I like it dark and smooth...
December 13, 2012 9:22 AM   Subscribe

[Philly/Internet coffee beans filter] Help me get some good coffee beans! I had the best coffee of my life at Kopplin's when I was in Minneapolis this summer. Problem? I live in Philly. I bought a bag of beans from Kopplin's, and they recently ran out. I've been sampling coffee from the local roasters in Philly, and (to me) they taste like crap. I'm also of the Starbucks > Dunkin Donuts mentality. Where can I get some beans to my liking, either locally or on the Internet?

I've e-mailed Kopplin's and heard nothing back. They don't ship. But seriously, holy hell, I've never had such amazing coffee. It was the most flavorful, euphoric experience of my life. I would most there for the coffee.

I prefer dark roasts. I'm not super in love with Starbucks, but it's the best choice around and I always get the dark roast. It doesn't really matter which dark roast, they're all decent.

Coffee I don't like: Dunkin Donuts. That chicory thing they do in New Orleans. Locally: One Shot Cafe, Mugshots, Green Line (it's ok, but I wouldn't buy it). Old City Coffee might be okay, but they tend to be a little mild for my taste.

I buy whole beans and grind them at home. I'd prefer to buy local, but if I can't I will buy from the Internet. I don't want to pay ridiculous prices or shipping fees.
posted by DoubleLune to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Philly has two Trader Joe's and a couple of Whole Foods. Dark enough for ya?
posted by DaveZ at 9:27 AM on December 13, 2012

I'm very happy with Peet's.
posted by tomboko at 9:36 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

La Colombe. You want La Colombe. Best roasters in Philly, and bonus, they're local so you can get fresh beans easily.
posted by Sara C. at 9:38 AM on December 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: All the coffees I've ever bought from Elixir have been amazing. I only buy them once in a while when I'm flush cause they're pricey, but the coffee the sell is super tasty.
posted by Katine at 9:46 AM on December 13, 2012

Best answer: I buy a lot of coffee from Porto Rico in NYC every couple of months. They're inexpensive and very good. I freeze the majority and let them come up to temperature before I grind 'em.

Also, La Colombe, like Sara C. said. They're fantastic.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:47 AM on December 13, 2012

Thirding La Columbe - they are widely acknowledged to be the best roaster in the city.
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:14 AM on December 13, 2012

Yeah, if you find that you don't like any of La Colombe's roasts (for example I'm not 100% sure they do a "dark roast"), Porto Rico is a great resource if you're willing to travel into NYC every once in a while. They also ship, I believe.
posted by Sara C. at 10:31 AM on December 13, 2012

Kopplins is part of the third wave coffee movement, for whatever that's worth - it may help you with some creative googling.

Also, from what I remember, Kopplins brews their coffee with the Americano method, so you may be able to get the taste you want by moving away from the drip method.
posted by Think_Long at 10:52 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

2nding Peet's. Purdy good stuff.
posted by drhydro at 10:55 AM on December 13, 2012

This previous thread recommends a bunch of good online sources, with an emphasis on organic and single-origin beans. Marco Arment writes a lot about coffee in his personal blog and favorably reviewed Tonx.
posted by mbrubeck at 11:36 AM on December 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Rojo's is in Lambertville, which might be within reach for you.
posted by onell at 11:38 AM on December 13, 2012

Thirding Peet's, specifically Major Dickason's Blend, which is awesome. I get it at the supermarket but Peet's does online orders too.
posted by scratch at 11:47 AM on December 13, 2012

Best answer: Thirding La Columbe - they are widely acknowledged to be the best roaster in the city.

By whom? I actually think La Colombe coffee, in any form but espresso, is terrible: over-roasted (in any of their varieties) and tastes like ashes every time. This is not an lightly-considered opinion: I've been thinking heavily about coffee and drinking LC for about a decade.

BUT: that said, tastes are different, and if you like dark roast coffees, La Colombe may be right for you. Give it a shot: their shops are on 19th just above Walnut and South Penn Square west of Broad across from City Hall.

If you don't like over-roasted dreck (mostly kidding), there are a couple of GREAT new local roasters doing their roasting in town: Rival Bros and ReAnimator.

I'm a huge Rival Bros fan (the chef at Pub & Kitchen is one of the two co-owners, and the other is a former coffee buyer for LC); their Whistle & Cuss would best match your tastes, and they're super people to boot. You can buy from their truck at 33rd and Arch during the week (but check Twitter for times), from Green Aisle Grocery on Passyunk, and probably a few other places.

ReAnimator roasts in Fishtown and doesn't have their own shop, but sells at a bunch of coffee shops and small groceries.

If you're looking for other great coffees, DiBruno Brothers has a great selection but be sure to check dates; usually the coffee I look at there was roasted at least a month earlier if not more, so not really worth buying.

You can get Counter Culture products from Ultimo (best shop in the city, hands down, and now there are two!) and Lovers & Madmen, and you can get Stumptown from Shot Tower, Bodhi, and the Hub Bub truck on 38th St, and Hub Bub is also opening a coffeeshop on 17th and Arch (they also occasionally use ReAnimator). I believe Shot Tower and Bodhi also sell PT's, though I'm not sure if they have retail bags, and Federal Donuts also has their house blend from PT's.

You should also check out the Craig Laban piece on coffee in the city from the Inquirer last year.
posted by The Michael The at 11:47 AM on December 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Seconding Tonx Coffee. I've been a customer for 3 months now and each shipment has been amazing!
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 1:38 PM on December 13, 2012

Best answer: I live in Minneapolis and I found out about Kopplin's from the blog of a guy who systematically visited every coffee shop in town and rated them. (Kopplin's got a perfect score, but so did a couple of other establishments.) There has got to be someone doing that on Philly.
posted by miyabo at 2:24 PM on December 13, 2012

Best answer: Fresh-roasted coffee from Qualia is truly one of the only things I've missed about Washington DC since moving to Philly. They ship anywhere in the US; see if any of the ridiculously detailed descriptions on their site catch your eye.

Small World Coffee in Princeton also has good options; they ship, or you could make a day trip of it.
posted by ActionPopulated at 3:01 PM on December 13, 2012

Response by poster: All right, I'll start with La Columbe and take it from there.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:29 PM on December 13, 2012

Tonx! I'm in the Philly area as well and I've been very happy with Tonx since I started with them over a year ago. It's nice because they are the definition of artisan producers and they really care about the product. Each shipment comes with a note from the owners, and a color photo and description of the coffee producer. It's quite nice.
posted by schmoppa at 6:10 PM on December 13, 2012

I love Tonx, but I don't advise it for this because a) they don't do dark roasts and b) you can't control what you get.

That said, whatever you get.... buy an Aeropress and use that. You'll get a much more potent brew.
posted by youcancallmeal at 7:18 PM on December 13, 2012

Sweetmarias.com sells coffee directly from the farmers, all over the world. Central America, Ethiopia, Hawaii, Indonesia. They also sell Coffee Roasters, maybe you want to try that?
posted by honey badger at 9:39 PM on December 21, 2012

Response by poster: Follow up:

I hated La Columbe. I only had their regular kind, so that might have made a difference. I intend to go back when they're not terribly busy (maybe a weekly mid-morning?) to try something fancier there.

Elixr is amazing. It was totally worth $4 for a cup. My friend had their regular (Southpaw expresso, I think) and that was pretty equivalent to La Columbe's.

I picked up a bag of Re-Animator, and meh. It's better than some.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:58 PM on January 4, 2013

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