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Dec 26, 2013 10:10 AM

Looking for good, roasted whole coffee beans in South Bay

I've just moved to Mountain View from Boston and need to find a new source for buying a pound of roasted, whole coffee beans each week. My preference is to buy from a local roaster, but I will also settle for Counter Culture, Stumptown, Intelligentsia if any of those have distribution here. (Do they?) I'm certainly looking for that quality or better - not Peet's or Starbucks.

I don't want to do mail order, nor do I want to have to run up to SF. Ideally, I need something in Mountain View/Palo Alto/Sunnyvale.

It sounds like Blue Bottle, Ritual, and Sightglass are some of the SF places to check out - do any of them distribute beans down to my area?

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    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks for the info. Have you tried them? If so, how long does shipping typically take for you?

      1. re: greymalik

        Verve is a expensive "light" roaster company like Blue Bottle.

        If that is your thing...they are great.
        If not.... you will be disappointed.

        They do ship quick and with nice packaging.

        I prefer darker roasts from longtime Norcal family ran coffee Co :

        1. re: Mission

          Verve is proper roasting and it depends on the type of bean (bourbon, catuai, peaberry, etc.) and their intended use whether the bean is roasted to city, full city or darker.

          Zombie Runner in Palo Alto carries Moksha. Moksha beans typically are low acidity, heavy on the chocolate/caramel flavors.

          Sweet Shop in Los Altos has Verve delivered Thursdays.

          Bellano carries Verve and possibly others.

          Red Berry is opening up in Los Altos and rotates through all the top roasters in the US.

          Red Rocks in Mountain View carries 4 Barrel. I've had very mixed results with their coffees though. They too have very mixed results the times that I was by their shop in SF.

          Chromatic is just down the street from Bellano.

          I've had some great shots from Blue Bottle and more often not, not so great but they definitely have a very strong following.

          1. re: 12172003

            Thank you! That is excellent information. It gives me a lot of things to try, for sure.

            1. re: greymalik

              There is also Bitter + Sweet in Cupertino that uses Sightglass.

            2. re: 12172003

              Bellano and B2 (their second location in DTSJ) carry Verve and Sightglass:

              Also, Barefoot is still around:

              1. re: robertee

                Barefoot is around but in name only. I haven't been to any since the name was bought out from the roaster but have heard from coffee snobs and non-snobs that their coffee is no longer good in their cafes. I haven't heard if their beans are still good.

                1. re: 12172003

                  If you check out their site, it states the remaining cafes are independently owned/operated.

                  The roastery (on Sunol) is still around and has a pop-up cafe on certain days. I haven't been nor tried their beans recently, but I posted it due to it being another local option:

          2. re: greymalik

            I'm not that much of a coffee drinker, so I'm glad others have stepped in with their opinions. I preferred Verve's espresso roast to the other options. Have only had cups at its cafe in Santa Cruz, haven't bought beans.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              There is also the coffee subscription from Sweet Maria's in Oakland. They are apparently one of the few major coffee importers in the US. $35 every two weeks gets you 2 pounds every 2 weeks including shipping.

              Verve always has Streetlevel and/or Sermon for espresso. They occasionally pull shots using other bean. You can easily tel l which beans they use for espresso by the black label on their whole beans. And the roast date is on the package like all good roasters (and not "Good until February 31, 2020" like *$s)

              1. re: 12172003

                And another high-quality local roaster:
                Highnote Coffee
                Contact them as you may be able to arrange a local pickup rather than shipping it.

        2. One word, Chromatic coffee. Ok, that's two words. In any event, the old Barefoot Roaster location is now Chromatic Coffee. I am on my third bag of their Gamut Espresso blend and it is fantabulous!

          On a side note, they are offering free shipping until Dec 31. I would recommend going this route as they ship the day it is roasted.

          1 Reply
          1. Santa Cruz? Menlo Park? Blue Bottle or other regional brands??? I haven't seen anyone mention the obvious yet. (Maybe they are not well acquainted with MV.)

            Greymalik, I've had a Mountain View residence for years. Along with two chain and four other independent shops (and some 105 restaurant spaces by the way, a few more of which just turned over), downtown MV's own signature coffee shop is also an independent importer-roaster: Dana Street Roasting Co., 744 W. Dana off Castro, run by Nick Chaput, who more or less grew up in the coffee business, long before today's fashionable regional brands started. This little shop's proprietor and barristas actually travel to coffee-growing regions periodically to contract with growers.

            It's where all local foodies I know (including chefs, food writers, and professional restaurant critics) get their coffee beans and/or drinks. You'll see specialty beans uncommon elsewhere. Roasted fresh on-site. Dana St. also quietly supplies some good restaurants and other clients with the distinctive coffees that customers like at those places.

            After I started frequenting the place, I even got out of the habit of brewing coffee at home, because it's available so fresh and in interesting range at Dana St. The place also serves as a community nexus: hangout for everyone from JC students to mayors to high-tech entrepreneurs. (A larger but more transient population, mostly typing on computers at any given moment rather than socializing, also hangs out around the block at Red Rock Coffee, but Red Rock is alike more in atmosphere than coffee culture, as it neither imports nor roasts on-site.)