Is Kirkland Coffee good? Twelve of Costco’s Best Coffee Beans For Your Cup!

By | November 3, 2020

kirkland-coffee-image

PurelyCoffeeBeans wonders if you have ever heard of Kirkland Coffee? Probably not. Not that many coffee lovers would know Kirkland is Costco’s in-house (or private-label) brand. It’s a brand name that you’ll find on a variety of products in its warehouse stores from clothes to cleaning products.

Before I go on, I have a confession to make to you: I counted and wrote that there are only 7 different whole bean coffee products from Kirkland, I was wrong. I then thought there were 9 products (the current title). I’m still wrong.

I’m upto more than a baker’s dozen right now, and I’m still counting the seasonal varieties. So I’m embarrassed. Oh, well.

Is Kirkland coffee good?

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You would usually expect a warehouse store brand of coffee to be made with poor quality coffee beans – perhaps not even Arabica coffee beans; indeed, some less expensive well-known brands include cheaper beans – often using Robusta beans that are widely-regarded as inferior and used to make many instant coffees.

But Kirkland is affordable, and popular on Amazon. Customers ranked it on our 2020 Top Coffee Brands List at #19~! A Costco in-house brand, on Amazon, with no membership fee at #19!

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn commission from any qualifying purchases.

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What will I learn about Kirkland Coffee?

Four Ranges of Kirkland Coffee for Sale

What questions do Kirkland coffee drinkers ask?

  • Readers Questions & Recommendations
    • #1 – How is Kirkland Signature Coffee?
    • #2 – I’m giving Kirkland coffee a go!
    • #3 – I’m a regular Costco Columbian Drinker
    • #4 – Where is the KS Starbucks Ground Organic Blend Coffee?
    • #5 – I can’t find my favorite Kirkland Sumatra anymore? What do I do?
    • #6 – What process is used to decaffeinate the House Blend Kirkland Decaf beans?
    • #7 – Compliments! Costco Brands of Coffee Tickle Me Pink!
    • #8 – How is Kirkland Decaf coffee decaffeinated?
    • #9 – Yuck! Why is Kirkland decaf not Swiss water process?
    • #10 – Is Kirkland Signature brand coffee sprayed with pesticides?

However, don’t let this fact make you think the Costco coffee is inferior in any way, despite being sold as bulk coffee. Why? … At Costco, you can find no less than 12 types of Kirkland coffee that are all surprisingly delicious and affordable, offering a smoother coffee, with better taste, and lower caffeine content.

What’s more, even after Kirkland stopped selling directly on Amazon to focus on the Costco online store, you’ll still find their products listed extensively throughout Amazon. So you will be able to buy their products with free shipping if you’re already a Prime member of Amazon.

I’ve provided an overview of these great bags of coffee beans, and I reckon I’ve purchased all of them at least once!

What is Kirkland House Coffee?

Kirkland produces a range of coffee beans products for the Costco marketplace including

So let’s take a closer look. I should say that I’ve tried most of these over the years, except the last item on the list below – but it’s next in my Costco shopping cart!

#1 – Kirkland Signature Medium Roast House Blend Coffee Review

First up: the Kirkland Signature Medium Roast House Blend Coffee is packaged in green. It comes in a 32-ounce bag (a little over 900g) with identifiable “Custom Roasted By Starbucks” printed on the label. So what do the people say?

It is a popular coffee choice with a lot of positive feedback:
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What we liked

  • Rich flavor and body
  • Not bitter or acidic
  • Quality, consistent standard
  • Very attractive price

What we didn’t like

  • But a few critics hint:
  • Closer to a dark roast
  • Too bitter for some coffee lovers

Check Price of Kirkland House Blend on Amazon

Tip: I personally find it suits serving with milk, especially as it is medium dark roast.

#2 – Kirkland Signature Medium Roast Decaf House Blend Coffee Review

If you’re worried about your caffeine intake, then take a look at the blue pack which is the decaffeinated alternative: Kirkland Signature Medium Roast Decaf House Blend (a note on Decaffeinated Coffee). It’s a popular choice but opinion is more strongly divided. Also, many purchasers note, as I did, that it’s no longer available at many Costco stores, which is a pity!
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What we liked

  • Not bitter or fruity.
  • Smooth and flavorful.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Nice bold flavor

What we didn’t like

 But a few critics hint:

  • Some feel a little pricey
  • Lacks coffee body
  • Perhaps too fruity?

