Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 8:14am Subject: Finding fresh beans in the San Fernando Valley
After working out some problems with my espresso machine and technique, it turns out that a good portion of it was due to using old beans. Having moved to Encino, my choices seem to be limited: Whole Foods sporadically carries Intelligentsia Black Cat, but keeps the bags on the shelves until sold (sometimes they're 1 week old, sometimes over a month.) The last bag I bought from Gelsons was almost two months old. Because I buy 1 lb at least once a week, how can I buy fresh beans without two hours of traveling per week? What does everyone else do to get fresh beans?
DanoM Senior Member Joined: 20 Mar 2013 Posts: 159 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: NS Oscar, '84 La Pavoni Pro,... Grinder: Baratza Vario, La Pavoni PGC
Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 8:34am Subject: Re: Finding fresh beans in the San Fernando Valley
I previously used the Whole Foods "fresh roasted" beans and was having issues. Then I saw them mixing newly roasted beans in with the old beans of the bin and all was explained. The beans were not truly fresh roasted, as over 1/2 of it was old!
Locally, there's an Intelligencia cafe in Old Town Pasadena that sells FRESH beans. Far fresher than anything Whole Foods will stock on a shelf unfortunately. Several of the reputable cafes around will also sell you beans if you ask real nice when they aren't too busy.
I order my beans either from local roasters or anywhere in the USA that fresh roasts and mail orders beans. Just got a shipment of 6 pounds from Bodka of Alabama last week, parted up the order, stored everything into 2-3 day servings and straight into my freezer. (I go through about 1 pound per week.) Bodka Main Squeeze espresso is quite easy to dial in I think, and I think they have a sale of 25% off right now too. I don't work with or have affiliation with Bodka, but I did win a bean sample from David on H-B and liked their beans enough to order again.
Redbird Espresso (Blue Jaguar) is also a great bean and place to mail order. That's quite often where I buy from for bulk orders.
Unfortunately, from Encino, that's about 40 minutes each way, add parking in that area and it's probably 2 hours there and back. I may have to go the mail order route, maybe occasionally fill in with supermarket buys. BTW, my understanding of buying and freezing is that it does not prolong the freshness. It sounds like your experience differs.
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