10% Off Gift Subscriptions Today — The gift that keeps giving

The Emperor's New Beans: The Buzz on Specialty Coffee

How to choose the best coffee beans, and how to avoid stale coffee and overblown coffee marketing. Support your local coffee roaster community.

How do you choose the best coffee?


In 2017, specialty coffee will make up over 50% of the $48 billion dollar coffee market in the United States, and ~30% of coffee-drinking adults will make their daily cup a specialty roast. Coffee is considered “specialty” when it exhibits a flavor profile from its geographical origin, is freshly roasted, and properly brewed.

Demand for quality coffee is on the rise: these days, even grocery store shelves contain some hidden gems! But beware, any diamond in the rough is, by definition, surrounded by a lot of "rough". Other than being familiar with a local roaster or cafe, how can you know you're buying the best, freshest beans?

When you're buying coffee in the wild, here are a few things to keep in mind so you bring home the very best beans, every time:


Follow our cheat sheet whenever you buy coffee, and soon you'll be sipping pretty. And isn't that what it's all about?

I'm a great cup!




Get handpicked artisan coffee delivered fresh to your home with a Coffee Subscription
or our Coffee of the Month Club. And look no further for the perfect gifts for coffee lovers.

Other Posts You Might Like

For a great cup, the quality of the grind means everything.

Ground Coffee - Where We Stand

For a great cup, a great grind in the Beanery will beat a poor grind in the kitchen, every time.

Strength: it's in the brewing. Yes, we can!

Brewing Truly Strong Coffee

Strong coffee: it's all in the brewing

A great grinder is the centerpiece of your coffee altar.

Great Coffee: It's All About The Grind

Our guide to your daily grind, and why grinding is the key to great coffee.

Pulling a shot in the Beanery.

Espresso Basics, and a Few New Drink Types to Try

(None of which are called ‘expresso’)