Wondering where people have found the best espresso beans in the TC area?
My FIL is really into his new espresso maker and I'd like to get him some good espresso beans for Father's Day...thought I'd do a little bit of research first, beyond Starbucks & Caribou :)
Thanks for your suggestions!
You're entering a bold country. Most espresso makers sold in the US can't pull the temperature and pressure needed to make a true espresso. Unless you're talking a high end espresso maker, the quality of the beans is pretty much irrelevant. Get something decent (like Peace Coffee), grind into a as fine a powder as you can, and fire away.
It's similar to folks worrying about what's the best coffee beans when using a drip maker - which is what I use most of the time. There's bad, OK, and good. But unless you use a French Press, you're not going to make a great coffee, so bean quality - to some extent - is irrelevant - like asking what's the best olive oil around if you're using it to saute mushrooms.
If you want to keep it local, try Peace Coffee, they have the best beans I've found - in general - their Sumatra Mandheling is the best I've found for that bean, hands down. For an odd ball recommendation, try the coffee joint in the Sears at Mall of America, ground floor, in the tools section. No lie. That guy has some exceptional coffees. Expensive, but some of the highest quality coffee beans I've found in the metro area.
In the end, quality espresso isn't about the beans, it's about the technique.