You’ve done your research and you’ve bought a coffee grinder, and you might even have a coffee maker ready – but you’re missing one thing.
It’s coffee beans.
Which coffee beans to use? While most people think it all depends on the individual and it’s a matter of preferences – there’s much more to coffee beans than you probably think there is.
Coffee beans have different origins, types, and there are even beans that are suitable for different types of coffee.
It might sound complicated, but trust us – it’s not. And if you stick to the end of this article – you’ll find out everything you need to know (and yes, you’ll feel like an expert).
How to Know Which Coffee Beans to Buy?
As we’ve said earlier, there’s much more to coffee beans than it meets the eye, and while the taste is a big factor that determines which beans to buy – there’s more to find out.
That’s why we believe every true coffee lover should be able to tell difference between beans, know about the origin of the beans and even understand a definition of a roast.
After you get some facts right and do a first few beans purchases, you’ll be skilled enough to purchase beans expecting the specific flavor, and you won’t have problems achieving it.
Difference Between Arabica and Robusta Bean Plants?
Before knowing anything about coffee beans, you’ll have to know the coffee basics so let’s start with Arabica and Robusta.
If you ever had a chance to taste both coffee plant types, you’d find out that Robusta tastes a bit earthy and is most of the time bitter with a rubbery/grain flavor. It even has a peanutty aftertaste.
Robusta is also known for its higher caffeine rate. Robusta is usually grown in Africa and Indonesia.
On the other hand, Arabica is almost always related to the best-tasting coffee, which is often imbued with a rich yet subtle flavor.
Therefore, it’s also usually pricier than Robusta since it’s the finest quality of coffee plant there is. It’s worth knowing that Arabica originated from Ethiopia.
Origin of the Beans
We like to group origin of the beans into three regions which are
Region 1: Latin America
Region 2: Africa/Arabia
Region 3: Indonesia and the Pacific Island
The reason everyone groups the origin of the beans to these three main regions mostly depends on the flavor, which again is related to the coffee type.
You’ll find that these three regions will offer three different coffee tastes, and then you’ll discover plenty of sub-tastes.
What’s in a Roast?
If you take some time and familiarize yourself with different types of the roast – you’ll be able to easily predict the flavor of the coffee beans.
There are three main roast types and here they are
A light roast will mostly offer light brown color and is low in flavor, while medium roast offers medium brown color and medium acidity with an increased body.
Dark roast offers deep brown or even black color where flavor might decrease while the body increases.
However, don’t think that darker roasts produce stronger coffee flavors. Also, keep in mind that any bean type from any region can be roasted into these 3 categories.
Coffee Bean Types
As we like to categorize everything, we have also categorized coffee bean types. There are too many coffee bean types, however, they’re all origin from only four of the main types.
Those four main coffee bean types are
Coffea Arabica (Arabica)
Coffea Caniphora (Robusta)
Coffea Liberica (Liberica)
Coffea Excelsa (Excelsa)
At this point, you know about Arabica and Robusta coffee types since they’re the two main coffee plants, but there are also Liberica and Excelsa coffee types.
What you should know about Liberica is that it’s very hard to come by it nowadays, but it definitely has a place in history. You’ll easily recognize it by its very light roast.
Excelsa is considered to be a part of the Liberica family type, but it differs much more than Liberica. However, what both Liberica and Excelsa have in common is how rare they actually are. Only 7% of the world’s coffee circulation is Excelsa.
How to Choose Coffee Beans?
Now when you know almost everything about coffee bean plants, types, and even roasts – you must be feeling ready to choose your perfect coffee beans, right?
Choosing the best coffee beans that you will love depends mostly on three things. Making sure you make up your mind right from the beginning will help you make your choice easily.
Therefore, try answering these three questions and see if this helps you get closer to your favorite coffee beans.
Arabica or Robusta?
Single origin or blend?
Level of roasting effect?
Also, make sure to check out other coffee bean types since it will help you narrow down the choice and find your desired taste as easily as possible.
Once you find your desired coffee beans type, make sure you store it properly and only grind it before making every cup of coffee. Then, you can try experimenting with very similar coffee bean types to see if you like some other beans a bit more.
Complicated? It isn’t since this is basically the whole process. And the next time you find yourself staring at coffee beans, you’ll know exactly what to look out for.
Best Coffee Beans
Still, need some help? That’s okay. You’ll find a list of the best coffee beans in the world down below, and who knows – maybe your favorite beans type is right there.
Even though some coffee beans can get real pricey, a true coffee lover shouldn’t put a price on the quality.
Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
If you’re going straight for a 100% Arabica coffee, you’ll get a perfect body with strong caffeine from a Koffee Kult and their Dark Roast coffee beans.
These coffee beans are made for excellence, and you’ll feel like your life depends on it during the grinding process.
Death Wish Valhalla
Looking for a strong yet balanced tasting coffee? Say no more, Valhalla is the best coffee beans offered by Death Wish.
It offers a bold coffee taste that you won’t be able to start your morning without.
