buying coffee turns out to be a three-way balancing act between brand names, prices, and shelf-life.
Usually, the fresher coffee is that which has the highest turnover on the shelf. In other words, the faster it moves off the shelf, the fresher, and typically better tasting.
The fastest selling coffee is determined either by consumers who are influenced by popular brand names, or purely by a consistently low price.
More expensive grocery stores in high income neighborhoods typically sell more popular brands than generic brands because status anxiety runs high, so you'll have to splurge for the packaged Starbucks coffee on the shelf.
However, competitive high-end brands will have fluctuating sale prices that will slow each-other down, so the high-end popular brands will move off the store shelves slower than the store-brand or generic brand coffees which are consistently lower in price.
Still, at the expensive grocery stores, even the generic brands move off more slowly because of the volatile sales of popular brands.
The best bet? Aldi's or Shop-n-Save.
Low priced generic coffee or coffee of a brand you don't know will flow off the shelf at low-price stores more consistently than anywhere else. The same goes for just about everything else there too.
The cause of stale, poor tasting coffee? Status Anxiety. Status anxiety is pretty much the cause of our current economic crisis too.