Selecting the best coffee is tantamount to ensuring you get a good start every day, or you have the fuel you need to get through the day. There’s no particular brewing method or expensive gear that can compensate for the quality of the coffee beans. Buying the right coffee beans for your needs is the first step towards having great quality coffee at home.
To give you a definite head start on searching for that “holy grail” in a cup, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to choose excellent quality coffee.
(1) Determine Your Taste Preference
Knowing what you truly like would involve some trial and error. If you like a milder coffee taste, opt for dark roasts since they have less caffeine than light or medium roasts. Dark and shiny coffee beans have been roasted longer, giving that bold and bitter taste.
If you want a stronger taste of coffee, choose light roasted coffee beans, since light roasts have the most caffeine. They also offer a smoother coffee taste with different levels of acidity. Medium-light roast has that ample amount of caffeine to give you a good kick all throughout the day. Medium-dark roasts, on the other hand, has that less amount of kick than medium-light.
(2) Expand Your Sense of Taste
You’ll be missing half of your life if you don’t try other types of coffee beans. Try a variety of coffee beans from different regions. You’ll discover certain types of coffee beans which bring a whole new world to your palate. Having various kinds of coffee beans on your pantry also lets you choose a precise blend that suits your mood.
Look for any indication of the region, farm, or co-op that the coffee beans originated. A good pack of coffee would also indicate the washing and drying process of the beans.
You could also sign up for cupping sessions in barista schools or coffee shops, if they offer classes. Cupping sessions are workshops where you taste different types of coffees and analyze their taste profiles.
(3) Consider Buying Whole Beans Instead of Ground Coffee
Coffee tastes best when it has been ground within a few minutes before brewing or drinking. Coffee experts recommend buying whole coffee beans and using a good quality coffee grinder at home, together with a reliable coffee maker such as a French press or Pour Over Coffee Maker.
As a start, buy coffee which is labeled as “fresh” since it indicates that the beans haven’t stayed that long on the store shelves. A trick when it comes to buying fresh coffee beans is to go for the bestsellers since they are usually replenished more often.
(4) Buy from Specialty Stores
The issue with buying from your local grocery is that you cannot be sure of the coffee bean’s freshness. There are times that the packed coffee beans have stayed too long on the shelves and thus lose its flavor. Consider buying from specialty stores such as local roasters or coffee shops where they can tell you more about the age of the coffee beans.
(5) Consider Organically-Grown Coffee
When you finally graduate from your everyday instant coffee or regular coffee brewed from a stained coffee maker, you’ll be upgrading your sense of taste by purchasing organically-grown coffee. Organic coffee is produced by nature at its best since the coffee is grown through environmentally sustainable methods. You’ll also avoid ingesting harmful chemical substances, which are apparent from coffee grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. You’ll be supporting a healthy environment and a healthy body by purchasing organic. To know more about organic coffee, see Coffee With a Heart: Tidbit About Good Organic Coffee
(6) Fair Trade or Direct Trade Products
Some organizations certify Fair Trade Coffee as following just practices in supporting the livelihood of coffee farmers. Direct Trade Coffee may not be certified by authorities, but they have a direct grower to roaster relationship which ensures higher quality coffee, better labor regulations, and higher wages for coffee farmers.
(7) Other Things To Consider on the Label
Misspelled terms such as “robusto” or “100% coffee” are warning signs that the sourcing, processing and packaging of coffee are thoughtless. Meaningless labeling such as flowery descriptions of the coffee instead of indicating where the coffee comes from and its roast date is also a sign not to go with that coffee.