That was a great explanation as to why I see differences from week to week in the coffee beans I buy from "traditional" supermarkets. Which I stopped buying.
I live in Massachusetts and now buy coffee from a supermarket chain called Natural Harvest....(lot's of organic and they bought out "Bread & Circus")
Natural Harvest roasts their own beans on the premises and the quality is excellent. Of course, it's more expensive ($8 to $9 a pound) but the difference is unmistakeable!
We like their extra dark French Roast....it has been consistent in it's freshness, color and flavor. and the bins are marked as to the date the beans were roasted. It is common for me to be able to buy beans roasted that day.
Can you tell me more about the coffee exchange you referred to?
Equal Exchange Coffee is a cooperative that distributes fair trade coffees. I believe they are located in Brookline, MA---if not there, somewhere in MA or New England.
They work to organize small coffee growers around the world into cooperatives that provide living wages for the farmers and producers, support sustainable agriculture (preventing environmental degradation) and bring fair market pricing standards for their product.
The coffees are great, too.