starts to go stale immediately after grinding. (think white bread sitting out of the wrapper)

                  1. re: chipman
                    Scargod RE: chipman Jun 13, 2009 04:06 AM

                    Why then do so many (majority?) of coffees come ground? I agree roasting then grinding and making coffee as soon as you can gives the best results, but how bad is a freshly opened bag of coffee?
                    I buy Starbucks both ground and whole beans. I'm not sure I can tell the difference. How does stale affect taste?

                    1. re: Scargod
                      applehome RE: Scargod Jun 14, 2009 10:28 AM

                      Oxidation is you enemy. Coffee that tastes stale doesn't have the intensity of the coffee flavor and can develop off tastes because in fact, it is turning rancid. If you can't taste it, you can't taste it - who cares? But most people will taste the difference between the bottom of the can of Folgers and the freshly opened can.

                      Vacuum packing takes care of the oxidation, so pre-ground and then vacuum packed is almost as good as fresh ground. In order to keep coffee fresh, whether whole bean or pre-ground, vacuum pack it - use the vacuum canisters or ball jar adapter with your Foodsaver.

                      The absolute best coffee is "fresh roasted" as well as fresh ground. Except that fresh roasted coffee needs to de-gas - so it's actually best to let your fresh roasted coffee rest for 24-48 hours before grinding and making coffee out of it. But every second that the coffee is allowed to oxidize after roasting, you lose flavor and increase rancidity. Whole beans last a lot longer because only the surface of the bean is thusly affected.

                    2. re: chipman
                      Cinnamon RE: chipman Jun 13, 2009 10:52 AM

                      Well, I've tried all sorts of freshly ground and freshly roasted. But I really like a newly-opened can of preground Italian coffee (Lavazza or Illy) preferentially to everything I've had (except this one place in Connecticut). Ideally, you could grind the Illy, but at least for the flavor profile I look for in coffee, the Lavazza preground is trumping pretty much everything else.

                      We go through the cans pretty fast. I wouldn't want coffee that had sat around in a bag for any length of time... actually ground or not. I agree stale is a dealkiller.

                      1. re: Cinnamon
                        monku RE: Cinnamon Jun 13, 2009 03:38 PM

                        You like Lavazza you should mail order it by the case. Shipping is very reasonable. 12 cans $72+ shipping ($5.95 for local shipping in LA).


                        1. re: monku
                          Cinnamon RE: monku Jun 13, 2009 04:20 PM

                          Thanks - that's a nice price for the Oro!

          2. Veggo RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 04:14 AM

            My local Publix in Florida now carries Dunkin Donuts original blend, medium roast. I avoid Starbucks; I abhor their culture and cult.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Veggo
              markabauman RE: Veggo Jun 10, 2009 04:31 AM

              Trader Joe's Smooth & Mellow

              1. re: markabauman
                littlebites RE: markabauman Jun 10, 2009 07:08 PM

                TJ Volcano.

                1. re: littlebites
                  litchick RE: littlebites Jun 12, 2009 09:08 PM

                  TJ's Double Dark Sumatra, TJ's Low Acid French Roast, and Timothy's San Lorenzo Dark

              2. re: Veggo
                kchurchill5 RE: Veggo Jun 10, 2009 05:17 AM

                Publix brand, Eight OClock and Dunkin. Starbucks ... Can't stand the place, can't stand the coffee. Beans and I do grind myself always.

                1. re: kchurchill5
                  bkhuna RE: kchurchill5 Jun 10, 2009 07:37 PM

                  See if your Publix carries or will stock Community Coffee for you. It's in their warehouse. Most of the Publix's, Piggly Wiggly's, etc. in the panhandle stock it and a few others do to. It's a good product and is economical. They still sell a 16 ounce bag of their traditional roasts for six bucks.

