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How to Buy Gourmet Coffee Beans Online

Updated on May 19, 2009

Gourmet Coffee Beans

Finding the Right Coffee Beans Online.

When you buy coffee beans online, you want to buy special coffee beans, beans that are unique in taste and quality: A hidden treasure that no one knows about. I brag about myself to be a coffee expert, considering my experience in marketing gourmet coffee beans for years. In this hub, I want to share some facts that everyone should know about when buy coffee beans online.

Brand: It costs less to buy brand name coffees at supermarkets.

I strongly suggest that you don’t buy brand name coffees, such as Starbucks or Green Mountain, from online stores because very few or no online stores can beat walk-in stores’ price for brand name coffees. It is because big supermarkets buy their coffees in bulk, paying less price for them, therefore able to retail them at low cost to their customers. There are very few online coffee retailers who have enough budget to buy brand name coffees in bulk like big supermarkets. And even if they get coffees at same price as big supermarkets, they have to charge shipping and handling, which drives the price up. And yes some online stores offer free shipping and handling, but trust me: You are paying for the shipping and handling one way or the other.

Tax: You shouldn't pay tax for coffee beans.

Coffee is an item you don’t have to pay tax for. If an online store charges you tax for their coffee beans, I suggest you find another store. 

Price

Price of gourmet coffee beans differs dramatically by the type of the beans. These are prices for high-class coffee beans, consisted 100% of the same kind, not blend.

  • Kopi Luwak - $120+/lb – The famous coffee beans that had been eaten by Indonesian Civets (they look like cats) and came out of their behind. This is the rarest and the most expensive coffee beans out there. If anyone sells Kopi Luwak at lower price, don’t buy it. No one can supply them under $120 due to the scarcity of the beans. Kopi Luwak roasted by a prestigious roaster can cost from $200 to $400.
  • Jamaican Blue Mountain - $30+/lb
  • Hawaiian Kona - $20+/lb
  • Other beans should cost between $8 - $20 per pound.

*Note: These prices are the lowest price you can find and usually they cost more. Use these prices to filter counterfeit coffee beans.

Freshness: Coffee beans bought online should be freshier.

This should be the main reason why you buy coffee beans online. A good online coffee store work very closely with numerous small coffee roasters, and these roasters roast coffee beans whenever a customer places an order through the online store. These roasters should use small batch roasting, which circulates hot air in small a batch of coffee beans. This avoids crushing of coffee beans, common in big roasters where they use big drums to roast a large quantity of coffee beans.

Shipping and Handling: Expect to pay reasonable S/H.

Yes it sucks to pay shipping and handling, and you want to avoid them when possible. But think this way, you are paying for S/H one way or the other. Online store owners are working for money, and trust me, they are smart. You may find stores that advertise free S/H on any size orders. It sounds great, doesn't it? But be 100% sure that S/H is included in the price. You may argue that you have researched over the internet and you found out that the store offering free S/H also has the lowest price for one typle of coffee beans. How nice. But it is because either the store owner can teleport to your front door to eliminate the S/H, or he is using nearly grabage coffee beans so he can sell them at low price, offer free S/H, and still get some profit out of it. So be aware that you get what you paid for (usually). For your reference, S/H for 1 lb of coffee beans is around $5, and may be more depending on the carrier and if you want expedite shipping.

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    • nooyawka212 profile image

      nooyawka212 

      6 years ago from Noo Yawk

      Being a Noo Yawka I have to toot the horn of my famous neighbor Zabars. They sell tons and tons of coffee both in person and online. Since I have no need whatsoever to buy online I can give no special insights. Look them up and try them. What do you have to lose?

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