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Jun 3, 2014 03:55 PM

Favorite mid-priced coffee beans in NYC?

I wanted to start a thread to see what the Chowhounders of NYC vote as their favorite not-crazy-expensive brand of coffee is. Every time I read reviews or ask aficionados what they drink, I hear things like Stumptown, or local upscale coffee places that have their own roast. But these coffees are inevitably $12 for 12 ounces, which, given how much coffee we drink in our house, is significantly more expensive than getting something like D'Amico's or the house blends at WF or Union Market, for something like $8 a pound. So, for those of you that try to keep your coffee budget closer to mine, what are your favorite brands and/or places to buy coffee?

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  1. Some of the whole bean coffees at places like Trader Joes Fairway and costco are actually pretty good if you grind fresh and store properly - we tend to like items like Sumatra dark-ish roast for our espresso machine.. Recently we have liked the Pajaro Organic Fair trade at TJs, the Sumatra, costa Rica and I think Kenya types, and the Mayorga, at costco

    1. You mentioned D'Amico's which would be towards the top of my list as well if it were more convenient for me. I like the Sahadi's Italian (espresso?) Roast, which is around 8-9 a pound. I usually buy Union Market's espresso roast, which I don't love but since I live in Park Slope is convenient enough for me. I don't love it, but at least it's under $10/lb. Oh, it just went up, by the way. I think it used to be 8.95 a pound and now I think it's 9.50. Still, not a bad deal. Brooklyn Fare, which used to be my local-est grocery has better coffee than Union Market, IMO, for about the same price point.

      I do grind my beans every day for my morning brew. But aside from that, I am no connoisseur (snob!). I'm also on the lookout for other places that have decent beans for less than the $1/oz price point.

      Though I don't own a car, so Fairway is a rare treat for me. I also don't stock up on beans. I buy a new pound as I get to the end of the previous one. Hence my convenience requirement.

      1. Zabar's probably has a few good flavors for sure, but I was just wondering if there are any good (inexpensive) places left to buy coffee down on Manhattan's LES ... ?

        7 Replies
        1. re: Cheese Boy

          Porto Rico roasters (they're in Essex Market, too)

          1. re: Elisa515

            Just noticing they are not far from my office...what kind of coffee do you recommend from there?

            1. re: arielleeve

              The French Roast Colombian is good...

              1. re: arielleeve

                I like the French Mocha Java best (in general, I like darker roasts).

            2. re: Cheese Boy

              Zabar's is probably my favorite, but we live in Brooklyn and work downtown so it's not that common that we get up there. Was hoping for more options closer to home/work.

                1. re: Cheese Boy

                  We like all the dark roasts at Fairway. Usually just get whatever is on sale ($7-$8 a pound). That doesn't mean we aren't discriminating in our coffee tastes! Just...we've found all the dark roasts at Fairway quite good, and it's nice to have some variety.

                  At Sahadi (has anyone mentioned them in this thread?), the espresso-type roasts are best, darker the better.

            3. " D'Amico's which would be towards the top of my list as well if it were more convenient for me"

              This is on the top of my list, as well. Brewing coffee for generations, with an Italian name as well.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jonkyo

                oh please. We used to buy all our coffee there (20 years ago). Despite the old roaster,. their coffee is no better than many others.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I beg to differ.

                  I have been drinking coffee from roasters for long.

                  It is superior.

                  Oren's is horrible. I cannot take Oren's coffee, 10 years ago, and now.

                  The others, more new on the scene, are just grand standers, that are jumping into the market, with trendy names. Not worth much, beyond, the packaging to display and feel that one is beyond Nescafé.

                  Have capital, and are into trends, is one thing. Have a talent, taste and a desire to create something for the specialty market, that is different, and will surely make a lasting name.