Lavazza Super Crema Espresso
Looking to treat yourself? No better way to do so than Lavazza’s Supreme Crema Espresso coffee beans.
It’s an ideal blend of Central American mild coffee and Brazilian coffee beans which are mixed perfectly to offer the most pleasant taste ever.
Death Wish Organic Coffee
Need something strong in the morning? How about the strongest coffee beans in the world?
Death Wish’s Organic Coffee offers a bold and rich-tasting flavor which is smooth and low-acidic which is something everyone seems to love. At least everyone who’s into really strong dark coffee.
Peet’s Big Bang Coffee Medium Roast
This is a coffee beans brand that is offered in supermarkets and you’ve most likely seen it before – but the reason you haven’t tried it because you haven’t heard anyone talking about it?
Peet offers a medium roast coffee that is at the Ethiopian Super Natural level which makes every true fan stay loyal to Peet.
Why You Should Always Grind Your Own Beans
We all love the smell of fresh coffee when we walk down the coffee aisle in the local supermarket store, right?
But what if I told you that you should be careful about what you buy, since not everything is fresh, especially in the supermarket.
Buying freshly roasted coffee beans and grinding them yourself at home before preparing a cup of coffee is the most efficient way to get the most out of your favorite coffee beans and get that desired taste.
However, what you should not do is buy pre-ground coffee beans that have been sitting on a store shelf for quite some time.
Why? Because coffee beans lose its freshness after grinding, especially if they’ve been sitting on a store shelf for quite some time.
Grinding Your Coffee Beans
If you’re learning how to buy the best coffee beans for your needs, you’re looking to make the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had, or even to create a cup of coffee you’ve tasted at any of the coffee chain stores.
Therefore, the next thing you have to do after getting your favorite type of coffee beans is to make sure you’re the one who grinds them.
As we’ve explained earlier, it’s very important to grind coffee beans before their use to get the best possible flavor out of it.
What you will need (if you don’t already have one) is a coffee grinder which can either be manual or electric. With a grinder, you will be able to grind your coffee beans and use them directly to make yourself a nice cup of coffee.
How to Choose a Grinder
We’ve written numerous posts on grinders and we have anything from how to choose a grinder to the full reviews of the best grinders on the market.
We also have many more categories and all you have to do is search our site and you’ll find plenty of grinders we’ve reviewed in the past. Which includes even vintage, wooden, the most expensive, and even hand crank manual grinders.
If you stick to the buying guide and make sure you get a quality grinder that will serve well, and most importantly, won’t ruin your coffee beans – you’re all set.
What Settings to Use for a Grinding Process?
Now when you have your wanted coffee beans, you’ve got yourself a nice little coffee grinder – there’s only one thing before popping your ground coffee in the coffee maker.
It’s choosing the perfect settings for your grinder, in order to grind the coffee which is ideal for your wanted coffee type.
Most grinders have a number of settings that allow the users to choose whether they’d like their coffee to be ground anything from coarse to extra fine.
Now, why is this important? It’s important because some coffee types, such as Espresso or Turkish blends, would require an extra fine ground to deliver the best taste possible.
On the other hand, some coffee types require medium coarse or even coarse.
But also, grind settings might also depend on the way you make your favorite coffee type too.
Which Coffee Maker to Use With Your Coffee Beans?
If you’ve read more than half of this post, and it’s not your first visit to this site – it’s most likely you already have a coffee maker at home.
However, not everyone does have one, and if you’re on a very tight budget – don’t worry, you might not even need one.
There is a number of ways you can make your favorite cup of coffee, but coffee maker definitely helps.
Even though most coffee makers are pretty universal and will be able to make any type of coffee you require, we’ve still categorized them in categories to provide specific and precise results for coffee lovers who know what they’re looking for.
We’ve tested & reviewed a lot of coffee makers so far, but we’ve also written review posts where we categorized coffee makers by their intended use so have a look.
And in case we’ve missed listing something, it’s most likely we have it – so with a simple search of this website, you’ll be able to find almost anything you need.
Improve Your Coffee Making Skills
We’re almost at the end of the post, and you’re all set and ready to start working on your perfect cup of coffee, but even if you have all the ingredients and accessories – you might still want to think about improving your coffee making skills.
In case you didn’t know, there are actually coffee making championships such as Latte Art and Aeropress Championship. Learning from professionals is the best way to go about this, right? Especially when the professionals are making your favorite type of coffee.
A lot of people complicate things without even knowing, but making sure you know at least a little bit of everything will get you going and you will start to see and taste better results.
There is no straight guide that will help everyone find their perfect coffee beans from the first try, but you’ll have to learn a bit about the beans, experiment by trying out different beans, and start closing down on the beans that might possibly offer the best flavor you’re looking for.
If you still aren’t sure, going for some of the world’s best and most known coffee beans (which we listed in this post) will definitely help you get started.
Read on for more great bean-related articles from our site!
In this sequel article about finding out where the best coffee beans in the world come from, we head to Peru, Colombia, and Brazil, where many of the top coffee and espresso bean farms are, and explore the growing conditions which make this part of the world ideal for growing coffee.