                  1. re: bkhuna
                    kchurchill5 RE: bkhuna Jun 10, 2009 07:41 PM

                    Thx I will. I know the manager and have ordered a few items and he can usually get them for me. I know Piggly's from WI and other places. I love good coffee don't get me wrong, but a good cup of Joe is the am can be a good Eight O clock or Publix brand. I'm not that picky, Fresh ground and a descent brand is fine for me. Definitely calling tomorrow. Thx

                    1. re: kchurchill5
                      bkhuna RE: kchurchill5 Jun 10, 2009 07:58 PM

                      I hear ya'. I like the taste of good coffee but can't see >$10/lb on designer brands.

                      I pay $5.98 a bag for Peet's. If I had to pay retail for it, I probably would only have it on hand for special occasions.

              3. Pata_Negra RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 05:13 AM

                Laurentis espresso beans, dark roast. the world doesn't exist until i've had my 3 shots of triple espresso [which i make myself with my Gaggia Classic] :p

                1. gatorfoodie RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 05:14 AM

                  Major Dickason's Blend by Pete's is my usual go to. There are a few stores / coffee houses around here that sell counter culture so I get that from time to time.

                  1. coney with everything RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 05:27 AM

                    Local roaster, Leelanau Coffee, has a medium blend called Wolverine (GO BLUE!) that is my current favorite.

                    1. JungMann RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 06:35 AM

                      Julius Meinl - President Blend. It's available online if you're not near their US locations.

                      1. Gio RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 06:43 AM

                        Trader Joe's French Roast. But lately, the taste seems a bit "off" to me. I think I need a fix of this stuff:

                        1. scubadoo97 RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 07:36 AM

                          I roast my own

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: scubadoo97
                            Veggo RE: scubadoo97 Jun 10, 2009 09:35 AM

                            I hope your nearest neighbor is a distance away: as delicious as fresh roasted is, the roasting process is pretty stinky!

                            1. re: Veggo
                              scubadoo97 RE: Veggo Jun 10, 2009 10:24 AM

                              Yeah I've never cared for the smell. There really isn't too much smoke that will carry too far. I'm not roasting 10 lbs or anything. Just under a pound per batch. I know commercial roasters need after burners to handle the smoke and to keep their neighbors and the EPA happy

                          2. m
                            moh RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 09:22 AM

                            I've been spoiling myself with Terroir, Intelligentsia and 49th Parallel beans, whatever our favorite baristas tell us is good that week. I am intimidated by the stovetop contraption my hubbie uses, so I just put the ground beans into a number 2 Melita filter and pour in some hot water. It is really delicious! Life is too short to drink bad coffee!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: moh
                              John Manzo RE: moh Jun 10, 2009 04:09 PM

                              A lot of posters with too-short lives here.

                              I have a rotation of 49th Parallel "Epic Espresso," JJ Bean "Espresso JJ," and Intelligentsia "Black Cat," all blends, but I also am happy to try an appropriately roasted single-origin for espresso, like the 49th Fazenda Apucarana (which it's marketing as single origin ESPRESSO), the Arecha from Phil and Sebastian roasted by Novo in Denver, or another great Brazilian I got a while back from Fratello Roasters (here in Calgary). I'll sometimes try Fratello's espresso blend for Good Earth Cafes here if I want something a little darker.

                              1. re: John Manzo
                                Fritter RE: John Manzo Jun 10, 2009 04:46 PM

                                I wish I could afford to have Greenwell's Kona estate or peaberry as my daily brew.


                                1. re: Fritter
                                  kchurchill5 RE: Fritter Jun 10, 2009 05:34 PM

                                  I have 10 bucks or less for a bag of a good bean (many descent brands out there), fresh brew at 5am or earlier and usually take a thermos as I walk out the door. I would love some good beans and do treat myself when I entertain usually but for me. I equate it to 10 dollars for the coffee (a bit of savings) allows me to enjoy a cold makers mark and coke when I get home. Give and take.

                                  1. re: kchurchill5
                                    John Manzo RE: kchurchill5 Jun 14, 2009 10:09 AM

                                    That $10, assuming it's for a pound of beans, will make about 30 cups of coffee.

