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Jan 21, 2011 07:57 AM

best dark roast coffee beans in Berkeley / Oakland area

Either Peet's quality has dropped a bit in recent years or my palate has changed. Combined with their ever-higher prices I don't feel like I'm getting the value I used to, so I'm searching for something better than Peet's, or as good but cheaper.

I thought Cole Coffee's New Guinea espresso roast was on a par with Peet's but more expensive.

Cole Coffee
3179 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94705

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  1. I like coffee beans from the Country cheese store (next to Monterey market). It is an unpretentious little store with an amazing collection of coffe beans, tea, spices, and most of all chocolates. They have the best prices for most items too. Don't know about what kind of roast they have for coffee beans though.

    1. Have you tried the Yirgacheffe beans from Kefa Coffee in Oakland? I don't think it's a dark roast per se, but it is an earthy, full-bodied coffee that might appeal to a dark roast drinker. That's been my favorite for take-home French press use. Price is probably on par with Peet's.

      Kefa Coffee
      422 29th Ave, Oakland, CA 94601

      1. I've actually been going the other direction myself- went to single-cup preparation and have moved from French roast towards the thirdwave city roast style, paying $12-15 for those 12 oz bags they all favor. However, I was wondering if you've tried the Allegro brand that Whole Foods sells as their house bulk stock- the Oakland branch always has several variations, including 2-3 very dark roasts. I tried some in the summer and it seemed pretty decent for a dark roast. Mostly $10-13 for the full pound, and because it's bulk you could buy small amounts to try.

        1. I noticed that the (Oregon St.) Berkeley Bowl had two bins of Jeremiah's Pick Fogbuster, which I figure means they go through a lot of it, so I'm trying it. I like it about as well as Peet's, and it's only $9 a pound.

          Berkeley Bowl
          2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

          6 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            One more random difference between old and new Bowls: the latter has only house-brand coffee in the bins, and its limited selection of pre-bagged Jeremiah's did not include Fogbuster.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I'm curious to hear what you think of the BB jeremiah's Pick Fogbuster. Or what your latest choice of coffee is.

              1. re: escargot3

                That's what I've been drinking. I like it fine.

                They don't carry it at the West Bowl, so I got a pound of their dark roast full bodied house coffee, it's similar if not the same.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Does Monterey Market carry the Fogbuster?

                  1. re: lmnopm

                    I've heard they carry Jeremiah's Pick. MM's not convenient for me so I haven't looked.

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                Bag-your-own beans at both Bowls are now $10. The West Bowl is convenient to my new job so I bought a pound of the darkest house roast. I prefer the Jeremiah's Pick Fogbuster (original Bowl only).

                I'm not thrilled with it but haven't found anything that tastes like what I used to get from Peet's. I tried a couple of kinds of Peet's recently, my old 101-Sulawesi blend and Major Dickason's, and didn't like them as well. The only coffee I've had recently that really tasted like coffee to me was some decaf Major Dickason's, but it's pretty different from the regular. Weird.

              3. I've found Philz is a great alternative. They always seem to have some special for $10/lb and they specialize in blends for Melitta/drip. I haven't priced Mr. Espresso recently but I think they're cheaper than Peet's and very nice as well (at BBowl in vacuum sealed bags)?