How to choose the Best Coffee Beans
It is generally believed that coffee has been around since the 9th century AD. Today, it has become the most popular drink in the world, with more than 400 billion cups drunk each year. The British Coffee Association states that in the UK we consume around 95 million cups of coffee each day. From instant to ground and speciality coffees, there is so much to choose from. How, then, do you go about finding the best coffee beans so that you can enjoy that special drink?
What is coffee?
Coffee is a brewed drink, made from roasted coffee beans. These beans are actually the seeds of the berries taken from the coffee plants. The seeds change from green to red when they ripen. At this point, the coffee producing process will begin. The seeds are picked, processed and dried. The coffee tree, known as Coffea, is a tropical evergreen shrub or small tree. It is a native of tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. In commercial terms, the two most important varieties are Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora. The original coffee plants cultivated for domestic consumption are said to have originated in Ethiopia. Originally consumed in the Islamic world, the plants were used as part of religious practices.
Choosing the best coffee beans
There is a wide choice of coffee beans to choose from in today’s market. They vary greatly in taste as well as price range. You may want to consider buying bulk coffee beans, as a way to manage your budget. Whether you are looking for a speciality coffee or feel confused by the range of Italian roast coffees, where do you begin?
What do you want from your coffee?
If you are not a regular user of speciality coffee, it may surprise you to learn that not all coffees are the same. They differ widely in both taste and aroma. Some are smoky, nutty or herby. Others can have a bitter, sweet or sour flavour. The different methods used in the processing of the beans will influence the ultimate flavour of the coffee. There are three main ways of producing coffee.
Washed or Wet
A coffee bean has various layers. In this process these layers are washed off before the drying process begins. Producing coffee by this method will generally result in a higher quality of coffee that is bright and fruity.
Dry or unwashed
This is the more traditional and natural method of extracting a coffee bean. The bean is washed and then laid out to dry, possibly for as long as several weeks. This method produces a strong flavour from the cherry and plant that have grown the bean.
For this process, once picked, the skin and pulp are removed from the cherries. What makes this method different is that the outer layer is not removed before drying takes place. Coffee produced in this way has a more mellow taste, with moderate acidity and a hint of sweetness.
Whatever sort of taste you prefer, there are many speciality coffees to choose from. One such speciality coffee is Italian roast coffee, which could offer you a good choice for flavour. Speciality coffees will guarantee the best quality in coffee. This goes all through the process, from the seeds that grow the coffee beans until the coffee is in your cup.
Italian roast coffee
Italians take much pride in producing great coffee. Indeed, many spend their lives trying to perfect the best coffee blend. When roasted, coffee beans go through what are called “cracks”. The first crack is the point at which the beans start to become edible. If the beans continue to roast, the coffee will pass a second crack. This means that the oils inside the beans will start to move to the outer layer. Italian roast coffee is roasted beyond the second crack. This process produces a very dark bean, which gives a bold, full-bodied flavour to the coffee.
Types of coffee
Ground coffee is a popular choice, as it is easily accessible. Made from whole bean coffee, which is ground before it is then sold.
Instant coffee is made from ground coffee that has already been brewed to make a coffee that is drinkable.
With whole bean coffee, the bean is ground at the last minute by the consumer. The best whole bean coffee will give you a fresh and more complex flavour in comparison with ground coffee.
What are the health benefits of coffee?
Coffee has been shown to contain a significant level of antioxidants and therefore has significant health benefits. Indeed, a recent study suggested that coffee could lower the risks associated with a few chronic diseases. In addition, you may find that coffee could:
- Make you feel more energetic
- Help you to burn fat
- Improve physical performance
- Reduce depression
- Reduce the risk of several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
- Improve your chances of living a longer life
Research has shown that a low level of caffeine should not affect the health or rhythm of your heart. It should also have no effect on your cholesterol levels. Drinking coffee may lead to an increase in blood pressure, however this is usually only temporary. Over time, the risks should be minimal if you regularly drink caffeinated drinks.
Coffee is available from many speciality coffee shops and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. If cost is important, then you may wish to try a speciality coffee website where you could purchase bulk coffee beans. Buying bulk coffee beans is a great way to budget your coffee purchases.
There’s no doubt that meeting family or friends over coffee can bring people together. There are lots of speciality coffee shops and cafés to explore. If you enjoy drinking speciality coffee, there is plenty of opportunity to expand your coffee appreciation. Every year more producers enter the market with new varieties and new processes. You should have lots of fun trying to find your best coffee beans.