                            2. j
                              Jeff_the_Kid RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 10:20 AM

                              Medaglia D'oro Expresso Raost

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Jeff_the_Kid
                                Steve RE: Jeff_the_Kid Jun 11, 2009 08:10 PM

                                For eight servings, I take two tablespoons of Medaglio d'Oro and add it to 5 tablespoons of a generic ground coffee (called Food Club) I get at a dollar store for about $2.50 a can. After years of experimenting with more expensive coffees, that works for a nice very inexpensive morning cup that I prefer.

                                Yeah, I've taken some suggestions from Chowhound and ordered specialty whole coffee beans and ground them every morning. I prefer this.

                                1. re: Steve
                                  Scargod RE: Steve Jun 12, 2009 04:20 AM

                                  When I first met SO, many years ago, she used Medaglio d'Oro and lots of it. It was so damn strong and bitter! I finally took over the coffee making and cooking and she has never complained. This morning I'm drinking Italian Roast (starbucks). That's as strong as we go. I don't skimp on the coffee when I make it, either.

                                  1. re: Steve
                                    chowser RE: Steve Jun 12, 2009 12:02 PM

                                    This is a great idea. Do you grind your coffee fine, like the espresso? I vary my coffee but often use Medaglio.

                                    1. re: chowser
                                      Steve RE: chowser Jun 12, 2009 12:29 PM

                                      For what I posted, the coffee already comes ground. How convenient!

                                      1. re: Steve
                                        chipman RE: Steve Jun 12, 2009 05:18 PM

                                        If you like stale coffee.

                                        1. re: Steve
                                          John Manzo RE: Steve Jun 14, 2009 10:10 AM

                                          Never, ever buy pre-ground coffee.

                                  2. f
                                    fourunder RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 10:27 AM

                                    Anything but Maxwell House or Folgers.....

                                    1. s
                                      swamp RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 12:30 PM

                                      Community Coffee between blend.

                                      1. mtngirlnv RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 02:00 PM

                                        The Rain Forest Blend at Fresh and Easy. And since SO likes flavored coffee, I also tried their hazelnut coffee. Definitely better, though I still like mine just straight.

                                        1. Caralien RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 02:46 PM

                                          Cafe Blend, Porto Rico, gold mesh cone drip (yes, they ask which grind). They have a host of FT, Bird Friendly (shade grown), Organic, and just about everything else, for $6-8/lb (yes, there are pricier versions), particularly during their weekly and seasonal sales.

                                          I've never been a fan of Peet's, Starbuck's, Intelligensia, or Dunkin Donuts.

                                          We usually get ~10lbs at a time to keep in the freezer (I've been ordering their coffee since my first move away from NYC in 1992). When I've had them delivered to the office, the reception desk smells like a coffee roaster's paradise.

                                          Porto Rico Importing Co.
                                          201 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

                                          1. j
                                            jaykayen RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 03:50 PM

                                            Intelligentsia, Vivace

                                            1. h
                                              HLing RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 04:34 PM

                                              i'm lucky to be able to get green coffee beans from Fairway uptown Harlem location, instead of mail order. It might be that i'm the only person buying those beans (i hope not), but they've started to put a 2 lbs bag aside now, instead of having it in the bin. I'm told it's Ethiopean beans.Stove top cast iron roast. Manual stone ground daily that starts and finishes with the tea kettle whistle. Then Aeropress.

                                              1. c
                                                Cinnamon RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 06:46 PM

                                                Lavazza ... it's an Italian brand, carried for $6-7 at World Market. Really nice and smooth. Comes preground in a sealed metal can... far better to me than all fresh-bean varieties I've had (except for this one place in Connecticut).

                                                It's in a maroon can. They also have really nice espresso (we like the Lavazza D 'Oro in the gold can best for that but the regular is fine).

