Wednesday, November 09, 2005

My Buying Weaknesses: Coffee



I have come to realize that there are several items in this world for which, when it comes to purchasing, I fall a bit short in the Restraint Department. One of these items happens to be coffee.

I love coffee. Or, to be more precise, I love good coffee. The stuff that Sara Lee / Cain's delivers to my workplace gets rave reviews from customers, but to me, it's barely passable. And I mean barely. By the time you get to the bottom of the cup, you're wishing for some sort of dental flush to take the pain away.

So I can appreciate good coffee. And I will spend good money for good coffee, and have not much problem doing so. I've read stories of folks spending ridiculous money on Kona coffee beans and related varieties. And they all say it's worth every penny. I, on the other hand, can safely say that I've never spent more than $15 on a pound of coffee beans. So I suppose I don't really qualify as a Coffee Big Leaguer yet.

Now, everyone knows about Starbucks. I've spent my fair share of greenbacks on mocha lattes from that mainstreamed green-label establishment. As their beans go, though, I'll buy only Light Note Blend, as the rest of their roasts pretty much make my mouth cringe. Over the last few years, without too many other local retail outlets to rely upon, I've used the internet to look elsewhere for good brewing ingredients. If you're a Java Aficionado like me, here are a couple of recommended online retail outlets:

  • PT's Coffee (Kansas)
    Tried their stuff tonight for the first time. (Which was what prompted this article, actually.) The flavor was "Cookie Doodle." Tinted heavily with vanilla, and really smooth, which I greatly appreciate. (If you'd taste the Sara Lee sludge doled out at my workplace, you'd understand.) I was very impressed with "Cookie Doodle," and will be ordering more in the next few days.

  • Berres Brothers (Wisconsin)
    Their coffees have been really good, but I have to qualify my recommendation of them a bit because they've also screwed up an order (sent me decaf when I ordered regular). Right now I have some Chocolate Caramel Decaf on my counter, as well as White Russian Decaf. The former is good; the latter is fantastic. They have so many different flavors of coffee, it's just sick.

    I'd also like to hear from my readers: Do you have any favorite online coffee-bean retailers that I should try? Or any particular flavors that make your knees weak? I want to know, because I'm sort of in the mood to spend a bit of cash to try something new.

    I guess I could try those $$$ Kona beans, if it comes to that. But I do wonder whether the product could ever really live up to the price . . ..

  • — Posted by Michael @ 8:03 PM








    4 Comments:
     

    I usually buy Illy, which I get from Whole Latte Love, where shipping is free on many items:

    http://www.wholelattelove.com/

     

    I'm not much into coffee, but I remember seeing lengthy posts at Donald Sensing's blog ( http://www.donaldsensing.com/ ). I think he is more into roasting his on beans, but I'm sure he also lists where he gets his. Good luck!

     

    Peet's rocks our world. Can't say as I am a starbucks fan because their roasts taste burnt (and they're kind of evil empire-y n such). I'm definitely a fan of full bodied roasts in general. I like it darrrrrrk. slurp.

    However, I think my abs fave coffee is Peet's Costa Rican ... just the smoothest fullest coffee flavor. ever. ;)

    We have a retail store nearby, but I think within the last year or so they've started selling online in quantities less than 10lbs. God bless them.

     

    I like Community Coffee:
    http://www.communitycoffee.com/ccc/

    Full of flavor (not burned tasting like Starbucks) and inexpensive.

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