I am of course referring to Williams and Sonoma, when it comes to coffee they are a very cruel cruel dispicable place. If you don't know Williams and Somona is a kitchen supply store, and carrying a wide variety of mid to high end kitchen goods. They also tend to carry a variety of different food stuffs, mainly stuff with long shelf lifes; mixes for batters and some different pickled goods, and of course coffee.
Before I get to the bad I do want to high light the good, if you have ever wanted to see something like a Hario Bruno pouring kettle or the two hundred dollar Hario ice coffee maker in person, W&S has you covered with all of your pour over needs in that regard and some nice grinders too.
However, there is a really bad dark side to all of this coffee love, really and I mean really old coffee sits on their shelves. Of course they carry the faux gourmet coffee like Illy and Nepresso, but they also have some very nice roasters too. These are all of the roasters that were at this specific location, Intelligentsia, Zoka, La Colombe and 49th Parallel. All of these roasters serve some amazing coffee, but they were all roasted months ago! With Best By dates on them!!!!
I have to admit that I really expect a little bit more from coffee roasters that seem to go out of their way to expose people to good coffee, yet do something weird like keep stock where it's going to be months after roasting before anyone sees it. I actually bought a bag of Intelligentsia from W&S a while ago even though it was old, and it was fine, but I believe the coffee lost some of the nuances that it might have had when it was fresh.
I understand that at the end of the day all of these roasters have their families and employees to support with their business. So I don't fault them in hopefully getting people to try their coffee and get online to buy it. It's just a little contradictory that you are going to hear from all of these roasters that coffee needs to be used up within a week or two of roasting yet their coffee is for sale months after the fact and I would say knowingly so.
At the end of the day I am just really upset that I am so tempted with seeing a shelf like the one below, but am not about to buy it...