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ISO Amazing Coffee for Home

I love coffee.

Not a little, but a lot. When I think back on some of my favorite experiences they are even better when I can say "And the coffee was fantastic!"

I don't care for Starbucks, though I'll drink it in moments of desperation. I think the regular roast is too dark - almost burned. But most places serve way too light a roast, and still more leave a lot of the dud beans in the blend so the coffee has off flavors.

I've been buying my coffee out of state for the past ten years - at a place near where I grew up. Unfortunately they just changed their roast and it is a) not as dark b) has more of the duds in it and c) is just mediocre. Sadly, I bought 6 lbs of it. Anyway. I need to find another coffee.

I live in mid/lower Westchester. Scarsdale, White Plains, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Northern New Rochelle - all really convenient. I'm on a desperate hunt. For the record I've had the coffee from Balducci's (not impressed) and from Zabar's (better than Balducci's, but it didn't bowl me over). Surprisingly liked the Elite Turkish Coffee blend that can be purchased in the market, but would prefer to find something I can buy fresh. I'm providing this information so you know what I"m looking for - a delicious, medium to dark roast that can be brewed as a strong cup and will be delicious.

Please throw out suggestions!

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  1. Have you tried Fairway? I prefer their Blue Mountain or African light roasts, but have had some gorgeous dark occasionally by accident.

    3 Replies
    1. re: coll

      fairway is a great suggestion for this. they have a location right in that area with have lots of choices. we buy their bennie's blend exclusively.

      out of curiosity, how do you prepare your java at home? we have a capresso unit that we love.

      1. re: coll

        At Fairway, you get stale coffee if you're not careful to ask when it was roasted. They keep it a month, though will try to tell you a week. I had it out with them after buying samples of a bunch of coffees that had little aroma upon opening, and no flavor no matter how strong I made them, so now they know to tell me the right roasting date and steer me away from stale. If it's something that moves a lot, it may be ok, but most of it sits there in the open barrels out gassing and is not worth anything, IMO.

        1. re: mcf

          MCF- this was my experience too. I heard great things about Fairway coffee and then - it's kind of out of my way - I went there to get some and it was disappointingly stale.

      2. Get some beans from (or find a place that serves) Coffee Labs beans from Tarrytown.

        1. I've given up. I order mine from Boyd's. This is the one I get but there are many options.


          1 Reply
          1. re: wincountrygirl

            Trader Joes breakfast blend made in capresso using strong setting. can't beat the price. deep & mellow...

          2. I like Jim's Organic. Lately, I've been loving the Wonderbrew. If you ever need a decaf, there are few better tasting coffees than their Together decaf, a blend that's very smooth, rich and well balanced.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mcf

              I don't drink coffee but my wife is particular about it, we have a good grinder and a french press. She buys a lot of coffee at the Black Cow in Croton, but that's a hike for you. How about Stew Leonards? She says they do a pretty good job.

              1. re: vinouspleasure

                I live on Long Island; the only Stew Leonards I know is a wine store. :-)

            2. I have a buddy who goes through various stages of lunacy from time to time. Right now he is hooked on roasting his own coffee. Buys the beans on the net, various types, and roasts the beans in an old popcorn maker. Truly great coffee, with flavour profiles that sometimes parallel those of a fine wine.

              If impressing knowledgeable guests is what you want to do, this is a pretty easy way to do it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Scary Bill

                wow, I can barely manage to put dinner on the table these days (work, kids, volunteering, other stuff). I think roasting coffee is out of my league!

                But there are some good ideas here. Coffee Labs - I don't know where that is, but it can't be too far, and TJ's is REALLY convenient. MCF - where do you get the Jim's Organic? Wincountrygirl - I've never heard of Boyd's - how did you find out about this company?

                1. re: doc_k55

                  Coffee Labs is in Tarrytown.

                  1. re: doc_k55

                    Jim' coffee is in a lot of natural groceries and health food stores, but I buy it online. Not the same as super fresh roasted (like Sweet Maria's frex), but I like a bunch of their coffees anyway and buy them online at jimsorganiccoffee.com.

                2. Try Slave to the Grind on Pondfield Road in Bronxville. My husband, who drinks coffee black and has the same response to Starbucks that you do, thinks that their coffee is great. The also sell beans.

                  1. Doc I'm an austinite that saw your post on the main chow board before clicking 'austin'. Anyway you may find the urge to try one of our town's favorites (and this is a great coffee town) www.andersonscoffee.com. they are a local roaster that does a huge shipping business. I've never had a mediocre cup of their coffee brewed in their house or mine. standouts are the sumatra, kenya, giraldo columbia, and alfred's blend. the french roast is brilliant too. around 10 bones a pound. The Alfred blend is actually named after Alfred Peet, the godfather of specialty coffee according to Anderson's. happy sipping. I think you would have to search long and hard to beat this brew, and would have guests leaving saying "and that was a killer cup of coffee". :--)

                    1. Porto Rico in Manhattan is my coffee source. Always fresh and lots of variety. I am sure that they will ship you an order.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Motosport

                        I also replied with a note about Porto Rico Importers earlier in the thread, but I guess the one above me was deleted (no idea why), so mine is gone too.

                        The OP's coffee tastes sound very similar to mine. I highly recommend the French Roast Mocha Java from Porto Rico; we tried all the different French Roasts from this company and this one is the preference in my house. Normal price is $9 a pound and shipping is pretty modest. I see from the website that one of the two annual sales will be later this month, so that could be a good time to stock up.

                        Recently, I've discovered the 365 brand French Roast at Whole Foods. $15 for a pound and a half bag. Also full-bodied without tasting burnt.

                        1. re: Elisa515

                          Yesterday I was at Old World Market in Nanuet (or is it Nyack? Not sure where the geographical lines are--but you know the place, 40 Rte. 59) and they had a few varieties of Porto Rico Importers coffee on a rack. Bagged whole beans.

                          1. re: Elisa515

                            I second Porto Rico, We have been using it for several years and it always seens to come out ahead, we use whole bean in a super auto Gaggia, its the best coffee hot or Iced

                        2. I used to order online from Intelligentsia and Counter Culture when I was pulling espresso. Now I just use French press and get my beans from Giaco Bean in Hastings on Hudson. They operate out of Antoinette's Patisserie. Call before you go because they sell out everything they roast.