Online Coffee Shops

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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You might not think that coffee and e-commerce have but so much in common. Both, however, started off on the same shaky ground, albeit more than 1,000 years apart. Coffee came very near to being excommunicated by Rome as being the work of the devil, and forbidden by Islam for its pernicious (addictive) effects. E-commerce, well, that's recent enough and to some degree ongoing that it doesn't need so much explaining.

Online coffee shops, then, the wedding of the misbegotten, might just be to some extent a wedding made in heaven. On the one hand is the exquisite convenience of home delivery within 48 hours of shipment, on a regular basis. Given the freshness imperative to fine coffee, time is of the essence. On the other hand is the number and variety of coffee purveyors with a shop in the Internet marketplace.

What's Available in Online Coffee Shops?

This breadth of offerings extends to the coffees themselves. From the Italian and French roasts to the Sumatras, you can find rich dark roasts to suit any palate. For a smoother and lighter brew, there are--just to get you started--the Columbians, Kenyans, and Costa Ricans. In between, of course, are the Mocha Javas, the Konas, and the many blends. If you have a discerning palate, you'll prefer a Jamaican Blue Mountain over an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, or a Peruvian Select over a Sumatran Reserve (or, of course, the reverse).

If this were a race between vendor and customer, the customer--it would seem--might be winning. The disadvantage, and there is a disadvantage, is the singular absence online of the delightful aroma of freshly ground coffee beans. That issue aside, buying coffee online is the ideal answer for some of us. Recurring orders are especially convenient.

Naming no names and pointing no fingers (and certainly not looking in the mirror), the experience you doubtless want to avoid is discovering at 5:30 in the morning that you don't have enough coffee grounds to make a half a cup, much less the usual half carafe. This happening once in a blue moon is nothing. This happening regularly, well, trust my little lesson from the school of hard knocks. Place a recurring order online and it won't happen to you.

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