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Jan 7, 2014 11:14 AM

Where do you buy ground coffee in Manhattan to brew at home?

I recently purchased a coffee maker so that I could brew coffee at home. There are some old discussions on this board regarding where to buy the best ground coffee in Manhattan, but I haven't come across any recent ones, so I thought I'd open a new thread. Three questions:

1) Where do you buy ground coffee in Manhattan?

2) Are there particular roasts that you'd recommend from the store/cafe where you buy your ground coffee?

3) How much does the coffee you like cost per pound?

I tend to prefer beans with notes of chocolate and hazelnut, but I am open to all suggestions!

Many thanks!

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  1. We buy only whole beans and grind them at home right before brewing. It takes an additional 30 sec and you can definetly tell the difference. We get our whole beans from Fariway or Orens. Either place will grind them for you but trust me, get a small spice grinder and do it yourself.

    7 Replies
    1. re: princeofpork3

      Yes, I would highly recommend grinding your own beans. Beyond that, I mostly drink (and recommend) all varieties of Stumptown, which you can purchase at any of their storefronts and a few other places, as well as any Counter Culture beans. Lately I'm working through a bag of the Rustico (, which it sounds like you may like.

      1. re: princeofpork3

        Which roast do you get from Fairway? I used to rent a room on the UWS and my hosts served what I thought was the richest, darkest coffee I'd ever enjoyed black. Nowadays I buy the Brooklyn Java or Santo Domingo roasts, which are close, but not quite the same dark coffee I used to enjoy on weekend mornings.

        Zabar's also has good coffee. Both Fairway and Zabar's sell whole bean coffee that you can have freshly ground to your specifications.

        1. re: JungMann

          I usually ask for the darkest richest bean they have at the time. Most often itis the Ethiopia or Costa Rica. The Ethiopia is my fav.

          1. re: princeofpork3

            I like the Ethiopia too but we usually prefer the Sumatra, also very rich. I once had a really nice conversation with the coffee "manager" at 74th St. He asked what I liked about the Sumatra and I tried describing the dark rich flavor and I said something about not tasting burnt like Starbucks. He told me that he often heard that and that Starbucks over roasts their beans; that Fairway roasts lighter, generally, and that he oversaw their roasting area in Brooklyn. It was really cool chatting with him. I wonder if they'd let someone go observe the roasting facilities.

            1. re: LNG212

              I've had the Costa Rica and the Sumatra. The Costa Rica was too acidic while I thought the Sumatra didn't have enough acidity to balance its body. Maybe Ethiopia is the blend Goldilocks is looking for.

            2. re: princeofpork3

              I just stopped by Fairway to try the Ethiopia blend and it turns out they have 2 different types of Ethiopian coffee (Harrar and Yirgacheffe). I asked for the darker of the two, which was the Harrar. It's still a bit thin for me, tasting closer to a mocha than a bold coffee. I'm still sticking with Brooklyn Java as my favorite for now.

              1. re: JungMann

                Ethiopian coffees are typically lighter, mocha types with heavy fruit notes. They aren't usually roasted dark.

        2. Thanks. I appreciate the recommendations thus far, but I want to be clear that what I'm most interested in is getting recommendations for the best beans and where you buy those beans, not whether I should be grinding my beans or not.

          Thanks again!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Desidero

            If it's pre gound, it is stale. Very simple.

            1. re: poser

              The first bag I bought was not pre-ground. I bought a bag of whole beans at Joe's Pro Shop and had them grind the beans in the store. But, again, my interest is in your recommendations for the best beans.



            They are on Bleeker St. in the village. So many choices of beans....

            We buy their sale coffees and freeze. We grind our own with an Arkady and perc in an electric percolator or a stove top percolator.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Raffles

              +1 for Porto Rico. Excellent quality/price ratio. They have a good turnover so the beans are fresh.
              They will grind to your specs and help you choose the best grind for your method of brewing.
              I'm partial to darker roasts, and really like the French Mocha Java.
              You can also get a brewed cup of anything in the store for a small charge if you really want to try something--they do have brewed coffee in back of the store if you want to try whatever they have going that day. (They will make you Jamaican Blue Mountain or Civet coffee for a larger fee, if you are so inclined)

              In addition to Bleecker St, they have 3 other locations: East Village, Essex Market and Grand St (Brooklyn)

              1. re: iluvcookies

                +1 here too
                I've been drinking the organic ft sumatra lately, may be darker than what you're looking for. I just buy a 1/2lb at a time and have them grind for me:
                Good prices and actually helpful people working there

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  actually helpful only in the west village location. the aloof hipsters in the EV location are too much.

                  though i appreciate the prices at porto rico, in the past year either their quality has plummeted or my palate has gotten more discriminating. i've bought way too many burnt beans there to be able to recommend it.

              2. re: Raffles

                You can also make your own blend from any of their beans.

                1. re: Raffles

                  l've found Porto Rico has a great selection of beans, but absolutely, consistently terrible grinders [l use French press, and the grind is very inconsistent].

                  Until l get myself a good burr grinder, l'm gonna have to stick with buying at Bowery Whole Foods, Commodities on 1st Av. & 10th, and Union Market. All of them have lrving Farms Rainforest Blend, of which l'm a big fan.

                  1. re: howdini

                    Which Porto Rico roasters store do you go to? There are several.

                    1. re: Elisa515

                      The one on St. Marks. I'll edit the above to remove the Ave A Union Market, as their grinder sucks, too. I've start going to Think Coffee on Bowery: great beans and grinder.

                2. I particularly like French Roast (both reg & decaf) from a local roster called White House roasters - in Bklyn, I think. I buy it at a local, Italian specialties shop called Nicola's on First Ave bet 54 & 55th. I suspect that if you call White House, you'll be able to find other outlets. It's the only decaf I've found that no one suspects is decaf. They also have all the usual -- Colombian, Mocha Java, etc.

                  1. Stumptown's Guatemalan Bourbon is by far my favorite bean to brew at home. it's just so well balanced. there's brightness, acidity, depth, complexity, and a great body. it's not thin or syrupy, heavy or light. i've tried so many from them, as well as Blue Bottle, Gimme!, La Colombe, Intelligentsia, Joe, and others, but always return to Stumptown for this particular bean.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: coasts

                      in addition to the Bourbon, Stumptown now has a Santa Clara from Guatemala. it's quickly becoming the house favorite.