(530) 273-6424


These are the questions we get asked the most in our store. If you have a question and don’t see the answer on here, please contact us via e-mail or phone (sales@carolinescoffee.com, 800 600-6424) and we’ll do our best to answer you.

Is it better to buy my coffee whole bean or ground?

Coffee begins to lose its freshness as soon as you grind it, so we recommend buying your coffee whole bean and grinding it as you use it.

How should I grind my coffee?

Coffee grinds are based on the type of coffeemaker you have, as well as personal preference. The options on our website are, from finest to coarsest: Turkish, Espresso, Fine, Auto-Drip, Drip, and Perc. Turkish is generally for a pump or commercial espresso machine, or for making Turkish style coffee. Espresso would be for a steam or boiler type espresso machine. Fine is for a cone filter, and what we would recommend for a Chemex. Auto-drip is the standard grind for most automatic home coffeemakers. Drip is what you would use for a gold filter, a flat-bottomed filter (basket-style), or a manual pour-over method of making coffee.  Perc is the grind for a percolator, or for a cold brew method of brewing.  You would also choose a perc grind for a French Press.

I have a French Press. How should I grind my coffee?

Perc. See above.

At what temperature should coffee be brewed?

The ideal temperature is around 200 degrees, just below boiling.

What brewing method yields the least acidic coffee?

If the acid in coffee bothers you, try the cold brew method of coffee extraction. We carry the Toddy Coffeemaker (www.toddycafe.com), and we highly recommend their product for those who need less acid. You do not sacrifice flavor, just acidity.

Are you USDA Organic Certified?

No we are not. If you sell less than a certain amount of organic product, you are not required to be USDA certified. It is a long, intensive and expensive process that we would love to do at some time, but we haven’t yet. In the meantime, we buy some of the best certified organic coffees in the world and roast them to our exacting standards to offer them to you. They are organic, but not USDA certified.

Do you offer Fair Trade coffees?

Yes we do, but only if they are a great coffee on their own, not solely because they’re fair trade certified. The small estate coffees that we buy receive a price well above the fair trade base. I know that this is a sensitive issue for many people, but let me say that we believe that coffee should be rewarded and chosen for its quality, and not out of guilt.

Which coffee has the most caffeine?

Lighter roast coffees actually have more caffeine, contrary to popular opinion. That dark roast coffee might taste stronger, but some caffeine is lost in the roasting process, so the shortest roasting time leads to the most caffeinated coffee. Peaberries are the highest in caffeine, so a light roasted peaberry will give you the most zing for your buck, so to speak.

Which coffee has the lowest acidity?

Our Indonesian coffees (Sumatra, Celebes, and Java) are the lowest in acidity.

How should I store my coffee?

Assuming that you’re going to use your coffee right away, the best thing to do is to keep it in an airtight container on the counter. DO NOT keep it in your refrigerator, because coffee is very susceptible to picking up other scents/odors that might be in your fridge. If are not going to use the coffee within two weeks, put it in the freezer until you need it.

What is an espresso?

Espresso is three things: a drink, a grind, and a roast. This makes it a confusing thing to describe. You could take an espresso roast coffee and grind it espresso to make an espresso drink. Confused yet? Let’s make it simple. An espresso drink is finely ground coffee that has been extracted under pressure to make a 1.5 ounce shot.

What is a ristretto?

A ristretto is also known as a “short shot,” or a tight shot: it’s only ¾ of an ounce of espresso from the same amount of grounds.

What is a latte?

To put it simply: espresso and steamed milk. The quantities of both can be adjusted for your personal preference.

What is a cappuccino?

A cappuccino is traditionally a three part drink: espresso, steamed milk and milk froth.

What is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?

This is easy to understand if you could pick up a mug of each. You would notice that the cappuccino is much lighter. The cappuccino is actually a stronger drink, because it has less steamed milk and more froth.

What is a dry cappuccino?

A cappuccino that is mostly froth, and very little to no steamed milk (again, depending on personal preference).

What is a Macchiato?

The word macchiato means marked or stained, and a macchiato is simply espresso that has been “marked” with a small amount of steamed milk. The name is confusing because so many shops seem to use the term to designate a latte. If you order a macchiato in our shop you are going to receive around a three ounce drink: a shot of espresso with a bit of steamed milk.

What is a breve?

A latte made with half and half. Mmmm, this is steamed goodness mixed with coffee, if you don’t mind the fat content.

What is Caroline’s favorite drink?

Which Caroline? The matriarch prefers a small double latte while the four year old can often be found sipping on a vanilla steamer.

What is a mocha freeze?

A blended cold drink mix of espresso, milk, and chocolate. We top it with our housemade whip cream for the perfect summer pick-me-up!

What is the difference between a mocha freeze and an iced mocha?

The mocha freeze is blended, and the iced mocha is over ice.

What iced drinks do you offer?

Check out our menu page. Basically anything we make hot, we can also make iced.

How long has Carolines been in business?

Since April of 1982. See the “About Us” section for more of our history.

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530 273-6424 | 800 600-6424


Carolines Coffee Roasters
128 S. Auburn St.
Grass Valley, CA 95945


Monday-Friday: 6am-5:30pm,
Saturday-Sunday: 7am-5:30pm

Thursdays for
Market in the Summer: 6am-9pm
Fridays for
Cornish Christmas: 6am-9pm

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