Check Price of Kirkland Decaf House on Amazon

#3 – Kirkland Signature Dark Roast Espresso Blend Coffee Review

The Kirkland Signature Dark Roast Espresso Blend is easily spotted by its bright red packaging. All of the packs are labeled “Custom Roasted By Starbucks”, though none are identical to Starbucks own roasts, you’ll enjoy each of these roasts.

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What we liked

  • Rich flavor and body
  • Not bitter or acidic
  • Quality, consistent standard
  • Very attractive price

What we didn’t like

 But a few critics suggest:

  • Closer to a dark roast
  • Too bitter for some coffee lovers

Check Price of Kirkland Espresso Blend on Amazon

Tip: It is an espresso roast, so you should expect it to be dark. It is for espresso drinks.

The first thing you’ll notice when you open each package is an aroma that entices you to brew a cup right there and then! That the beans are actually custom roasted by Starbucks may put some people off, many find that typical Starbucks roasts have an almost unpleasant burnt flavor. But Kirkland is surprisingly mild and smooth. It’s worth giving each of these a try, if you like medium dark roast coffee.


Is Kirkland coffee fair trade?

As you may know, Fair Trade coffee offers farmers a fair price for their labor and produce so that they can lift their families out of generations of hardship and poverty. For those interested in Fair Trade Coffee Beans, you’ll be glad to note that these coffees are all certified Fair Trade(pdf).

All 12 can be seen below at the Kirkland Coffee Cheat Sheet

Specialty Kirkland Coffee: #4 – Is Kirkland Colombian Coffee Arabica?

39It turns out that many Kirkland Signature Coffee Beans are actually prepared by this well known company, Rogers Family Co., in California. You can take a look at the site, but they do not offer any retail options for the Kirkland brands.

The Kirkland Signature Colombian Supremo Coffee41 is remarkably full bodied and smooth and is 100% Arabica beans. It is a medium dark roast with low acidity.

This Colombian Supremo Coffee is grown in the Andes Mountains of Columbia where the rich volcanic soil makes these beans superior in taste, aroma and acidity.

When you brew a cup from this bag of Kirkland coffee, you’ll surely notice the aroma—slightly sweet with a barely-there overtone of sweet fruit. Although you’ll be tempted to grab it as soon as you can, wait until the brew is finished!

1517 1921 2325
Check
Kirkland Signature Rwanda Coffee

Dark Roast + Whole Bean
on Amazon
Check
Kirkland Signature Sumatra Coffee

Dark Roast + Whole Bean
on Amazon
Check
Kirkland Signature Guatemala Coffee

Medium Roast + Whole Bean
on Amazon

All 12 can be seen below at the Kirkland Coffee Cheat Sheet

Kirkland’s Columbian Supremo tastes fresh and clean, full bodied with a medium texture that is very pleasant. The finish hints at the fruit your nose detected in the aroma and is very pleasant. This coffee comes in beans as well as pre-ground bags and cans.

I would, of course, recommend the whole coffee beans over ground coffees any day, to get the freshest flavored coffee in your cup. I’m not the only one who enjoys this coffee! Coffee Review recently reviewed the coffee and agreed!

“A deftly dark-roasted Colombia coffee with spicy florals, tropical fruit notes, and a deep molasses-like sweetness.” Coffee Review, May 2019.

Kirkland Signature Series Roasts: #5 ~ #7

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Check
Kirkland Colombian Supremo

Dark Roast + Whole Bean
on Amazon
Check
Kirkland Colombian Supremo

Dark Roast + Ground Coffee
on Amazon
Check
Kirkland Colombian Decaff

Dark Roast + Ground Coffee
on Amazon

All 12 can be seen below at the Kirkland Coffee Cheat Sheet

Are Kirkland Rwandan Coffee Beans good?

If you like Kirkland coffee beans, the next one may not be to your liking, though I enjoyed it. It’s the Kirkland Signature Rwandan Dark RoastKirkland Signature Rwandan Dark Roast; it is a very dark roast that may not be to your liking, it certainly came over as excessively strong to my colleagues in the office when they tried it.

