While there may be no such thing as the “best online coffee store”, there is no doubt that some are better than others.
Some stores do their own roasting, others buy from wholesale roasters. Some buy direct from small farmers, others don’t. Some offer a huge range of beans, others specialize in just a few, or in organic beans only. And so on.
But one thing is for sure...regardless of which online store you decide is the best, finding good gourmet coffee online certainly broadens our choices.
Buy from a well-known source, at least to begin with.
As your expertise grows, you can try buying from smaller, specialty sites. But to start with, we’d recommend you stick with some of the better established online stores.
Here are a few we can comfortably recommend.
CoffeeForLess.com offers a wide selection of coffees at a good price and ships both within the US and to Canada.
Flavorbean Coffee offers wide range of beans, but is best known for its flavored coffees. How come? Because they flavor their coffees naturally, without the use of scary chemicals like propylene glycol. (Believe it or not, that's the chemical most coffee companies use to get the flavor into their beans.)
Peet's Coffee has been online since 1995, and their first store and coffee shop opened long before that, in 1966. Peet's played a huge role in popularizing gourmet coffee in North America...long before Starbucks even opened its first store.
Green Mountain Coffee offers a good selection of coffees, including a strong organic and fair trade selection. They also offer what is probably the largest selection of coffees in the K-cup format.
Watch for deals on shipping costs
A downside of buying from online coffee stores is that you can end up finding a good price on a pound of coffee, only to find that you are going to pay the same again in shipping costs.
However, some stores will offer reduced or even free shipping if you order a certain quantity. So keep an eye out for those offers. You may find it worth your while buying more than one pound at a time.
If you want something a little more interesting…
You don’t have to buy from these big online brands if you don’t want to.
One of the neat things about the web is that it has enabled a lot of smaller, specialty roasters to sell their coffees direct to the consumer.
You can find a ton of these roasters and smaller companies, as well as a few larger ones, on our coffee review page. We love connecting with these companies and trying their coffees.
And you can find some very interesting coffee companies on our coffee clubs page. The new, smaller companies in this space offer some amazing options.
About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…