Those of you who know me know that I have a bit of a coffee addiction. This is a long-standing sort of affliction, but happily I’ve managed to control it enough that I can now go for quality over quantity when looking for a cup of bean. Two things I’ve learned recently:
- Bean quality and roast really do count. You can’t just go to the grocery store, pick up a paperbag full of random whole bean out of the bulk bins and expect it to not suck. If you’re going to be serious about your coffee, you have to find a reliable, ideally small-batch, roaster who ships (or sells) beans within a few days of roasting.
- Fair Trade coffee is the only way to fly. You know how many people are willing to pay a premium for Canadian diamonds because they know they’re ethically obtained? Basically the same deal with Fair Trade coffee. Fair Trade ensures that the coffee farmers get paid reasonably for their crop so they can continue practicing organic, sustainable growing methods. Also, the coffee’s usually just better for whatever reason.
Funnily, the small town where I went to university is home to a small-batch local coffee roaster who only deals in organic Fair Trade coffees. I often drank the coffee (local fresh-roast is hard to beat) during the 5 years I lived there, and always pick up a bag or two of beans when I visit (which isn’t nearly often enough). Happily, it turns out that Just Us Coffee Roasters have finally entered the modern era, and now offer mailorder service. No ecommerce at this point, but that’s ok because the nice woman who answers the phone there is amazingly friendly and helpful.
Obviously, I just placed an order, and the value is such that it inspired me to write this post. Taking advantage of the buy-10-get-10%-off deal, I ordered 10 12oz (340g) bags of whole bean coffee: 2 Guatemalan, 2 Mexican, 2 “Jungle Blend”, 2 “Rise Again” Blend, 1 Espresso Blend, and 1 Radical Blend. These will be roasted to order between now and the weekend, packaged in those special one-way-valve coffee bags, then shipped no later than Monday. With taxes and shipping, the total cost is: $94.32. Canadian dollars!
This is now the only way I’ll be buying coffee. Fresh roast, Fair Trade, Canadian, high quality, reasonably priced, shipped to my door. I don’t think it can get any better than this.