From the time they are planted, picked, processed, roasted, and delivered to the grocery store, coffee beans go through processes that might interest you.
You may wonder how to get the best coffee beans that are as fresh as possible.
Understanding what to look for may give you an idea of how to get the best coffee beans for your morning cup of coffee. Here is some helpful information.
1. Buy From the Best Vendors
Unless you don’t care about coffee and are only looking for a caffeine kick, you always want the best coffee beans.
You can buy coffee beans from the grocery store, your favorite coffee shop, roastery, or specialty coffee vendors online.
While buying your coffee from the grocery store is convenient, it doesn’t guarantee you the best coffee beans.
Most of these beans are old or unethically sourced, meaning you cannot trust their quality.
Some better places to shop for coffee beans are;
Your Favorite Coffee Shop’s Roastery
If you love the coffee at a popular coffee shop such as Starbucks, you could ask them to sell you the blend of coffee beans they use to brew it.
Most major coffee shops have roasteries that enable them to control the quality of coffee they brew for customers.
That guarantees they always have freshly roasted coffee beans available. Some even grind them for you if you request them.
These coffee shops import green coffee beans and roast them at their facilities to create their signature coffees.
Some examples of coffee shops to buy coffee beans from are Starbucks Reserve Roasteries and Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
Coffee Subscription Service
You may also choose to subscribe to a coffee delivery service. These vendors source the best coffee beans from different countries or roasteries and deliver them to you when they are at their freshest.
Many of them can deliver coffee roasted in the past 2 or 3 days to you. Some will even ship coffee beans to you within hours of roasting them.
Using such coffee subscription services will ensure you always buy coffee beans at their freshest and in small batches.
That will save you from buying coffee beans in large quantities, which will inevitably go stale.
2. Check The Packaging For Information
If you care about the quality of coffee you buy, avoid purchasing beans from large containers in grocery stores.
These coffee beans are exposed to light, heat, and oxygen, which degrades their quality. They are also touched by many people’s hands which is quite unhygienic.
It’s better to buy coffee in a vacuum-sealed bag with a one-way valve that prevents moisture, air, heat, and light from spoiling its quality.
But that’s not all; you should also check the information on a coffee bag to pick the best quality beans.
You may think checking the packaging means looking at what coffee beans are called, but that’s not it.
Apart from details such as dark roast, light roast, or house blend, there are other details that will guide you in buying high-quality coffee. These are;
The Type :
Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are the main varieties of coffee beans you’ll find in roasteries and coffee shops.
Robusta coffee beans are cheaper than Arabica beans. They contain more caffeine but are less flavorful. Their caffeine content makes them excellent for the production of blends.
Arabica coffee beans are the best quality beans you can buy. They are flavorful and aromatic with enough caffeine to give you a great cup of coffee.
These beans are often used in coffee shops to brew your favorite cup of Joe.
The Origin :
Good quality coffee beans should give you more than caffeine; they must produce excellent flavor and aroma. That’s why there are coffee beans from different regions in the world on our coffee shelves.
Coffee beans from Ethiopia and Kenya are known for their bright, citrusy, floral flavors, while those from Colombia have crisp, brown sugar, buttery, chocolate, or vanilla flavors.
The coffee beans you buy will depend on your preferred brew and the flavor you like in your coffee.
Some examples you can try are Kenyan AA Coffee Beans, Blue Mountain Coffee, Hawaiian Kona, and Indonesian Sulawesi Coffee Beans.
The Roast Date & Expiry Date:
Roasted coffee beans are at their best for up to 3 weeks after their roast date. You should buy coffee as close to the roast date as possible.
That will allow you to brew excellent coffee with the beans for up to 2 months after opening the bag.
Every bag of coffee also has a best-by date or expiry date. This date gives you an idea of when your coffee beans will go stale.
Always buy coffee that can last for at least a year from your date of purchase if well – packaged. It should also have a recent roast date to guarantee freshness.
The Flavor Notes:
The flavor notes of a coffee describe how the brew you make from them will taste. Coffee beans may have fruity, floral, spicy, chocolatey, nutty, or Umami flavors.
Fruity, floral, wine flavored coffee beans will give you crisp, fresh-tasting coffee. They are ideal for brewing pour – over coffee beverages.
Those with chocolatey or nutty flavors will give you bold yet earthy tasting coffee. They are best for Espresso coffees.
The Quality :
Some coffee beans have earned awards from coffee experts for their quality. Examples are Fair Trade coffees, Organic Coffees, and Shade Grown Coffees.
Fair Trade coffees are grown by farmers who adhere to labor laws by paying fair wages and ensuring their labor force works under humane conditions.
Organic coffees are grown without hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics.
A brand of coffee beans that has earned such certifications guarantees you excellent coffee beans.
3. Roast Your Own Coffee Beans
Buying coffee beans from a coffee shop roastery or specialty coffee vendor is a good idea. But did you know you can roast your own coffee? That’s an ideal way to create your signature coffee blend.
Green coffee beans undergo a Maillard reaction during roasting that transforms components in them, such as carbohydrates, peptides, chlorogenic acids, and amino acids into flavorful and aromatic compounds.
Experimenting with different roast types will help you pick your preferred kind of roast using a variety of coffee beans you like.
Start by ordering green coffee beans from your favorite region from a reputable vendor. You may then hand roast the beans in a pan, bake them in the oven, or use a home coffee roaster for a better outcome.
Coffee beans should be roasted at temperatures between 350 -500 degrees Fahrenheit while constantly stirring the coffee beans for even distribution of heat.
You must roast coffee beans for a minimum of 3 – 5 minutes until they hit the first crack. That will give you a light roast.
Coffee beans that are roasted to the second crack, which is usually between 5 -7 minutes, are often dark roasts.
Anything in between is a light to medium roast or a medium to dark roast, depending on the color.
Investing in a grinder or coffee machine with a grinder for your coffee brewing is also a good idea.
Freshly ground coffee beans release oils that produce the richest, most aromatic, and flavorful coffee.That differs from pre-ground coffee, which has lost most of its flavor because its oils degrade due to oxidation.
Now you know how to get the best coffee beans. These tips should ensure you have the freshest and best quality coffee beans to brew flavorful coffee daily.
Learning how to get good coffee beans is just the beginning of exploring the world of coffee.
You could also look at the different ways of brewing coffee, such as drip coffee making, pour-over coffee making, and espresso coffee making.
Once you’ve mastered these techniques, you can prepare excellent coffee for yourself and your loved ones anytime. You may even decide to open a coffee shop.
There is no end to what you can do once you understand coffee and develop a deep appreciation for it.