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2321 Davis St., Unit C
North Chicago, IL


Coffee by the Roast is the retail website of Coffee Fresh, Inc, a small batch, specialty grade coffee roaster in North Chicago, IL, where customers can buy coffee online. Coffee by the Roast allows retail customers to buy fresh, custom roasted coffee online and have it shipped to any US address.  We provide only specialty grade coffee and roast the coffee to order.  Since coffee remains fresh for two to three weeks after roasting, we mail the coffee within twenty four hours to ensure our coffee is always fresh.


Coffee Questions

Got coffee?  Yes!  Got questions?  Yes! 

 Find the answers to your peculating coffee questions here.  If your question isn't answered below, or answers lead to more questions, feel free to write us from our Contact Us page or email us directly at 

Got Coffee Questions?  Buzzing to Know More?  

Find your question below, leave us a message on our Contact Us page or send us an email at   


1.  What is Fresh Coffee?   Whole bean coffee maintains peak flavor for two to three weeks after roasting.  During that time, the coffee beans release carbon dioxide gas that drives away oxygen and keeps the beans fresh.  Once the coffee stops releasing CO2, the beans start to oxidize and stale.  Believe me, you can taste the difference!  Order a roast of fresh coffee today and see.

2.  What happens once the coffee is ground?  Coffee begins to stale about twenty-five minutes after grinding because the increased surface area allows the CO2 to escape much more quickly.  That's why we here at Coffee by the Roast encourage all our customers to grind their own coffee immediately before brewing.  If you don't have a grinder, though, or wish to give coffee to someone who may not own a grinder, we're happy to grind the coffee for you.  Drop us an email or write "Please grind for" and the kind of brewer you use (Percolator, Filter System, French Press, etc.)  in the "Additional Instructions" box when you're paying for the coffee.

3.  Once I receive my coffee, how do I keep it fresh?    If you'll drink a whole roast (a little over a pound) in two weeks, leave your coffee in the polyfoil degassing bag at room temperature.  If you want to keep your coffee fresh longer than 2 weeks, freeze it in the original packaging.  Freezing will slightly reduce the aroma of your brewed coffee, but will preserve the fresh flavor for up to three months.  Whatever you do, please DO NOT refrigerate your coffee.  Coffee is like baking soda.  It will absorb any odors in your refrigerator resulting in a fresh-smelling 'fridge and strange-tasting coffee.

4.  What is custom roasted coffee?    Custom roasted coffee is YOUR coffee, roasted to YOUR order.  Coffee by the Roast uses micro-roast technology to roast only the coffee you order to the roast level you specify.  Each roast is 600 grams of green coffee.  After roasting, the coffee weighs between 1 and 1.2 pounds, depending on variety of coffee and roast level.  The darker the roast, the lighter the weight.  We package the coffee in clear, polyfoil ziploc pouches and ships the coffee to you within 24 hours of roasting.

5.  Don't most artisan roasters offer custom roasted coffee?
    While many artisan roasters offer custom roasted coffee, their reliance on older roaster technology requires them to roast between 10 and 100 pounds of green coffee at a time.  Unless your order is for exactly the amount their roaster holds, they must throw the extra coffee away or sell it to someone else.  Rather than increase prices to pay for discarded coffee or sell coffee ordered by one customer to another, Coffee by the Roast guarantees that you get all the coffee you order, roasted to the level you choose and shipped fresh...all at the best possible price.

6.  Can I order more than one roast of a coffee?    Absolutely. We are happy to custom roast as much coffee as you want.  Just select your coffee, the number of roasts and roast level.  We'll do the rest!

7.  I don't know which roast level to choose.  What do I do?    There are roast level recommendations in the coffee descriptions. Choose any of those roast levels, and you can be sure the coffee will taste great! Or select the "Roaster's Choice" roast level option, and we'll roast the coffee the roast level we like best. You can also call or email us with any roast level questions.

