Where do you get your bulk coffee beans from? These days I get many of my regular Costco coffee beans from the same place that sells kimchi and hot dogs! I've found it to be a great place to go shopping, but you may also want to check out some reasons NOT to go shopping there.
Image from Obblogatory, Korean Kimchi.
Sorry, but no prizes for guessing where that is! It seems you can buy pretty decent Costco coffee beans from here, too.
Initially, I was surprised by the range of beans available (though not all are necessarily good coffees or good coffee beans) and the prices. Typically, we can buy a decent sized bag of beans there for about the same price as 1/2lb bags purchased in-store at a well-known coffee shop.
While I’m not so sure the quality is the same standard, I’m finding that the beans are pretty decent in terms of roasting, size, and packing quality. I have yet to return a bag, though I came fairly close with one purchase of First Colony coffee.
I've written this in short form for you, based on my experience of buying coffee beans at Costco over the past few years:Advantages
Overall, I do recommend Costco as a good place to buy coffee despite those cons. So this short article will describe some of the Costco coffee beans you can buy but let me start by saying: there are no branded "Costco" coffee beans per se.
But as you read the article, you'll see that generally, the Kirkland brand is the closest thing to that.
First up are the Kirkland Coffee (Costco's own private label brand) beans that are available. These are generally in three basic categories:
You can read more about these coffee beans on the Kirkland coffee page. For me, this is a frequent addition to my trolley!
Costco coffee beans seem to have three price points: Starbucks roasted coffee beans and full-Starbucks coffees. We've tried both. Recently we bought the Costco labeled "Winter Blend" … I guess it’s their equivalent of the Christmas blend on sale at Starbucks. It was pretty pricey by Costco standards.
But the quality of the beans was only satisfactory: misshaped, broken, lots of coffee dust, different-sized beans, and a little over-roasted. Although the price was marginally less than Starbucks-branded coffee, the quality was not typical Costco quality.
You will also be able to buy full-brand Starbucks coffee blends on sale at Costco: including their Breakfast blend, French Roast blend, and one or two others seasonal offers.
The deals are pretty good, too. But you won't always be able to find the particular Starbucks Coffee Roast you like. On the day we went we were able to find the Breakfast blends and the French roasts.
Occasionally, we've spotted other blends, too, over time. Keep your eyes opened for these! They do represent good value if you drink these coffees on daily basis!
There is also a regular at the stores where I live: Millstone coffee Columbian Blend, which though pricier than my regular purchase is actually a very nice blend of coffee beans. You won't find the full range available there, which is a real pity.
The quality is pretty good, overall, and I love the resealable bag that makes storage easier, and more manageable. Just one more thing to love about Millstone Coffee.
(Will update this as I find more information and pictures).
There are some really good coffee beans at Costco, but what about buying coffee equipment? Well, there are some things that I really like about purchasing both Costco Coffee and Costco coffee makers, as well as other equipment there:
No Quibble Return
If you buy something at Costco, you can (if you need) return the product if you are not satisfied with it, even without the receipt as long as you haven't expired the membership which allowed you to buy the item.
For that, I'm pretty thankful for such a generous return policy, as I'm always losing my receipts! While there doesn't seem to be an expiration date for most things (probably) because we buy things and consume them fully.
This return policy can give you confidence in purchasing coffee machines that you haven't had a chance to try out such as the more expensive espresso makers or top of the line grinders, both of which can be costly mistakes!
I like the fact that the limited selection actually simplifies decision making. While I would like to see a little more variety, the bare-bones selections can help you speed to a decision: though often it's a 'yes/no' decision!
The last time I went to look for a coffee maker there, I had three choices: a traditional drip coffee maker, an espresso maker, and a rather attractive electric coffee siphon. While I recognized the brand names of the selection, since I already had a drip coffee maker and the espresso maker was too expensive, the only thing left for me was the siphon coffee maker. I quickly decided that it was something I didn't need!
You will often find really good brands featured in Costco's sales for Costco coffee makers: I've seen Philips, GE Coffee Makers, Zojirushi, Bunn, Jura, Gaggia, DeLonghi, Saeco, to mention just a few. You will find that they seldom sell bad brands or bad products, their own product selection criteria are quite strict, and whatever you buy, you will find that their
I suggest that you subscribe to the Costco Connection Newsletter Online Edition which often features coffee recipes. You can even search the archives for past editions.
While the selection of Costco coffee beans and even the Costco coffee makers will vary from day to day, with a smart phone/iPad on hand, you should be able to determine whether the item on sale is actually a decent model, quickly enough.
Just simply check out coffee maker ratings on popular shopping sites. And remember, many 'Costco' brands are also found easily on Amazon.com themselves for quick delivery to your house, just in case it isn't convenient for you get to one of the Costco stores.
Click below to see contributions from other Costco coffee customers to this page...
Is Kirkland Signature brand coffee sprayed with pesticides?
Could you tell me if Costco coffee (the Kirkland Signature Columbian Supremo in the brown can) sprayed with pesticides? It is my favorite brand above …
Kirkland Signature Costa Rica Whole Bean Coffee
I recently came across this blend of Costa Rica Coffee Beans from Kirkland Signature, and wondered if anyone else had seen it. I've done a search on …
What decaffeination process does Costco use?
Would like to know what decaffeination process Costo uses for their Kirkland signature brand decaf coffee in the 48 oz. green can?
Are all Costco Kirkland Coffee made by Starbucks?
Wanted to know if all Kirkland coffees are made by Starbucks?
Where is the KS Starbucks Ground Organic Blend Coffee?
"Starbucks Ground Organic Blend Coffee Medium Roast Ground which we just started drinking yesterday 6/10/10) on my regular monthly trips to the local Costco. …
Costco Coffee Reviews: Readers write but are they right? Not rated yet
I saw the 2012 Winter Blend in Costco today. Very nice! Always find them a tad bold and earthy! Have you tried this year's?