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Sep 22, 2009 06:50 AM

Where to get coffee beans that won't break the bank but taste good? San Francisco transplant needs help.

I've just moved to Toronto from the San Francisco Bay Area, where I've been spoiled with excellent coffee beans available from the supermarket. I'm trying to find a source of beans that are as good as what I'm used to -- Peets, for those of you who are familiar with it, or Trader Joe's French Roast -- for less than $10/lb. Is this possible?

I've been drinking Medaglia d'Oro, which I can live with. Yesterday I made the mistake of trying President's Choice in a can. Oops.

I keep thinking there must be something better. Where do you get good, full-bodied, tasty, eye-opening beans? Pre-ground is ok.

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  1. Kensington Market - House of Spice. Get either the Royal Blend or Thai Blend. Both good and hefty without the hefty price tag. They'll grind it for you if you want, or you can get just beans.

    1. Lit Espresso Bar, Roncesvalles in the west end --- The have Stumptown beans, 3/4 lb for $12, really really nice stuff

      1. Everyday Gourmet Coffee
        Lower level and the St. Lawrence Market

        I Deal Coffee
        Kensington Market
        84 Nassau Street, Toronto, ON

        Moonbean Coffee
        Kensington Market
        30 St Andrew St, Toronto

        All of the above roast their coffee onsite and have good products. Pricing will be in the $9 to $14 range and you will know your beans are fresh

        9 Replies
        1. re: blogs

          May seem mundane, but I buy my beans at COSTCO. I purchase Starbucks French Roast for about half what Starbucks stores charges. A good selection of coffee.

          1. re: Danybear

            I concur with DB about Costco. Obviously not as freshly roasted as the local places, but quite good. I buy Zavida Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified. It's 2 lb. for less than $13! That's only $6.50/lb. Vacuum sealed.

            1. re: Yongeman

              I stock up as much as I can with the William Spartivento beans at Costco when they do the road show. Really good beans. I grind my self so I can afford to keep them around a little longer.



              1. re: Yongeman

                I second Costco's Zavida Organic coffee. I usually roast my own coffee beans but when roasting is not an option, I get Zavida.

                1. re: Yongeman

                  Have you noticed how this product has changed? It is now bitter and thin, we used to quite like this coffee.

                  1. re: Raeren

                    Hmmm. I just finished the end of a bag and even to the end, it was delicious. What kind of coffee process are you using? What was the expiry date on the bag that you had? My recent one was dated Apr 03 2015 and I'm about to open a bag dated June 02 2015. Maybe I'll notice a difference...

                    1. re: Yongeman

                      I've contacted Zavida and they have offered to replace the bad bags. We had two bad bags and we still have one of these bags which has a date stamp - Zavida is interested in researching. It may be that they had a bad batch or two. I will report back on the replacement coffee. Very nice person in customer service so kudos there.

                      1. re: Raeren

                        That's good to hear, Raeren. Do you know the expiry date? I'd love to hear an update when anything happens. Cheers.

              2. re: blogs

                I'll happily 2nd Everyday Gourmet. I can get just about anything that I would buy at the St Lawrence Market right in my own neighbourhood. If I run low on coffee, though, I'll make a special trip to the SLM just for that.

              3. If you're living too far from these places and the grocery store is your only option. Try these guys:


                I like their Zen blend, but it's all good. And they deliver!

                3 Replies
                1. re: currycue

                  It will be well over $10/lb after you factor in the postage etc. My 2 lb orders were usually over $30 and that's one reason I roast my own now. Dark City has great coffee, just not at the price the poster requested.

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    True, they are a little pricey. I get my beans from Ideal, personally, they opened up near my house, however, I'm getting really fed up with their grinder issues. Always too course and inconsistent. Wondering what grinder you use or can recommend for a pump espresso machine. I'd much rather the grind be too fine than too course (I tend to make lattes anyway)


                    1. re: currycue

                      I have a Rancilio grinder and espresso machine. See here for pictures:

                      I bought mine in November 2007 and it's been flawless.

                2. Greenbeanery at Bathurst and Bloor has a large selection of roasted coffee, mostly $7-$10/lb.
                  Green beans at $5/lb, too.
                  It is a not for profit place, and it usually undercuts the prices at the specialty places noted in previous posts.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jayt90

                    Green Beanery is a great place to buy fresh and roasted coffee, roasters and any other related items. That's where I buy all my supplies now.

                    1. re: jayt90

                      I purchase green beans from the Greenbeanery. It's a great place. The initial investment in the roaster was about $200 but we have made our money back many times in savings from purchasing the beans green. Also I hate shopping so I prefer to buy a big lot and roast as I go. Cheap, good, ethical -what's not to love?