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Coffee & Tea

Southwest Coffee New Mexico

Favorite light roast coffee brand? (high and low)


Coffee & Tea 30

Favorite light roast coffee brand? (high and low)

finlero | Oct 30, 2010 09:39 AM

I apologize if this question has been asked before, but a few minutes of searching didn't turn much up.

After years of being brainwashed into thinking that coffee could only be good if it was roasted into oblivion, I've realized I much prefer the nuance and complexity (and ok, probably higher caffeine) of a good light roast coffee. I don't know a huge amount about coffee roasting, but I'm given to understand there's a sort of second coffee renaissance underway, where some local shops are barely roasting to first crack, and sometimes not even that far. Where I live in New Mexico, there aren't a lot of choices for city roast, let alone lighter, so I think it's time to turn to the interwebs.

My current two:

High end: best I've found so far is Intelligentsia. After my many years on the dark side, there's an almost unbelievable level of complexity in here. Heavy emphasis on in-season, lots of variation from varietal to varietal, but I've always enjoyed that differences from bag to bag, always balanced, interesting, and deeply satisfying. The downside is the price tag: my local shop charges about $14 for a 12 oz. bag, which pushes it into special occasion territory.

Low end: ok, I'll say it, in a pinch, Dunkin' whole bean ain't half bad. The beans from the supermarket aren't worth it, both expensive (over $10 for 12 oz.) and often not especially fresh. But a full pound of whole bean from a Dunkin' store runs south of $8 here, and while it doesn't have anywhere near the nuance of Intelligentsia, it certainly ain't bad for less than half the price. Main gripes are the too-high acidity and sometimes a vaguely ashy aftertaste, but both of these tend to be relatively negligible, especially if I haven't had Intelligentsia in a little while.

So, fellow Hounds, where do you get your light roast beans? I've read a couple of good reviews for Gevalia...any others? Old stalwarts, new upstarts, let's have 'em!

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