Buying  Coffee loses freshness shortly after roasting, so get your beans in small quantities from a store that regularly roasts its own or gets frequent deliveries.


Storing  Keep beans in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks. 

Grinding  Because grinding beans releases the oils that hold aroma and flavor, grind fresh daily. Never freeze coffee after it’s been ground; it’ll lose flavor fast. Use the grind your coffee equipment is designed to handle. 

Brewing  Use the right amount of coffee. A good guideline to start with is 2 tbsp. freshly ground coffee to 6 oz. water. For electric coffeemakers, start with cold water; for most other methods, bring water to a boil, then let it sit about 30 seconds (water that’s boiling hot extracts bitter flavors). And brew fresh every time. 

Alex Farnum

All these roasters accept Web and phone orders.

Montana Coffee Traders
Roasts beans daily in a restored farmhouse in Northwest Montana. Donates to environmental and social causes like rain forest rehabilitation, securing grizzly bear habitats, and the American Indian College Fund. Whitefish, MT; 800/345-5282.

Peet’s Coffee
Started in Berkeley in 1966 by Alfred Peet. Roasting fresh and shipping the same day, Peet’s strives to hit the gold standard of coffee roasting. In the West, its numerous blends from around the world are available at many grocery stores and at its own coffee shops in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Emeryville, CA; 800/999-2132.

Raging Sage Coffee Roasters
Has roasted its beans in house for a decade, and produces an award-winning house blend that pleases both the espresso and regular coffee drinker in one shot―literally. Tucson, AZ; 877/320-1691.

Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co
Serves only certified fair-trade organic coffee that’s been roasted in small batches for better flavor. Watsonville, CA; 831/685-0500.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters
The owners believe that the best-tasting coffee starts in the fields, and to that end, they forge personal relationships with growers, paying top dollar for premium beans, and giving growers the tools they need (like bicycles) to do their work. Meanwhile, Stumptown supplies the Northwest and beyond with a top-quality―and conscientious―cup of joe. Portland; 503/230-7797.


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