It’s no secret that coffee is the lifeblood of many people. In fact, some might say it’s a necessary evil. We all know that feeling of lethargy and lack of motivation without our morning cup (or three) of coffee.
But what if I told you your favorite drink could get even better? By following a few simple tips, you can get the best coffee beans for your money.
Where do you start? How do you choose the right beans? What type of roast is best for you? And how can you be sure that you’re getting the highest quality beans possible? Don’t worry – I’m here to help with some tips for buying coffee beans.
1. Decide what type of coffee you want
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to know what kind of coffee you want before purchasing. Do you prefer a light and airy brew? Or are you more of a dark and intense coffee drinker? Maybe you like your coffee with a bit of flavor added in.
There’s a coffee bean out there for you, no matter your preference. But knowing what you want before you buy coffee is crucial to making sure you’re happy with your purchase.
- Arabica beans – Arabica coffee beans are widely considered the highest quality beans available. They are grown at high altitudes, which results in a slower growth process and a more dense bean. This slow growth process allows the beans to develop deeper flavor profiles. Arabica beans are also less acidic than other beans, making them easier on your stomach.
- Robusta beans – These beans are much easier to grow than Arabica beans, so they are lower in price. Robusta coffee beans are grown at lower altitudes and have a higher caffeine content than Arabica beans. They also tend to have a more bold and bitter taste than other types of coffee.
- Flavored coffee – If you’re looking for something a little different, you might want to try flavored coffee. These beans have been infused with vanilla, chocolate, or caramel flavors. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even find coffee beans that have been flavored with fruit.
- Blended Coffee – Blended coffee beans offer a more balanced flavor than single-origin beans. If you’ve ever had a cup that tasted too bitter or too sour, then you know it’s essential to find the right balance. Blended beans provide a more well-rounded flavor that is less likely to overwhelm your taste buds. Second, blended beans can be more affordable than single-origin beans. If you’re on a budget, you’ll be happy to know that you can still get a consistently great cup of coffee.
2. Consider the roast level before you buy coffee beans
The next thing you need to think about is the roast level of the beans. This refers to how dark or light the beans have been roasted.
There are three primary roast levels – light, medium, and dark. The darker the roast, the more intense the flavor will be. If you like a bolder cup of coffee, you’ll want to go for a darker roast. But if you prefer a lighter brew, stick to light or medium roasts.
- Light roast – Lightly roasted beans are sweet and delicate, with a slightly acidic flavor. They’re also the most caffeinated. Light roasts retain more of their original flavor because they’ve been roasted for a shorter time.
- Medium roast – Medium roasted beans are well-balanced, with a smooth and mellow flavor. Medium roast is a great starting point for coffee drinkers who are unsure of what they like.
- Dark roast – Dark roasted beans have a deep and intense flavor with a slightly smoky taste. They’re also the least caffeinated. Dark roasts have been roasted for a longer time, which brings out more of the natural oils in the beans. Dark roasts are great for making specialty coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos because their bold flavor holds up well when mixed with milk and sugar.
3. Choose whole beans or pre-ground
Once you’ve decided on your desired flavor and roast level, it’s time to determine if you want whole beans or pre-ground coffee.
There are a few things you need to consider when making this decision.
First, think about how you’re going to brew your coffee. If you’re using a drip coffee maker, you can use most pre-ground coffee. But if you’re using a French press or any other type of coffee maker that requires a specific grind size, you need to grab a bag of whole beans and grind them yourself.
Second, consider how often you drink coffee. If you plan to go through your haul of coffee quickly, then a bag of pre-ground should stay fresh enough. But if you want your coffee to last a while, then whole beans are the way to go.
- Whole bean coffee – Whole bean coffee stay fresh for longer because it has less surface area exposed to the air. Oxygen is the enemy of fresh roasted coffee beans, so keeping your beans in an airtight container is essential.
- Pre-ground coffee – Pre-ground coffee is more convenient because you don’t have to invest in a coffee grinder. Unfortunately, it will start to go stale faster because of its increased surface area. If you plan on drinking your coffee quickly, then pre-ground is an acceptable option.
4. Check the freshness of the beans
Once you’ve decided on whole beans or pre-ground, it’s time to make sure you’re getting fresh coffee.
Coffee beans have a shelf life and go bad. A lot of the coffee you find in grocery stores has been sitting on the shelves for weeks, if not months.
If you’ve ever wondered why your coffee tastes a little different each time you brew it at home, it’s not just in your head. Whole coffee beans start to lose their flavor shortly after they’re roasted, so it’s important to use them as quickly as possible.
That’s where the coffee bag roast date comes in. This date is typically printed on the back of the bag and tells you when the beans were roasted. The general rule of thumb is that you should use your beans within two weeks of this date for the best coffee flavor.
After the coffee is roasted, it starts to release CO2. This release of carbon dioxide is called degassing.
Coffee degassing after roasting is an integral part of the process. If this gas isn’t allowed to escape, it can prevent the beans from being properly brewed. That’s why most coffee roasters will leave their beans out to degas for at least 24 hours before packaging them.
However, the beans will continue to degas for some time after roasting, and this process can affect the taste of the coffee. The longer the beans are left to degas, the more flat and peppery they will taste. So if you’re looking for a bold and robust flavor, it’s best to use your specialty grade coffee beans sooner rather than later.
If you are buying coffee beans online, make sure the company you’re buying from is roasting their beans to order. This will ensure you’re getting the freshest possible coffee roasts.
5. Get a fair trade certification
You might have seen the fair trade certification on coffee before, but what does it mean? In short, it means that the farmers who grew and picked the coffee beans were paid a fair price for their work.
Fair trade practice aims to end exploitation and poverty in developing countries by ensuring that farmers are paid a living wage. This way, farmers can support their families and have a decent standard of living.
In addition to fair wages, fair trade certification also guarantees that farmers have good working conditions, access to education and health care, and are able to form unions.
When you buy fair trade coffee, you can be sure that the farmers who grew your beans were treated fairly.
6. Consider buying organic coffee beans
Organic coffee is premium coffee that is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
Organic farming is better for the environment because it doesn’t rely on harmful chemicals. It’s also better for the farmers, who are exposed to fewer harmful chemicals.
Organic coffee is also often shade-grown, which means that the coffee trees are grown under a canopy of taller trees. Shade-grown coffee is better for the environment because it works with the environment and doesn’t require land clearing.
In addition, organic coffee beans tend to be more flavorful because they’re grown in richer soil. Volcanica brand coffee is explicitly grown on farms with volcanic soil.
7. Try new coffee beans to find your favorite flavor
Finally, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try a new type of coffee bean. There are hundreds of coffee bean varieties, each with its own unique flavor.
If you usually drink light roasted beans, try dark roasted coffee beans. If you’re used to drinking Arabica beans, try a Robusta bean. You might be surprised at how much you like a different freshly roasted coffee.
Different coffee brewing methods will extract different flavors from the beans. If you’re not happy with the way your coffee tastes, experiment with other brewing methods until you find one that matches your preferences.
Final Thoughts on Tips For Buying Coffee Beans
These are just a few things to keep in mind when buying coffee beans. By following these tips, you can be sure that you’re getting the best possible beans. Whether you buy coffee beans online or at your local grocery store, make sure you get the freshest beans possible.