Skip said:-then where would you fine the finest of the bean if not on the shelf?
As a person who loves a good cup of coffee and have been drinking it for the last 50 years, I will say that you never could and never will find good coffee beans, or ground coffee for that matter, in your local supermarket or grocery store.
Well, let me add this about that. Back in the early days (very early) Nabob was the main supplier. In the 50's they packaged a fairly decent coffee.
However, like every other coffee supplier out there, ( just look on the shelves to see who I mean) prices have gone way up and quality has gone down accordingly.
One of the big problems is the quality of beans that go into commercially packaged coffee.
If you know about coffee, you know that the majority of coffee beans produced is Robustica. This is what makes up the majority of the coffee in that package on the shelf.
Robustica is a lowland coffee that is much cheaper to grow and is of poor quality compared to Arabica beans.
And considering coffee is second only to oil on the commodities market, do you not think that all these big chains are buying the cheapest beans they can get and charging you the highest price they can get away with.
By the way, if you find a coffee shop that makes a great espresso, chances are they are using Robustica beans which are higher in caffeine than Arabica.
So, back to the question. If you want good coffee, look around for a micro roaster. The small roasters are buying coffee from individual plantations. Also, micro roasters roast to order. So you know that at most your beans may be a week old. Not 6 months or more that you are likley to find on the store shelves.
Also, micro roasters control the quality of their roasting, unlike big companies who mass produce and mass roast their beans.
If you are lucky enough to have a micro roaster in your neighborhood, you can buy directly from them. Other wise, do what I do and look on line. Find a few roasters with a decent price and order some coffee.
You'll find some one you like.
I found mine after a few years of research and I stay with them. Been buying from them for a couple of years now. I order it online and it arrives a week later.
You bring up an interesting point here Bryan. Though I think there are many coffee roasters and shop owners that have realized or are realizing this deficit and are filling the void that many of us have been feeling. Many large businesses loose focus on the bean when profits are down and investors are unhappy. This creates a great opportunity for the small guy who knows that he knows that what people really want is a high quality coffee that truly inspires. Go little guy! :)
Just my thoughts,