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: Cinnamon
                                                  HLing RE: Cinnamon Jun 10, 2009 09:03 PM

                                                  Lavazza D'Oro! I pined for that after tasting it in Como, Italy in the early 90's! Used to have to buy it vacuum packed - golden bricks of deliciousness -from their supermarket and bring it back to the US. It took a while before the US had it, and even then, the d'Oro never came in bricks here, only in cans. Only recently I've seen the Lavazza d'Oro in whole beans. Too late for me...

                                                  1. re: Cinnamon
                                                    chowser RE: Cinnamon Jun 12, 2009 12:03 PM

                                                    I like Lavazza D'Oro. I have only had the espresso and didn't know there was coffee, too. I'll have to look for it.

                                                    1. re: Cinnamon
                                                      kubasd RE: Cinnamon Jun 12, 2009 06:32 PM

                                                      what place in CT? I live there and would be interested....

                                                      1. re: kubasd
                                                        Cinnamon RE: kubasd Jun 13, 2009 11:04 AM

                                                        Coffee Tree
                                                        22 Railroad Ave
                                                        Greenwich, CT 06830
                                                        (203) 861-7800

                                                        I wonder if it is owned by the same guy as the one up the street (Greenwich Ave.) described here:

                                                        This was awhile back that I had it. There is/was also some local-roasting place inland a bit from Greenwich (New Canaan??), maybe more inland from Stamford, that has good just-roasted-on-premises but now I'm at a complete loss as to the name. Supposedly it was owned by a connoisseurial psychopharmacologist.

                                                        But there are plenty of fresh-roast options in that general area.

                                                        1. re: Cinnamon
                                                          Caralien RE: Cinnamon Jun 13, 2009 02:47 PM

                                                          I haven't tried Coffee Tree, but would be interested the next time I'm in CT.

                                                          I wholly agree that local roasters are the way to go unless one can get the beans and roast them at home effectively. The climate here isn't right for growing coffee, and the closest tea plantation I'm aware of is near Charleston, SC (owned now by Bigelow, I believe).

                                                          There's a place closer to me in NJ (Grover's Mill), as well as Small World Coffee, but I haven't been able to ween myself (or husband) off of Porto Rico.

                                                          Grover's Mill Coffee and Tea House
                                                          295 Princeton Hightstown Rd, Princeton Jct, NJ 08550

                                                          The Coffee Tree
                                                          22 Railroad Ave, Greenwich, CT

                                                          Small World Coffee
                                                          14 Witherspoon St Ste A, Princeton, NJ 08542

                                                    2. c
                                                      cimui RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 06:55 PM

                                                      I'm impressed by HLing and all you other self-roasters out there. I'm so lazy, I have the store grind my beans for me. Luckily (ok, "luckily"), I go through it fast, so I can pick up fresh ground stuff frequently!

                                                      My favorite everyday coffee is the Blue Mountain style at Zabar's. I know it's heretical to some to drink BM style and not the real stuff, but the counterfeit is honestly about 75% as good as the real stuff and 20% as expensive. Great for every day.

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: cimui
                                                        kchurchill5 RE: cimui Jun 10, 2009 07:01 PM

                                                        I grind just enough for me every morning. I love the smell of the fresh grounds. I use a minimal price as I said but I love it. Fresh ground. I use a fresh infused cinnimon cream which I made. cream which I infused with a cinnimon stick and a clove and then chilled. I keep it for a week and it is great. Don't do it all the time, but it is sure good. Sometimes a little vanilla bean too. Just a little treat.

                                                        1. re: kchurchill5
                                                          cimui RE: kchurchill5 Jun 10, 2009 07:11 PM

                                                          y'know, in huge part, i hate to grind my own in the a.m. on a weekday because i'm usually tired and groggy and i have the kind of grinder where you need to stick your finger in there to scrape out the coffee grinds after they're ground. i keep cutting myself on that little blade! also, i'm really lazy. :)

                                                          infusing cream or milk is a great idea that i bet my mom would love. i'm not such a fan of added flavor in coffee these days. i'm such an addict that i like mine with its wake-me-up bitterness in full force. no sugar, ever. just enough milk to temper the acid in my empty tummy.

