The Right Coffee Bean For You
Whether you drink coffee to get your morning fix or class yourself as a coffee connoisseur, there’s no denying that it can be quite overwhelming to find the best coffee beans. With so many different types of coffee beans out there, all offering different tastes and textures, we often find ourselves wondering if we’re really tasting the best of the bunch. This guide will help you to uncover what coffee bean is right for you, ensuring that you never have to settle for an average taste again.
Things To Look Out For When Purchasing Coffee Beans
While taste is a very subjective thing, there are usually a few guidelines that will help you to establish whether a coffee bean is worth purchasing. The answers can usually be found on the label of the packet – look out for:
Roast Date – It’s no surprise that fresh coffee beans taste far better than those which have been left on a shelf for weeks. Coffee beans immediately begin to lose their wonderful taste from the second they leave the roasting process, meaning the sooner you consume them, the better experience you’ll have. With this in mind, never purchase coffee beans that have been sitting around for longer than two weeks after roasting. For best results, aim to consume the beans within three days to two weeks after their roast date.
Speaking of roast date, it’s important to remember that your brewing method will also play a huge part in the taste of the beans. Different brewing methods may require different bean maturities, so be sure to check this out.
Roaster Identity – There are hundreds of bean roasters out there; some better than others. If you want to ensure that you’re purchasing a packet of high-quality coffee beans, do a bit of research into the roasters. You’ll soon start to see if they have a good name in the industry or not. One of the quickest ways to figure this out is by seeing how obvious the roaster identity is on the coffee packet. Does it stand loud and proud? Or, is it hidden in hopes that no one will see it?
Origin – The flavor of your coffee beans all begins from the soil it starts in. While over 50 countries grow coffee beans, the ones nearer to the equator tend to produce higher quality products. This area is known as the ‘Bean Belt’, and if you want confidence in what you’re buying, it’s worth purchasing beans that come from here (to begin with). If you struggle to find the origin of the beans on the packet, take this as a warning sign that they’re not worth buying.
Fair Trade – Speaking of origin, it’s also important to stay away from giving your money to huge corporations that treat their workers unfairly. Coffee beans resemble a journey, and if the workers who put all their time and energy into creating them are underpaid, they’re not worth buying. Always check for Fair Trade labels to ensure that you’re buying from a respectful and reputable brand.
Things To Avoid When Purchasing Coffee Beans
Now that you are aware of some of the most important things to look out for when buying coffee beans, it’s time to discover what should be avoided.
Use-By Dates – As mentioned previously, roasting dates will give you a clear indication as to whether the coffee will taste fresh enough. If there is no sign of a roasting date, however, then it’s best to walk away. You’re likely to come across a use-by date instead, which will fail to give you a clear indication as to how long the coffee has been sitting on the shelf.
Ground Coffee – We can’t deny that ground coffee or coffee from a coffee machine is a lifesaver when in a rush, but realistically, there’s no denying that it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good as the fresh stuff. Purchase whole beans and use a coffee grinder instead. You’ll not only have a better experience when preparing the coffee, but you’ll soon realize just how much better it tastes!
If having a coffee grinder is out of the question, make sure that your coffee machine always has a clean water filter. There’s nothing worse than brewing a cup of coffee, only to realize that it has been made with murky water that tastes anything but fresh.
Large Packets – Unless you’re well and truly addicted to coffee (which isn’t healthy, by the way), there is absolutely no need to buy large packets in bulk. While it may seem like a cost-efficient solution, the coffee will go stale before you get the chance to drink it, resulting in lots of waste.
How To Look After Your Coffee Beans
Now that you know how to find the right coffee beans, there’s just one thing left to learn. How to look after them.
Airtight Containers – Unless they’ve already been packaged with a special seal mechanism, it’s wise to move your beans into an airtight container so that they remain fresh for longer. It’s still recommended to consume the beans within two weeks of purchase, but once they’re in an airtight container, they’ll keep their fresh taste with every cup you brew.
Store Correctly – Coffee beans keep their fresh taste when stored in a cool and dark place. Keep this in mind when storing your beans, as if you expose them to direct sunlight or place them near your oven, they’ll lose their taste and create very disappointing cups of coffee. No one wants that.
Don’t Forget To Experiment!
With all of the above tips in mind, you are well on your way to having a remarkable coffee experience time and time again. While you might have a favorite roasting style, don’t forget to experiment with lots of different types of beans that fit into all of the above guidelines. There are so many interesting tastes to explore, and you may even discover something that puts all of your other beans to shame. Enjoy!
- Choosing Coffee Beans – Instructables