I have come to the conclusion that my coffee options suck, so I am soliciting advice on some coffee that I can use as a general purpose mild-medium coffee that is good all day long. I just am not happy with all of the options (Seattle’s Best, Starbucks, Celestial Seasonings, etc.) that my local grocery has, so if you can think of something I can buy in bulk and store, is reasonably priced, and tasty…
Right now there is some wingnut congressman, David Rivera (Teaparty- FL) on CNN comparing the Cuba policy changes to Neville Chamberlain and Hitler. I wasn’t kidding when I said there are only three events in all of history for wingnuts.
Ok. That idiot is no longer on my tv. Back to coffee. I’m really not interested in flavored coffees, just a good roast. Any suggestions that fit those criteria would be welcome. I also am not a fan of really bold or overbearing coffees.
In other news, since the tragic loss of Hola Fruta from my grocery store, I have been sampling the Haagen-Dazs fat-free frozen sorbets. I like fruity frozen treats, plus the frozen sorbets are not as catastrophic an assault on your waistline as the ice creams, although having long since lost my girlish figure, at this point worrying about high-calorie ice cream is like worrying about another torpedo in a sinking ship. Every little bit helps, though, so frozen sorbet it is, and if you eat one container over two nights you are really only adding about 250 calories. That is acceptable.
The Harvest Orchard Peach will knock you out it is so good, and tonight and tomorrow I am trying out the lemon, and it will pucker your cheeks it is so tart. Probably should have gone with the Raspberry.
According to CNN, Harry Kalas has collapsed and died. Such a shame- I just loved his voice, and for people my age, he is the voice of the NFL. Just yesterday, as a matter of fact, I watched the Steelers 2008 Superbowl Championship and at the end thought about what a wonderful voice he had.
I forget what the point of this post was.
I get mine sent to me from Blue Bottle roasters:
You have to try a few bags before you find what you like. It took me about five different tries to find the really amazing stuff.
Get Dunkin Donuts coffee. You can buy it in 40 pound bags at Costco.
I actually am addicted to Dreyers popsicles. The lime and tangerine are nice and tangy. For sorbets, the selection at my market is sort of limited but they carry a few flavors of Ciao Bella which is pretty good.
I guess you don’t have any local coffee roasters/sellers in your area. If you were out this-a-way I’d recommend the BlueBird cafe’s breakfast roast or Jitter Bean’s house blend.
If you happen to find one you like and you can get whole bean, I recommend that as well. Buy a small grinder and grind it fresh each morning. The girlfriend can’t boil water without burning it, but she makes the best pot of coffee I have ever had, using one of those two blends.
Peet’s. They will roast it and send it to you the next day.
Worth the money and the shipping.
well, I was going to suggest Mill Mountain coffee in the Roanoke Valley of Va, but apparently their web site is down. great stuff, though, and you can get it shipped.
Christ you’re a prissy bitch, Cole!
Dunkin Donuts coffee from their website. Get the 5 lb. bag, whole bean, works out to about $7/lb. with shipping
But I Digress
I swear by Folger’s Breakfast Blend. Nothing fancy about it, just a good cup of coffee that tastes like coffee but doesn’t curl your hair. It’s probably harvested by six year old slaves working 22 hour days, though, so if you want to spend more money and assuage your conscience, Newman’s Own Medium Roast is quite tasty, too.
Teehee, Al Franken wins, Norm pays for court costs. Win Win!
you know, john, it’s weird and i can’t explain it for the life of me.
but somehow, you just seem to be a really decent, basically good human being.
where the fuck did that come from? i mean, talk about weird.
anyhow–i’m just surprised at how often i read your stuff–whether political rants or homebody trivia like the above, and think, "the guy’s a mensch. just basically a stand-up guy."
pah. i’m going to have to go off somewhere else and be misanthropic and snarky, just to compensate for this.
Don’t know if you can get it where you live but Cafe Du Monde is good.
John, take a look at http://www.communitycoffee.com I got hooked on it when I lived in Louisiana. The Medium Roast is my favorite and it’s less than $6 for a 1 lb bag. They have a coffee club, etc.
Hey, coffee is serious business!!
Just Some Fuckhead
Dunno, John, but I can think of two things ya oughta cut out of yer diet.
@GReynoldsCT00: I agree about Community. It’s good but, in my experience, a litttle bit too acidic.
Can’t help you on the coffee John. I have been crying since I heard the news about Harry the K. It’s like the last little bit of my childhood died.
And all you non Philly sports fans out there, I feel sorry for you if you never got to hear Harry and Whitey call a game. They were the best.
Buy green beans and roast ’em yourself. We pay about $5.50/lb by doing so, we get fresh roasted coffee ALL the time, and we save ~$6.50/lb.
If you go that route save yourself some bucks and forget about those consumer roasters everybody wants to sell you. A good old cast iron frying pan works great.
Downside: if you roast in the house the process put out a lot of smoke as the oils in the beans start a’poppin. The darker the roast the more smoke. The result is a house that smells like freshly roasted coffee. For days.
I have no interest whatsoever in sorbet, so can’t help you there. If it’s fruit you want, eat fresh fruit. If I’m gonna binge on a frozen sugar/dairy product, it’s full fat B&J’s for me. (Favorite Flavor of 2009 yet to be discovered. I’m pressing on after mediocre results from Mission To Marzipan and Triple Caramel Chunk. Just…need…to.. find…that.. coconut..flavor….)
Re. online coffee…I don’t know if this is of interest to you but I ordered a couple of 2lb bags of this stuff recently, the Puroast low acid coffee. My issue is "oversensitive" bladder, but it’s good for GERD as well. It was OK, but unlike you, I want a very dark, deep, bold French Roast in the morning, and this just didn’t quite do it for me.
If you use these codes at checkout through the 16th of April, you’ll get 25% off:
Use Discount Code:
Might be worth a try.
And I will say, my bladder did thank me for it. Just a little less irritating.
(Edit: Reading upthread: Newman’s Organic French Roast is great. Only that one of theirs strong enough for me. I really like Starbucks French Roast too, but then again, I’m into dark.) I’m lucky in that I have several local roasters who sell their stuff at the natural foods mart, but for whatever reason, it sounded like you want to order yours online? Not sure why. Now that I’ve stayed OT with the rambling part of this thread’s topic, I guess the edit window can lock me out….)
Not good at the embed thing but:
Got it via Atrios.
Don’t know if you were joking here, but I agree with you. I like my bold coffees, but when I wake up in the morning, I want just a regular, nice flavor coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee is great. I do think it’s more expensive than it should be, but all coffee seems to be these days.
Dunkin’ Donuts coffee – America Runs on Dunkin’®
Dunkin Donuts coffee in a big bag. Don’t bother with the website. Sams Club.
The Mill Mountain someone mentioned earlier ain’t too bad either.
Edit: 40 pound bags at Costco? Holy shit. Go there.
I’m sorry, I was distracted. What was your question, John?
EDIT: Oh, coffee. Being from the mid-Willamette Valley I have to recommend Allan Brothers. Their Reggae blend is my favorite.
TPM now reporting the decision for Franken as well.
Community Coffee, out of New Orleans. It’s all fair trade coffee bought from Rwandan farmers, and it’s the best I’ve eer tasted.
