Like everyone else, we are pretty obsessed with making smooth, rich, perfectly brewed coffee. There are a lot of factors that influence the way your coffee tastes. The beans you use is one of them. If you want to get the most flavorful cup of joe, make sure that you start with the best coffee beans.

For many coffee drinkers, deciding on which coffee beans to buy can be a daunting task. After all, there are a wide variety of brands, as well as a number of coffee species out there. In the hopes of helping you navigate through the world of coffee, we have listed down some tips to help you make a more informed decision on your next purchase.

Here are some tips for choosing the best coffee beans.

Robusta vs. Arabica

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Most people who are new to the world of specialty coffee are confused when it comes to choosing the best coffee beans. That’s not surprising considering that there are over 100 species of coffee. To make the process easier for you, we’ll focus on 2 of the most widely produced and sold coffee species – Robusta and Arabica.

Robusta beans are exclusively grown in the Eastenr Hemisphere, primarily in Africa. They are easier to grow and are less vulnerable to pests and weather conditions. This is why Robusta beans are more affordable than Arabica beans. Plus, they are readily available in most supermarkets. Robusta coffee beans have significantly more caffeine content. As such, it produces a bitter-tasting cup of joe. This may sound unappealing to others, but they are especially valued in espresso due to their deep flavor and good crema. They are also recommended for those who want their coffee strong.

Arabica beans are the most popular coffee species, comprising about 75 to 80% of the world production. Arabica comes from a resilient plant that thrives at higher altitudes and takes more time to develop. They are also more fragile and are sensitive to hot and humid conditions. Because of this, it ends up being more expensive than Robusta.

When it comes to quality, Arabica is more superior. In fact, they are considered as the greatest coffee in the world. They tend to have a wide range of taste, which ranges from sweet-soft to sharp-tangy. Arabica also has an acidity and body that can be used and blended into new, interesting tastes.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose Robust or Arabica. It’s a matter of personal choice. What matters is that you get the best coffee beans possible and something that suits your taste and preference.

Whole vs. Ground

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When choosing coffee, you need to decide whether you like whole beans or pre-ground coffee. If you are the type of person who prefers ease and convenience, then ground coffee would be a great option for you. They are ready to brew and won’t require extra skills, time or equipment on your part. Plus, they are readily available in supermarkets. Just make sure, though, that you store them in an airtight container so they stay fresher for longer.

If you want to make good quality coffee at home, we highly recommend that you get whole coffee beans.  Grinding coffee at home may seem like a hassle, but it will be worth the effort. Grinding the beans just before brewing coffee will result in a more flavorful, delicious cup of coffee. It will have that fresh quality most people are looking for in a cup of joe.

Grinding is a vital component of the brewing process. If you decide to get whole coffee beans, then you need to invest in a coffee grinder. You won’t be able to extract enough flavors out of your coffee beans without a good grinder. A mill or a burr grinder is recommended for this purpose as they can produce an even, uniform ground.

Roast date

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Coffee doesn’t have an expiration date. If you take a look at the bags of coffee in the supermarket, local stores or specialty coffee shops, you will notice that they don’t have expiration dates. What you can find on the bag is the date when it was roasted.

Although coffee beans don’t expire, they are perishable products. They can go stale and age. If you want to make the best coffee possible, buy a bag of coffee beans that were freshly roasted. If the bag isn’t marked with the roast date, don’t buy it. It can be starchy, astringent, woody, flat or stale.

No matter what the type or brand, it is unlikely for you to enjoy much flavor at all if the coffee beans have been roasted over 3 weeks ago. To ensure you’ll get the most flavor out of your beans, we suggest that you buy a week’s worth of grounds at a time.

Roast level

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Green coffee beans have little to no taste before roasting. Roasting transforms the physical and chemical properties of coffee beans. It brings out the flavor and aroma that is locked inside the beans. This process turns coffee into the fragrant, dark brown beans we know and love.

When buying the best coffee beans, it is important to determine your favorite coffee roast. Is it light, dark or somewhere in between?

The degree to which coffee beans are roasted will determine your coffee’s taste. Aside from the color, the flavor varies depending on the roast level. Light roasts are not roasted long enough, so there will be no oil on the surface of the beans. This roast is generally preferred for milder coffee varieties. Medium roast is generally preferred in the United States. As such, it is often referred to as the American roast. It is medium brown in color with a non-oily surface and a stronger flavor. Medium dark roast, on the other hand, has a rich, dark color and some oil on the surface. It also has a slight bittersweet aftertaste. Last on the list is dark roast. Dark roast beans ranges from slightly dark to charred. They have a shiny appearance with an oily surface and a pronounced bitterness.

If you like this article and you want to learn more about choosing the best coffee beans, we highly recommend that you check out this blog post.