How to choose the perfect coffee for you?
Coffee is a need for many people, nothing like that first cup of coffee when you wake up to start your day on a good note.
But are you making the best of it? Are you missing something to make that first sip worth it?
Coffee is a world of variations and choices. It’s okay to just go with the flow and drink what everyone is drinking, but what if you dig deeper?
If you like to brew your own coffee, you get to experiment and enjoy different outcomes until you find your perfect brew.
Today we want to talk about some factors that we consider essential when choosing the right coffee for you.
Hopefully, this information will change your coffee habits, and you end up having the best brew ever.
So, let’s start with the first step, the beans!
Your coffee will only be as good as your beans. That’s why you want to be careful while picking them and storing them in the right place.
1. Roast Date
We have talked about the roast date before, but there is no harm in going over it again.
So, first things first, coffee is a fruit. A little cherry that is processed, but still, as any fruit, fresh is best.
It’s best if you consume your coffee in a three-week frame from its roasting date. Not because the coffee will go bad, but because usually, that’s when the beans are on their peak flavor.
Always look for a roast date in the bag. If there is none, it probably won’t be the best coffee out there.
Let’s number our recommendations:
- Buy coffee only to last you the week
- Peak flavor is often between days 7 to 14, but it is not a certain science.
- Storage it far from heat.
- Keep it in low light and a fresh environment
So where can you buy fresh beans?
The supermarket might not be the best place to buy your beans. Most coffees there don’t even have the roast date on the bag.
If you find a local roaster near you or a coffee shop that sells beans from a local roaster, you hit the jackpot!
In fact, if you buy your beans this way, you get to ask knowledgeable people about them and get some fantastic tips on how to brew your coffee.
You can also purchase online, but make sure it is a legit place. They need to provide information about where the beans come from, roasting date, and quality control.
2. Roast Level
So let’s start with the basics: the darker the roast, the original flavor from the beans fades, and the roast flavor takes over. Also, caffeine levels decrease the darker it gets.
But there’s also light roast, which is popular for cold brews.
Lighter roasts have more acidity and are drier than dark roasts, and the bean’s original flavor is retained.
Nowadays, the most suitable roast for espresso it’s said to be «medium roast.»
These have more body than light roasts and are not as dry as the light roast but not as oily as the dark roasts. Also, it is a decent level of caffeine.
If you are a morning drinker, you might opt for a light roast to get that caffeine boost, and in the afternoon, get a darker one.
But at the end of the day, it’s all about preferences. You can try them all and eventually settle for the one that steals your heart.
3. Blend or single origin
Everyone says that if you drink your coffee with milk, you need to choose a blend, and if you drink it black, you’ll want a single origin.
Now let’s dive into the reasoning.
Single-origin coffee comes from a SINGLE estate. So when you choose this type of coffee, you get to taste the particularities of this specific place.
Single-origin beans are very distinctive, with a more detailed profile.
On the other hand, a blend is a mix of single origins. Its purpose is to gather different profiles to accomplish a specific flavor.
This means they are usually heavier. That’s why people would rather have It with milk.
So basically, it all depends on what rocks your boat. If you would like to experiment with single origins to experience its singularities go for it and have it black.
If you want coffee designed to taste amazing and you don’t care about missing the «pure» part, go for a blend and if you feel it is too strong, add milk.
4. Origin selection
It is known that the geographic spot where the coffee is grown will define its taste.
So let’s take a tour of how coffee tastes depending on the region where it comes from.
- Fruity flavors
- Floral aromas
- Berry notes
- Crisp acidity
South and Central America
- Delicate sugar browning sweetness
- Soft fruit character
Special mention to Brazil with a heavier body and nutty flavors and Colombia with chocolate and caramel flavors.
- Heavier bodied
- Woody notes
- Herbal and savory
When we say varietals, we mean the varieties of beans.
Coffee is a fruit, so it is only logical that it varies depending on where it grows. And each of these varietals has its own specific characteristics.
How do farmers choose varietals?
Well, it all comes down to geographics. Some varietals are better for a particular height and climate.
So next time you drink a cup of coffee, make a mental note on the varietal, and you might notice that you like one better than the other.
The most common varietals are:
And the most sought-after is the Geisha varietal, so if you get a chance to try it, do not think twice!
6. Coffee species: Arabica vs. Robusta
You might have heard these two names before and never paid too much attention. These are the two main coffee species that are grown around the world.
Arabica grows in higher altitudes and is prone to pests and diseases. On the other hand, robusta grows in low altitudes and is much more resistant to pests.
Robusta is popular because it’s thicker and produces much more crema. It also has a longer shelf life than Arabica, but it lacks complexity.
It is the general perception that Arabica beans are of more quality and better taste.
There are two types of processing: wet and natural.
The outer pulp of the cherry is removed and then fermented in tanks for 3-5 days. Later it is washed and dried.
The flavor turns out to be very clear, with complex acidity and floral aromas.
This coffee is dried with the cherry still on the bean all throughout the drying process.
So the cherries are laid in drying beds, so the sugars from the fruit concentrate and impregnate the final beans.
It results in a coffee characterized by a unique aroma, a heavy body, and an intense taste.
So it comes down to your preferences!
If you like something sweet and heavy, you might want to try naturally processed beans. If you like fruity tones and floral aromas, washed coffee might be the best bet for you.
Come have your perfect brew at ITSI!
There are still many secrets to choosing the best coffee for you. So why don’t you stop by ITSI, grab a cup and ask our baristas about their coffee tips?
At ITSI, we value our brews like our own children, from the bean to the cup; we aim to offer you the best sip we can.
Our beans are locally roasted, and our blends will blow you away!
So what are you waiting for? We might end up being your go-to spot for coffee and a tasty meal.
Did we mention we are also a coworking space AND pet-friendly? Well, now you know.
And if you want a test drive before coming in, you can order online right here: