(Search seems to be broken, this has probably been asked before.)
In search of a better cup of coffee, I recently bought a coffee grinder. The local supermarket seems to only carry a couple of brands of beans, Eight O’Clock and Starbucks. I don’t like the former’s taste and I don’t like the latter’s dark roast. When you’re out of options, mail order seems like the only choice. As a bonus, I’ve also heard that you get much fresher coffee since they have no reason to keep roasted stock around.
My coffee pot broke recently and rather than make a 90 mile trek to town and back, I decided to try Gevalia. It arrived fairly quickly along with the coffee samples. I tried 'em both and didn’t care for either one, but what really got me was the price of continuing the program. The cheapest stuff was 12 bucks a pound. I drink too much to be able to fork out that kind of dough.
I’ve ordered from these folks for years. They have a wide variety of coffee, whole beans or ground to your specs. If you go through a lot of coffee like I do, tell them you want a wholesale account. I order 10 lbs. at a time and it’s around six dollars a pound.
My absolute favorite is Batdorf & Bronson. They’re coffee roasters in Olympia, WA, which is already a good sign: them Washingtonians don’t stand for bad coffee. The folks in the tiny little cafe (at least, it was tiny when I went to college there in the nineties) are extremely knowledgeable about their different roasts, and you can tour their roastery. It’s a wonderful place, with coffees that will make your head swim with their rich flavors. And their catalog is a hoot, too.
I like to buy organic, Fair Trade (“free range,” as my husband calls it) coffees, and have been getting mine from Cafe Campesino for a while now. It’s not high-end gourmet coffee, but it’s quite good, and their service is speedy.