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Apr 15, 2012 02:04 PM

Cheapest, High Quality Organic Coffee Beans

I used to pay 10 bucks for a lb (425 grams I believe) in LA, now it's 10 bucks for less than half that. Ethical Bean is in stores for a bit cheaper but is really awful.

Where to get great organic, freshly roasted beans for the best price?

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  1. Cheap and "great organic" aren't really found together too often!
    I love 49th Parallel beans...not sure if they are organic though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: waylman

      I've heard 49th Parallel is really good..know the price? I was spoiled in LA...10 dollars a lb for a lb of fantastic, organic single origin beans. I might get that roaster to send me some beans in the mail..he's going to check on shipping cost. If anyone else is interested in going in on a package and split the shipping cost--let me know!

      1. re: 1newyorkguy

        Would you mind sharing the name of the roaster? I'll be in LA next week, wouldn't mind trying it out.


        1. re: sobbuh

          alana's coffee roasting..the guy's name is Eric..I always bought from him at farmer's markets that he went to. There's a number on his site, and he'll deliver to you for free.

          I also highly suggest you go to the Conservatory for Coffee & Tea in Culver City (near where that farmer's market is on Tuesdays). They roast and sell beans as well; and make great drinks.

          Let me know if you want any other LA tips.

    2. Do you have access to Costco? I buy the Level Ground Tanzanian coffee there for my everyday coffee ~ $16 for 2 lb bag IIRC (I recently stocked up at something like $12 per bag when it was on sale). It's organic and fare trade. I like it well enough for my everyday coffee. It's not fresh roasted but the turnover is fast and it's whole beans which I grind fresh.

      For fresh roast, organic prices seem to start around $15-16 per lb at various local roasters - often much more.

      1. It's not the best coffee you can buy but for the price I really like the Kicking Horse coffee (the Kick Ass in particular) which can usually be found on sale for 10.99/lb at London Drugs, IGA, Saveon Foods or Choices (one of these places usually has it on sale each week)

        Be aware of package sizing on some brands as they are often less than a pound per bag.

        2 Replies
        1. re: islandgirl

          I found good prices at Continental Coffee on the Drive. I bought a fantastic mexican that wasn't labelled organic..but they told me it was..I'm a bit sceptical about that, but it is really good and just 12/lb.

          1. shouldnt the question include 'fair trade'? organic is garbage if the farmers are getting shafted.

            3 Replies
            1. re: chocohead

              Yes, well . . . "cheapest" . . . "high quality" . . . "organic" . . . it's all a matter of priorities, wouldn't you say? How many times have those three terms been in a single sentence? Of course it should include "Fair Trade," but then you'd have to remove "cheapest." Either that, or it's all oxymoronic and makes no real difference.

              1. re: zin1953

                no--because I bought fair trade organic for 10/lb in the US

                1. re: 1newyorkguy

                  It's really hard to compare American coffee prices with Canadian, especially Vancouver prices. Costs are much higher here. A lot of the "commodity" fair trade organic coffees go through the same ports as American coffees, so shipping alone adds considerable cost to the wholesale price of the beans. Rents, local distribution costs and wages are considerably more up here as well. Also, coffee prices on the commodity markets have increased substantially in the past few years. Only 5 years ago or so, the fair trade price for a pound of coffee at origin was $1.40. Late last year c-market coffee prices hit $2.50/pound. Then, fair trade adds another percentage on top of that as well perhaps a premium for organic.

                  Local roasters purchasing quality coffees in town are probably paying $4+/pound at origin right now. Factor in shipping from places like Rwanda, Burundi and Guatemala and you end up having a much more expensive pound of coffee than whatever you were buying in LA. Hate to be a downer on that one.

                  In terms of where to buy coffee in town, Elysian has just started roasting their own (full disclaimer, I work there), 49th Parallel, Revolver carries a plethora of top notch roasters including Phil & Sebastian, Heart, Sightglass, Four Barrel, Ritual and others depending on their ordering. Expect to pay $15+ for 3/4 of a pound though.