                                                          1. re: cimui
                                                            kchurchill5 RE: cimui Jun 10, 2009 07:18 PM

                                                            No sugar here, just a little spice flavor. My friend taught me it. I do it in the micro for 2 minutes. 1 cup cream, 1 cinnimon stick, 1 clove, sometimes some ground nutmet. 2 minutes on medium and put in the fridge. Grinding, I love my grinder and love fresh grinds. The smell sometimes more than the coffee itself. But I often leave at 5 or 6 am so I grind the night before and then put in the pot. Wake up and turn on. Old fashioned maker no timer. I actually have to flip a switch. Just a simple gal.

                                                            1. re: kchurchill5
                                                              Caralien RE: kchurchill5 Jun 10, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                              The coffee maker my husband uses daily is mine from college--a 4C Gevalia model circa 1989 (the gold mesh filter has been replaced twice).

                                                              1. re: Caralien
                                                                kchurchill5 RE: Caralien Jun 10, 2009 07:44 PM

                                                                LOL, Gevalia as well, gold mesh filter it was silver originally, 1 replacement. I used to get the Peruvian beans and still do. I get 4 bags a year and keep them frozen. I love their Christmas blend so I get that then. I got a Braun, top of the line, timer, the whole works machine and it broke. Sent it back, they refused to replace so I never got another. I kept my little Gevalia and 3 one in 30 years. Still going strong.

                                                                Besides ... makes a damn good cup of coffee!!

                                                                1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                  Caralien RE: kchurchill5 Jun 10, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                                  It really does make good coffee! I only regret giving my spare one away (or can hope that someone else has inherited it and it too is still being used).

                                                            2. re: cimui
                                                              Michelly RE: cimui Jun 14, 2009 04:08 PM

                                                              Use a spoon or a table knife to scrape out the grounds. I'm lucky if I can find my mouth with the toothbrush, so sticking my fingers in any place that has a blade -even if it's not running- would not be good.

                                                        2. bkhuna RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                          Peet's Major Dickason's Blend and Community Coffee House Blend.

                                                          I grind my beans daily.

                                                          1. Scargod RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 08:04 PM

                                                            I don't have just one, but typically I rotate between Starbuck's Verona, Sumatra and Gold Coast. I buy it as whole beans. I never drink coffee from Starbucks stores; I buy this at Stop 'n Shop.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Scargod
                                                              danieljdwyer RE: Scargod Jun 12, 2009 06:52 AM

                                                              Have you tried Willoughby's? It's fresh roasted, which (I think) makes more of a difference than fresh ground. I think they roast it in Branford, but they have locations all over the New Haven area. Except for one or two of their premium single origin coffees, it costs less than the Starbucks stuff. They usually have someone working in the store that's knowledgeable enough to point you towards a roast or blend you'll enjoy.

                                                              1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                Veggo RE: danieljdwyer Jun 12, 2009 07:50 AM

                                                                You may know how inexpensive a 10-kilo sack of shade grown arabica beans is in Costa Rica or Veracruz State (MX), which explains why so many want into the game. I'm always amused when I see a bag of New England coffee, New England being 1600 miles from the nearest coffee bush.

                                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                                  danieljdwyer RE: Veggo Jun 12, 2009 08:09 AM

                                                                  Isn't Seattle even farther from the nearest coffee bush?
                                                                  I find that all less strange than the fact that chocolate connoisseurs usually insist on Central European chocolate, cacao being a New World, tropical plant.

                                                                  1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                                    Caralien RE: danieljdwyer Jun 12, 2009 08:20 AM

                                                                    or imported tomatoes, yet another New World berry.

