Even if you’ve never bought coffee beans before and there’s a coffee shop on every corner, serious coffee culture connoisseurs might prefer to take a DIY approach to preparing a fresh cup. To help keep the daily grind going at home, various stores are selling selections of and subscriptions to coffee beans in order to achieve a full bodied, flavored brew when freshly roasted, grounded or pressed—you can even get ones that are perfect for iced coffee. So go ahead and get your bean bags from these coffee shops and stores throughout New York City.
Best places to find coffee beans
Opened in Gramercy Park in 1996, this coffee business stays busy with a collection of New York cafes, a wholesale business, a SCAA certified training and education lab, a green coffee buying program, a roastery and a tasting room. It also runs the gamut on selling various coffee beans: Choose from single origins, blends, espresso, organic and decaf. Consider a coffee subscription that’s weekly, bi-weekly or monthly with either single-origin or blend coffees. Or get a distinct flavor like Rainforest Foundation Project (which Irving Farm partners with). Other buzzing choices (from whole bean to finest grind) include the delicately floral La Candelilla, Costa Rica, the dark and slightly spicy finished Gotham Dark Roast and the dried cherry and almond La Peña Miel, Nicaragua. Various locations (irvingfarm.com)
This family-owned chain with a wholesale business and stores in NYC can be found as far uptown as Columbia University and down as West Village and even out in Red Hook. Find three- or six-month gifts subscriptions featuring whole bean packages of either a house blend, roaster’s choice or an espresso medley. If you’re making a one-time purchase, consider doing Joe Coffee’s subscribe-and-save option, which provides a five percent price break. Apply it toward the Waverly, an espresso named for its first NYC store, and on farmed-sourced beans like Guatemala Lago and Nicaragua Los Altos. Or let your roaster surprise you by choosing a single origin for you (trust the expertise). Various locations (joenewyork.com)
With a focus on fair trade, Rainforest Alliance and organic certified and sustainable coffees, this café chain and wholesaler roasts beans in small batches for a top-notch cup profile. (Plus its Brooklyn packaging facility is Star K Kosher certified.) The coffee beans come from sources including Brazil, Costa Rica, Kenya and Mexico and in sizes like five-pound bags or 12-ounce tins. Get special blends like Colombia and Guatemala origin Bespoke or the Nicaragua and Brazil-based BQE Espresso. Or try out sampler tin sets, along with seasonal sampler and coffee-of-the-month programs.
With its HQ in Long Island City, this non-profit coffee chain gives three to 10 percent of its revenue to local charitable partners connected to the communities in which the cafes are based in. The coffees tend to focus on either dark or medium roasts, with one-time-use bags including Burundi Karuzi AA, Mexico Otilio Montaco Natural Decaf and Sumatra Mandheling Gr 1. Subscription plans are pretty simple: Go with a pre-paid plan or a subscription involving COFFEED’s Roaster’s Pick Plan or your own preferences. Both plans also let you choose a charity to send three percent of your purchase proceeds to, so you can feel super good with every sip of what you’ve bought. Various locations (coffeednyc.com)
With its flagship cafe in Ithaca, this New York state chain with one locale in Nolita and two in Williamsburg is known for its small-batch roasted beans and espresso offerings. Along with having a wholesale business, Gimme! Coffee has a number of subscription blends, ranging from its signature Leftist Espresso Blend to Rally, a Fair Trade organic blend, to Darkness, a bittersweet composite. Coffee categories include single-origin and blends, decaf and fair trade, with destinations ranging from Africa to the Americas. Maybe pick up the nutty, chocolaty Brazil Cerrado or the fruity Congo Munngano?
Hey, Italian restaurant lovers: this retail shop in the Bronx’s Little Italy is perfetto. It specializes in espresso machines, particularly repairing and serving them, along with selling coffee beans and coffee-paired accessories. With beans, find one-pound bags of specialties like Chocolate Coffee, Mexican Organic–Italian Roast and Hazelnut Flavored. Cerini’s also puts out blends such as one named for the Bronx Zoo and its own house blend, and it carries Colombian, Costa Rican, Kenyan AA and organic Peruvian beans. Other labels in stock include Intenso Caffe, Kimbo, Illy and Lavazza.
At its flagship location near Port Authority, this longtime importer and seller has a selection of coffees ranging from flavored to organic to decaf and roast choices like French, Vienna and American. Pick up a half or full pound (and varying grind options) of Colombian Supremo or Jamaica Blue Mountain or Java Superior, or percolate over its Empire Blends line, dripping with names like the New York Hell’s Kitchen (a blend of international beans in homage to the shop’s neighborhood) and Starry Night (a dark Columbian Vienna Roast and Italian Roast combo). If you’re schlepping from Hoboken, NJ, you can get your beans and get them grounded at its Bloomfield Street site.
Having moved its Park Slope location from Fifth Avenue to Bergen Street, this micro-roastery sells fair-trade, house-roasted beans in bright red bags. Various coffee options range from 12-ounce or five-pound coffees and grind preferences spanning from whole bean to cone drip or flat bottom filter. Blendimentosis, the house signature blend, is a continuously evolving recipe that still holds on to a sweet and well-balanced formula. Other bean options include Sumatra Aceh Gold, said to have citrusy notes, a decaf Ethiopian coffee called Oromia, a creamy, soft floral Gishamwana from Rwanda and the Espresso A-Go-Go, produced to be smooth and sweet.
From Greenpoint to Nolita, this peculiarly named cafe chain and wholesaler focuses on single-cup brewing and maintaining direct partnerships with coffee producers worldwide. As for the coffee itself, it sells various whole bean subscriptions for espresso, decaf and regular. With beans, try the Copo Mico, a Honduran coffee touted for its green tea and currant jam character, the El Salvadorian Malacara B or the cafe’s signature Guatemala and Ethiopian blend: Heartbreaker Espresso.
Established in 1913, this small-batch craft roastery and purveyor of specialty coffees can still teach drinkers a thing or two about quality beans. It’s said to be one of the first in the U.S. to source directly from Central and South American farms and offer triple-certified coffees, and now it even has a coffee studio and training lab. If you’re just seeking beans, find five-pound or 12-ounce bags originating from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Central and South America in options like single origin, espresso, decaf and custom blends. For starters, consider the Ethiopia Gedeb or Ellis Island Blend, a dark and light roast made with Fair Trade and Organic coffees.