Coffee is like bread in the race for maximum taste and freshness. So it's a big plus that the coffee at Gourmet Coffee Warehouse is roasted on the premises in Venice every day.
Coffee is also like wine. Not all grapes are of the finest quality, and not all coffee beans are either.
But being small, Gourmet Coffee Warehouse is able to buy small quantities here and there of only the very best beans, which it roasts and sells to local restaurants, bakeries and coffeehouses.
At the retail market in the front of the warehouse, coffee is sold to the public at wholesale. Customers can buy a five-pound bag of many of the best beans for about $6 a pound.
The list of coffees is extensive, ranging from $5.90 a pound for Mexican Custapec to $19.95 a pound for Kona Estate. The organics sell from $6 a pound for Timor to $7.10 a pound for Black Gold, and the blends start at $5.90 a pound for Espresso Primo to $7.95 a pound for Kona.
The warehouse has a five-pound minimum. If that's too much, freezing coffee is fine. But if you must buy only one pound, add $1 a pound to the price.
There's an Old World aura to this place with its antique bins and mesmerizing aroma of fresh-roasted coffee. To get a crash course on coffee, just ask owner Richard Karno, who is delighted to give customers a tour.
Gourmet Coffee Warehouse, 671 Rose Ave., Venice. Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (310) 392-6479.
Weekend Supersales: It's the big one so many of you wait for all year: the William Casper Cashmere Sale, when top-quality cashmere apparel goes on sale for 35% to 70% off retail. It starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
William Casper Cashmere Sale, at the Doubletree Inn, 10740 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. Cash or check only.
A major Southern California importer, U.S. Imports, is having a once-a-year warehouse liquidation sale in its parking lot--starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday--with toys, books, housewares, small electronics and holiday items at 50% to 80% off. Nothing costs more than $10.
U.S. Imports, 18736 Parthenia St., Northridge.
For more bargains, visit http://www.bargainsla.com.