I actually liked the overall character more than they did. And the aroma is pleasant enough, with a hint of buttery dark chocolate that carries over into the taste of the coffee once brewed.

It has a medium body and just a slight bitterness. Drink it quickly, however, because as the cup cools the hint of chocolate slowly evaporates. It’s a strong, rugged coffee that should be drunk hot or not at all. Therefore, if you are making ice coffee, you may want to look at other blends.

Where can I find Kirkland Papua New Guinea Coffee Beans?

Kirkland Signature Papua New Guinea Whole Bean Coffee (NB: this awesome product is not still available – October 2019)44 , on the other hand, is a delicious dark roast that has not had the flavorful oils burned off. Grown on the second largest island in the world in volcanic soil, this coffee is not at all bitter. It is rich and slightly smoky with a fruity finish.

Though it’s dark roast coffee, unlike the Rwandan Coffee, it possesses a much lighter taste than you would otherwise expect. Phrases like “surprisingly light” and “delicate, almost sweet” come to mind when you’re drinking this. It even makes a terrific iced coffee. You will still want to drink this one even when you get to the end of the bag, unlike some of the more robust coffees.

Is Kirkland Sumatra French Roast really dark?

We recently tried the Kirkland Sumatra Coffee46 (also currently unavailable). This coffee was darkly roasted, and rather a bold coffee with a full, almost out-of-body, experience. One or two previous customers noted it for its rich aroma, roasted extra dark, and mellow taste. For those who prefer the dark roasts of Vienna blends, Full City roasts, etc, you will find this a good partner for your coffee pot.


Feedback & Questions About Kirkland from Readers: Comments #1~#4

At PurelyCoffeeBeans, I’ve answered lots of questions over the years. You’ll find the questions and their answers scattered throughout the site! I’m always open to more questions, if you’re frustrated or curious, or you want to review a coffee, why don’t you drop me a line!

This week we welcome…!

#1 – Kirkland Coffee Review & Comments

How is Kirkland Signature Coffee?

Customers write that they find the Kirkland Signature range of coffee beans to offer a terrific bargain that combined high quality ingredients at a substantially reduced cost.

In fact, one customer compared one bag of Kirkland coffee to the equivalent Starbucks French Roast, and found that he saved nearly 50% of the cost, despite boasting that it had been custom roasted by none other than Starbucks Coffee Company themselves.

Overall, he reckoned that while it didn’t quite have the roasting quality of the premium Starbucks product, he preferred it and he really appreciated the cost.

#2 – My Kirkland Coffee Review: I’m giving Kirkland a go!
By Modeezy

I saw Kirkland coffee and based on the way it was described on your web site, I figured I would give it a go. Previously in terms of store brand coffee, I have tried Kroger’s but didn’t care for it much.

After trying the Kirkland coffee, my thoughts on it are that it’s premium coffee re-branded as store coffee. It’s that good! Now I have to get started on the new bag! Excuse me…

#3 – I’m a regular Costco Columbian Drinker
By Anon

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We usually buy the 100% Kirkland Columbian coffee in a 3-pound can each time we shop at Costco. That sounds like a lot of coffee, but we go through it fairly quickly and I haven’t found it to go stale in the 3 weeks it takes us to get through it.

In fact, I like the Kirkland coffee as well or better than any pre-ground coffee we’ve purchased. We occasionally will splurge and get some whole beans and roast them ourselves to add some variety, but for everyday affordable coffee I think this is the best.

#4 – Where is the KS Starbucks Ground Organic Blend Coffee?
by Kirby (Grapevine, TX)

Kirkland Starbucks Ground Organic Blend Coffee Medium Roast Ground which we just started drinking yesterday (in 2010) on my regular monthly trips to the local Costco. Disclaimer: I have to say, also, that these coffee beans are pretty much my primary reason for being a member of Costco!”

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I could not agree more but they are saying it is a low-stock item (possibly to be deleted). Do you have any other info because PurelyCoffeeBeans can only find a few images of it in Google, and not much on Amazon! And this is not the bag I remember!

