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Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
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Discussions > Coffee > General > Cheaper than...  
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cypherpunks
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Joined: 15 Apr 2012
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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2012, 8:14pm
Subject: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

This is a small office coffee group, so it has to satisfy multiple people; I'm looking for something fairly mainstream and inoffensive.

After years of Maxwell House pre-ground, I introduced whole beans, then a burr grinder, and have been working on better beans.  The consensus appears to be that Dunkin Donuts original blend is "not bad" and Intelligentsia house blend has received rave reviews.

Unfortunately, it's $48.64/kg = $22/lb shipped to the southeastern U.S., and that's causing some dissent.  DD at $10/lb ($7.49/12 oz), is less than half the price.  And we can't use larger quantities in 2 weeks or so.  But it's not cheap, and paying for shipping 24 times a year doesn't help.

Unfortunately, we're in a small town without any decent local options.  Counter Culture is a lot closer, but they're much more espresso-oriented, and I'm having a hard time picking out some of their drip coffees.  Iron Brew?  Anything else I should be looking into?

Ultimately, it comes down to order some and try it, but I wondered if people have any economical roasters they'd like to recommend to improve the odds of success.

Thank you all!
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frank828
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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2012, 10:11pm
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

can i ask where you're located?
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shawndo
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shawndo
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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:11pm
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

Check out the list here and see what's closer to you

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
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cypherpunks
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Joined: 15 Apr 2012
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Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012, 1:17am
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

]

shawndo Said:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Posted April 15, 2012 link

Thanks for the link!  I wouldn't have thought of home-barista.com as a reference for drip coffee.  Unfortunately, the southeast looks like a wasteland.  The vast majority are west coast, then central U.S. and northeast.  Southeast, the only ones mentioned are Counter Culture and Muddy Dog.  Next closest are two in Pennsylvania (Caffè Fresco and Len's Espresso Blends) and Texas (Cuvée and Dodd).

I'm also still interested in recommendations!
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steven_meyer
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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012, 5:10am
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

Redbird has free shipping for 5lb bags.

http://redbirdcoffee.com/
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cerridwyn
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cerridwyn
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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012, 5:14am
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

I'm going to say something sacrilegious. You might try looking for a decent second tier roaster to see if you can find a happy medium. Aroma Ridge is in the South East. They roast when they send, are much less expensive and well, you will tell the difference. They will be fresher than store bought DD, so that might make a difference.

Like most tier two shops they have a ton of choices. Read the description and try a couple, if it doesn't work, it's not 22$/12 ounces for most of their stuff. I used to use it a lot for work for the very reason you state.

 
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calblacksmith
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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012, 6:18am
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

You might want to look into a freezer, a very good option is to buy in bulk, 5#, and then divide into apx 1lb bags then freeze. You get the volume discount and you save on shipping.

In a worst case, you could have the coffee sent to you, then you could divide and freeze at home and bring in a bag o beans when you run low in the office.

Just a thought.

 
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cypherpunks
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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012, 6:54am
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

steven_meyer Said:

Redbird has free shipping for 5lb bags.

Posted April 16, 2012 link

Er, yes, but they don't have any good coffee.  That is to say, their only year-round drip blend is their "Blackbird Blend", which we tried and was voted over-roasted.  (It wasn't "straight in the trash" bad, but "definitely don't buy again".)

Plus, we go through 1 lb a week or a little more; buying that much at once would mean drinking 4 week old roast. :-(

cerridwyn Said:

I'm going to say something sacrilegious. You might try looking for a decent second tier roaster to see if you can find a happy medium.

Posted April 16, 2012 link

Er... what sacrilegious about that?  Isn't that basically what I was asking for?  Similar flavor, slightly lower quality, much lower price?

Aroma Ridge is in the South East. They roast when they send, are much less expensive and well, you will tell the difference. They will be fresher than store bought DD, so that might make a difference.

Thanks for the tip.  Their shipping is $7.50 minimum (that seems fixed for UPS ground; I asked their web site for 2000 lb and it returns the same number!), which adds to the cost.

Like most tier two shops they have a ton of choices. Read the description and try a couple

This is a problem.  Too many choices!  I'm asking for some recommendations for roasts/blends, not just roasters.  Also, there's skill in keeping a blend consistent over the year, as available beans fluctuate, and I don't know who's good at it.
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cypherpunks
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Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012, 6:58am
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

calblacksmith Said:

You might want to look into a freezer, a very good option is to buy in bulk, 5#, and then divide into apx 1lb bags then freeze. You get the volume discount and you save on shipping.

Posted April 16, 2012 link

We have a freezer.  But does this work?  I've seen it mentioned a lot, but usually right next to discussions of the merits of vacuum-packed pre-ground, so I haven't believed it.

Edit: Found the discussion.  Reading now... it seems many people say this works, but some people disagree.
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johnnyb3
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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2012, 9:44am
Subject: Re: Cheaper than Intelligentsia house blend?
 

We have a freezer.  But does this work?  I've seen it mentioned a lot, but usually right next to discussions of the merits of vacuum-packed pre-ground, so I haven't believed it.

Edit: Found the discussion.  Reading now... it seems many people say this works, but some people disagree.

I really think you should try this for yourself. I am (and I think a lot of us here are) in a similar boat, trying to optimize taste given a certain price point. I find that the deleterious effects of freezing are quite minor -- hardly noticeable to me -- compared to the sacrifice in quality between what you can get for, say, $60 for 5 pounds vs. what you can get for $12 for a pound at a time. I think the same might be true for four-week-old high-quality coffee even if you don't freeze.

Redbird is hit-or-miss for me, but their SO offerings are not all overroasted. They are nice folks to work with, too, so you could probably fire off an email to 'em and they'd make suggestions given your preferences.
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