Here’s another suggestion. By the coffee you drink now. Say, when brewing you, normally put in 4 scoops — try putting in 5 or 6. I do this with Maxwell House or Folgers and I’ve really come to appreciate it. Hell, I’ve done it with Kroger brand and it’s good.
It’s stronger, and by that, I don’t mean bold – as in sharper and such. I mean it’s a nicer coffee to drink.
I wish I could find the post (wherever I read it) where the person mentioned this, but it really changed my coffee drinking!
My favorite is Martinson in the red can. It isn’t bitter and doesn’t have a weird aftertaste.
I’ve been getting Maxwell House breakfast blend and the original blend. I tried both and kept buying them.
Folgers Classic has changed. It’s a tad bitter. Chock full of nuts has also gone bitter.
A and P 8 o’clock is very good.
Anyone know where I can get laptop keys for my old Sony Vaio? The B is missing and it get to me sometimes.
I’m pretty sure that anyone who has read this blogorola for any length of time knew this without you confessing it. You’re all about the fruity treats, we get that.
David Schuster just absolutely ripped the R’s and the teabaggers tonight. It was 100% ugly.
Easy enough to roast your own.
The coffee is fantastic, and much cheaper than commercial blends.
I’ve been a home roaster for several years and have found sweetmarias.com to have the best selection of green beans (they also have lots of good info on how to roast.)
In addition to Kalas dying, ex-porn star Marilyn Chambers died today, as did former Arizona State football coach Bruce Snyder (he coached the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl in 1997 and both Jake Plummer and Pat Tillman played for him), as did former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych.
Phil Spector was convicted today, Al Franken was declared the official winner of the MN Senate election, and Mel Gibson’s wife filed for divorce.
Christ. I guess the gods of fate are back at work after an Easter vacation?
The Cat Who Would Be Tunch
I have one thing to ask of you. Where’s the Sprouty goodness?
BTW, as a former resident of Seattle, in the early 90’s when Starbuck’s and Seattle’s Best, were just getting started, I drank probably 6-8 cups of coffee a day and loved it. Tolerance developed but by the mid ’90’s it became a problem (constant anxiety, panic attacks, avoiding meetings because of the above, etc.). Now I drink, at most, a glass of iced tea once a day. Check it out. You might be over caffeinated.
I second the peet’s recommendation. but there is even better coffee out there through Gimme!. This is the best coffee I have ever had, and I come from a long line of snobbish coffee drinkers. The best thing? Their coffee blend names are also the best. Leftist Expresso blend anyone?
Me again. Couldn’t find the 40lb bag of Costco coffee, but I did find 5 pounds for 39.99.
Not sure Dunkin’ Donuts is worth $7.99 a pound at Costco. Should be cheaper there. I think I pay the same for it – or less – at Kroger.
Home roasting actually is cheap and easy. However, for pre-roasted coffee, I’m a fan of Trader Joe’s Scandinavian Blend.
@Josh Hueco: Do you know how Padma can stay that skinny and still do all the great eating and drinking? (aside from the obvious bulimia joke?) Lucky metabolism? Starves the rest of the week?
I watch her on that show and I just hate her. At least Gail Simmons has the curves to go with the lifestyle.
I just don’t get Padma’s body. How do she do that?
It depends on what you want in a coffee. If you’re looking for solid drinkable coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts, Peet’s, Green Mountain, et. al. are fine. (Peet’s, though, is very dark roasted, so it might qualify as too bold or overbearing for your taste.) They all do the trick for most people.
However, if you’re finding that the chain stuff just doesn’t do it for you, I’d recommend trying one of the "third-wave" roasters: Stumptown Coffee in Portland, Intelligentsia in Chicago, Ritual Roasters in SF, Zoka in Seattle, etc. They’re about as coffee snobbish as can be, but they sell some outstanding coffees. The problem for the casual drinker, of course, is that the prices are usually higher, but you can still find some very good coffees on their websites for $10 or $11 per pound.
Full disclosure: I used to write about coffee for a living, so I occasionally lapse into coffee snobbishness myself. Apologies if it leaked into this post, as I really try not to be obnoxious about it in mixed company.
Truer words were never spoken…
My preferred is to mix a decent grocery store Kenyan AA (it’s Kroger around here) with actual Kona. Not the stuff in the megamart which is a 10% blend, but the real deal. I like Kona Joe’s Kainaliu medium roast. It’s like thirty bucks a pound but you only have to add 1 part in 4 or 5 to the conventional stuff. What you get is not overly burnt or bitter but with an amazing depth and complexity of flavor.
Well, not 40 lbs but something ridiculous. Probably 10. That’s pretty ridiculous, to me.
Great! That only leaves the Minnesota State Supreme Court, the Federal District Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Just Some Fuckhead
@smiley: Good advice, Smiley. At my last job my buddies and I had a phrase for the sorta wild-eyed paranoia we’d get about our job security as rumors flew about: Talking to the coffee machine.
As in, "Wow, yer pretty jacked up there Fuckhead, have you been talking to the coffee machine again? It lies, ya know.."
I quit drinking coffee. It lies.
Edit: Quit drinking soft drinks too. All I drink now is water, green tea and other teas and the very occasional ginger ale.
What the hell is prissy about liking fruit in your frozen treat instead of eating stuff like chocolate chip cookie dough or double chocolate? I like Mint Chocolate Chip- is that manlier?
And what is prissy about looking for an all-purpose non-flavored coffee?
I honestly don’t understand.
As you can’t seem to find any coffee you can live with, the problem might possibly be with the way you’re brewing it. That could be a problem with the water, the brewer, the filters you’re using, the quantity you’re using, with your cleaning and sanitation procedures, or even with your choice of creamer or sweetener, if you use such things.
I agree about Padma. Give me a woman with currrrves any day!
Good sweet lord.
May you burn in hell sir. Not sure there’s a way to recover from this one.
Bad Horse's Filly
That’s funny, I just wrote (blog whore alert) about discovering gelato and really good Italian coffee in the same little shop. The coffee is Lavazzo, an import from Italy that’s like a fine wine. And gelato, in its fruity forms are so very good (though I’m hooked on hazelnut now).
But John, I think what you were asking for in a coffee was something inexpensive that’s still tasty and you can drink all day. Believe it or not, I think Eight O’Clock Coffees would fit that bill. Despite the fact they’ve been around forever and many will snicker at the idea, they really are good. Not bitter, not overbearing. Very smooth and you can’t beat the price. And I’m very, very picky about my coffees. I usually get my home coffee at a local roaster, but for work, it’s Eight O’Clock all the way.
Step 1 – Buy an electric percolator.
Step 2 – Buy some average, name brand coffee like Folgers or Maxwell House
Step 3 – Percolate daily, and just rinse the inside of the pot. The oils build up over time and improve the flavor. Eventually all other coffee will pale in comparison.
Step 4 – Thank me (and/or send me the money you save) in a few weeks.
We can all look forward to more posts that end like this as Cole gets older.
Whatever type of coffee you drink, I just hope you drink it black the way the Creator intended.
Mayorga Coffee is excellent.
