Looking for high quality espresso beans in Silicon Valley
August 29, 2007 11:51 AM   Subscribe

GiftFilter: Where can I buy high quality beans for an espresso lover in Silicon Valley?

I'm looking for recommendations for beans for a good friend's personal espresso machine. I am, unfortunately, grossly ignorant on the fine art of choosing the right beans.

I'd prefer a local joint that roasts their own beans -- organic would also be nice.

posted by spiderskull to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You know about this place, don'tcha?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:54 AM on August 29, 2007

AV -- I do, I just have no idea how they compare to other places (say, Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company). I'm going to be travelling from Santa Cruz to San Mateo, so I was hoping to get spots anywhere along that route.
posted by spiderskull at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2007

Barefoot Coffee Roasters on the peninsula or Blue Bottle in SF (roasted in Oakland). I wouldn't drink anything else given a choice.
posted by kcm at 12:03 PM on August 29, 2007

kcm speaks for me too. Barefoot is probably more convenient for you. You can also get Blue Bottle (where I get it) at 22nd & Tennessee in San Francisco which spares you having to go too much into the city.
posted by vacapinta at 12:22 PM on August 29, 2007

I'm a Peet's fan- you can order online or walk into any of their stores and get whole or ground beans.
posted by wzcx at 12:38 PM on August 29, 2007

The espresso map will show you the way, now and forever -- all the places listed there serve really excellent espresso.

Personally, I highly recommend Ritual Coffee Roasters and Ecco Caffe.
posted by ourobouros at 12:59 PM on August 29, 2007

I work in Los Gatos and love the "Black Velvet" blend at Los Gatos Roasting company. It is 2/3 espresso 1/3 dark roast. It has a great bold taste without the earthy flavors. Being a regular coffee/espresso drinker, I find the quality to be just as good or better than anything you can get at a Peet's. Good luck!
posted by colecovizion at 1:02 PM on August 29, 2007

Also, I think the LGCR Co roasts their own stuff. At least I hear it sometimes in the morning.
posted by colecovizion at 1:05 PM on August 29, 2007

Ritual is more for the scene than the (pretty damn good) coffee. LGRC has never impressed me with their beans that I've gotten (usually from Mollie Stones, granted, but unimpressively stale and flavorless).
posted by kcm at 1:37 PM on August 29, 2007

LGCR roasts their own beans on the premises, multiple times per week. If you're buying from the store you can't go wrong. They've been in the coffee business for 25 years, have their own plantation, and are usually happy to make suggestions. Maybe a couple of choices- a blend and a single bean. The Black Velvet Blend is yummy, and Ethiopian Yrgacheffe is a personal favorite. I buy from Peet's because Los Gatos is a bit far, but their coffee would be my first choice. (disclaimer: I worked there many years ago, and lived with the roaster at Palo Alto Coffee Roasters, their sister store. It was a very good coffee education.)
posted by oneirodynia at 2:53 PM on August 29, 2007

Thanks for all of the suggestions! I decided to give Barefoot a try; I tried the Element 114 Espresso blend. They give you a free cup of espresso everytime you buy a bag o' beans, and it was some of the best coffee I've had -- I honestly didn't know espresso could be that good.
posted by spiderskull at 1:06 AM on August 30, 2007

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