Feedback & Questions About Kirkland from Readers: Comments #5~#9

#5 – I can’t find my favorite Kirkland Sumatra anymore?
What do I do? by Marlene from Texas

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I love/need Kirkland Sumatra coffee! They have apparently discontinued it.

I also purchased Kirkland’s French roast and Columbian Supremo but nothing compares to the rich, dark Sumatra. Both of those dark roasts I mentioned are going away.

Any recommendations for a replacement for Sumatra?

Thank you

My Answer

Wow! I can sense your disappointment. I do drink a lot of coffee these days, but I have tried to expand the range of coffee I like because it’s quite difficult to find a coffee here that is ALWAYS available.

So whenever I see something I really like, I’ll buy two or even three of them… because I know I won’t find it when I look next month! That applies to many things, not just coffee!

But if you really can’t find your favorite blend or brand, you have only three choices… that’s the bad news!

Can you find a substitute for your Kirkland Sumatra?

It’s always hard to give up a favorite coffee, esp. if you drank a lot of it. But you could try a similar roasting style. For example, Sumatra and Java are similar. So why not try a blend of coffee that includes either but is darker roasted. You may find it pleasing. I think the roasting for Kirklands Sumatra is a dark roast, almost a French roast.

Does Amazon sell these coffee beans?

The second option is to go on the internet and find more stock. The two places I would try are Ebay & Amazon. I have a long article on the different Kirkland coffees at Amazon. I checked last night, and found some Kirkland coffee60 for sale on Amazon.

Wait a while!

But you shouldn’t despair about the Kirklands Sumatra, it should come back next year, though supplies may be limited in the meantime.

#6 – What process is used to decaffeinate
the House Blend Kirkland Decaf beans

by (private coffee drinker)

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I would like to know what process is used to
decaffeinate the House Blend Kirkland Decaf beans. Water or chemical?

Thank you

My Answer

In short, I would imagine that is a chemical decaffeination process. Though information on the process used to create Kirkland House Blend Decaf seems relatively scarce, I would venture to guess that, in the absence of the words ‘natural’ and any reference to HOW the coffee is decaffeinated, it isn’t water processed or any other ‘natural’ method.

Is this coffee naturally decaffeinated?

If that bothers you, perhaps you might want to look at coffees that specifically tell you how they are decaffeinated. For example, the Starbucks Sumatra Decaffeinated claims …

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Check out this product on Amazon

On my last trip to Costco, I only saw one kind of decaffeinated coffee available. But their US website indicates that there is another brand of naturally decaffeinated coffee (I’ve never seen it in my store) called:

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Ruta Maya Organic Decaffeinated Coffee
(click for more info)
that uses the Swiss Water Process Treatment.

Of course, why not give Costco themselves a buzz at http://shop.costco.com/customer-service/contact-us. You should be able to find a store near you that sells an alternate brand.

I hope that ‘answers’ your question. Do share with me your research! I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Best Wishes
Kenneth

#7 – Compliments! Costco Brands of Coffee Tickle Me Pink!
by Java-Ed

7274Recently on my once-a-month trip to Costco, I decided to check out their coffee selections. Coffee prices at my local grocery store (Publix) have been ridiculously high.

A co-worker recommended their Kirkland signature coffee which is their store brand. They had several varieties but I wanted to try something stronger just in case their regular stuff was rather weak. I ended up buying the Rwandan Dark Roast and couldn’t wait to taste this coffee the following morning. I made a full coffee pot and was pleasantly surprised at how good this coffee was, especially since it was the store brand.

I know Costco tries their best to have good in-store brands and this coffee was a great example of meeting that goal. I had my wife try it and didn’t tell her what brand it was. She swore it was Starbucks or some overly-priced concoction that I’ve been know in the past to buy.

I loved the boldness of the taste, the aroma was strong but also had many different hints of almost chocolate or nutmeg yet sweet aroma as well. It’s hard to describe but certainly helps wake you up and it permeated throughout the kitchen. The taste was great as well though I must say the smell was much better.

I had several cups and towards my fourth cup it started to have a little bitter taste but then again it had been sitting in the coffee pot for some time. Final analysis: Highly, highly recommended! I love this coffee and just wish it were available outside of Costco.

But the last time I went to Costco they were out so I was forced to try their Columbian variety. It was good but not as unique or bold as the Rwandan one. Overall, very pleased with Costco’s private label brand and selection.