                                                                  2. re: Veggo
                                                                    Veggo RE: Veggo Jun 12, 2009 02:57 PM

                                                                    There is an interesting parallel thread on a Canadian board about sourcing cuban coffee. Much cuban coffee is almost as premium as Blue Mountain, and is exported mostly to France and Japan. (Which is surprising, because Spain is Cuba's largest non-petroleum trading partner). It is such an important source of export revenue that it is rationed to cubans, but there are tiny coffee casitas everywhere in greater Havana. Hurricane Ike destroyed most of last year's crop, but it is unclear to me whether coffee bushes are considered a "quick recovery crop", or not. The shading trees were all destroyed, so the exquisiteness of fine cuban coffee, drunk strong in tiny "tazas" all through the day, has had a game change for a while. Real stats are hard to come by in Cuba; anyone have an update?

                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                      Fritter RE: Veggo Jun 13, 2009 03:31 AM

                                                                      "Much cuban coffee is almost as premium as Blue Mountain, and is exported mostly to France and Japan"

                                                                      I just put that one in my "you learn something new every day" file.

                                                              2. Vetter RE: cheeser Jun 10, 2009 08:30 PM

                                                                Stumptown (Portland/Seattle) whenever I can get it. It is so worth it. The rest of the time is a constant search for something that is nearly that good-- so sometimes I just go without. I figure I'm going to end up roasting my own sooner rather than later, since I don't want to pay shipping on my Stumptown habit.

                                                                1. MMRuth RE: cheeser Jun 11, 2009 03:04 AM

                                                                  I've been buying Essse Masini Caffe Espresso Beans in the Bronx lately - $18 or so for 1 kilo. I use my French press and have been happy with this coffee.

                                                                  http://www.1st-line.com/coffee/espres... - the red bag at the bottom.

                                                                  1. m
                                                                    MrsT RE: cheeser Jun 11, 2009 09:44 AM

                                                                    I don't know the brand name. I get my coffee from a specialty shop in Brooklyn called Leaf & Bean. I used to get the Vintage Crop, now I get the Mocha Java Supreme.

                                                                    1. cassoulady RE: cheeser Jun 11, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                                      WF 365 brand Breakfast blend.

                                                                      1. al b. darned RE: cheeser Jun 12, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                        Fair Trade coffee from Deans Beans (www.deansbeans.com). We like the Road House and Ring of Fire blends. They also have chocolate covered coffee beans (Java Drops) in both milk and dark...majorily addicting!

                                                                        1. Will Owen RE: cheeser Jun 12, 2009 06:25 PM

                                                                          Peet's when I'm being extravagant (French Roast mostly). Otherwise, La Llave (the West Coast equivalent to El Pico) or Melitta European Roast, for which I constantly get $$-off coupons from Ralphs. Just make one pot a day (1-qt Chemex carafe), unless we have company.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Will Owen
                                                                            another_adam RE: Will Owen Jun 13, 2009 11:14 AM

                                                                            Is there an actual connection between La Llave and El Pico, or do you just mena equivalent in the style/flavor sense? La Llave used to be our everyday house coffee in LA, and I've been sad that we can't find it in the northeast :( Pilon and Bustelo are our two easiest to find options, so we're using Bustelo now. Peets, Intelligentsia, and Illy are our special treat coffees, though occasionally when I make a trip home to upstate NY, I grab some beans from Gimme Coffee! (Sumatra Iskandar, mostly)

                                                                            1. re: another_adam
                                                                              Will Owen RE: another_adam Jun 13, 2009 09:36 PM

                                                                              La Llave and El Pico are the products of two different but similar family firms, one in LA and the other in NJ. They are both the cheapest brands in their respective lineup, selling these days in the $4-and-under range, though frequently the Latino supermarket chains will have the 12-oz. vacuum bricks of La Llave at 2/$5. Interesting note: you can tell La Llave is a western brand because "llave" is Mexican Spanish for "key". In the East, they'd probably use the Cuban or Puerto Rican spelling, the same as Spanish Spanish, which is "clave".

                                                                              Both La Llave and El Pico are in my estimation much better than Bustelo, which to me tastes rather tired and stale.

