How to Choose The Best Coffee Beans

Coffee beans come from all over the world and are sold on various platforms, from gourmet shops to supermarkets. Picking the right bean will take time, but it’s going to be an adventure with sampling different beans from all over the world. I’d recommend tasting as many different beans as possible, you may be missing out on some great beans with unique flavours.

Firstly I would suggest that you think about what coffee you enjoy. What’s your first coffee of the day? Is it a smooth light blend to ease you slowly into your day? Or do you prefer a black espresso style coffee to ignite your brain into action, on its own or with steamed milk for a cappuccino or Latte. If you drink coffee at different times of the day, what do you choose? A stronger style or a smoother mellowing blend.

With these questions the answers should begin to build a picture of your coffee drinking habits, but there are so many factors and with no right answer. You must also consider your mood during the day and if any the occasion, whilst many of us have the time to enjoy coffee, busier people may not, so that will also be an influence. So having a collection of beans for various moods, occasions would serve you best, especially if you drink a wider range of coffee during the day.

What types of bean are there?

Arabica Beans

These are the most famous and highly priced beans, grown in high altitudes and used by many of the finest coffee roasters. Arabica beans give coffee it’s aroma, smoothness and body.

Arabica beans make up 75% of the worlds coffee production.

ArabicaBean

The Arabica – Wikimedia Commons

Robusta Beans

The Robusta Beans are used most in instant low priced commercial blends. Instant blends offer convenience but offer a lower grade in blend and roast.

Robusta

The Robusta Bean – Wikimedia Commons

Liberica Beans

Not widely known to the normal coffee drinker, the Liberica Bean grows on a large tree measuring up to 18 metres high. Grown in Malaysia and West Africa.

The demand for the bean is low due to the beans flavour characteristics, it’s only traded in small quantities.

Libericabeans

Liberica Bean – Wikimedia Commons

The Characteristics of The Arabica Bean

Beans are grown all over the world and depending on conditions such as temperature, humidity and soil qualities flavours can be different. The list below reveals the different tastes in beans from various countries.

High Flavour & Aroma
Jamaican Blue Mountain due to it’s high price, produces excellent flavour and aroma. Columbian and Guatemalan would also be recommended due to possessing similar qualities.

Sweetness
For beans in this category I’d recommend Haitian & Venezuelan beans.

Body & Richness
The Java & Sumatran Mandheling would be good examples.

Acidity
Beans from Costa Rica and Guatemalan locations tend to be higher in acidity.

2010 Coffees

So many to choose from – From Flickr

How to Pick the Best Coffee Bean?

Most importantly the best beans will be freshly roasted. Always go to a source that advertises freshly roasted. If you are unsure if they are true to their word and if it’s a shop, go and visit them, if they seem busy and selling a lot of beans this will mean their inventory will have a high turnaround, good for fresh beans. Even better, some shops will roast the beans while you wait, great for grabbing some really fresh beans.

If you have the chance to see the beans you’re buying, take a good look and make sure they have a good appearance and importantly the smell, if it smells good then it’ll taste good.

Supermarkets can offer some great beans, when buying supermarket beans look for beans that have been vacuum packed, this will ensure freshness from the moment they were sealed. Some packs will feature a sell by date, check the date and make sure it isn’t over.

Online coffee bean stores also offer some great beans but this is down to how often they roast their beans, make sure they give assurances on shipping freshly roasted beans. Coffee clubs that ship regularly can offer some great beans, being a member of these can get you excellent discounts and great fresh beans.

Shopping for Beans? Try these.

  • Supermarkets – Big range, make sure they are vacuum packed and in date.
  • Coffee Houses – Can provide excellent beans that aren’t stocked in supermarkets.
  • Online – Gourmet bean sites, can offer some great deals with unique beans on offer.
  • Coffee Clubs – Most likely represented online with great discounts and a wide range of beans.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

I wish you success in your hunt for the perfect bean!

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