Maybe it is just a sign of my pedestrian taste but the Costco house brand coffee satifies all my basic coffee needs. Good aroma, good body, no bitterness, not burnt (see: Starbucks) and cheap.
Speaking of Costco, their house brand ice cream is pretty good too. Smoother and creamier than a lot of the ‘premium’ brands. The downside is that it only comes in vanilla. But then that’s what raspberry jam and chocolate syrup is for.
Was subjected Laura Ingrahm for a few minutes on the commute home. Her guest, Mark Stien (?) , used "Pirates of the Carribean" as a historical reference on the subject of pirates. Christ, sometimes I just wish I could do physical harm to those people.
I saw this article re: Padma recently if you’re interested:
Dude, Columbia Street Roastery. It is awesome coffee. Ruined me on the store bought stuff. Their order site appears to be a bit wonky right now, and I don’t know if you would want to ship your coffee in from Champaign, IL, but it is SOOOO good.
If you know anyone that lives there, for the love of all that is good and FSMy, have them send you some.
I stake my reputation as occasional, anonymous internet commenter on it.
there is nothing prissy about good coffee. anything else is simply a caffeine delivery system and what fun is that?
real men drink real good coffee. period. ;-)
Doug, that sounds like the nastiest prescription for coffee I’ve ever heard.
Rules for Coffee:
1. Don’t boil it. Percolators are out.
2. Clean your utensils. Oils will eventually go rancid.
John, buy some Java pantjur from Anderson’s. Excellent medium roast, well balanced, good flavor
Otherwise, peet’s is good for a supermarket option.
Something locally roasted is your best option, though.
Bummin’ over Harry Kalas. He did tons of voice-overs, too. Everyone’s heard him on those Campbell"s Chunky Soup commercials. I"ll miss him, too.
No, I can’t recommend a particular blend. I don’t know what you like – I don’t even know which of your local blends comes close to something you like. I can, however, make recommendations regarding ‘better’ coffee.
1) Make sure everything is clean before you start. I’m amazed how often people just rinse out the grounds basket and/or carafe. Coffee has oils, which get rancid as they get old. Water alone will not remove the oil, you need to use some soap. This, by the way, is one of Dunkin’ Donuts "big secrets".
2) Make sure your water is good.
3) Regardless of what bean you select, buy it whole, and grind it fresh. Please, use a burr grinder, not a blade grinder. If you can afford it, use a hand grinder – or try to find a slow burr grinder. The heat of the blade and/or the fast burr (or a burr that’s run too long) cooks out part of the flavor and also ‘burns’ some of the oils. It will change the flavor.
4) Use too many grounds. The flavors extract at different rates. The later flavors tend to be more bitter (you may like that, most don’t). If you use ‘too many’ grounds, you tend to only get the lighter flavors. Yes, it will seem (or even be) ‘stronger’. Richer, I think, is a better term.
5) PERSONAL TASTE – If you have the time and inclination, cold-brew. Pour grounds and water into a container and allow it to steep about eight hours, then drain off the liquid. This decoction will be very strong but surprisingly mellow – no heat means no ‘cooked’ oils. If you do this, I recommend diluting the decoction with boiling water (at about 1:1) for use, which conveniently brings it to drinking temperature without having to boil or microwave it. On the other hand, if you like your caffeine content high just heat it and drink it.
6) If you have a local shop that can do so, get several of the same bean at different roasts. Try each to find which come closest to your taste. Try mixing those that are "almost" where you like them.
7) After you have your preferred roast go look for your preferred bean. If your local shop ‘coffemaster’ is good, you can tell him or her the local blends that are "almost" right (and maybe in what way they’re off) plus what roast you like the best and that person will assemble some mixes to see what really trips your trigger. Once you’ve got that, you can order in bulk – from them, online, whatever – and get YOUR blend.
Yes, I know – you want bulk and in store. I’m going to inform you you’re probably not going to get what you really want in that fashion. If you want bulk, get beans – they’ll stay ‘fresher’ longer. And if you’re buying beans, they’re practically as cheap from a specialist as they are from the store – not to mention you can get YOUR roast of YOUR blend.
[added – moderation? now I have to study to figure out the new magic word.]
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Oh RIGHT. Like the freakin’ chamomile flower does not?
Are you not aware that the chamomile lies like no other flower?
Huh. Kroger had a big-ass thing of Maxwell House on sale for $4.99 and it is working just fine for me.
Living in Seattle, well.. lotta local options out here.
But if I were somewhere else, without access to local roasteries or my preferred fair trade options, I’d look into Eight O’Clock coffee. It’s a reliable brand, pretty good basic option, and cheap. Much better than Dunkin’ Donuts.
@The Cat Who Would Be Tunch: Ask, and ye shall receive.
Bad Horse's Filly
Oh, and use unbleached filters, always.
That’s kinda of what I tell people when they ask me why I drink light beer. It’s just the drug delivery system. (flame away about light beer…)
I’m devoted to espresso blend (of course) and avoid caffe Americano as if it were Ebola, but I have to say the best cuppa joe I’ve had on this side of the Atlantic came from a little joint in Tucson which roasts their (fair trade) beans on-site. Holy crap was it good. You could actually taste the beans.
Roast your own, John. Your taste buds will be eternally grateful to you.
I buy the French Roast all day in bulk and drink it all day every day. Mmmmmm!
The best, cheapest coffee money can buy are the Caribbean espresso grinds – Cafe Caribe, Cafe Bustelo, etc. Target carries them here in Texas. Adjust your strength as necessary, and enjoy.
Just Some Fuckhead
But can ya make paint out of it, Kirk?
Totally manlier, WAY manlier, especially in the summer heat, if it is this manly one. This is the MANLIEST manly mint choco ice cream EVER. Only manly men need imbibe.
(Plus the "Oxford Creme" part gives it the Manly Elitist twist you want to embrace.)
I’ll throw in my lot with the home roasters — although I do have one of those frufru machines. I roast about twenty four hours before brewing, though, to give the oils time to settle a bit. I buy green beans from Berman’s Coffee in Madison, WI (found it through teh Googley), and mix 3 parts Guatemalan Antigua to one part Ethiopian Yrgacheffe, roasted quite dark.
Oh, and point taken, Mr. Cole.
Try Philz Coffee, out of San Francisco. Website is: http://www.philzcoffee.com/
They apparently mail coffee anywhere in the U.S. It’s liquid crack.
@Just Some Fuckhead: snerk.
I just pictured using coffee paint on bedroom walls, and what some people would wind up doing once they knew.
hmmm. Betcha you could use it for the pigment. (grin)
@AhabTRuler: That’s a nice looking cat, Ahab.
When I started using an Aeropress I began to grind my own beans. But, surprisingly, regular ground Folgers seems to work best for me. Having said that, I’ve pretty much made the switch to green tea. I recently read this and am currently waiting for it to arrive from Amazon.
I’ve always preferred frozen fruit bars to regular ice cream.
Fuck, now I want lime Popsicles and the store is closed. I have GOT to stop reading any threads that reference food, at least until this pregnancy is over.
/toddles off to make a pitcher of limeade as a backup.
@Kirk Spencer: I use a bodum french press, and clean with soap in between every use. I have a cuisinart grinder, though.
I think I am going to try Philz first. I am down with sending some money to California. They need it.