                                                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                another_adam RE: Will Owen Jun 14, 2009 10:41 AM

                                                                                Good to know this about El Pico-- I don't see it around in supermarkets in Boston, but if it's from the Northeast, I'll keep my eyes open for it! (Could easily be hiding out in Latin markets)

                                                                                I agree, Bustelo is not nearly as good as La Llave, we've definitely missed it after moving east.
                                                                                (btw, isn't 'clave' just for piano keys, as a reborrowing from Latin? I thought 'llave' is the term for lock-keys everywhere, it just follows the regular rule of Latin cl > Spanish ll, e.g., Latin clamare = Spanish llamar...)

                                                                                1. re: another_adam
                                                                                  deibu RE: another_adam Jun 15, 2009 06:39 PM

                                                                                  My local Publix supermarket carries La Llave (I live in South Carolina), so it's available in some parts of the East Coast...

                                                                          2. kubasd RE: cheeser Jun 12, 2009 06:36 PM

                                                                            Cafe Britt Peaberry coffee that I either bring back from or have shipped from Costa Rica.... once I had it I couldn't go back..... It's the best, seriously. No need for any sugar or cream, it tastes delicious all by itself....

                                                                            1. c
                                                                              chilihead RE: cheeser Jun 13, 2009 03:48 AM

                                                                              Cafe Bustelo, part out of habit, part for the taste, and part out of graphic design appreciation.

                                                                              1. chowser RE: cheeser Jun 13, 2009 06:11 AM

                                                                                As mentioned above, I often buy espresso powder to make coffee because it tastes richer. That is preground but regular coffee I buy in beans. For espresso, I vary it, depening on where I am shopping when I run out but have liked Medaglio, Lavazza and Trader Joe's D'Aquino which is fair trade and organic so usually my first choice. For coffee, WF now carries locally roasted coffee that I like, but if I'm feeling frugal, Costco has a fair trade coffee that I'll use.

                                                                                1. alanbarnes RE: cheeser Jun 13, 2009 12:31 PM

                                                                                  I like small estate coffees. The folks at Sweet Maria's do a pretty good job of picking some of the best offerings around. Availability is never consistent, so each order becomes a learning experience. The current lineup includes:

                                                                                  Hawai'i Kona Moki's Farm (City roast)
                                                                                  Ethiopia Organic Dry-Processed Koratie (City+)
                                                                                  Colombia "Perros Bravos de Huila" (City+ to Full City)
                                                                                  Sumatra Lintong "Blue Batak" (Full City)

                                                                                  All roasted in small (~5 oz. green, ~4 oz. net) batches, 3-7 days before consumption.

                                                                                  1. Candy RE: cheeser Jun 13, 2009 03:24 PM

                                                                                    Brown County Coffee Roasters Jesse's Blend. French Press. It is a local roaster and that blend is exclusive to our shop. We had a coffee blend contest a couple of years ago. That is what won. It is Guatemalan and a blend of light, medium and dark roasts. If makes fantastic iced coffee too.

                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                      Muskrat RE: cheeser Jun 13, 2009 04:03 PM

                                                                                      I've pretty much switched from Trader Joe's whole beans to Black Mountain Gold, sometimes flavored, ground and vacuum-packed in one-pot pouches. I used to get it from Ralphs, but they'd hide the display away from the other coffee, run out of flavors, etc., so now I just mail-order a bunch at a time. All things considered, it's not really all that expensive.


                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                        chef4hire RE: cheeser Jun 13, 2009 07:11 PM

                                                                                        everyday is Community New Orleans blend...double cream, please

                                                                                        1. k
                                                                                          Kinnexa RE: cheeser Jun 13, 2009 07:46 PM

                                                                                          I don't drink much coffee anymore, but when I do it's Equal Exchange, which is a fair-trade brand I can get at the supermarket as whole beans. I grind it coarsely and brew it in my French press.

                                                                                          1. fresnohotspot RE: cheeser Jun 14, 2009 06:54 AM

                                                                                            Hopelessly and happily addicted to Peet's Major Dickason's beans and my burr grinder. I recently tried a bag of Dunkin Donuts blend and was surprised how good it tasted.