Sincerely,
Java-Ed

PS
Thanks for letting me post this. Now you’ve reminded me to go get more coffee from them.:)

Lastly, we’ve have had several comments about Kirkland Decaf coffee, which you can read about above.

#8 – How is Kirkland Decaf coffee decaffeinated?
by: Anonymous

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The process used for the Kirkland Signature Decaf Dark Roast is the most common in the industry ? INDIRECT chemical process. The beans are heated in near boiling water releasing the caffeine.

The caffeinated water is removed from the beans and treated with methylene chloride which absorbs the caffeine. The water temperature is then increased causing the chemical along with the caffeine to evaporate.

The flavor-rich water is then reintroduced back to the beans. The methylene chloride never comes into contact with the beans.

#9 – Yuck! Why is Kirkland decaf not Swiss water process?
by: Anonymous

Yuck, I’m not buying Kirkland decaf again. I’m surprised that Kirkland does not offer a Swiss Water Process decaf coffee alternative even if they have to charge more.

Dear Anonymous!

The decaf blend you chose may not be your ideal coffee blend, but you should know that there are several blends of decaffeinated coffee available! I recently received a comment from the founder of Roger’s Gourmet Coffee (see below) who writes that he also roasts coffee for SFBay as well as Kirkland. SFBay indicates that they use the “Water Extraction Process for Coffee” (link broken).

Ever wonder what happens between the coffee farm and the cup of coffee that starts your day? We love sharing the magic behind how a cup of SF Bay Coffee is born. A very delicate part of that coffee making process is water extraction. Below we share a few easily digestible steps to that process.

  • Green coffee beans are soaked in hot water to open the pores of the bean.
  • The opened pores allow the oils, flavor, and caffeine to flush out of the bean and be taken to filtration
  • Green coffee beans are soaked in hot water to open the pores of the bean.
  • Oils and flavor are reabsorbed.
  • The beans are dried.
  • Finally, polished to be ready for roasting.

Quoted: “Water Extraction Process for Coffee” https://sfbaycoffee.com/blog/decaf-process/ retrieved on 4/27/2020.

If you’re worried about your caffeine intake, check out this post from one of our other readers.

Best Wishes
Kenneth

#10 – Is Kirkland Signature brand coffee sprayed with pesticides?
by Sandy

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 all brands and coffee shops. However, I am working towards eliminating as many products that are unhealthy as possible.

Thanks, S.

My Answer

Dear S,

Thank you for your query about pesticides in your favorite coffee.

I’m afraid that the answer is likely to be yes. The coffee beans are probably sprayed with something at some point. Most of the Kirkland Signature series are not certified organic, except one.

I can only suggest you to find this product: KS Starbucks Ground Organic Blend Coffee Medium Roast. It does not seem to be available right now here. I can recommend some of the Magnum Exotics Organic Rainforest Blend Coffee Whole Bean which is sometimes sold in Costco, also.

Otherwise, you should look further afield than the Kirkland series of coffees if you cannot find that one. Buy something from Ethiopia or Sumatra or any other region, where coffee tends to be cultivated with traditional techniques ( so says Coffee Review ).

Other than those suggestions, you should just try to find certified organic products. I would assume that if something is not certified, then it is not organically produced.

It’s a pity if you have to give up your favorite beverage without finding a suitable replacement, but you shouldn’t let that divert you from your goal of getting rid of unhealthy products. Ultimately, you will benefit, as will the planet.

Best Wishes
Kenneth

If you have any other comments or experiences, drop it in a comment box below. I look forward to reading it! Are you interested in learning or buying other types and brands of Costco Coffees? Then just click to the relevant Costco Coffee page. This page is only about Kirkland Blends, Kirkland Specialty & Kirkland Signature Coffee.

Purchasing Kirkland Coffee

While you can find Kirkland coffee stocked at many Costco Stores, you can also find it at Kirkland’s Coffee on Amazon80. So you can enjoy Kirkland Coffee delivered to your door! No Costco membership required!

