For casual coffee drinkers, it can be challenging to decide which coffee beans to buy. Today, there are numerous brands in the market as there are variables to make sense of too. That’s why getting a bit of help regarding where to begin when buying coffee beans can come in handy. Here are some practical tips for buying the best specialty coffee beans.
Understand Your Preference
Today, there are two broad categories of commercial coffee beans in the market, Arabica and Robusta. Knowing what you like can go a long way towards helping you pick what you want.
Arabica coffee is typically grown in high-altitude areas, and it is known for its smooth but slightly acidic taste. On the other hand, Robusta coffee is produced in lower altitude areas, and it has a solid yet bitter taste. Arabica is generally considered a higher grade, depending on the growing and treatment process.
All this, however, doesn’t guarantee that the end product will be of the highest quality. So, unless you plan to become an expert, you should stop worrying about the type of bean and focus on finding the brand or roaster that makes beans that meet your needs.
Pick Coffee Beans Based on Your Preferred Taste
At times, coffee lovers will want their first cup to have a consistently delicious taste, but a bit of trial and error is often needed to get this. If you prefer coffee with a smooth taste and varying acidity levels, you should ideally go for dry, light-colored beans. These beans are usually roasted for a shorter period, and the coffee from them does not have a bitter taste.
If you prefer to drink coffee with a strong taste, you may want to buy coffee beans that have been roasted for a more extended period. Such beans are usually shiny and have a dark appearance. Once brewed, they typically produce a bold and bitter taste, bringing more coffee oils to the surface.
Determine the Level of Caffeine You Want in the Coffee
Contrary to what people assume, dark roasted coffee beans contain lower caffeine levels than those whose roasting is medium or light. Lightly roasted beans usually have the highest caffeine levels of all three.
Coffee beans used for making Espresso are also usually in the medium roast realm. If you are looking to capitalize on your caffeine intake, you should make the conscious decision to opt for light or medium roasted beans.
Buy Beans from a Respected Coffee Roaster
Buying coffee beans from a respected roaster to ensure consistent coffee roasting increases your odds of getting high-quality beans. While you might sometimes not get beans that produce the exact taste you want, you will most definitely get beans free of any flaws, which is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you get a decent cup of coffee with each brew.
Always Check the Roast Date
It is advisable always to buy freshly roasted coffee. Before purchasing the beans, check for the roast date on the label, and we should accept the newly roasted bean packages. If you do not have a coffee grinder at home, go for the entire bag of beans and ask the café or supermarket to grind for you, or you can invest in a good coffee grinder. Don’t buy coffee that’s packed as ground since it might not have gone through a unique treatment process.
Don’t Buy Coffee Beans Labeled 100% Coffee
The last of the tips for buying coffee beans, but not the least.
Coffee beans labeled 100% Arabica is mostly not true even though the best coffee beans come from this plant. Companies produce Arabica beans in different ways, and you need to pay attention to the mention of the varietal.
All packaged beans won’t have this, and you are more likely to brew a better cup of coffee from packages bearing this label. Varietal doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality. Still, paying attention to such details tends to help you find good beans.