This is my last bit of work, I'd been wanting to shoot coffee beans for a while now, I tried a few weeks ago using a French Press as a container but the spherical nature of it and needing multiple lights didn't work in terms of light reflections and DoF. My polariser filter couldn't cut the glare down enough and the curve in the glass made it too difficult to make the beans appear flat.
When I retried I attempted shooting up through a glass coffee table, which didn't work, and then a glass table to get more height making it easier to see what I was doing, which also didn't work (glare, reflections and angle was tricky again). Finally I placed the beans in a picture frame and hung it on the wall, it made the beans appear flat and I could cut out glare by holding a towel up behind the camera to prevent the harsh light reaching the glass. Only downside to this was that I couldn't move the beans once i'd closed the frame meaning any bunching up that occurred I couldn't prevent without opening the frame again and causing them elsewhere. But eventually after three hours and a few setups I got a photo I was happy with.
The image can also be viewed on 500px that shows you the details of how it was shot: