Coffee expert asked to guess difference between cheap and expensive coffee

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“Hchwwpt! This tastes like retail!”

I love that we should be excited about finding coffee that costs less than wine.


I’ve tried a ton of different coffees recently, from Starbucks to Stumptown, all ground the same way and brewed in my Aeropress, and in my opinion the best coffee for the price… is IKEA coffee. It’s about $4 for a pound, it’s UTZ certified, and tastes great.


Best tasting coffee I ever had was barely real coffee to begin with. New Orleans style blend with chicory.

They served it at a fancy restaurant in the French Quarter. I asked the waiter where to find the stuff, he directed me to an A&P. I see the stuff in Chinatown also. Cafe Du Monde is the most accessible version.


Community brand chicory is one of my vices since a long stay in south Louisiana.


My home machine is an espresso machine and I’ve found that process to be far less forgiving of coffee than Aeropress, french press, drip, moka pot, or pour over. I think Aeropress is the most forgiving.

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It’s a little weird that they made this video about price, as if we all aspire to drink the most expensive coffee instead of the most delicious.

Day-in, day-out I drink my coffee black, but sometimes I think it’s a nice treat is to add some sweetened condensed milk. I drink the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in the orange bag from Costco, and I like it just fine.


Psst. Come here. Ready? Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend. Cold brewed, 'Nuff said.


I second Community Coffee as the best for any reasonable price.

I love Cafe Bustelo, too.


I have found it is more about how well you make it over ‘quality’ of the beans. Cause if you put it you Mr.Coffee your fancy local roasted fair trade beans are still going to be a little better than diner coffee. On the other hand I have made tasty coffee with Safeway beans and my french press.


Sigh… Safeway Coffee fits my budget…


Mine too normally. The chain that has a walkable store had a deal on Peet’s a bit ago and we stocked up on that and are good for another 3 weeks yet.

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I find it interesting because (at least in Seattle) the couple times I’ve been to Peet’s coffeshops their espresso was unbearably bad. Bitter and burnt tasting and acidic all at once. I wonder if it’s a regional thing or if their roasting is better than their staff.

We buy bean and grind it ourselves. Here’s what we use regularly. 3 lb bag for 10$.

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I’ve tried 8 oclock, and found it excessively bitter.


I’m just talking about their mass-market stuff on market shelves. The roast is strong, but its character when cold-brewed yields worthy results for me. I can’t speak to their coffee shops.

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I’ve been roasting my own beans for a looong time. The special sauce? Freshness AKA time since roasting. I just get whatever beans are cheap on the green bean site. It doesn’t matter. Anything roasted < an hour ago that wasn’t totally a fuckup will taste amazing, full stop. (This assumes Arabica beans, which all good coffee is)

If your grounds don’t foam when the hot water hits them, it’s not fresh. Peets from the Peets store foams, Peets from Safeway often doesn’t. Over roasted beans will foam much less also. If you’re making espresso, super fresh beans pulled into a clear demitasse will look like poured Guiness, like 99% crema, which dissipates quickly. This sounds like I’m being nitpicky, but it’s super obvious when you see it.

Granted, at the pro level there’s much more to think about for consistency’s sake. But it’s really a freshness game.


I think CoffeeAM roasts more or less per order. We buy the Ethiopian Longberry.
But you’ve clearly no need. It’s good though.

On your advice I may switch to the small bags and set up a standing order.

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I have been able to get standard on sale dark roast, cold brew it, and get a pretty decent amount of flavor.

On the other hand, I was part of a subscription that was supposed to survey your taste preferences and provide you with the ideal bean. It never tasted right.

Interesting info about coffee, but I could really have done without the pretentious slurping.