Who Won the Whole Bean Quest in Ballard?

Since moving Coffee Hero headquarters from Northgate to Ballard, I haven’t yet figured out a way to home roast coffee without a visit from the Seattle Fire Department. So yesterday I headed out in the rain on a quest to find an espresso blend for my home machine.

It should have been a simple consumer transaction. It wasn’t.

Herkimer Coffee

My first stop was the Cugini Cafe, which is a Herkimer Coffee account. There was a few bags of Espresso Blend at the counter. I looked for the roast date on the bag. And I looked. On the 3 bags they had, there was no roast date. The beans could have been 4 days or 4 months old. No sale.

Caffe Fiore

Caffe Fiore was right around the corner from Cugini Cafe. Although I wouldn’t put their espresso blend in the Seattle Top 10, the rain was really coming down now. I needed my espresso beans. Just like Herkimer bags, there was no visible roasted date on the Fiore Espresso bags. No sale.

Seven Roasters

I had been meaning to try Enlighten Cafe which is a Seven Roasters account. It was just a few blocks away. Not only did they not sell whole beans there, but they are in desperate need of barista training. My espresso was close to 4 oz. The Hula Blend is forgiving, but not that forgiving.

Kuma Coffee

The Ballard Market had Kuma Coffee’s new Red Bear Espresso. On the bottom of every bag is the roasted date. I selected the freshest bag and made my purchase.

Easy Win

Coffee is perishable item. Kuma Coffee won my Whole Bean Quest in Ballard, because they labeled their bag with the roast date. Attention Seattle coffee roasters: I’m not buying any whole beans that do not have the roasted date on them. Yesterday reminded me why I started home roasting coffee 12 years ago.


  1. says

    Good Point made , Totally agree, that roasting dates much be present in all sales of coffee beans. Who wants to buy something outdated and not fresh. Good Coffee is always associated to it own freshness.

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