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Good grinders/coffee in North Jersey?


MJP
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I tried to stave off the morning caffeine craving by teas of all kinds. That failed miserably, so I've finally given in to coffee. The thing is that I need a coffee that's rich, heady, and strong. I haven't had much luck with light roast coffee; the best I can get is a Sumatra Mandheling that we get at the office. It's in pods, though, which is no help for my morning cup with breakfast.

Shop-Rite coffee isn't strong enough for me. I need a coffee that comes both in regular and decaf so I can do a half-decaf, otherwise I'll be way too hyper. Where can I go in North Jersey to stock up on coffee that's ground fresh that I can freeze?

Please don't say Starbucks; their blends usually have too much Columbian in them and that's got that acid aftertwinge that I'm not too big on.

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

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Well, I roast my own, so I can't speak from experience, but I have heard that Whole Foods has excellent coffee. The roast often so you know its fresh. The people at WF are very helpful in other areas of the store, I'm sure the coffee people will be just as helpful...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Oh, and if that doesnt do it for you, try Peets coffee on the web. I have used them before and their beans were always fresh...

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Some pretty decent coffees available ground-to-order or in the bean at Ridgewood Coffee Co, a non-Starbucks independent little place on the corner of Ridgewood Ave and Van Neste Square. (the little park downtown).

In a pinch, Melitta canned coffee in the supermarkets is about the best of its ilk.

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I have had pretty good luck at Whole Foods. They have a good range of fresh stuff. My current fave there is the Mexican blend. I'm sure there are better places to go, but since I do a lot of grocery shopping there, it works for me.

Also, my back-up to fancy-pants coffee when none is available is Dunkin Donuts. It is a little too mild for my tastes, but is dependable. They sell beans there too which is good if their coffee floats your boat.

I too am not thrilled with Starbucks most of the time. I only get lattes there, not the drip.

I find that freezing the coffee picks up freezer taste no matter how well I seal it. Instead of grinding and freezing, I have a grinder with a hopper and grind just before brew. I do it very low-tech and rotate between a press or a melitta/chemex manual drip. Automatic coffee makers get really gross after a while.

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You might try Terriorcoffee.com. Their Costa Rican La Lapa coffees are excellent and come in reg. and decafe. You also might want to check out coffeereview.com I never seem to be disappointed by their reveiws and selections. I recently got a Bunn MCP single serve machine for my office and started to use Cafejo pods (again on the internet) makes a great cup of coffe.

Edited by Double 0 (log)

I'm a NYC expat. Since coming to the darkside, as many of my freinds have said, I've found that most good things in NYC are made in NJ.

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Once you start ordering, of course, there's all kinds of options out there. If you want to try Peet's without paying the ungodly shipping charge, Whole Foods carries a limited selection. Not sure if there's decaf, but maybe...

Susan

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And if you want a more hands-on bean-buying experience, I'm sure there's a local roaster in your general area. I trust my coffee roasting to Empire in Hoboken (and they've another location just north of Port Authority on 9th Ave). Grinding I do for myself.

Christopher

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Porto Rico is terrific. I order from their site often, and if you sign up for the mailing list, they'll send you the weekly specials. I think it is a great way to try different coffees at very reasonable prices.

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Nice blends can be purchased from Mardi Gras in Verona and Adventures In Cooking in Wayne.

I tried to stave off the morning caffeine craving by teas of all kinds.  That failed miserably, so I've finally given in to coffee.  The thing is that I need a coffee that's rich, heady, and strong.  I haven't had much luck with light roast coffee; the best I can get is a Sumatra Mandheling that we get at the office.  It's in pods, though, which is no help for my morning cup with breakfast. 

Shop-Rite coffee isn't strong enough for me.  I need a coffee that comes both in regular and decaf so I can do a half-decaf, otherwise I'll be way too hyper.  Where can I go in North Jersey to stock up on coffee that's ground fresh that I can freeze? 

Please don't say Starbucks; their blends usually have too much Columbian in them and that's got that acid aftertwinge that I'm not too big on.

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Actually A&P, Trader Joes and also Dunkin Donuts has nice beans. I am not a coffee drinker but I know those as well as the International Food Warehouse all have nice coffee beans and coffee.

Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

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Actually A&P, Trader Joes and also Dunkin Donuts has nice beans.  I am not a coffee drinker but I know those as well as the International Food Warehouse all have nice coffee beans and coffee.

My standard cuppa joe, based on the intersection of the characteristics quality, price and availability is from A&P- their Eight O'Clock Bokar Blend makes a pretty nifty cup. I get the whole beans and have them grind it in the store. I'm not sure if the same blend comes in decaf, though.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Try Bean's on Church Street in Montclair. They have lots of fantastic varieties of coffee and will custom make blends for you. I believe they will even keep a record of your personal blend and they do ship. This is a terriffic small, independently owned business- the kind we all need to support. The owner, Corrinda, is a gem!

