Where to buy the best coffee beans

Caf Grumpy
The Greenpoint location of this quality focused caf is the closest most New Yorkers can get to buying straight from the source—short of taking a trip to Guatemala. Watch the in-house roasters make green beans brown, mere moments before you walk out with a bag of the stuff. Our go-to blend: Grumpy's luscious signature Heartbreaker espresso (12 ounces for $15). 193 Meserole Ave at Diamond St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-349-7623, cafegrumpy.com)

Dean and DeLuca
The bustling Soho flagship of this specialty market is more than just a truffle and produce lover's dream come true; it also features an exhaustive selection of A-plus beans, which come both prepackaged and in bulk. The slick black bags make D&D's signature, exclusive coffee blends an easy gift, but beware: Once you taste the smooth Breakfast or fruity Napa blend (each 12 ounces for $14), roasted by North Carolina's Counter Culture Coffee, you might want to buy another for yourself. 560 Broadway at Prince St (212-226-6800, deandeluca.com)

Empire Coffee and Tea Company
Coffee snobs may sniff at the idea of flavored beans, but this grungy, little-known haven for flavor mavens, nestled in the shadow of the Port Authority, makes a strong case for the stuff. Empire's owners roast their product upstate, transforming plain Colombian Supremo into a rainbow of delicious treated beans—try the classic French vanilla or the more adventurous Swiss mocha almond, each $8.99 per pound. 568 Ninth Ave between 41st and 42nd Sts (212-268-1220 empirecoffeetea.com)

Gorilla Coffee
The syrupy, heavy elixir you'll squeeze out of the beans from this Brooklyn roaster—known not just for its intense coffee, but for its barista vs. owners workplace drama—will put hair on your chest. Which is perfect for those mornings when you can barely work up the gumption to leave your bed, let alone your apartment. Check out Gorilla's Blendimentosis (12 ounces for $11): It might sound like a disease, but the pungent, aromatic mix is good for what ails ya. 97 Fifth Ave at Park Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-230-3244, gorillacoffee.com)

Irving Farm
Farm roasted, urbanite approved—the Hudson Valley company has two outposts in Manhattan, offering medium-roast single-origins, small batches of beans from particular farms and blends, along with some flavored options with goofy names, like the caramel-sweet Sinful Delight and toasty Hazelnut Jungle Fusion (each 12 ounces for $11.50). Looking for a bold but unflavored bean? Stop by the Farm's Seventh Avenue storefront for a  12-ounce bag of organic, Fair Trade--certified Sumatran KBQB for $12.50. 56 Seventh Ave between 13th and 14th Sts (212-475-5200, irvingfarm.com)

Kaffe 1668
This sleek and modern downtown coffeeshop offers a curated selection of beans from top-notch roasters all over the country, including Chicago's premier coffee company, Intelligentsia, and New York State microroaster Plowshares. Check out the latter's sweet Finca La Gloria, from Nicaragua, for a balanced, smooth cup (12 ounces for $14.75). 275 Greenwich St between Murray and Warren Sts (212-693-3750, kaffe1668.com)

Oren's Daily Roast
Unfussy and unpretentious, Oren's has been quietly caffeinating New Yorkers since the mid-'80s. The company specializes in hard-to-find beans like the exotic Hawaiian coffee Kona Estate Extra Fancy ($35.99 per pound), as well as old-school dark roasts (the bittersweet-chocolaty Italian roast runs $13.99 per pound). A six-year-old aged Sumatra ($14.99 per pound) may intrigue wine enthusiasts who ferret out the best vintage of every cru; the mature coffee boasts a muted acidity and a creamy mouthfeel. Multiple locations, orensdailyroast.com

Porto Rico Importing Company
Burlap sacks runneth over with more than 120 types of coffee at this old-school West Village bean cave. We like the 100th Anniversary special blend—a chocolaty, medium-roast mix of six American coffees at $8.99 a pound—but it's worth exploring Porto Rico's collection of coffee exotica as well. Look for the coveted Tanzanian Peaberry (a steal at $8.99 a pound), or—for adventurous and spendy types—Civet coffee beans, which are harvested from the poop of a small Asian mammal. (Really, and it ain't cheap: Civet will cost you $340 per pound, or $50 for two ounces.) 201 Bleecker St between Sixth Ave and MacDougal St (212-477-5421, portorico.com)

Whole Foods Market
Colorado's Allegro Coffee Company is the exclusive roaster for Whole Foods, and it's leaps and bounds beyond your average grocery brand in terms of quality, value and variety. Each outpost of the market offers a vast selection of roasted beans—like the nicely rounded, chocolate-and-cherry-rich organic Mexican coffee from Zaragoza ($13.99 per pound)—sealed in staleness-defying valve bags. But true freshness freaks should head to the Lower East Side location; call ahead and you can get a batch of green beans roasted in-house while you're busy perusing the granola aisle. 95 E Houston St at Bowery (212-420-1320, wholefoodsmarket.com)

Breeze past the shiny coffee-brewing toys, straight for the shelves in the back, stocked with beans from specialty roaster 49th Parallel; Williams-Sonoma is one of the only New York City shops that distributes products from the artisanal Canadian outfit. It's worth braving the holiday hordes to score a bag of the smooth and bright Epic Espresso (12 ounces for $14.50), a blend of beans from Ethiopia, Brazil and El Salvador. Multiple locations, visit williams-sonoma.com for more info