                                                                                            1. steakman55 RE: cheeser Jun 15, 2009 05:24 PM

                                                                                              Most any of the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters beans, freshly ground, will do the trick

                                                                                              1. fresnohotspot RE: cheeser Aug 12, 2009 08:26 AM

                                                                                                In my last post to this thread, I gushed about Major Dickason's blend. There are some Blue Mountain and Kona coffees I would like to have all the time, but the mortgage comes first. I still love Dickason's, but I stumbled on a close second for flavor and value. I know the New York crowd has had Chock Full O' Nuts - original blend - around for years. But I just tried my first cup and this is a great everyday blend. I get giddy when I come across good stuff that has been around for ages.

                                                                                                1. soypower RE: cheeser Aug 12, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                                                                  I just discovered a great micro-roast in my area...Columbia Monserate from Caffe Lusso. I don't usually like black coffee, but I couldn't get enough of this...


                                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                                    carissima RE: cheeser Aug 12, 2009 10:28 AM

                                                                                                    I'm looking for a mild taste in coffee.
                                                                                                    I usually buy ground coffee in small quantities. I'm in Toronto, I find that the locally roasted coffee is too bitter for my taste.
                                                                                                    I was thinking about an Italian brand like Lavazza or Illy.
                                                                                                    Any recommendations? Thanks!

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: carissima
                                                                                                      alanbarnes RE: carissima Aug 12, 2009 10:54 AM

                                                                                                      Sorry to be blunt, but if your coffee is bitter, you're brewing it wrong. If it's some other aspect of the flavor profile that you find objectionable, talking to a knowledgeable person at a local roaster about your likes and dislikes is the quickest way to find the ideal coffee for you. It may take some trial and error, but you'll get there.

                                                                                                      For mild flavors, I'd avoid most of the Italian roasters. You may want to try high-quality beans from Central or South America or Hawai'i. Or maybe a Kenya AA. Regardless, get something that isn't roasted too dark; you don't want to see oil on the surface of the beans.

                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                                                        carissima RE: alanbarnes Aug 12, 2009 04:20 PM

                                                                                                        Thanks, alanbarnes. Unfortunately, the trial and error period does not seem to end..
                                                                                                        Maybe you're right about the brewing. I have been using the turkish pot to brew the coffee.

                                                                                                        1. re: carissima
                                                                                                          alanbarnes RE: carissima Aug 12, 2009 04:41 PM

                                                                                                          It's easy to overextract the grounds using an ibrik. A vac pot, drip cone (including Chemex), or french press would provide better insurance against bitterness.

                                                                                                          Seriously, check out a light-roasted Central American coffee (or a single-estate Kona, if you're feeling flush). I think you'll like it.

                                                                                                    2. k
                                                                                                      KristieB RE: cheeser Aug 12, 2009 04:55 PM

                                                                                                      Starbucks Casi Cielo in the winter as a treat and Eight O'Clock Columbian as my daily.

                                                                                                      1. Michelly RE: cheeser Aug 13, 2009 02:03 PM

                                                                                                        Okay, I changed my everyday brand.
                                                                                                        It used to be Starbucks (I can't drive and I can find a Starbucks on any of my bus routes), but I discovered that the Infuzion Cafe next to Sur Le Table in Santa Monica will sell half- and whole pounds of 3 blends by Groundworks. I'm still trying to get to one of the two actual Groundwork stores in my area so I can try diffferent roasts/blends, but this is extremely convienient forme.
                                                                                                        And the coffee is GREAT! I can make it strong and it isn't the sllightest bit bitter!

                                                                                                        1. u
                                                                                                          uman RE: cheeser Aug 14, 2009 12:43 PM

                                                                                                          8'oclock roast. Market Basket here in the Northeast sell it under their brand for 8.99 for a 2 pound bag. I think it's pretty decent. I splurge occasionally on George Howell's stuff.

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