Can’t help you John, I drink tea good old PG Tips, and only use instant coffee to polish my furniture (I love the tips from Kim and Aggie, coffee, tea, salt, vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, sounds like a recipe list but it is actually a list of cleaning ingredients).
PS) The battenburg ice cream cake was a disaster, not the cake part, that was perfect, but surrounding it with ice cream was a trip and the marzipan froze making it impossible to eat. Next time I will do the battenburg without the marzipan and just use the MTM B&J ice cream instead.
Hey! Mi padre vive sur de Tucson, y voy a ir a Tucson jueves.
What’s the name of the little joint?
South of I-10
I will second the Community Coffee recs. I drink either the Medium Roast or the Hotel Blend. Mr. South came home yesterday with some Blue Bell Strawberry and Homemade Vanilla Bars and I hope he never buys them again. Way too tasty to have in your freezer.
That is a very good tea…not a green tea but very good anyway.
A bit late to the party, but the best coffee chain I’ve found NYC is Oren’s Daily Roast. They have a web site where you can order different blends, and the roasts are mostly mild – not that overroasted crud Starbucks calls coffee.
And here it is spelled out, in case you miss the link: http://www.orensdailyroast.com/
I can recommend all three of the South American varieties, all three of the Indonesian varieties, and the Kenya. The 3 Rarities are excellent, but way too expensive, except for special occasions or to satisfy the occasional urge for decadence.
@Conrads Ghost: And Bustelo is all kinds of awesome. I actually cut it, half-decaf, so my heart doesn’t jump completely out of my chest, but I absolutely love it.
I’m partial to Haagen-Daz Mango sorbet. I believe that a perfect mango is definitive proof of God’s existence.
Get an ice cream maker ($80) and make your own frozen yogurt – it’s very easy, doesn’t take long and keeps well (a quart keeps well for a week) and in the summer with fresh fruit it’s beyond great. In the winter with fruit from the local organic orchard/farm that you thoughtfully froze in the summer, when you’re sitting by the fire and wanting to murder every politician who appears on your tv, it is also quite tasty.
If you buy organic milk and fruit it’s not much cheaper – but it tastes better.
Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse
Proper PG Tips in foil packets within the box is awesome. Sadly, we don’t get the foil lining in Canada, for some strange reason, so my next-best choice is President’s Choice Orange Pekoe, which is not only a decent Assam blend, it’s pretty damn cheap, too.
But life is too short for cheap milk. I recently bought a national brand of milk at a local supermarket because it was $3.97 for 4 litres. But it tastes off — not sour, just off. I’ve been drinking it in my tea and barely tolerating it, but I hate to waste food, so apart from slipping it into a couple of flans, I’ve been dutifully chugging it back.
No more. I decanted the last couple of cups just now and finally opened the good stuff — the filtered stuff — that cost $5.15. It’s in my mug of tea right now. SO much better. Ah, Beatrice, let us never be parted again.
I think it’s Raging Sage but not sure. I have never spent enough time in Tucson to get a good handle on what is where, there.
However I can tell you the name of a super mega awesome Mexican restaurant, Guadalajara Grill. In a city where it’s hard to find lousy Mexican food, GG is the tops. They make the salsa fresh at your table and the margaritas are da shizzle.
Rest in peace, Harry Kalas. I heard many moving tributes to him this afternoon from players and fans alike. Died in the broadcast booth.
And Mark "the Bird" Fidrych. He was so great to watch that summer 33 years ago. For him and those who saw him play, the game was so much fun.
Tom Cruise has his eye on re-making "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." His costar is to be John Travolta.
Sometimes the snark just writes itself.
What can I say, I am not a tea snob, I am tea trailer trash, I like a good full-bodied, down to earth basic tea. I will have none of this caramel sprinkles bullshit.
Papanicholas Coffee. I order several bags of their french roast at a time, but the Breakfast blend or 5-star restaurant might be up your alley if you’re not into drinking pine tar like I am. Get on their email list and they’ll send coupons every couple months.
I’m with you, LauraW. It’s full fat B&J’s for me. Nothing else really measures up. But if it’s coconut you’re looking for, have you tried Ciao Bella’s Coconut Sorbet? You can’t even believe it’s sorbet, it’s so good. Also worth a try is Haagen-Dazs’s Reserve flavor, Toasted Coconut and Sesame Brittle. It’s really good, but my favorite of their Reserve flavors is the Pomegrante Chip. I can’t seem to find it easily, but never can resist buying a pint when I see it. It’s that good.
As for coffee, I had to give it up years ago. I only drink tea these days. I’m sure there’s a teabagging joke in there somewhere.
I just switched from Starbucks to Green Mountain’s Lake and Lodge which is really nice.
But ultimately, it’s only partly the bean. How you prepare the coffee is just as important. I like it pretty strong and then sweeten it, so my favorite cups are french pressed. That also keeps you from scalding the beans and making it bitter. If I had more time (and my wife hadn’t bought a nice but expensive Krupps machine) I’d drink from a press every morning.
The Best Coffee in the World.
Really. Not kidding… and it is ecologically correct and pays it’s growers and handlers way better than average. I am a friend of the guy who runs it. His website is loopy, didactic hippie talk, but the truth is that he really has improved life for the campesinos and laborers in this village (his wife is a Dr and they started a clinic) and the coffee is the best tasting and has the fewest nasty congeners of any I’ve ever had.
Medium or Dark Roast both good.
5# bag is comparable to the price of most premium/artisanal coffees (~$12/lb w shipping). We have 2 coffee drinkers in the house and a bag lasts over 2 months. Freeze the beans and it stays good… even in the air tight bag in a dark cabinet it’s fine.
I third Community Coffee (and New Orleans could use your money, too). Also consider cold brew with a Toddy coffee maker. (No, no alcohol, just a brand name.) Not only is it more convenient, but it’s always smoother and less bitter, no matter why brand you use. I got hooked on both Community and Toddy cafe au lait in NOLA, and converted from tea to coffee for good.
Try the peach and the raspberry sorbet together–peach melba.
Real Americans drink instant coffee, not those fancy blends that Liberal elitists drink.
@Bad Horse’s Filly: Second the 8 O’Clock coffee (formerly 8 O’Clock Bean). Good all-around coffee.
Peets and Dean & Delucca will ship. There’s a place in St. Paul–White Rock Coffee Brewers–who’ll ship and they make a great fair trade Peru. As others point out, how you make your coffee matters. If you use a French press, grind coarse; if you use an espresso machine, powder it.
I use an espresso machine and set it up next to my bed at night.
At home, I drink Tasters’ Choice instant.
Yeah, it’s probably crap, but it’s what I grew up with, it’s quick, and it’s easy. And I can make it a cup at a time, rather than having to brew a whole pot.
I am addicted to Dark Roasted Sumatran from Alterra Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee, WI
Rich, dark and full of complex almost chocolate flavors.
It stays full bodied in my stainless go cup for most of the day.
Wile E. Quixote
I love this quote from the story.
"…a much larger universe of ballots that should be opened." Funny how that’s always the way it is when a Republican loses.
I like a good cup of tea or coffee. But, like you, I like it regular, no flavors added. :)
When I read your coffee question, John, I was certain that I would be the only person to recommend Community. But I see that several of your commenters already know how great it is.
