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Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
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Discussions > Coffee > Q and A > Store bought...  
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nolken
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Jan 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Missouri
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:14am
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

calblacksmith Said:

Unless you are very VERY VERY lucky, you will not get anything even close to fresh off the shelf in a supermarket. For quality coffee, properly roasted, $1 per oz is a fair starting point, sorry about that. You can't expect to be eating lobster in a Mc Donnalds  Fish sandwitch.

Anything less and you are asking which is better Mc D or Jack in the box, neither is all that great but they will fill your belly iif it is empty but don't expect to be eating Five star food either.

Posted January 23, 2013 link

this was exactly my point. I know i'm not able to get excellent quality coffee from the store which is why i asked my question. I purchased the equipment ignorantly without thinking through the coffee selection. So, would i be better off with the press and the baratza (neither of which i have used yet. i don't know if i should return it, hence the question) or should i just continuing on the cheap pre-ground coffee with a drip maker. basically am i wasting my money now since i can't afford the really good coffee, and it'll be a while before i can afford it. (keeping in mind i'm on a student's budget).
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 288
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:16am
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

Nolkin....  these guys here know their stuff AND also agree that coffee is a personal experience.  Try to find something online if there's not a roaster within reasonable driving distance.  My experience with quality/tasting coffee is only 2 mos old---began w/crash 'coffee coarse' in proper extraction driven by my taste buds/emotions to the yuk stuff I'd been drinking.  I was mad, by day five a Bonavita brewer was ordered and I was looking into coffee at our local roaster (so lucky to have).  My next step w/be grinding fresh beans just before brewing when my Baratza arrives.  I won't go back to what was BC (Before Coffee)---I would have to get my caffeine from another source.

You've already invested in a good grinder, along w/your press---find a roaster.  I've never considered coffee from the grocery since changing over SO I had no idea IF you could get half way decent beans there or not.  I don't have the knowledge these guys do here---just my short but rewarding, ongoing personal experience.  I trust what they say, I've learned tons here.  Before ordering, give some ideas of your preferred tastes if possible then ask for some Geek Input as to where to start.  Maybe try buying 1/4 lb ea of 2-3 different origins or any blends they may suggest.  Good luck and keep pushing forward.
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joshuamurphy75
Senior Member
joshuamurphy75
Joined: 2 Jun 2009
Posts: 50
Location: Palmview/Mcallen/Edinburg/Weslaco Texas
Expertise: Professional
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:27am
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

I say to take a notebook with you, write down whatever stuff is in the stores, and look it up at www.CoffeeReview.com. Maybe you can find something cheap to keep you going for a while and you can have some fresh roasted stuff for when you have a little extra cash.
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RoyceRuiz
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 118
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:06am
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

On my journey from Folgers w/ drip to what I would have previously thought insane I used 8 o'clock breakfast roast, a french press and cheap burr grinder and it was a HUGE improvement over Folgers and a Mr. coffee.  The taste difference is what inspired me to keep searching to improve my coffee taste.  I don't think you should return your equipment, just know that you will be stepping up in the future.  Also, I know things are tight but every once in a while you should order a bag of beans from a quality roaster to know what your missing.  If you do order and don't see a difference worth paying for to your taste, you just saved yourself from not being happy with your beans (obviously this could have the opposite effect when the coffee you drink is the best thing you have ever tasted).
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dfrcomp
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Oct 2008
Posts: 24
Location: Right Here
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: No,   Moka: Yes
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso
Vac Pot: No,   French Press: Yes
Drip: Technivorm, Melitta Pour...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:35am
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

Excellent suggestion about the CoffeeReview.com  website.
If you go onto the homepage you will see a link to an article titled: "big box value coffees". I suggest you take a look. Hope this helps.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:22pm
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

80c an oz is $12.80 a lb, right?  Or $64 for 5lb.

I haven't seen this mentioned yet, so although you say you don't want to order online, I'll mention it anyway. If you have access to a freezer, then buying online in quantity for separating into smaller bags and freezing is a sensible thing to do.  The quality may suffer a little before you get to the end of a freezer stored 5lb bag after say 3 months, but nowhere near as much as leaving a bag of cheaper coffee on a supermarket shelf for 3 months.  Redbird's various coffees are around $50-57 for 5lb (about 0.66 an ounce), shipped to arrive within a day or two of roasting.  Or $12-13 a lb plus $5 shipping for 1lb or $9 shipping for 2 lb, or $10 for 3lb or more.

If you can't freeze, then maybe if you scrimp on one bag of store bought coffee on an offer, you can afford a better coffee ordered online every other bag or so.  That way you'd still hit 0.80 per ounce on average over time.

Whichever way you go, cheap whole bean coffee ground fresh can usually be prepared a whole lot better than good coffee pre-ground.  You may want to play with lower extraction temperatures and higher doses (this might affect the cost of each cup) to get a good balance in the cup, but you have far more control if you are grinding yourself and brewing manually.  Keep notes until you find a procedure that works well for you and your coffee.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,881
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

nolken Said:

this was exactly my point. I know i'm not able to get excellent quality coffee from the store which is why i asked my question. I purchased the equipment ignorantly without thinking through the coffee selection. So, would i be better off with the press and the baratza (neither of which i have used yet. i don't know if i should return it, hence the question) or should i just continuing on the cheap pre-ground coffee with a drip maker. basically am i wasting my money now since i can't afford the really good coffee, and it'll be a while before i can afford it. (keeping in mind i'm on a student's budget).

