Do you like coffee? Of course, you do. Most people can’t imagine their morning ritual without drinking a good cup of coffee. It’s the potion which helps them get through the exhausting day at work; keeping them awake and focused when they need it the most.
Everybody craves for coffee with strong flavor, nice aroma and high quality. However, sometimes its taste doesn’t seem right and you’re wondering what’s wrong. It’s not like the one which your friend made for you or the one you drank in your favorite café. Having the latest coffeemaker and learning the best techniques for making this beverage at home won’t do the trick if you don’t buy the right coffee beans.
Unlike the past, nowadays there is an extensive selection of them on the market, which makes your choice even harder. Supermarkets aren’t the only place where you can buy it, as it has become common to purchase speciality coffee online.
If you are struggling to find the right type of beans, the following tips can help you in making the best choice.
Decide on the type
There are hundreds of coffee beans varieties coming from different countries, but the most prominent ones which are sold worldwide are Arabica and Robusta. You’ve probably heard these names many times before, without wondering about their potential differences.
When making a purchase, you’ll find that the Arabica kind is more present on the market, being sold way more than Robusta. This type of beans provide sweeter and sourer taste unlike the latter which are known to be stronger and bitterer. Their taste mainly comes from the difference in altitude. Robusta grows on a much lower altitude than Arabica.
Bear in mind that, the quality of both species largely depends on their preservation prior to the roasting process. During roasting, they lose some of their core qualities, making it hard for some people to differentiate them. Anyway, Arabica is famous for offering a better quality, but your choice will eventually depend on your taste preference.
Look for a roasting date
When purchasing a coffee bag either from the supermarket or online, make sure it has a roasting date stamped on it. Why is this date so important?
You probably have a habit of looking for an expiration date on products, but the thing is that coffee actually doesn’t have an expiration date. Therefore, you should search for bags which state the date of roasting as it shows how fresh it is. The best coffee beans would be the ones which were roasted no more than three weeks before you purchase them. The longer it stays in the bag, the staler it becomes due to the moisture or heat which gradually alter its quality.
Don’t buy bags which don’t have a printed roasting date. When you make a purchase online, ask the seller to provide detailed information on the type of beans and their whole journey leading to the final product. If the seller isn’t knowledgeable on this topic, you should find another one able to provide this information for you.
Choose the origin
When it comes to origin, there are two kinds; single-origin and blended. The former one, as the name suggests, comes from a single region or even a single farm while the latter is a blend from various regions or countries.
The single-origin type is better for people who like their coffee black. It has a unique, strong taste and the farmers which produce it, can provide detailed information about the whole process. The blended kind is more convenient for people who like to drink it with milk.
The mixture of various beans enables this variant to acquire specific qualities of each type of beans. For instance, it can take the strong taste from one variety and the pleasant aroma from another, making a perfect combination.
There is a divided opinion whether blending should occur prior or after the roasting process. Click here if you want to learn more about the pre and post-blending process.
Choose the roasting level
The roasting level is one of the most neglected, yet the most significant elements which gives coffee its final taste. There are three roasting levels: light, medium and dark. Although most people believe that the dark beans contain more caffeine, it’s actually the contrary. The light ones have the highest caffeine level, as it tends to decrease as they become more roasted.
Perhaps, the medium level is the best and the most widely accepted one, as caffeine level is neither too strong nor too mild. However, you’ll determine the level according to the amount of caffeine you want to enter in your body system.
Ground or whole beans?
The last dilemma to solve is regarding the form in which you’ll purchase your coffee. The ground type is more available in the supermarkets, but it’s of less quality than the whole beans one. The former one stays fresh about three days since you opened the package, while the latter can remain fresh in the next three weeks.
Naturally, the latter is also more expensive due its higher quality. You’ll get the freshest espresso if you grind the beans couple of minutes before you drink your cup, which is not possible if you buy the ground type.
Anyway, both variants require careful storing in order to keep their freshness. The best way to store them is in a sealed container, preventing moisture and heat from spoiling their taste. You should also store the variant you choose in a dark, cold place; but not in the fridge. It’s better to purchase small quantities more frequently than big amounts once in a while.
There are a lot of factors to be taken into consideration when choosing the perfect coffee for you. In the end, it all comes down to your taste.
Determine whether you like it sweeter or bitter, light or dark roasted, single-origin or blended. It’s up to you to decide!