Joanne

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TM Ward Coffee, which is based in Newark and also has a shop in Chatham, makes some really good coffee! That's what we get in the office, and I happily bypass my local Dunkin' Donuts and save the money every day. :smile: And fwiw, I'm not a fan of Starbucks--I drink DD when I want to pick up a cup of coffee, but I've never liked it when I make it at home. Not sure why that is...it just is.

I agree about the Whole Foods coffees, as well--and about Melitta, particularly their decaf. I'm a half decaf gal, and when I mix in the Melitta decaf, it always makes whatever the 'caf' is taste better!

On line, I'd recommend Peet's or Intelligentsia, which I bought while in Chicago. DELISH.

Finally, if you're going to take the on line ordering route, you might want to check out the Coffee and Tea forum here on eG--lots of very knowledgeable folks posting there!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Try Bean's on Church Street in Montclair. They have lots of fantastic varieties of coffee and will custom make blends for you. I believe they will even keep a record of your personal blend and they do ship. This is a terriffic small, independently owned business- the kind we all need to support. The owner, Corrinda, is a gem!

Joanne

I got some exceptional coffees at Beans during the summertime. I've been meaning to go back.

I guess my only problem with Beans is the usual complaint in Montclair--Parking! Not the toughest place in town to get a spot, but it can get frustrating sometimes.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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And may I just timidly suggest that, whatever you buy, you get yourself an inexpensive grinder and go with whole beans? They'll come a lot closer to approximating those pods, which I assume are grounds that have been quickly vacuum sealed and are therefore pretty fresh. Maybe.

Susan

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Try Bean's on Church Street in Montclair. They have lots of fantastic varieties of coffee and will custom make blends for you. I believe they will even keep a record of your personal blend and they do ship. This is a terriffic small, independently owned business- the kind we all need to support. The owner, Corrinda, is a gem!

Joanne

I got some exceptional coffees at Beans during the summertime. I've been meaning to go back.

I guess my only problem with Beans is the usual complaint in Montclair--Parking! Not the toughest place in town to get a spot, but it can get frustrating sometimes.

I haven't gotten great stuff from Beans. The espresso roast was stale and definitely not fresh. I never went back. I order online and have the smaller companies ship to me. It's the best. Nothing in NJ is close. I grind my own.

http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/

http://www.doubleff.com/

http://www.paradiseroasters.com/

Are only a couple.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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I haven't gotten great stuff from Beans.  The espresso roast was stale and definitely not fresh.  I never went back. 

I know two people who have had the same issue with Beans--one had a problem with both the coffee and tea purchased there, and when she said something, got a whole lot of attitude to boot. Needless to say, my friends have stopped shopping there.

I agree with Susan that you should buy an inexpensive grinder!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I haven't gotten great stuff from Beans.  The espresso roast was stale and definitely not fresh.  I never went back. 

I know two people who have had the same issue with Beans--one had a problem with both the coffee and tea purchased there, and when she said something, got a whole lot of attitude to boot. Needless to say, my friends have stopped shopping there.

I agree with Susan that you should buy an inexpensive grinder!

Guess I got lucky... :unsure: There goes my motivation to get back to Beans...

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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Porto Rico is terrific. I order from their site often, and if you sign up for the mailing list, they'll send you the weekly specials. I think it is a great way to try different coffees at very reasonable prices.

A ditto for Porto Rico. Anytime I'm near the Village, I always stop there to get a couple of pounds. They have been going strong out of that location for over 100 years. The owner, Peter, is a terrificly knowledgable person about coffee, when you can find him, that is. He is often down in the tropics seeking out good coffee!

IMHO the very best coffee store in the NY Metro!!

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The issue, with respect to coffee roasting, is when was the coffee roasted. None of the coffees at Whole Foods gives you an idea of what day roasting occurred (yet... provides an expiry!). Same for places like Bean's or Porto Rico. Coffee deteriorates quickly after roasting...

For more on this subject - visit eG's coffee forum.

As to N. NJ - I find the Bluestone Cafe (123 Watchung Ave, Montclair, NJ 07043) a capable roaster who's freshness you can taste. I send away and pay the shipping once in a while, too...

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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The issue, with respect to coffee roasting, is when was the coffee roasted.  None of the coffees at Whole Foods gives you an idea of what day roasting occurred (yet... provides an expiry!).  Same for places like Bean's or Porto Rico.  Coffee deteriorates quickly after roasting...

Not sure what Whole Foods you go to, but the one in Edgewater in particular as well as any other one I've bought coffee from has a sticker on the coffee bin or barrel that tells you when it was roasted.

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That's a good thing...

Not the Montclair WF's; coffee is Allegro, Peets, couple of others. Got 'em to bring in some Dean's Beans but was not as great as I'd hoped.

Also spoke w/ them about date stamping roasting day but they were like "... it already has an expiry date on it..."; didn't go far...

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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