Community’s medium roast is excellent. I like a stronger brew, so I lean more toward the dark roast and the Cafe’ Special. Mmmmm…
My current favorite coffee is Tanzanian Peaberry. It’s a smaller bean than most coffee (as well as being a single bean instead of the usual bean that splits in half) and has a very dense flavor.
But then, if you want mild-medium, then South American is the way to go, and I’m afraid I don’t have any good options other than Blue de Brazil, which runs ~$10/lb, whereas most SA coffees I like range from $20/lb (Cup of Excellence-types) to $40 for Jamaican Blue Mountain.
Sorry I can’t recommend many cheap coffees, but that’s an area where I’m a ridiculous snob.
In that case may I say that there is no cup of coffee that a good shot of Half-n-Half won’t fix. Add a drop of vanilla extract and you’re set.
I drink chicory coffee and on Sundays I go to the trouble of scalding some milk for cafe au lait. Other wise I’ll hit it with the HnH. I don’t always have cream in the house for the same caloric reasons you gave, in which case I drink it black no sugar.
I recently bought a lb. of decaf to cut the coffee with. I used to drinks pots of coffee but now, even one cup of eye-twitchin strong coffee is anti-enjoyment.
BTW John, are you still considering getting BJ on Kindle? My sister just surprised me with one for my birthday. Michelle Malkin’s stuff is # 4 (!) in popularity on the Kindle blog list. That can’t be right.
Thank FSM (may She be praised!) that I’ve never had a cuppa in my life and am therefore not an addict like the rest of you.
Now, black tar – that’s a whole different kettle and all that.
Re: Harry Kalas:
I’m a Phillies fan. Watching baseball here will never be the same again.
RIP, Harry. For as long as I live, I’ll never forget where I was when I heard you call the final out of the 2008 World Series.
I turned on the tv and heard:
"What’s a tea-bag party without a Dick Armey?" – David Schuster
@Dennis-SGMM: How has this gone uncommented upon? If true, it’s the end of the whorled as we know it.
La Union (from Costa Rica) is the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. I discovered them through a roast from Gimme (which is mentioned somewhere above me) but Mother Earth Coffee Company also roasts them.
You mention storage, but you really only want roasted beans to sit for a couple of weeks at most. If you like to tinker, you can get green beans and roast them yourself—an air popcorn popper works pretty well. Plus it’ll be a good commodity to have in bulk to trade when civilization collapses.
The Cat Who Would Be Tunch
Did you really have to start with the ZPG shot? Fortunately, the rest of the pictures more than make up for it.
In other news having successfully taught Harmony the cockatiel to sing Jingle Bells and God Save the Queen and say "Oh Baby" "Watcha doin Pretty Bird" "Pretty Bird" "Melody!" (our other bird a Scarlet Chested Parrot), "How ya doin" and my failed attempts to have her say "EE BY GUM" he is now trying to teach her to say "Kiss me fool!" I shall report on the results in due time.
Go to Costco and get the Jamaican Blue Mountain blend. Orange bag. Perfect for all day, any day. I doubt it has actually been anywhere near Blue Mountain (the real stuff costs $80 a pound), but it’s good shit, man.
Well, in the south Willamette Valley there’s a really good drive-thru coffee stand on every other corner. There’s an espresso bar in Home Depot that’s quite good. I can buy a very good locally roasted organic fair trade coffee for about $8.00 a pound. I happen to like a medium roast, what they call a breakfast blend. If you have any independent coffee houses where you live, go there and try out their coffees. If you don’t like them, go online. The Northwest is just coffee nirvana.
The Cat Who Would Be Tunch
Random funny clip of the day.
Kids, how NOT to throw a party while your parents are out.
Sorry, I’m not reading any of the preceding comments, in case this repeats anything already said, but coffee =
1. Roast you like
2. Quality beans
Not sure if you grind your own, but it’s worth it. I’m kind of a coffee snob, so I have a burr grinder. You get more even grinds, which helps get a uniform extraction of flavors (less bitter) and prevents filter clogging.
I like Armeno’s in Massachusetts (http://www.armeno.com/) and Larry’s Beans in North Carolina (http://www.larrysbeans.com/). They’re both outstanding. I like Armeno’s a little more myself, but you can’t lose. Larry’s bags are biodegradable and they have a company biodiesel VW minivan, so that helps. Both are about $9-13 / lb depending on the coffee and worth it.
Try Gevalia- a bit pricey, but very good.
Brick Oven Bill
My recommendation is the government coffee that comes in those big metal cans John. My old CO used to really like it. He would flip out of you took a drag out of the coffee pot in the middle of a coffee brew, because it messed with the balance of the coffee pot. There was a junior officer who brought in his own foo foo coffee and made a pot of it. The CO did not know this, lifted a cup of the foo foo coffee to his lips, and literally chased this guy down and shook him. There was no humor intended. This was a serious shaking.
This CO was very fond of government coffee from a government coffee pot. The XO’s arm got broken once and there was never any discussion of what happened, but I think I know. The organization to whom my CO reported had a name for him.
I agree with my old CO in any case. Straight-up government coffee is hard to beat. It is also very economical. You should be able to find some GSA employee who can set you up with some.
This will be the Dianetics version, I imagine.
@The Cat Who Would Be Tunch: Hey, I take animal population control very seriously.
Besides, its not goatse or Cheney’s unit or anything horrific like that!
@The Cat Who Would Be Tunch:
Ah, the Corey Worthington party… Corey got his fifteen minutes of fame and more, but has fortunately faded back into obscurity (except for an ongoing fad amongst the young people for yellow rimmed sunglasses).
That said, he made the most of it while he could, appearing on Australian Big Brother and:
Think you used enough H-bombs there, Xenu?
7-Eleven sells their Arabica brand. Cheap, and tasty.
WWII, 9/11, and… Rathergate? I’m struggling to think of a third.
Oh… duh. Purple Finger Day.
Coffee!!! As a drinker of 3 pots per day, I recommend Melitta (traditional) – medium roast (only half as dark as Starbucks), not unreasonably priced, and very finely ground. The best….
@AhabTRuler: I thank you for taking animal population control very seriously.
And I thank you for not linking to Cheney’s unit or anything horrific like that tonight, because I know you’ve been sorely tempted at least twice.
Your self restraint is appreciated. To say the least.
You are obviously not from New England. Don’t fuck with the Massholes and their DD coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker myself but I’ve been amused since moving to RI and then MA at the rabidness with which New Englanders defend their chain-coffee-of-choice against all comers.
I dunno if anyone else mentioned it yet, but porn actress Marilyn Chambers passed away Apr. 12th. Best known for her roles in Behind the Green Door, Insatiable, and Rabid.
@Brick Oven Bill:
Okay, I’m finally convinced. BoB has to be a spoof.
Go to http://sweetmarias.com/, pick up a cheap roaster (under $200) and some green coffee beans. Remember that beans need to rest for a day; "fresh roasted" means "at least 4, maybe 24, hours old". Learn what kinds of roasts you like; live the rest of your life in coffee heaven.
