Let me preface this by saying I shop at grocery stores of all kinds. Most of the time I buy in bulk at the big box, cheap-o stores. Sometimes I spend more for quality ingredients at smaller, more specialized grocers. And I’m gluten intolerant so the local health food store is my best friend. But when it comes to coffee, nothing beats having a relationship with small batch roasters.
- Quality. Take a look at our post about why you should buy small batch roasted coffee where we explain the potential for higher quality that your local roaster is able to provide. Many health food stores and even Whole Foods carry coffees from local roasters, but this brings me to my second point which is..
- Freshness. Health Food stores may carry local coffee, but we still recommend checking the “Roast Date”. Coffee is a food. And like any other food, freshness affects taste. Coffee goes on a flavor journey from the moment it’s roasted. The first 24 hours after being roasted, the beans must “de-gas”, and until they’re allowed to do so, all the flavors have not fully developed. They continue to lose gasses after the first day but it drastically reduces after that time. We recommend using coffee within 2 weeks of being roasted. After this time there is a noticeable decline in flavor. A good way to test the freshness is by brewing the coffee using a pour over method. By slightly wetting the grounds you can allow them to bloom. Fresh coffee will expand and let off even more gasses; stale coffee will fall flat and the water will immediately drip through. Don’t drink stale coffee. You deserve better. (We roast your coffee to-order when you buy online, to ensure you’re able to enjoy in peak freshness!)
Resources. Sadly, your grocery store probably doesn’t have a knowledgeable sales rep. wandering the coffee aisle. Wouldn’t it be great if there was someone who could tell you the benefits of grinding your own coffee directly before use? Or someone who knew a great cold brew recipe so you can make iced coffee at home? Wow. I want to be friends with that person. Even better: you can tell us your preferences and we will take the time to chat with you about how we can better meet your coffee needs! Because we all know your day is only as good as your morning cup of coffee (or three).
- Mail! Who doesn’t love getting packages? Christmas all the time. Make sure to check our Instagram frequently because we’re always posting promo codes! Sometimes just 10% off because we love you, sometimes Free Shipping because we’re crazy.
This does not mean all coffee in groceries stores is *bad*. In fact, we have a relationship with our local health food store (Get Healthy Brooksville and Spring Hill) in which we replace all our retail bags of coffee before they become stale! If you know what you’re looking for, good coffee is easy to find.