A great source for coffee beans...


The Motley Monk always grinds his coffee beans whenever he makes coffee.  After all, there's nothing quite like the smell of fresh beans which have just been ground before being placed in hot water to steep.  And that's to say nothing about the aroma created by those beans as they steep or my "Pope Benedict XVI: The Cafeteria Is Closed" coffee mug!



Over the years, the search for the perfect coffee bean has taken The Motley Monk in many directions.  French Roast (dark beans) have always been my favorite.  Starbucks' French Roast beans make a consistently good cup of coffee.  But, the price is pretty steep (pardon the pun).  Forget store brand "fresh" beans!  They may be cheaper than Starbucks but they don't produce a consistently good cup of coffee.

About twenty years ago, some friends from Tulsa, Allen and Patsy Braumiller, put me onto a coffee roaster in Costa Rica.  Allen and Patsy had vacationed there and offered me a cup of Costa Rican coffee made by a local roaster and labeled "Sun Burst Cafe du Altura."  I was skeptical, at first, but that cup of coffee changed my mind immediately.

If I recall the story correctly, Sun Burst founder, Michael Pierpont, was a stockbroker who left Santa Barbara, CA, and moved to Costa Rica in 1990.  Michael entered the coffee business because he was not satisfied with the other local coffees he was selling in his gift store. "I knew there was better coffee available so I sold my Range Rover to buy our first hand made small batch roaster," Michael told a reporter from the local newspaper.  "Great coffee is my passion and I live to build this business through producing exceptional coffee products with personalized service that the big companies can't provide.ö

Michael is a self-taught micro-coffee baron who purchases only high-altitude coffee grown in the hills of Costa Rica's Tarraz˙ region just southwest of the colonial capital of Cartago.  With the aid of his wife, Jenny, and two employees, Pierpont works out of his 1930s-built Escaz˙ home, toasting the beans to light, dark, French, or espresso roasts and packaging them by hand for sale by phone, fax or Internet to anywhere in Costa Rica, the continental U.S., or Canada. And, believe this or not: Michael will also roast to suit a customer's preferences!

When I placed my first order at Sun Burst, the firm didn't offer French Roast.  So, I emailed Michael and we corresponded.  He then emailed me a coffee roasting guide consisting of somewhere around 800 different types of roast coffee beans.  He wanted me to pick the exact roast I wanted.  I made my choice, ordered it, and I've used Sun Burst French Roast almost every morning since.


"I'm a little roaster, one of the smallest in the country, so my niche is top end," Michael says. "I want to keep my system simple, so all my coffee is the same price, but I'm convinced that our special offers on the Internet are the best deals around."

The Motley Monk seconds that observation!  I always order twelve, one pound packages.  With free shipping and the "bulk" discount, that comes to $7.50 per pound.  I keep the beans frozen until use and, once defrosted, they are as fresh as the day they arrived at HIH II.

The Motley Monk highly recommends giving Sun Burst Cafe du Altura a try!  Just click on the picture below:




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