Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks and is served in different ways across different cultures and parts of the world. You can learn more about coffee beans to help choose the perfect type for you, but it’s equally down to individual taste.
The coffee beans you like might not be the same as your friends’ favorite coffee beans, as tastes and qualities can vary significantly. But when it comes to this popular beverage, there are many things you can do to help identify great coffee beans and serve up a delicious drink.
Things to Consider When Choosing Coffee Beans
Firstly, let’s look at some of the factors you should take into consideration when shopping for great coffee beans.
1. How Do You Like Your Coffee to Taste?
When choosing coffee beans, some of your decision will depend on your individual tastes and preferences. People who like strong coffee should opt for coffee beans that have been roasted for longer, while those who prefer a lighter taste should choose beans that have been roasted for less time. Coffee beans roasted for longer will have a stronger, bitter taste. This is important to know when looking for the right type of high-quality coffee beans.
2. How Much Caffeine Do You Like?
Although coffee beans that have been roasted for longer have a stronger taste, this doesn’t equate to increased caffeine levels. Many people believe that stronger or more bitter coffee must have more caffeine, but this is certainly not the case. In fact, if you want more caffeine in your coffee, choose light roasted coffee beans. These have the highest caffeine levels among all types of coffee beans.
3. Do You Trust the Manufacturers?
It’s important to buy coffee beans from a reputable and trusted manufacturer and supplier. This ensures that you will find high quality coffee beans, and they are likely to stock different varieties too – making it easier to choose the right type of coffee. All good suppliers should list the coffee bean origin and other important details so that you know exactly which type of coffee beans you are buying.
4. What Is the Roast Date?
As well as checking for the coffee bean origin and how long it has been roasted, you should also look for the roast date. The roast date is included on the packaging and will tell you when the coffee beans were roasted. It is recommended to look for coffee beans that have been roasted no longer than 21 days ago. The roast date will not tell you how long the coffee beans have been roasted for – only the date on which they were roasted.
5. Where Were the Coffee Beans Grown?
There is no single rule that can help identify the perfect type of coffee beans for you. Finding delicious coffee beans is about your individual taste, but there are general guidelines regarding the taste and texture of coffee from different countries and continents. It can therefore be helpful to sample different types of coffee beans from different places to see whether you prefer a certain type more than others.
Which Type of Coffee Beans is Best? A Glance at Arabica vs Robusta
There are two main types of coffee beans that are available – Arabica beans and Robusta beans. They are from the same plant family, although from different species. Each has its own taste and qualities, and you might find that you prefer one of them more than the other.
Arabica coffee beans are generally the most popular. This is the coffee type that is most widely available in coffee shops and supermarkets around the world. Arabica beans are thought to make up around 60% of the world’s coffee beans. Arabica beans – the most popular coffee beans – are sweeter and smoother in taste and texture than Robusta beans.
Robusta coffee beans might be globally less popular than their counterpart Arabica, but they are the stronger of the two types of beans. This is the reason why Robusta beans are popular for espressos and other strong coffee drinks. With higher levels of caffeine too, this is a great choice if you are looking for extra strong coffee beans.
Does the Coffee Bean Origin Affect the Taste?
The origin of coffee beans affects their taste and texture. Some people prefer coffee beans from a particular region due to their unique qualities and characteristics.
Let’s look at some of the most popular coffee-producing regions and the qualities of the coffee beans that originate there.
Coffee beans originating in Latin America are known for being slightly sweet, and some may have a nutty taste too. Coffee beans in Latin America are generally lighter in taste and texture and roasted for short periods, but full of flavor. This region is one of the most popular coffee-producing regions in the world, with countries like Brazil and Colombia renowned for their delicious coffee beans.
Contrary to the sweeter taste found in Latin America, coffee beans originating in Asia are known for their earthier taste. These popular Arabica beans are exported all around the world, with coffee drinkers describing the beans from Asia as ‘woody’, ‘earthy’, or ‘spicy’. In Asia, coffee beans are mainly produced in India, although many are produced in Indonesia too. Yemen is also home to delicious coffee beans, which vary in taste to many others found in this region.
Coffee beans grown in Africa tend to be fruitier than many of the coffees grown in other parts of the world. They are internationally renowned for being packed with taste. The Arabica coffee bean originated in Ethiopia thousands of years ago, and this country alone is responsible for around 3% of the global supply chain. Rich-tasting coffee beans can also be found in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and several other countries in East and Central Africa.
How to Sample Coffee Beans
Shopping for the best coffee beans is easier if you’re able to sample a few different types along the way. This will help you to get a good idea of the type of high quality coffee beans you like and can help identify trends in your preferences – such as whether you tend to prefer light-roasted coffee beans or those originating in Asia.
Providing the shop you are visiting is offering samples, you can try before you buy. This allows you to try out some different flavors and types of coffee beans without spending too much money initially. Ask the shop assistants about the most popular coffee beans or which high quality coffee beans they would personally recommend. Choose a few different coffee beans to sample and select them from a range of different types e.g., Arabica, Robusta, and from different regions of the world.
In between sampling different types of coffee beans, cleanse your palate by drinking some water or eating a small, dry cracker. This can help you to make the best judgment about the coffee beans you are trying, without stronger tastes overshadowing your taste buds.
Are Coffee Beans Good For You?
If you’re a huge coffee fan, the great news is that coffee beans do have a lot of health benefits. However, this doesn’t mean that anybody should consume coffee in excess since the high caffeine levels can be counter-productive and cause health issues.
Let’s consider some of the main health advantages and pitfalls of coffee beans.
Coffee Beans are Packed with Antioxidants
One of the benefits coffee beans can bring are their high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely important in helping to combat stress and working to reduce inflammation and other common health problems that can occur day to day. Coffee is not the only great source of antioxidants, however, and should be consumed as part of a balanced diet. Other foods rich in antioxidants include blueberries, spinach, and bell peppers.
Coffee Can Increase Energy Levels
Drinking coffee can help to increase your energy levels due to caffeine. This can give you a boost mid-way through the morning or help you to feel like you’re ready to tackle the day. However, it’s important not to rely on coffee since there may be underlying health problems that are causing fatigue or tiredness. Too much coffee can also cause anxiety attacks, heart problems, and other health concerns.
Coffee May Boost Your Metabolism
For those struggling with a slow metabolism, coffee can help to boost it and spur on fat loss efforts or increase energy levels. It’s important to note, though, that losing fat and rebalancing your body requires a holistic approach that cannot be achieved with just one adjustment. It’s essential to limit your coffee intake to 1-2 cups per day since drinking coffee in excess will not equate to increased benefits in health or fat loss and can be dangerous to your health.
Ultimately, choosing great coffee beans comes down to your personal tastes and individual preferences. Sampling different types of coffee beans can help you to discover your favorites, and paying attention to the roast length, date, and type can make it easier to choose another great coffee in the future. Buy from trusted suppliers and check the coffee bean origin to see where in the world your favorite beverage has traveled from.