Ordering coffees from around the world, online
May 6, 2008 6:17 PM   Subscribe

I enjoy drinking coffee from various regions. Is there a good online resource for A) determining good coffees from various regions and B) ordering said coffees online?

For instance, I enjoy drinking Community Coffee from the New Orleans/Southern Louisiana region, and pick it up anytime I see it. But this doesn't happen often, so I end up buying whatever Coffee X that is available at my local grocer.

-What are some other good regional coffees?
-Where can I order them online?

Some notes: I don't like flavored coffee; no hazelnuts or vanilla flavors, please. I have a grinder, so I'd like to buy full bean if possible.
posted by nitsuj to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
http://www.equalexchange.com/ has always done me very well. They have pretty accurate descriptions on what they taste like.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:22 PM on May 6, 2008

I live near Counter Culture Coffee so it was only chance that I became familiar with their beans after drinking a cup of coffee at a local cafe two years ago, and realizing that what I was drinking was just on a completely separate plane from what I was used to.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 6:48 PM on May 6, 2008

Civet Coffee
"Kopi Luwak as it is known, is considered to be the world's finest coffee by Native Sumatrans. This coffee has an Intense but delicate flavour and no aftertaste, which is unique in coffee. This flavour is due to the fact that the coffee has been partially fermented by passing through the system of the Civet. Only about 500 KG's of this coffee are found each year."
posted by hulahulagirl at 6:53 PM on May 6, 2008

Potential information overload here, but you can read detailed notes on all kinds of fine coffees from around the world here at Sweet Maria's. If you see some you like, you can order them, but all but a few varieties come green (unroasted). If you're feeling somewhat adventurous, you can roast your own using a simple air popcorn popper.

A place that has excellent already-roasted coffee that I used to order from weekly is Small World Coffee.

I apologize in advance if I've set you down the path to becoming a complete coffee freak like me...
posted by jclovebrew at 7:22 PM on May 6, 2008

Ya know what? I'd skip on ordering coffee from online, since coffee loses a LOT of its goodness quite quickly after being roasted. I've known the last two head roasters for Counter Culture (which Maxwell _Smart links to, above), and had the bonus of getting coffee the day it was roasted.

SO. What I recommend you do is explore the places where you live that roast their own, and see how you can buy from them either directly or in the most expeditious way possible.

And also check out CoffeeGeek.
posted by Stewriffic at 7:34 PM on May 6, 2008

Looks like there are quite a few "Coffee of the Month" clubs that will ship you a pound of whole beans from a different source each month. Peet's Coffee does one, as do some fair trade coffee resellers. The prices seem a little steep to me, but maybe it's not out of line with your normal coffee budget.
posted by jedicus at 8:11 PM on May 6, 2008

Ya know what? I'd skip on ordering coffee from online, since coffee loses a LOT of its goodness quite quickly after being roasted.

Stewriffic, I find it odd that you link to CoffeeGeek, yet suggest that nitsuj not order online. The advice I've gotten on CoffeeGeek is that ordering online is a good idea if you're not roasting your own or if you don't have a dependable local roaster. Several places can have your coffee in hand within 3 days or so of it being roasted, and I find that perfectly acceptable.

That said, I do agree with the suggestion to find a local roaster if possible.

Regarding online ordering, I've had some tasty stuff from both Intelligentsia and Ritual Roasters. Unfortunately I don't know enough about the single-origin stuff to recommend anything specific, but they both offer a range of stuff.
posted by cabingirl at 9:43 PM on May 6, 2008

Ya know what? I'd skip on ordering coffee from online, since coffee loses a LOT of its goodness quite quickly after being roasted.

That's why you buy green (fresh for up to a couple of years, prior to roasting), or from a reputable shop that will have the coffee at your doorstep within 24 hours of roasting.

Compare that with going to some random local "gourmet coffee" shop who has roasted beans sitting in bins for weeks upon weeks.
posted by jclovebrew at 11:46 PM on May 6, 2008

I second Intelligentsia. They have the best coffee, especially blends, of any place I've been. Check out CoffeeGeek (they love the stuff).
posted by neuroking at 11:55 PM on May 6, 2008

If you don't want mail-order, I see equal exchange at a number of merchants. Most prominently, whole foods. The foodies there might not be too bad to ask.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:40 AM on May 7, 2008

I like a good cup of Ethiopian Harrar which is robust and dark. African cofees are by far some of the best. Make sure whichever brand you get is certified Free Trade or Fair Trade. Otherwise, the small-time farmers get screwed. They make the best coffee. Equal Exchange sells good Fair Trade certified and if you can find a Trader Joe's near you hit them up as well.
posted by JJ86 at 5:43 AM on May 7, 2008

At first I thought you meant single-origin coffees - specific beans from specific plantations in Guatemala, Hawaii, Ethiopia, etc.

But it seems to me you're not looking for regional beans but more looking for regional brands of coffee - coffee from regional roasting companies in America - is that right?

Here in New England there are a ton. Big regional brands include New England Coffee Company and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Locally, we have 3 or 4 (Piscataqua, Breaking New Grounds, Port City) but for my taste Black Bear is the best roast around.
posted by Miko at 6:27 AM on May 7, 2008

Seconding home roasting/Sweet Maria's. It's extremely easy, cheaper and super delicious. Plus you have all the freedom your pocket/storage space for green beans allows to experiment with blends. Also, home roasting is a fun as hell.
posted by hecho de la basura at 11:11 AM on May 7, 2008

Have The Mudhouse or Coffee Ethic order and/or roast it for you. One of my cow-orkers does this.
posted by sourwookie at 7:36 PM on May 11, 2008

Just an FYI - You can get Community Coffee shipped directly to you from the company's Coffee Club.

Red Bag Collection also has Community Coffee and also another New Orleans favorite, CDM Coffee & Chicory.
posted by lrkuperman at 7:02 AM on August 27, 2008

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