Limited Time Promotions:

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Kirkland Signature Medium Roast Coffee Ground Arabica, 2.5 lbs (2 Pack)

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Kirkland Signature Coffee Whole Bean Blend 2 lb. 2-pack

Other Costco Coffee Brands & Coffee Equipment

I’ve been purchasing Costco coffee for quite some time now, and I’ve noted that they also carried several other varieties of Coffee Beans from time to time, including: Starbucks French Roast, Starbucks Breakfast Blends, as well as First Colony, Blue Mountain blends, and several other types, all of these seem to be subject to availability. You can find out more at our other page.

Notes, tips, and observations

On a personal note, we are currently drinking this Kirkland Peruvian coffee right now. There’s also a sister blend from Ethiopia in the local origins series. Check them out if you can drink that much coffee! The nice bag of Ethiopian goes down well!

This is a good review of the coffee that you can get at Costco for an affordable price. it describes the process and tests against a similar non-Kirkland brand. Frugalwoods recksons that you can indeed save quite a bundle on your coffee habit!

CoffeeReview has also reviewed several of the Kirkland brands of coffee that are worth reading as a more technical analysis of the merits of these blends.

Comments & Replies

Hi, Jim Rogers here, of Rogers Family Coffee
Jim Rogers of Rogers Family Gourmet Coffee – the Roasters for Kirkland Signature Coffee

I have been working with Costco for over 35 years (we were their very first whole bean coffee supplier). They are a very refreshing operation, in that their focus is finding the best product, then negotiating price. (Most retailers consider price first.) Anyway, we source, roast, and package all of the Kirkland Signature single-origin coffees – Colombian Supremo, Costa Rican, Sumatran, Rwandan, and Guatemalan (my personal favorite).

The Colombian Supremo is an “every day” item, but the rest are what we call “rotators”: — each of the remaining four are only available three months out of the year. The main reason for this is to have some variety, but also to adhere to what Costco calls “sku discipline” — each warehouse only carries about 4,500 different skus (items for sale). This includes tires, TVs, foods, tools, jewelry, etc. The buyers are challenged to only offer the best of the best in each category. To give you some perspective, a typical grocery store might carry 40,000 skus or so, and a Super Wal-Mart maybe 80,000 skus. So Costco is a unique operation.

I encourage you, or any of your readers, to contact me directly if you have questions. I am happy to help.

PS. We cannot offer Kirkland Signature items for sale on our site, as that is their brand, but Costco.com usually has all of the items.

Final note: all of our Kirkland Signature coffees come from our Community Aid farmers, where we help farmers and communities by building houses and schools, offering medical / dental programs, hot meals, etc. You can find more info on our web site @ GourmetCoffee.com

My Reply: Thank you for explaining a little more how Costco works, and how you roast your coffee.

I’ll update the article to reflect the comments you’ve provided! It’s awesome to hear the story of Kirkland Coffee and how it ties into Rogers Family Coffee. I can honestly say I’ve tried pretty much all of the roasts available in our local stores in Taiwan (we don’t see everything, but we have been able to buy most of them here!).

I particularly enjoy the Central American varieties, but if I can’t find them, I’ll pick up the Columbian! The coffee is very enjoyable! I’ve actually been a member of Costco for almost 20 years, too… and as soon as I started taking coffee seriously, I was buying these coffees!

It’s such a pleasure to talk to you! Thank you for taking the time to reach out to PurelyCoffeeBeans! I’ve enabled the link and edited your title so my readers can reach out to you!

Best Wishes!
Kenneth

Further Reading @ PurelyCoffeeBeans.com

Kirkland Local Origins Series of coffee from Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Nicaragua…

How much caffeine is there in Kirkland’s Coffee?

If you can’t find what you are looking for here, visit the Costco website (coffee department). Then search for coffee beans there. However, I have found that they don’t always list all the Kirkland coffee there, though it is available in-store.

Love to hear your reaction to drinking Kirkland coffee: what’s your favorite blend? how do you make it? what works for you? what doesn’t?!


What are the best coffee brands, find out here!

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

Author: Kenneth

My name is Kenneth from PurelyCoffeeBeans, and I love coffee; so I’m on a quest to find, buy, and even consume the best coffee brands and beans in the world. Then I plan to make the best coffee drinks I can! I will happily share my results with you, too! I hope you can join me here on PurelyCoffeeBeans.com or on my mailing list!