IMG_5433 Remember when I deCaffed? I was successfully off caffeine for over a year and a half after that, with only an occasional root beer or venti frappuccino in emergencies. I say this in the past tense because I went back to drinking coffee in January, thanks to the pressure of my ventures into entrepreneurship, plus the lovely Christmas present of a coffee maker from my fianceéw’s parents.

IMG_5428 Now I’ve got it bad — even worse than before, when I was just a Starbucks and Folgers dabbler. Now I’ve been buying those scoopable gourmet blends at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, running them through the store grinder at a slightly finer setting than is recommended for paper filters, and partaking of the wonder of coffee at least once daily every morning, with lots and lots of milk and a cube of sugar. I’ve learned to keep bags of ground coffee tightly sealed so as to preserve the oils in the blend from contact with the air, and am seriously considering the purchase of one of those “As Seen on TV” vacuum seal pumps.

IMG_5426 Now I worry I’m turning into one of those “Whole Bean” snobs who needs an electric grinder to enjoy the coffee at its freshest. I’ve made the mistake of getting bagged preground Starbucks and grocery-brand coffee, so it is with bitterness in my mouth that I ask you: what coffees should I be getting aside from my random selection from the Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s bean bins? Any recommendations?