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I want to get my mother a good variety pack of whole bean coffee as a gift since she has one of those ~$1500 machines and just runs Seattle's Best through it. We've got some good local roasters but that's not as ~fun~ since she could technically go out and get their stuff any time...even though she doesn't.

Do the coffee nerds here have good recommendations for online ordering of single origins? I'm worried about going with one if the Google first ones and getting old beans. She likes medium/dark roasts.
 
self confessing coffee snob here....single origin is IMO not worth it...a coffee variety has distinct characteristics , much like grapes...terroir does affect the result but IMHO to a much smaller extent as most folks think.

What roast level does she appreciate most and what machine is she using that is something to tackle first, there is a lot of ground between medium and dark and a fully automatic coffee maker is not making espresso.

(I always thought I preferred medium but it turns out I'm roasting quite light.

Home Barista has a list with great roasters that ship with a roast date (if they don't skip them), I'd suggest to see if there is anything that ticks your(her) boxes...I'm sure there are plenty who can surprise you
 
also; freshest is not always good, coffee needs to rest after roasting.....the lighter th eroast the longer the rest, medium roast should be rested for like 5 days post roast
 
self confessing coffee snob here....single origin is IMO not worth it...a coffee variety has distinct characteristics , much like grapes...terroir does affect the result but IMHO to a much smaller extent as most folks think.

What roast level does she appreciate most and what machine is she using that is something to tackle first, there is a lot of ground between medium and dark and a fully automatic coffee maker is not making espresso.

(I always thought I preferred medium but it turns out I'm roasting quite light.

Home Barista has a list with great roasters that ship with a roast date (if they don't skip them), I'd suggest to see if there is anything that ticks your(her) boxes...I'm sure there are plenty who can surprise you
Curious to hear more. I have a automatic expresso machine (Miele). it seems we like darker flavor due to the probably inaccurate feeling that its "waking" me up more.

We just get whatever dark(?) whole bean in the grocery store (whole foods brand), but am curious to hear a recommendation here.
 
Curious to hear more. I have a automatic expresso machine (Miele). it seems we like darker flavor due to the probably inaccurate feeling that its "waking" me up more.

We just get whatever dark(?) whole bean in the grocery store (whole foods brand), but am curious to hear a recommendation here.
Not OP, but while darker has a heavier taste, lighter roasts have more caffine
 
Curious to hear more. I have a automatic expresso machine (Miele). it seems we like darker flavor due to the probably inaccurate feeling that its "waking" me up more.

We just get whatever dark(?) whole bean in the grocery store (whole foods brand), but am curious to hear a recommendation here.
most darker roasts have a pretty high percentage of Robusta coffee, and that has a high caffein content
 
roast level does not impact caffein level as much as some think...it's the variety that has more impact.
I have a Ethiopian Guigi Arabica green that makes me shudder from caffein rush, where I usually can drink a last double ristretto in bed and sleep tight.
 
many blends have Robusta in them sonce Robusta is cheap AND it creates a nice amount of foam (crema) ...somehow people think crema is a sign of good espresso...it is not, it tastes horrible....
Interesting, our machine does create this "nice" foam, and everyone thinks we have nice coffee.

So if lets say in the morning me and spouse needs a expresso to shed our alligator skin and become human Ethiopian is the way to go?
 
Ethiopia is where coffee originates from, originally...yet most coffees from Ethiopia are far from what most fokls recognize as great coffeee since the cheaper the greens get the darker you need to roast them and the least original flavor is kept.
Many Ethiopian coffees have more acidity than people expect (and can deal with), same with coffee from Yemen or Kenia.

BTW, Espresso, NOT Expresso ;-)
 
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all good from what I read.....(as home roaster I don't buy a lot of roasted beans other than occasionally to 'calibrate my own)
 
I bought some great greens from Showroom coffee recently, yet my preference may not be anywhere near what 'normal' folks like, this was an anearobic fermented green that resulted in a taste profile ranging from blueberry to wet sock flavors...
 
Happy Mug
Onyx
Counter Culture
Little Wolf
George Howell
Vibrant
Abracadabra
Saint Frank
Verve
Sightglass

I've ordered from all of these within the last year. All roast daily or weekly and ship promptly. Usually received within a week of roast if not within a couple days of roast date.

You really need to figure out what your mom likes and how she expects her coffee to taste. More robust, roasty, chocolatey flavor with heavier mouthfeel, or more delicate, tealike flavors with a lighter mouthfeel? Is she brewing espresso or drip coffee?

I could give a perfectly brewed light roast ethiopian to a self-proclaimed coffee addict and they'd look at me like I'm crazy because it doesn't taste how they think coffee should taste. My mother is an example. All she's known is dark roast coffee, and she therefore thinks that's what coffee should taste like. And that's fine, but you need to pick a coffee with that information in mind. Medium or dark roasts only, probably a bean from Colombia or Costa Rica or Brazil, just as an example in this scenario.

Anyway, just my $0.02.
 
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I’m a big fan of black and white roasters, especially their year round offerings:Black & White Coffee Roasters | NC Coffee Roaster.

Arrives within a couple days of roasting usually. The single origins are fun to try, but i usually prefer the blends for a more rounded, balanced cup of coffee.
I love the B&W ones I've tried.

I'm no coffee snob, just say single origins as the ones I've tried from local roasters seem to have more of the fun berry or other distinct flavor profiles than the blends but I'm open to anything.

More robust, roasty, chocolatey flavor with heavier mouthfeel, or more delicate, tealike flavors with a lighter mouthfeel? Is she brewing espresso or drip coffee?
Spot on here. I don't think she's opposed to the lighter fruitier flavors as a one-off but definitely leans towards the chocolatey, nuttier flavor profiles. She usually brews drip.


Thanks all for the quick suggestions.
 
Luckily I live close enough that we can find Counter Culture pretty easily in our supermarkets. I'd also check out Henry's House of Coffee based out of San Francisco
 
My PNW friends keep pushing Puff or Proud Mary; I think the last memorable bag that I got from anywhere was Messenger in KC, and I agree that it's the kind of thing that's better to be tailored to the gift receiver.
 
Not OP, but while darker has a heavier taste, lighter roasts have more caffine

roast level does not impact caffein level as much as some think...it's the variety that has more impact.
I have a Ethiopian Guigi Arabica green that makes me shudder from caffein rush, where I usually can drink a last double ristretto in bed and sleep tight.
Former coffee snob here. Only "former", because circumstances prevent me from being an active one now. I won't get into it. I love coffee. I roasted all my own before things changed.

I can tell you exactly how this whole thing started (IMO, of course).

People measured their coffee using volume. Home scales were not practical or affordable until very recently in the grand scheme of things. The more you roast coffee beans, the more they puff up and take up more volume; become less dense. You would be shocked at the extent. So a quarter cup of dark roasted beans, compared to a quarter cup of light roasted beans of the very same green beans, will simply be a significantly less amount of coffee. Weigh them out equally and you will have virtually the same amount of caffeine with the same brewing method.

MarcelNL is exactly right. Once again, most people would be stunned to learn the range of caffeine amounts that result from different varieties in different growing conditions. The specific variety by far makes the most difference, just like chili peppers and capsaicin. Until you get into very extreme roasts, the amount of roasting (light to dark) does not affect the caffeine amount to any significant degree.

Bottom line: To get consistent strength brews to your liking, weigh your coffee.
 
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