(Until you discover the joys of good espresso. At that point, you’re doomed.)
i look forward to next week’s product placement mentions. i’m this close to signing up with triple a. sometimes i hate myself for being so prone to suggestion.
goes well with government cheese.
now how do you get hold of government weed?
i think there is more than one. i could have sworn last night’s bob didn’t sound like the regular bob.
Brick Oven Bill
In order to get the government coffee, one need only know an acquaintance in the GSA.
In order to get government weed, one must sign on with the Department of Homeland Security (pdf), and actively pursue advancement. Many will try. Few will succeed. The best opening for a male candidate, is to kiss Janet and tell her that she is special to you.
The Few, The Proud.
@Brick Oven Bill:
Hmmm . . . . the rumor I’ve heard is that this is not, in fact, the case.
Wow. A recipe for Office Coffee, which is another name for the Worst Fucking Coffee On Earth.
Steep & Brew, finest coffee in the Upper Midwest. Breakfast Blend or Colombian Narino.
Yes, I lived in Madison, WI for a spell so this opinion might be 95% nostalgia, but I just picked some up at a Minneapolis grocer and it was as good as I remembered it.
Not expensive and you can order it online.
Check out Door County Coffee and Tea. I love the Mocha Java (my all time favorite blend from almost anyone) or the Black Velvet (not a dark roast, despite the name). They have 5 lb. bags of beans for $49.95. I store mine in the bag, then put in an airtight container. I’ve tried coffee from roasters all over the country and this is the best I’ve found with the exception of Coffee Plantation in Tempe, AZ, but they don’t do internet sales.
Door County also does loose tea, but it’s pretty pricey.
I second the Mayorga’s recommendation. Zabar’s delivers some good stuff too – Zabar’s blend is a good place to start.
Well, you can make it worse. You can leave it in the percolator overnight and reheat it the next morning.
Check out our local roaster…
It’s a socially conscious company so purchases are two-fers. You get great coffee and you do something good for the world.
Been there. Ugh.
Let me clarify my earlier pitch for Peet’s.
It’s okay in the store. About as good as anything else on the shelf. But that’s not the way to buy it.
If you’re on the West Coast you can buy it in the store, pretty damn freshly roasted. If you’re on the Right Hand Coast, like me, you become a Peetnik. They send me coffee every month, and it’s roasted the day before they ship it.
The day before they ship it.
Grind. Brew. Drink.
It doesn’t come any fresher. Or better. (And they don’t over-roast their beans. You’re thinking of that other chain; Futtbuckers.)
Brick Oven Bill
I have been many times to Steep and Brew. You are well trained Paul. The coffee is the same as the stuff they have at McDonalds and that is served at government offices throughout the land. There are better looking women at Steep and Brew though. And ones with hairy armpits. I never dated women with hairy armpits or legs. They did a topless march once though. That was good.
In any case, coffee tops the list. Chandler sold out to Target. He is now rich for his parody.
Back before Tarp 1, my wife started searching online for coupons, discounts & whatnot. One of her great finds was a couple bags of free coffee from Seattle Coffee Direct. 12 oz of Gourmet House Blend, which I love & 12 oz of Hawaiian Hazelnut, which I hate. Yesterday, we received our 6th bag of each. Last week we got 4 bags in 2 days. It’s crazy. They simply will not stop sending them. I have no clue if we’re buying them or not. We may already be bankrupt & I don’t even know it.
Suspicions confirmed: Brick Oven Bill is Ann Althouse.
OMFG…Steep and Brew. D’you know, it was there at the end of State Street when *I* was a grad student at Madison?
I’m surprised so many Community Coffee mentions popped up, too. Seaport Coffee from Beaumont is also worth a try:
Gather the following items:
Coffee roaster and green coffee beans for $5 a lb. from http://www.sweetmarias.com/ as wisely suggested in #31 and #132. I like Central American.
Unbleached filters of smallest size that will work. I use Filtropa #2.
Filter holder and thermos. I use Bodum double-walled glass, including for coffee glasses. Holds the heat.
A burr grinder. I use a Zassenhaus hand grinder.
An Aerolatte milk frother.
Roast a little past 1st crack, right before 2nd crack, at least one day before brewing.
Center your mind on what is before you.
Start the water boiling, grind the coffee. Let the water cool slightly after taking off the heat. Pour over the coffee, very slowly at first.
This can be a path.
Steep and Brew coffee does rock, though. I wonder if Myles Teddywedgers are as delicious as I remember them…
1) Yeah, but what about the guys?
2) You shaved first?
Either way, you rock, man.
J. Michael Neal
John Brattain, Nick Adenhart, Harry Kalas, Mark Fidrych. It’s been a tough couple of weeks in baseball.
They have stores in San Diego !!!
OK. I am going to be an effete elitist and guide you to this website:
It’s great coffee. I can’t tell you which one to try because I prefer bold, dark roasts. Oh! Right now, I am enjoying Mud Pie, but it is a flavored coffee. It’s quite tasty. My next bag is the Obama Rama.
@Volum: To continue the Bay Area coffee snobbery, also check out Ritual Roasters. I also happen to prefer Blue Bottle, but some Ritual beans are really amazing as well.
What was funnier was that every second thing that came out of Schuster’s mouth was a double entendre. Can’t believe he could say everything he said without doubling over in laughter.
Are you familiar with Denis Leary’s routine about coffee? It’s fricking brilliant.
second third fourth Bustelo….but cut it. Currently ‘feeding’ the folks at work with 8 oclock cut with 25% Bustelo thru a clean drip. Only problem is that coffee intake is going up!
Well, there’s a lot of nuts comments. Folger’s? Fucking Folger’s? Judas Priest.
Anyhow, try Stumptown, or if you’re into fairtrade stuff pure, try Cafe Mam, from Chiapas. They’re cheap, too.
But as I was once taught at the best part-time job ever, in winter 1993 … at Starbucks World Headquarters …
— Don’t skimp on the grounds when you brew a pot. (And for God’s sake, don’t use a percolator! French press is best!!!!) When coffee is too strong, it can always be thinned down with water; it’ll still have the flavor you want. But if it’s brewed too weak? Yer hosed. Bitter, astringent, yack.
I’m going to make a comment about… green tea.
Probably the best green tea I’ve had in many years now comes from… Costco! It’s their Kirkland re-branding of Ito En’s Matcha Blend in teabag format (ie, green leaves mixed with matcha powder) and the resulting brew (use 2 bags) is so green and rich and full and satisfying and awesome. Perfect for a teabag party or just for enjoying a satisfying green cup at home.
The Pale Scot
The fault may lie in your coffee maker, not in your beans, last week I went to seven.. no, nine stores looking for a new coffee maker, everybody had the same eight or nine models that all got sucky reviews, the ones under a C-note anyway. Braun makes the best affordable machines and no one carries them, at least in Tampa. Almost all machines made today fail at the primary task, getting the water to 185 degrees, they do everything else but that.
Get one of these, a Braun-KF510 for 60.00;
and use the gold plated filter,
If you have a Target around, they have a decent store brand called Archer Farms, the Kona blend is pretty good and is about 1.50 cheaper than Starcrude.
Or check out a natural food store, most have a coffee kiosk, quality will depend on how fast the beans are sold, the coffee comes in 5lbs packs and if it lies around, u-no. Or you could ask to buy the whole bag unopened.