8.  I know the level I want for my coffee, but it's not one of your options.  What do I do?  Drop us an email or leave a note in the "Additional Instructions" box.  The roast level options on the website include the most popular roast levels for each coffee.  If you prefer something different, your espresso light or your flavored coffee dark, for instance, drop us a line or give us a call.  We'll be happy to oblige.  Coffee by the Roast means getting YOUR coffee, YOUR way, every time.

9.  Are the coffee bags in the product pictures the actual bags for my green coffee?  The photos of burlap bags are actual coffee bags, but they are not necessarily the bags your coffee came in.  They are photos of the nicest looking bags for that kind of coffee.

10.  I don't see my favorite coffee (or coffee flavor) on your list.  What do I do?   Email us. We offer many varieties of coffee and flavored coffee options that are not listed on the website.

11.  The descriptions of your flavored coffees refer to the flavoring not the coffee.  What kind of coffee does Coffee by the Roast flavor?  We believe customers who enjoy flavored coffee deserve the same high quality coffee as our other customers.  We start with a high quality, mild coffee, roast it to order and stir in just the right amount of flavoring to give you a sweet, flavorful cup.

12.  Why do some coffees cost more than others?   We pay more for some green coffees than for others.  We charge our customers a set amount over our cost for each roast of coffee.  More expensive or less, the only difference is the difference in our cost.  The only exception is our Coffee of the Month.  Every month we choose one coffee to highlight, a very special coffee we hope our customers will love as much as we do.  To encourage our customers to try the Coffee of the Month, we keep the price steady at $10.99 per pouch, regardless of how much the green coffee costs. After the month is over, all Coffees of the Month continue to be available for $13.48 per pouch.

13.  Your prices are by the roast.  How much does your coffee cost per pound?  
Most of the coffee at Coffee by the Roast costs under $13 a pound.  The exact amount depends on the coffee and roast level you choose.  The darker a coffee is roasted, the less it weighs.  For any variety of coffee, a pound of very dark French Roast takes more beans than a pound of  very light Cinnamon Roast.  All our roasts start with 600 gr. of green coffee beans.  The end weight after roasting will vary between 1 pound and 1.2 pounds, with an average weight of 1.15 pounds for most coffees at a medium roast level.  If you want to estimate your cost per pound, divide the price of your roast by 1.1 for dark roasts, 1.15 for medium to light roasts and 1.2 for decafs or flavored coffee.  At $10.99 per roast, our Coffee of the Month is about $9.50 per pound at most roast levels, a real bargain!
Are the more expensive coffees better coffees?  No.  All our coffees are the highest quality available.   Some of our coffees are rare and particularly expensive, but we pay producers an average of 40% over C-Market (the coffee exchange) for all our coffee to ensure we get the very best.  The differences in price between our other coffees reflect factors, such as shipping and distribution costs, the cost of government run auctions, and certification premiums such as Fair Trade and Organic.

15.  Fair Trade?  I don't see any Fair Trade coffee on your list.  Coffee by the Roast is not Fair Trade certified, so we are not allowed to sell the Fair Trade coffees we buy as "Fair Trade."  We prefer to spend the money certification costs on the green coffee beans so more of it goes directly to the small growers and cooperatives who provide our coffee.

16.  How much do you charge for shipping and handling?   As long as your coffee is shipped to to a US or US military address, your cost for shipping and handling will be a flat $5.00 per order.  Order one roast or twenty, the shipping and handling fee remains the same.

17.  Can I get Coffee by the Roast shipped to an APO address?  Absolutely!  Coffee by the Roast is happy to ship anywhere in the US or to any US military address for our flat shipping and handling rate of $5.00 per order.  (Please note that the return address will not show Coffee by the Roast  Too many packages with our name on the address label have gone missing when sent overseas.  A plainer return address results in more coffee arriving at its destination.)

18.  I live outside the US.  Can I still order Coffee by the Roast?  Yes.  Please drop us an email with your order and we'll calculate the shipping costs for your approval before we custom roast your coffee.  Okay the order, give us your payment information, and we'll roast and ship your coffee.

19.  If I have another question for Coffee by the Roast, is there a phone number I can call?  Yes. 847-578-0772.  Please leave a message if no one answers and we'll get back to you within one business day.