Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It is available in different varieties and preparations – from flavored and sweet, to black and strong, to steaming hot or ice blended. Some people can drink any blend of coffee, especially those who drink coffee primarily in the morning and in moderation. However, the true coffee connoisseur is particular about the coffee he or she drinks. There are many factors to consider when making a great cup of coffee, the first of which is to find the best coffee beans to use. The mistake most people make is assuming that the process ends there. Buying the most expensive coffee is not enough to ensure a great tasting product. When choosing your coffee beans online, you should be aware of the different varieties of coffee, regions of origin, acidity and overall flavor profiles. Here is a complete guide to choosing high-quality coffee beans.
Bean variety is crucial to the quality of coffee you drink. There are two coffee bean varieties: Arabica and Robusta. Whenever possible, choose pure Arabica. Robusta coffee beans are cheap and produce a bitter taste. However, they are typically higher in caffeine content than Arabica beans. Coffee made with pure Arabica is smooth and produces a great cup of coffee.
Region of Origin
After bean variety, the second biggest flavor determining of coffee is the region of origin. The climate, altitude, soil type and harvesting methods for a particular region result in common flavors across coffee beans from that region. The main coffee bean origins are the Latin America (South and Central America, Columbia, Mexico, Caribbean, Panama and Costa Rica), Africa (Kenya and Ethiopia) the Pacific (Indonesia, Java, and Sumatra) and Exotics (Hawaii and Jamaica). Here are key features of coffee beans produced in each locale.
- Latin America
Latin America produces the vast majority of the world’s Arabica coffee beans. The coffee from this region could have a sweet, well-balanced, tangy and intense flavor. The recommended roast of Latin American coffees is mild to medium. This is essential to preserve the brightness of the bean without introducing bitterness. The acidity of the coffee ranges from medium to high.
Although African coffee production is notably lower than Latin American or Asian production, coffee experts often laud African species as being the best coffee beans in the world. The two notable coffee producers in the region are Kenya and Ethiopia. Kenyan beans are bolder and juicer, often carrying a tomato-like acidity, deep savory-sweetness and hints of citrus and berries. Ethiopian beans are known for their dense sweetness to their flavor, often tasting of blueberries and strawberries, with herbal undertones of lemongrass and jasmine. African coffees have medium acidity and should be dark roasted.
- The Pacific
Top coffee producers in the Pacific Region include Indonesia, Sumatra and Sulawesi. The highly varied environments in the region, stemming from factors such as iron content in the soil, produce a very different flavor profile in coffee beans. The Pacific coffees have smooth, earthy, robust, flowery and bitter tones. They have a low acidity and a recommended roast of dark to very dark.
The Exotic region includes countries, such as Hawaii and Jamaica. Exotic coffees have a slight to moderate floral aromatics, and could have barely perceptible to a slight fruity character. The coffees could have slight to moderate sharp/green notes and earthy base notes.
Coffee beans are not ready to drink until after they have been roasted properly. Choosing a particular roast will give you different flavors than other roasts. The roasting process caramelizes the bean sugars, and releases the coffee oils, chemically changing coffee beans from green and unappetizing, to shiny, brown and fragrant.
There are four levels of coffee bean roast: light, medium, dark and very dark. Light roasted beans are pale brown in color and have a sharp, acidic taste. Medium or American roasted beans are brown in color. They have a shiny luster and smoky taste. Dark roasted beans are dark brown in color and smoky taste. Very Dark roasted beans or French roasts are almost black and smoky rich taste.
What to Know About Decaffeinated Coffee Beans
Decaffeinated coffee is achieved through various processes, all of which are relatively harmless to your health, but harmful to the coffee quality. Nearly, all processes for decaffeination consists of soaking beans in water to dissolve caffeine, extracting the caffeine with either a solvent or activated carbon. The decaf coffee beans are then restored to their normal moisture levels before being roasted. The processing in most cases the flavor. Decaffeinated brews may taste dull or flat.
Maintaining the Quality and Freshness of Coffee
Online coffee suppliers deliver their products to a wide audience. This means that you are more likely to get fresher beans on the web than in a local store. For the most refreshing taste, it is advisable that you buy roasted coffee beans and grind them yourself. This way the coffee will maintain its rich, aromatic flavor. In addition, because you only need to grind what you require, the rest can be stored until you are ready to use them again.
How to Store Coffee
Although glass canisters look great on countertops, they are not the best way to store coffee. To maintain flavor and freshness, coffee must be kept away from moisture, light, heat and strong odors. Coffee can pick up strong odors from other foods stored near it. Refrigerating coffee is not advisable since moisture will quickly deteriorate its quality. Instead, try three coffee storage tips.
Tip 1: Keep it Cool
Always store your coffee in a dark location, away from the oven. Do not choose a cabinet on an outside wall if it gets a lot of sun during the day.
Tip 2: Keep it Airtight
Store your coffee in an airtight, nonreactive metal container. If buy large amounts of coffee, divide it between to containers, and keep the larger unused beans airtight until it is required.
Tip 3: Buy Right Quantities
Coffee loses its flavor and freshness quickly after it has been roasted. Thus, buy fresh roasted coffee in an amount that will last one two weeks.
When you buy coffee beans online, you will be able to access other tasty accomplishments, such as coffee syrups and machines to help you make a perfect cup of coffee. Even though buying coffee online may appear daunting at first, not only will you access lower price but also a wide variety of products.