Are you a coffee lover? If so, have you ever asked yourself how to choose the best coffee beans for your daily cup of joe? You need to know that there are a lot of types of this beverage that you can enjoy. Check out these suggestions if you want to get started on choosing some ideal coffee beans.
Arabica or Robusta?
For your first step towards an outstanding cup of coffee, you need to know what beans are available.
Arabica is the variety most people are familiar with and it’s available in a bewildering array of flavours depending on where it’s grown. An Arabica-based blend will offer plenty of flavour but tend toward overextraction. This means they taste very strong and bitter, but can be tempered with milk.
Robusta is a hardier bean, which offers more caffeine than Arabica beans. You’ll often see Robostas used in instant coffee as that’s their real purpose, giving you something to drink if you don’t have caffeine in your system. That said, Robusta beans aren’t a bad thing. They have their place and work well in a blend with Arabica coffee to add balance and give a smoother cup of coffee.
Single origin or blend?
Blends and single origin beans are your next choice.
Blended coffees offer a more complex flavour than single origins, as they mix different flavours from different countries and climates all together. They’re often medium-bodied with a fruit-like acidity and can be as versatile as you want them to be: blend black teas for a bag of English breakfast or mix greens to create your own signature blend.
Single origins are, as the name suggests, different beans from one country or even just one farm. This offers more scope for you to select something that can perfectly match your palate. Single origin roast is harder than blends and will require more attention in order to get them just right.
Other types of coffee bean
You can also find coffee beans from specific regions, such as Central and South America, as well as the kind of roasts you’ll recognise such as Italian or French. These are different to those mentioned earlier: they aren’t types of bean but ways in which the beans have been roasted. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’ll recognise the different roasts in your supermarket.
These darker roasts offer a stronger flavour and are less suited to milk or cream, but can be appealing for fans of strong-tasting coffee. They’re somewhat bittersweet, often tasting of caramel and chocolate with smoky notes and an aftertaste that may feel a little dry.
Whichever coffee you choose, always look for freshness. Even if you’re buying from a high-end retailer with a good selection of beans by the pound, there’s no guarantee they have been roasted recently – and, as with most produce, fresher is better with coffee.
The effect of roasting on coffee bean
As coffee beans are roasted, the chemical structures in them begin to change. The Maillard reaction occurs when amino acids and sugars combine to create new compounds that give off distinctive aromas and flavours, which is why it’s one of the reasons your coffee might taste burnt. These reactions are major contributors to the flavour of coffee.
Whicheverich beans are right for me?
coffee beans you choose, always look for freshness. Even if it’s from a high-end retailer with a good selection of beans by the pound there is no guarantee they have been roasted recently – and as with most produce, fresher is better with coffee.
5 Tip choose the best coffee beans
1. Choose your coffee beans by the region that produces them, such as Central and South America; this will give you a better idea of what to expect for most roasts.
2. Look at the roast: even if it’s from a good retailer, choose fresher beans instead of ones that have been roasted weeks or months ago.
3. Darker doesn’t mean stronger: despite their reputation for being strong and rich in flavour, dark roasts actually tend to be bitter and acidic due to the Maillard reaction.
4. Try different types: single origin roasts offer more scope than blends when it comes to finding your perfect cup of coffee
5. Get fresh grinds regularly: contrary to popular belief, storing your coffee beans in the freezer doesn’t protect them from degradation. Use fresh pre-ground coffee instead of old beans whenever possible.
How do I choose the best coffee beans?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best coffee beans. Some of those factors include: Type of Beans, climate, altitude and roasting process.
Type of beans:
Different types of coffee beans will give you different tastes and flavors. Typically, there are two basic types: Arabica and Robusta.
The difference between these two basic types is that Robusta contains twice as much caffeine as Arabica.
So if you like a more intense flavor with a stronger kick then Robusta might be for you!
However, it has been noted that the Robusta also has about half the amount of antioxidants compared to Arabica; so if health benefits are something you’re looking for then Arabica is best for you!
Climate is a big factor in how the coffee beans are grown. Most Arabica beans are grown at lower altitudes, which means they will have less caffeine and more sugar content due to the fact that Arabica grows best between 60 degrees North or South of the equator.
The Robusta bean however, does not need as much temperature variation to grow well thus making it easier to produce year round compared to Arabica.
If you’re looking for a smoother taste with less bite then perhaps growing your coffee beans in a temperate lush climate may be for you!
On the other hand, if you want an intense flavor with a good kick then maybe growing your coffee beans in a warmer weather would suit you better!
This is something that is often overlooked! Growing coffee at higher altitudes results in the plant taking longer to ripen.
Since the plant takes longer to mature it will produce lower caffeine content but more complex sugars.
If you are someone who prefers a milder taste with less bite, then perhaps growing your coffee beans at lower altitudes would suit you better!
On the other hand, if you want an intense flavor with a good kick, growing your coffee beans at higher altitude may be for you!
When it comes to choosing the best coffee beans there are typically two main methods for roasting them: light roasted or dark roasted.
Dark roasted coffees have been heated between 410 degrees Fahrenheit and 437 degrees Fahrenheit.
This roasting process burns the beans and is used when you want a smoky, intense flavor with good bite!
Light roasted coffees have been heated between 340 degrees Fahrenheit and 374 degrees Fahrenheit.
The light roasting process barely burns the beans and is preferred in most circumstances because it preserves more of the bean’s natural flavor and chemicals!
So if you like a milder taste with less bite, then perhaps choosing light roasted coffee beans would suit you better!
On the other hand, if you prefer an intense flavorful kick, dark roasted beans may be for you!
Source image: Ivy Aralia Nizar | unsplash.com