Don’t you just love the smell of napalm in the morning?
Oh yea, right. Me too, of course.
Coffee. Coffee! That’s what I was thinking of. Sweet delicious coffee that comes from freshly roasted coffee beans delivered to your door from some of the hottest roasters you can find on the internet. That’s what smells great in the morning and that’s what this article is about. Finding great coffee beans from the internet.
First, if you’re looking for something widely produced and easy to get – we’re talking two clicks on Amazon – then check out this article. There’s a few famous blends in there and some up-and-coming stuff, too. However, that kind of stuff is not made-to-order and as such will be stale to some degree.
If you want to look for the best coffee – freshly roasted coffee – continue to read.
What you are looking for
I hate to sound like that boring old college professor you had, but it’s important to do a little reading before you dive in to this. At least I won’t be charging you $80 for a textbook to find the information you need…
I’m going to suggest some Third Wave coffee websites and it will feel like information overload with all the coffee jargon and such.
Here’s some stuff that will really help you understand these websites and how to buy coffee beans.
1. Tasting Notes
Summary: Understanding a little about tasting notes and how they work with coffee. Knowing what to expect when you ready ‘smoky and spicy flavors with a bold kick’ etc.
Summary:The difference between light, medium and dark roasts, how they affect flavor, what they pair well with and what you should be looking for. And the world of City roasts, full-city, spanish etc.
3. Single Origin vs Blend
Summary: What single origin coffees are and what blends of coffees are. The relative advantages and disadvantages of each.
4. Preground vs Grinding Fresh
Summary: If you should be grinding fresh or buying preground (the websites will give you the option). Basically, if you can invest in a $100+ hand or automatic burr grinder then you should do so, it’s the best thing you can do to make good coffee. Otherwise go preground. That’s my opinion by the way and I know people disagree.
5. Coffee Making Methods
Summary: I’ve gone through 8 of the main methods and listed the pros and cons of each. If you’re still thinking about buying a device or trying a new method then I’d check that out.
Buy from the big guys or the small guys?
I will always advocate buying local. I’ve explained my reasons more thoroughly here but the long and short of it is this.
Great coffee is everywhere now. Practically every town, village or gas station has their own local coffee roasters and they’re usually great. You’re supporting your local businesses rather than corporations (Intelligentsia and Stumptown, two of my recommendations, are now both owned by Peet’s) and you can walk in there and have a chat and a brew.
Even if you get delivery I’d recommend going local. Actually, my favorite coffee roasters a few miles up the road is delivery only. And oh yea, here’s my (simple) guide to finding your local coffee roasters.
I’m going to make three recommendations of online Third Wave coffee roasters. These companies all produce great coffee, I can personally vouch for every one having tasted numerous coffees by all of them.
The trend that you will see they all follow is towards ethical sourcing and sustainable farming. These roasters follow some great ethical guidelines. It gets to the point where you can learn masses of details about your chosen coffee, where it was made, photos of the place, even personal details and photos of the farmers. If you like knowing the name of the guy who grew your coffee, you’re in the right place.
NOTE: You get the choice of a subscription plan where you get coffee delivered on a regular basis or just buying a one-off bag of beans. I’d always try before committing to something, but those subscriptions become super convenient.
– I remember the first time I tried a high quality, freshly roasted single origin. That day I must have told 50 people my coffee tasted juicy!