Have you ever had a bitter-tasting cup of coffee? It’s a horrible experience that leaves your stomach churning and causes acidity issues.
The flavor of coffee primarily comes from the coffee beans you use to prepare it. You’ve probably experienced this with bitter coffee made from some types of dark roast coffee beans.
Such experiences may make you think that coffee has to be bitter, but that’s a myth. A good cup of coffee should be flavorful and aromatic with hints of sweetness from fruity, floral, winey, or chocolatey notes.
Sweet coffee beans brew coffee that doesn’t require sweetener, creamer, or milk. In fact, adding sugar to good quality coffee masks its taste and desensitizes your palate, preventing you from appreciating its individual flavor notes.
You should be able to tell whether coffee beans have fruity, floral, spicy, or oriental flavor notes after taking a sip from a cup of coffee. It should also not leave an unpleasant bitter, or sour aftertaste on your tongue.
But, there are so many types of coffee on the market. How do you get sweet coffee beans? Let’s find out.
What Makes Coffee Beans Sweet?
Coffee beans vary in terms of the sugars they contain. Some examples of these sugars are glucose, sucrose, xylose, and galactose. Arabica coffee beans are twice as sweet as Robusta coffee beans.
The flavor of sugars in coffee beans reduces or increases during processing and roasting. Honey-processed coffee beans contain more sugars than washed coffee beans.
Coffee beans also generally lose their sweetness during roasting due to a chemical process called the Maillard reaction. That means the darker your roast, the less sugar or sweetness you can expect from it.
You may find some dark roasts coffee beans that produce sweet, chocolate-tasting coffee. These coffee beans are usually fermented during processing, producing sugars that caramelize and intensify during roasting.
But, generally, light – to – medium roasts are the best because they produce well-balanced, fruity, and sweet coffee.
The origin of coffee beans also determines how much sugar is left in them after roasting. Coffee beans grown in countries at high altitudes contain more sugars than those produced at lower elevations.
You’ll find that light roasts coffee beans grown in countries at these elevations make up some of the premium coffees in the market. Some examples of these coffees are coffee beans from Ethiopia, Colombia, and Guatemala.
Single-origin coffees such as Tanzania Peaberry coffee and Sumatra Mandheling coffee also have a reputation for producing sweet brews.
How to Brew Sweet Coffee?
You may buy sweet coffee beans but end up brewing bitter-tasting coffee. That occurs if you use the wrong grind size, which can cause over-oxidation or under-oxidation giving your coffee a sour or bitter taste.
Always remember that the coarser your coffee grounds, the less flavor you can extract from them unless you extend the brewing process. Using medium-fine coffee grounds is better if you want a sweet brew.
Minimizing the time between grinding coffee beans and brewing coffee will ensure you prepare the sweetest coffee possible. It keeps the coffee grounds from oxidizing, which makes coffee acidic or sour.
The coffee brewing method also matters. The longer you heat coffee, the higher your chances of getting sour or bitter coffee.
It only takes 30 seconds to make an espresso compared to the 3 – 5 minutes we take when preparing drip coffee. That’s why drip coffee is less sweet than Espresso coffee which has a chocolatey, fruity taste.
You can also brew coffee without the heating process by soaking coffee beans or coarse coffee grounds in water for 24 – 48 hours. It’s called cold brewing.
Cold brew coffee is sweeter, more caffeinated, and flavorful than coffee beverages brewed through heating. It is usually prepared using Arabica coffee beans, which are sweeter than other coffee varieties. It’s the best way to brew coffee if you want to reduce its bitterness.
How to Develop a Taste for Sweet Coffee
Learning to identify the flavor profiles of a cup of coffee will help you to choose sweet coffee beans. A cup of sweet coffee should give off a sweet aroma before you taste it. Some aroma profiles to look out for are brown sugar, Maple Syrup, Vanilla, Molasses, and honey.
You can develop your coffee flavor palette by practicing coffee cupping, a technique that was discovered in the 1800s and used by coffee merchants to identify the best quality coffee.
Coffee cupping requires the sampling of different coffee beans to pick out the flavors that set them apart. This technique will serve you well when buying coffee beans for home brewing.
Where Can You Buy Sweet Coffee Beans?
You can buy naturally sweet 100% Arabica coffee beans from specialty coffee roasters and premium coffee vendors. There are also coffee vendors on Amazon and other online coffee websites that sell high-quality sweet coffee beans.
Popular coffee roasters such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters have sweet house blends you can buy. Some people buy green coffee beans and roast them at home to control their sugar content.
Green Nicaraguan and Ethiopian coffee beans are examples of green coffee beans you can buy for home roasting.
If you decide to buy coffee beans from shops or grocery stores, check their packaging to ensure you pick sweet coffee beans. Some terms to look out for are caramelly sweetness and fine sweetness. Others are described as fruity or floral with hints of berries.
You can also taste coffee from a few popular coffee houses and buy coffee beans from those that sell the sweetest brew.
Make sure you buy coffee beans that are as close to the roasting date as possible. These coffee beans are at their peak flavor and will produce sweeter tasting coffee than old coffee beans.
Now you know which coffee beans are sweet and how to pick the sweetest coffee beans with pleasant fruity flavors for your coffee brewing.
Use them to buy the best coffee beans you can find. It will save you from adding sugar and other additives to your coffee.
If you can’t make a choice, we have some suggestions for you. Try;
- Santander or Nariño coffee beans from Colombia
- Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans
- Finca Bambito coffee beans from Panama
- El Salvador Sweet Pacamara coffee beans, and
- Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans
These coffee beans will produce an excellent brew with fruity and sweet flavors.
How to Sweeten Coffee Without Sugar