Posted January 23, 2013 link

I understand student budget, you need to establish what is more important to you. MY  personal choice would be to buy good coffee and skimp in other places. In life, we find a way to afford that which we really value.

For me, myself, I do without rather than buy sub quality coffee but your priorities may be different, and that is fine. As said above, buying in larger batches and PROPERLY freezing is a way to cut the price per unit.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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mkeller234
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Dec 2012
Posts: 24
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:35am
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

Nolken, I am a newbie like you.  I started out, last month, in a very similar fashion as you; Bodum press and a good grinder.  Our situations are also similar in another way, I think my wife would not like me spending a ton of money on premium coffee constantly.

My perspective will probably make someone cringe.  I plan on buying the premium coffee sparingly, as something that can be enjoyed on a weekend or  as a treat.  I'll continue to use cheap store bought coffee and our drip brewer on a normal basis, because I go through a whole lot of coffee.  I've bought eight o clock coffee.  I wasn't really thrilled with it, i'd say it had a fairly mild/weak flavor.  That being said, it was better than the really crappy pre-ground coffee we buy, 2lbs for 5.99.  Until I become a wealthy man, i'll just use premium coffee as a nice occasional treat.  You should be able to order some good stuff online, I have not ventured into that yet.  I'm definitely a beer snob.... but I don't drink beer on a weekly basis, so I can afford to only buy craft beers.  

On a semi-related subject.  I've been buying a lot of fresh-roasted coffees from a local shop lately.  All of the coffee has been high quality, but I have not liked all of it.  So even with quality stuff, it seems to be just as important to find what suits your personal tastes.  I like really dark coffee and did not really find the Tanzanian peaberry to my liking.
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 6:14am
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

cerridwyn Said:

I like how many of you guys out there enjoy roasting your own, but it tugs my chain when you push it on every newbie. It's not for everyone and is just as likely to chase people away as bring them to your side of the fence. I've been eschewing store bought coffee since before many of you born. I don't roast, and never will.

No offense intended cause your comment was milder than most it just was the straw to make me comment about this today.

Posted January 22, 2013 link

"Some mental acrobatics have to take place.  Namely, realizing that anger is useless.  It makes one unhappy.  It makes others unhappy.  Not only that, it also makes a groove in the mind so that anger arises more and more easily.  That's why we often find old people are crotchety.  Everything around them becomes disagreeable.  They're never happy because the negative groove in the mind has become so set they can't get out of it anymore."     - -  Being Nobody, Going Nowhere by Ayya Khema (1987: Wisdom Publications, Boston).

I am not a roaster and have no aspirations to roast on a regular basis.  I have roasted with an air popper a small number of times.  My total outlay for roasting has been about $16 (two burned-out poppers plus one good one), plus beans.   It is easy to become complacent with 'our favorite roast' from online or local as it ages in our freezer or on our counters.  But then to taste a one or two day old small batch, even of modest origin and average quality and to taste those short-lived complex tastes that really contribute to the enjoyment of that cup - it exceeds even the week-old roast of our most famous and admired online roasters.

I have no interest in roasting, and I am not suggesting that you do - at least now, but the experience has broadened my palate and made it possible for me to enjoy more of what I taste in others' roasts and to insist that I know the roast date of every bean that I buy.  You will not find roast dates on supermarket beans - just 'sell by' dates.

Those Coffeegeeks who roast their own may be preoccupied with processes and methods, but perhaps they experience something that the rest of us taste less frequently than they?  Perhaps they have an acute appreciation of coffee quality that can be made available to everyone, and they just want to share?

Nolken, your poverty plea of 80 cents per ounce falls on deaf ears here.  It sounds too contrived and you are forcing yourself into a corner.  Your finances are none of my business but we could all increase our coffee budgets if we stopped supporting  our predatory suppliers: mobile app subscriptions and unnecessary driving and shifted our fetishes a little away from magazines, cosmetics, clothes, and movie theaters in favor of supporting a really good coffee addiction.   Look around online and try some reasonably-priced roasts with reasonable shipping.  I have paid from $10-26 per pound for good online roasted beans, which included shipping, so the costs can vary considerably.

If you had an unfriendly adversary who told you to "drink swill and die", you'd be playing right into their hands...

Buckley
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,881
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Jan 24, 2013, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Store bought beans; Which way am I better off?
 

Buckley,
I think you mistook Cerridwyns comment.
I think I took it closer to the intent, in that it is very common for the advice to be given to roast your own to save money. As a blanket statement of a way to save money, I also find it poor advice. I have roasted and I find no great joy in it and for the few pennies you may save, I would rather just buy from someone who does it for a profession.

The cost saving may or may not be there when you add in all the other "stuff" that you may wind up buying to support the whole second hobby of roasting but it is a "go to" piece of advice for saving money.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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