Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Good Cheap Coffee!

All right, all right: where else, eh?


To my astonishment, Costco carries some decent whole-bean coffees. Not great, but very much on the high side of acceptable. And the stuff is cheap beyond belief.

As you’ll recall, the really good stuff comes from “The Little Guy,”* my favorite local supplier, at $15 a pound — rather more than I care to pay on a regular basis. AJ’s, my former favorite supplier and gourmet grocery market, charges about $12 a pound, but they apparently changed suppliers a few months ago. The espresso is no longer an especially dark roast, and the quality of the bean itself is noticeably inferior to what it used to be. Whole Foods here quit selling bulk coffee. Sprouts’s bulk coffee is excruciatingly bad. Eventually I found an “organic” bulk coffee at the fancy Fry’s supermarket on the fringe of Richistan, where a pound goes for about nine bucks.

And that’s what I’ve been buying: it’s pretty good. Certainly not up to The Little Guy’s product. But more than good enough for gummint work.

The other day I was at Costco with some friends. They use one of those Keurig things, so we were in the coffee aisle looking for their preferred variety of pod. This was an exception for me, because I never go into the coffee aisle there, having been told that all the coffee at Costco is Starbucks.

I personally don’t care for Starbucks coffee. In my experience, it’s low-flavor plonk whose highest and best use is to serve as a medium into which to pour sugar, cream, and artificial flavors. Yuck! The only way to get a halfway decent cup of coffee at a Starbucks is to ask for a café Americano. That will elicit a brew that tastes approximately like a decent cup of restaurant coffee. Which ain’t sayin’ much, but it’s better than what they sell as regular “coffee.”

So anyway, we’re mucking around in the coffee aisle and I happen to notice they carry a “Kirkland” brand, which appears to be different from the bags of “Starbucks” that populate most of their shelves of whole beans. Hm. Read the label: it doesn’t say it’s produced by Starbucks…but that means nothing, since Costco tends to be secretive about its suppliers. And it’s only NINE BUCKS for a fine Costco lifetime supply! A vast, bottomless bag of dark-roast coffee beans beckons.

They also had a make labeled “San Francisco,” hard to resist with a name like that. But the Kirkland was cheaper . . . and . . . why not? It comes in a three-pound bag, enough to last me a month or so. Nine dollah isn’t enough to bankrupt me…if I hate it, I’ll just donate it to someone’s cause. Or…hell, it’s Costco: you can bring ANYTHING back. 🙂

 Grabbed that. Turns out to be surprisingly good. Not as exquisite as The Little Guy’s, but very, very good. Better than the Fry’s organic dark roast. Significantly better than AJ’s. And light-years superior to Sprouts.

A month later, having consumed most of the Kirkland bag, I decided to try the “San Francisco” label. It also is pretty good. Not as good as the Kirkland dark roast, but highly creditable. About the same as Fry’s, I’d say. Better than AJ’s, better than Sprouts, surely better than Starbucks.

You can buy this stuff at Amazon, BTW, for a lot more than it costs in the store, and the natives seem to like it: Consumer reviews there range upwards of four stars. Then we have a guy who styles himself as a coffee expert: he loves the stuff. Whether that article is a paid post, I do not know…if it is, I hope he got paid plenty for it, because he goes all out in reviewing the Kirkland varieties. On the coffees I’ve tried, though, I have to say I’d agree with him.

WhatEVER. Give me upward of a month’s worth of decent whole-bean coffee, and you’ve bought my soul…


*Not the store’s name. The affable proprietor was dubbed “The Little Guy” by SDXB within a week of the store’s opening. It’s a tiny coffeehouse in a Walmart shopping center situated on Gangbanger’s Way — draws its clientele from local retirees and from the medical staff at the huge urban medical center across the road.

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Author: funny

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  1. Ahhhh Costco….DD2 it seems has been bitten by the “Costco bug”….and requested a membership for her birthday. She goes on and on about the “deals”…etc….IMHO Costco has figured out how to take something that is dreaded….”shopping” and turn it into an “adventure/treasure hunt”…some may even say “sport”. I don’t get it….

  2. Ahhh, the joy of Impulse Buy Heaven! 🙂

    Seriously, though: This coffee IS a good deal.

  3. I’m glad you have found a coffee there that you like. Unfortunately or fortunately …my taste buds are not that sophisticated. Currently we are drinking coffee purchased from Aldi in the large can (what use to be a 3 pound can but is no longer). Couldn’t tell ya where it came from, what kind of bean it is….BUT I can tell ya the price is right….and when run thru our 6 year old 12 cup Mr. Coffee machine it comes out hot, black and caffeinated.

  4. I’m fairly choosy about coffee myself, but I used to drink Kroger’s Columbian roast and liked it fine. Last year, I noticed a bitter aftertaste, so began searching for good, cheap ground coffee. I’m currently drinking Eight O’Clock brand because Kroger sends me coupons for it. Alas, Costco has not come to Arkansas or I would most likely shop there. I’ve never tried Starbucks because I can’t afford it and I stay away from trendy things in general because I’m on a tight budget.

    • Try Folger’s. Back in the day, that was my favorite brand of ground coffee. That was WAY back in the day, o’course, so the stuff has no doubt changed. But it’s worth a try — if nothing else, you get a handy-dandy tin can with its own plastic lid, convenient for story small doo-dads. 😉