You do have a grinder? Most essential.
18.75 for a pound of coffee that’s not Kona or Blue Mountain?, must be nice!
Seconded. Peets…always Peets.
Course, most of their roasts tend to be the deep dark city roasts, so they may be a bit heavy for what he’s looking for.
@The Pale Scot:
I’d recommend just going with a decent french press actually. They’re cheap, easy to clean, and they don’t take up much space.
And they make better coffee than all but the very best machines.
if you don’t mind spending the money, you should order from lighthouse roasters in seattle. seattle is a coffee-loving town if ever there was one, and pretty much everyone i know that loves coffee thinks lighthouse is the absolute best. you can order it online here.
seriously. this stuff is the truth.
Peet’s fans are a bit fanatical. This includes my dad who has been drinking nothing but Peet’s for 20 years. But, even he, a fan of strong deep roasted dark black coffees, sometimes mixes in some lighter beans to mellow it out a bit. From your description of your tastes, I don’t think you’d be a fan. It’s definitely on the dark/bold side of things.
I started getting my coffee at the Dunkin Donuts across the street. For a medium blend, 2 milks, 2 sugars guy like me, it served my purposes surprisingly well.
Sure, a barista would scoff at it, but not all of us want a coffee that tastes like it was brewed in Mordor.
I read this whole comment thread and was surprised that no one mentioned the importance of ORGANIC coffee. If you know anything about coffee production, you know they use tons of pesticides. That ends up on the coffee bean. Coffee has one of the highest pesticide residue levels of any food. It is unregulated. Coffee used to make me hyper and irritable until I switched to organic. It was the bug juice.
Cafe Altura makes a good French Roast. (cafealtura.com). At my Albertson’s they sell Clearly Organic Columbian which is also quite nice, a good all day cup a joe.
You need to use oxygen bleached filters. Green Mountain makes the best ones (and some good organic blends). (GreenMountainCoffee.com). Use these with a gold filter for double particle removal. I realize this removes some of the oils/flavor, but sediment free coffee is so much easier on my stomach. I am also of the opinion that cone shaped brew baskets are superior to the ones with flat bottoms. (there’s a joke in there somewhere).
Of course no tap water. Filtered only.
I’m sure it has been said already but Kona is the stuff for you. Stay away from the blend though, just dilutes the Hawaiian goodness, but I suppose if there is no alternative its better than nothing.
Cafe Liegois (that’s an actual coffee brand, although I learned that a dessert shares the same name), Belgian coffee, should be available in the USA, try to find it. I have never tasted anything that good.
PS: Seems they can be found via an importer in FL:
Cafe Liegeois in Miami, FL, US (United States)
6301 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 200, Miami, FL, 33138, United States
+1305 762 5924
+1305 759 1468
@Bad Horse’s Filly:
Lavazza is a rather overpriced coffee here in Europe. Can be found in every supermarket at the end of the coffee section for outrageous prices.
They are known for their huge advertising budget and sponsoring (bicycle racing, motor sports, etc). Although better known for their coffee, they are actually a company that produces coffee mills and espresso machines for professional use. They have a franchise of Italian style cafes, too, which markets to the wannabe trendy/gay/metrosexual crowd.
In my opinion this is overpriced corporate stuff. It’s alright if you have the money to spare, but there are better roasts out there.
I get my coffee from Little River roasting Co. They sell fair trade coffee and support local growers. Plus it’s great.
If you get the American Whitewater roast 10% of profits go to American Whitewater, which someone in WV might want to do.
See you at Cheat River fest first weekend in May?
In other news… the Steelers QB still blows.
exactly. The store bought Peets is nothing like their freshly roasted stuff, magnifico.
And my other rec Gimme! Coffee does exactly the same thing, they roast they ship. Once you have tasted it you will never be able to drink any coffee again.
Trader Joes Italian Roast or Eight O’Clock Beans are cost effective and tasty, full bodied but not bitter. 1lb bags are better; beans start to lose flavor a couple weeks after roasting, freezing doesn’t help much. Make sure your grind is coarse, if you’re over-grinding and using a French Press (the only thing I use when I’m not drinking espresso shots) you’ll wind up drinking a lot of coffee grounds. It’s also worth asking a local roaster if they have a blend that meets your needs. They often have a milder, less acidic blend that is good as an all-day drink plus you’ll be supporting local business, and maybe fair trade practices too (ask).
I have sent a number of people with divergent tastes to Intelligentsia in Chicago, and they are all happy, as am I. The company is a bit fanatical (read their FAQ) but the end product is rather reliable (I drink espresso, so stability in blends matters a bit more.)
Like the other companies, they only roast your beans after they have your order in hand. You can order five pound bags as a cost-saving, but I wouldn’t do that unless you can immediately seal it again–or use it quickly. The number one problem with beans is how quickly they go stale. So I’d encourage you to find a midwestern supplier rather than ordering from the coasts.
Paradise Roasters is a small online outfit that from time to time has some interesting varieties.
I’d also agree that you should get a better grinder, though you don’t need anything really expensive if you aren’t doing espresso.
Well, I’m way late to the thread but I’ve got to mention The Kaffeeklatsch, where we’ve bought coffee for 30 years. Grant, educated as a chemist, roasts on a vintage open-flame Jabez Burns roaster. Even during our years in New Orleans, where we moved so that my wife could work in the coffee business, we never found better coffee. They ship their coffee anywhere.
I’m completely hooked on the stuff. Goddamn the Pusherman!
Late to the party, and I haven’t read all the comments to see if this has been mentioned, but I’m a fan of Eight O’Clock coffee. The Colombian in the dark brown bag is good, as is the French Roast in the brick red bag. If you want stronger, some stores sell an Italian Roast in a purple bag. It lacks the harshness of some of the premium coffees. I’ve never been overly impressed with premium coffees, but maybe I’m shopping in the wrong stores.
One thing that’s nice about Eight O’Clock is that they have a website where you can log points and win stuff–I recently received two free coffee cups with spoons and two coupons for free 13 oz bags.
Newish readers here. I enjoy your posts and your pet pics.
Too many comments to read to see if anyone mentioned my favorite. Eight O’Clock whole bean in the red bag. Been around for years and always tastes fresh and bright, not too heavy or roasty. My favorite pot to use is the Bunn. Coffee is always hot and it’s fast.
If you don’t mind buying over the Internet and you can buy Community Coffee over the internet. This is the New Orleans coffee that locals drink and sold in the grocery store. I highly recommend that. There is also CDM and French Market coffee.
I know this is blasphemy, but I don’t like Starbucks: bitter (and way overpriced). No car, thus places like Costco are out. I never thought of ordering coffee on-line; I’m more the run-to-the-store type.
Here in Brooklyn, I go for Spanish coffees: El Caribe, El Pico, and Pilon. Inexpensive (well, by NYC standards) and moderately strong. No flavors, no milk, no sugar. And I want caffeine! I don’t do non-, low-, or no- anything.
re: Starbucks, amen bro.
You know why most every Starbucks coffee drink is loaded with sugar? Because THEIR COFFEE TASTES LIKE SHIT if you know what good coffee is supposed to taste like.
