For all you coffee drinkers

Michiyo-Fir

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#1
I'm looking to buy some fancy specialty coffee for some people for Christmas.

Unfortunately we are in a family that has no coffee drinkers. In fact I'm slightly intolerant/allergic to caffeine so I need all your help!

I'm looking for specialty/artisan coffee of very high quality, beans or ground. The supermarket had some brands I've never heard of but they're still hugely mass produced ones I think. I want very unique tasting, likely imported beans maybe from Ethiopia or something like that. Where could I find them?

Do specialty fancy coffee shops usually sell beans in a couple pound bags? Is that where I should look?

I literally don't know anything about coffee, how to grind beans, different coffee makers, how much beans (lbs) = how much coffee (cups). If someone can tell me how much beans is how much cups that would be good too.
 

milos_mommy

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#2
I don't know that much about coffee, but look for shade-grown coffee as it's much more environmentally friendly!
 
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#3
There are probably some small independent coffee shops in your area, and many of them do sell beans. They can help you pick out a suitable variety for gifts, too.
 

noludoru

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#4
There are probably some small independent coffee shops in your area, and many of them do sell beans. They can help you pick out a suitable variety for gifts, too.
Best suggestion ever. The store coffee that looks super fancy could completely suck. :eek: I've had this happen too many times. One good coffee chain is Peets, if you have it. If not, any small coffee shop will do. Buy them as whole beans for freshness.
 

Michiyo-Fir

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#6
I found a couple of recommended online retailers that's supposed to have high quality beans. Intelligentsia and Counter Culture are the ones I'm looking into right now.

More Questions:

Can you use espresso beans to make regular coffee? If I don't want to make espresso I should not buy espresso beans?

What taste difference between the natural sun dried beans and the alternative??
 
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Stingr69

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#7
I buy and blend my own coffee. I grind my beans every day. All the coffee I buy comes from Coffee Bean Direct (online). They have a "Light House Blend" that is proprietary and we LOVE it. You can buy it either pre-ground or whole bean depending on your needs. If your recipient does not have a high end ($250+) grinder then you should have it pre-ground. A 1-Lb package will last us a week. They charge a flat rate of $5 to ship a box to you. They also have a "Breakfast Blend" that is great for less experienced coffee drinkers that are not used to the specialty stuff. I bought some for my parents and they love it.

Espresso is a specialty dark roasted coffee and it is ground differently than regular coffee. The two are not interchangeable for the most part.

I like to blend Sumatran Madheling beans with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans in even amounts. The Mandheling has a complex flavor that comes from a unique processing technique and the Yirgacheffe has a great classic coffee punch. "Velvet Hammer" :D

I love coffee!
 

AllieMackie

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#8
I too grind my own coffee every morning. I'm lucky living in Ottawa because we have Bridgehead, a local roastery. But there's also a few other local-roasted options. Local roasting is nice because the beans will be as freshly-roasted as possible close to Christmas. :D

We usually get bags that are about two pounds - they last us about 2.5 weeks with two of us having a BIG mug every morning. We use a basic Cuisinart coffee grinder and we brew the coffee with a French Press.

Whereabouts are you located again?
 

eddieq

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#9
Wow, that's a lot of info :)

I buy a can of Maxwell House for 3 bucks
 

joce

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#10
I miss living with my mom because she would grind the beans every morning and generally did a press but would just depend. Always had amazing coffee on hand to.


I just buy the cheap k cups!
 

Michiyo-Fir

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#11
Whereabouts are you located again?
Thanks for all the info everyone!

I live in Vancouver but I'm probably going to end up buying coffee beans in London, UK. It seems a bit impractical to buy 5+ lbs of beans and carry it with me on the flight to the UK, unless you know a really good place with great beans here!

I never knew 1 lb of coffee only lasts about a week for 2 people....... During Christmas we're going to have 8+ coffee drinkers in the house... Geez I'm going to have to buy a LOT of coffee!

I looked at Counter Culture Coffee online and they seem like a good choice, but I'm kind of worried there's going to be a lot of tariffs and duties on shipping it to the UK or Canada :(
 

Shai

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#12
If they are dog people (or even if they are not), BlackDogCoffeeTraders.com has a really good reputation. And unique but classy packaging. I haven't had any but coffee afficionado friends are constantly talking them up and reordering :)
 

Michiyo-Fir

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#13
If they are dog people (or even if they are not), BlackDogCoffeeTraders.com has a really good reputation. And unique but classy packaging. I haven't had any but coffee afficionado friends are constantly talking them up and reordering :)
Wow cool! I love that some of the coffees are contributing to canine cancer research! They also have a lot of variety which is really neat. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

milos_mommy

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#14
Can you explain to me what shade-grown means? I've never heard that term before.
It literally means it's grown in the shade, lol. Coffee can grow in shade or sun, and sun grown is grown in fields where basically all the other growth is cleared out. In shade grown, they leave the taller trees in the area and just grow the coffee in the shade of them, underneath, so it leaves the canopy and upper levels of trees for wildlife.
 

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