Whenever I go to any coffee shop, I get a cappuccino (if it’s before noon) or a double espresso (after noon). That’s it. No frou-frou effeminate flavored coffees or coffee-flavored desserts for me.
Peets is fantastic but may be too dark for you. Whatever brand you try, try Costa Rican. It’s not overly strong but has a great flavor. Also Whole foods (Harry’s in some places)sells bulk beans, you could try their Costa Rican. I also agree with above that Duncan Donuts may be good for you, if you like mild flavor. You can buy it at the local shop and sometimes it’s on sale for $5lb. (It may be too tempting to go in there though if you’re concerned about watching your waist.)
OK, I agree–Starbuck’s is generally swill. But for good coffee, you do need to pay up a bit (although not from Starbucks’ exorbitant prices).
Several commentators have mentioned Community coffee out of New Orleans. Here’s another–French Market coffee, made with chicory. Chicory has a bad rap, but I don’t know why–we actually use FM to smooth the regular coffee we drink, and it adds a nice smoky flavor. here: http://www.frenchmarketcoffee.com/
Now, we almost never buy coffee in a supermakarket–unless it’s beans. We live in the UK, where there’s a whole raft of small local coffee guys around the country (especially, for some reason, Cornwall), and we do a lot of ordering over the internet (after we buy some in some little organic place first to check it out). In the US, start with Community,
Green Mountain Coffee (http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/), Peet’s (http://www.peets.com/shop/coffee.asp), and Ritual Coffee roasters (yes, someone already mentioned this, but it’s worth another plug: http://www.ritualroasters.com/).
Our favorite coffees here in the UK? Cafe Direct, Origin, Taylor’s of Harrowgate, Ethical Addictions. Best we’ve ever had? Close call, but probably Julius Meinl, in Vienna. All these guys do internet sales, and Meinl now has coffee shops in the Chicago area.
And coffee always comes from somewhere. We usually go for Ethiopia, Kenya (also now the world’s largest black tea producer, incidentally), and Costa Rica.
Tastes differ, though. Actually, you’re starting a dangerous journey here–and you’re going to have quite a bit of fun. You’ll be caffeinated as hell, but that’s the point, right?
And make sure it’s fair trade, or, even better, organic. It does matter.
It’s not the brand, it’s the amount that most people mess up on.
Use 50% more coffee grounds than you normally do.
Late to the party…
Here’s my local roaster. They have several good varieties. I’m not usually one for flavor-enhanced, but I do enjoy the occasional cup o’ Highlander Grogg.
I also second the Trader Joe’s 100% Kona for a nice grocery store variety.
Twin Peaks coffee
I like the Eight O’Clock as well. They used to have a Brazilian offering (Bokar, I think), but I get the regular, the french roast or the Columbian (depending). I have some coffee from Mexico (a gift), but have not tried it yet.
I noticed Kroger’s did not have Hola Fruta anymore. darn. (and cripes, John, it was your post on it that got me started)
I spent a couple months in Costa Rica last year, there are some fabulous coffees there. I order my coffee from http://www.ticoshopping.com or http://www.cafebritt.com
1820 is very good, Britt is good (it’s the most common coffee brewed where I was. I also like Terra Santos, a nice mild coffee. If you really want to experience coffee the way it was supposed to be made, try a Chorreador de café. A quick google will deliver multiple places to order one or even plans to build your own. Enjoy!
Chock Full o Nuts
Best cheap coffee on the market.
i also echo any sentiments on peet’s! i like paul newman’s for a good reliable grocery store brand.
@Steve: The thing about Philz though: you have to go in and drink it with the hot milk and the mystery leaves.
Peet’s is a good, stable coffee. In New York, I got hooked on Bustelo, which calls itself espresso, but I would just brew it in a single cup.
I also agree with some poster earlier – I read this blog every day (though I post infrequently) and JC and crew all seem like good humans.
Gloria Jeans has some very good medium roasts, a few good "nut" brews and a ton of really bad flavored ones, they’re also pricey. But dollar for taste, you can’t go wrong with 8 O’Clock brand, I like almost anything they make.
Ah, the quest for the perfect cup of joe!
Try the 8 O’Clock – medium Columbian Roast. You can order over the internet and I believe they still ship free for orders over $25. It holds up well throughout the day
I had truly exceptional coffee at a restaurant. I asked them where they got it.
I’ve ordered from these folks ever since.
200 comments over coffee?? wow.
Here’s mine: Folger’s Crystals. Doesn’t taste all that good but mixed with a little honey & half-and-half you can definitely drink it all day. And it is strong as hell–if you’re a caffeinaddict like me it is like mainlining. And being an instant, you can meter exactly how much caffeine your flagging nerve cells need to stay awake & wade through whatever pain-in-the-ass you are having to deal with to pay the bills.
Okay, it’s the lazy way to imbibe, but it works…
I have found the perfect sorbet. The brand is Ciao Bella, the flavor is Blood Orange. It is only 90 calories per serving, but is amazing full of flavor.
I have only found it at Safeway after a gourmet Wegman’s grocery store opened up about a mile away. Safeway renovated and upgraded their store to compete. The blackberry cabernet is quiet impressive. You really should try it.
I like the Angry Chef Happy Coffee special Break Room Live blend from the
A & P 8 O’Clock.
I second the recommendation of Gevalia. Trying the different varietals is a lot of fun (the Peruvian and Kenyan are my favorites); it’s delivered to my door; it’s not that much more than that swill Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts sell; and it’ll knock your eyeballs out.
@FunkyDuck: I worked for many years in the beverage industry, with a concentration in coffee. Six years for the biggest coffee roaster you never heard of (private label specialist). I’m amused by all the recc’s for certain brands. All coffee co.’s/labels have a range of product quality, differentiated again by degree of roast and grind. What ends up in your pot is the combination of the variables. The actual bean or blend of beans, the roast, how fine a grind, the amount being used for the pot, and the time, tempurature and volume of water. Change any of these and the end product can change significantly. I would often do blind taste tests with up to 40 salespeople at once. A favorite ploy was to use the same blend of coffee brewed in 1.5oz, 2.5oz, and a dark roasted version. The wild guesses were always that we had 3 diffent products being tested. My conclusion after doing this for a few years is that most people prefer a medium roasted, heavier weighted(full bodied) cup. But do to marketing (esp Starbuks) darker roasts have been in vogue.
I’d guess from JC note that he would prefer any quality medium roasted product from just about anyone. Although, I’d agree that DDonuts fits the bill for most.
Gevalia coffee, Select varietals subscription. The very best in medium/mild.
How often do you get up to Pittsburgh? Try Prestogeorge in The Strip. Particularly their Yemen roast. Buy a bunch, put the extra in a freezer bag and freeze until needed. (They sell by mail, too.) And while you’re in The Strip, eat a sweet sausage w/provolone for me at da Bros.
I’m with Paul (and a few others) above, Steep & Brew in Madison, WI is excellent. The regular line is not fair trade, but they also have an organic, shade-grown fair trade line (Cafe Fair) that is also very good and its available online:
i’m pretty sure janet is a lesbian.
Sock Puppet of the Great Satan
Another shoutout for Philz coffee in SF:
Might need to brew it really hot, though.