winkie Senior Member Joined: 29 Aug 2013 Posts: 32 Location: china Expertise: Just starting
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2013, 7:59pm Subject: How to choose coffee beans?
Someone said,choosing coffee bean must be going three step.It is Ask, look and taste. Smell, good will have a special aroma. Look, a good coffee is full! There was something very pure taste, good beans bitter! Also, can find some blisters when to buy some beans look at the full of beans! Can also see whether have dyed! Anyone has detail for choosing beans?
Ryebread119 Senior Member Joined: 30 Jul 2013 Posts: 21 Location: Maine Expertise: Pro Barista
Espresso: Elektra Sixties Grinder: Mazzer Mini Drip: Chemex
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 5:37am Subject: Re: How to choose coffee beans?
Winkie, I usually recommend to new coffee drinkers a well balanced (less complex) bean. Look for coffee grown in Brazil, Mexico, or Central America. If given a choice on roast, try a medium, or a medium dark. Good luck!
Listen to the steam, the sign of a good drink is in it's acoustics.
cerridwyn Senior Member Joined: 6 Jun 2010 Posts: 505 Location: Inland Empire California Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 7:56pm Subject: Re: How to choose coffee beans?
How do you drink your coffee? What characteristics do you like in coffee?
If I had followed the recommendation for Brazil, or Mexico, I'd still be drinking store bought. I totally dislike Brazilian coffee and there are some Central American beans that I feel are not so bad. But they would still not be my first pick.
Do you have somewhere you can taste fresh roasted coffee? If yes, try as many different kinds as you can.
Almost everyone I have converted from Grocery Store or *$, I have done so with Ethiopian Heirloom beans. They are my personal favorite and what lead me to drinking good coffee. I also treat most people to a light-medium roast because, depending on the brew method, you will get a more elegant taste.
But it is all in what you like. When I go somewhere I don't know, I ask the Barista for recommendations and I ask them why.
Posted Fri Sep 6, 2013, 8:49pm Subject: Re: How to choose coffee beans?
Learning to buy coffee beans is alot like learning to buy tea, or coffee, or wine, or beer. You start somewhere, anywhere, usually the most convenient to your locality. You like it or you don't like it enough to buy it again. Next time get something different to try. Sampler portions sometimes aren't enough. Some people don't care, they'll eat/drink whatever's set in front of them. To them, taste is not their most important criteria. They might make their decision on cost. Others might be looking for that (wine/beer) alcohol buzz or caffeine perk.
I've lived my whole adult life thinking I would never like wine. I've gone to tastings and wineries, never ever found anything I liked enough to taste more than the first sip. Others in the wine tasting, despite not liking it, would finish the glass. Not me, I'd dump it. Coffee for me started that way. I've only recently figured out what I like and what to look for.
Anthorn Senior Member Joined: 5 Sep 2011 Posts: 21 Location: Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Wed Sep 11, 2013, 6:34pm Subject: Re: How to choose coffee beans?
It would be good if all roasters ran their own coffee shops where we could drink a cup of coffee and if we like it buy the beans. Some do, for example Pumphrey's in the U.K., but sadly most of them don't. So when first starting out with real coffee it's an expensive process of trial and error to find our own personal favourite. Even when we find it the grass is always greener elsewhere and some of us keep on searching for that elusive perfection.
I think in general a lighter roast works best for cafetiere and drip and a darker roast works best for espresso machines and moka pots. But it's a fallacy that all espresso coffee is dark roast. It's also a fallacy that the best coffee is 100% Arabica since some excellent blends have Robusta beans in there. It's good advice to start with a medium roast standardised commercial blend because from there you an go lighter or darker. When you've found your roast you can then go on to experimenting with coffee from different areas of the world.
Especially look for gift packs containing several coffees in smaller packs. These appear mostly around Christmas.
CoffeeLoversMag Senior Member Joined: 10 Jan 2013 Posts: 218 Location: Seattle Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Thu Sep 12, 2013, 7:06pm Subject: Re: How to choose coffee beans?
One way to make sure you are choosing the right coffee beans is to find the specialty shop that the sales people there are friendly to educate you in knowing the different kinds of beans. Avoid coffee beans that are splintered or broken. Good beans look and smell appetizing.
It is also good that you know the different coffee-growing regions and the high regarded varieties. As what I have read, most coffee is grown in Latin America, Africa and Indonesia. You can also determine the right beans by discovering other regions producing coffee beans that match your taste.
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine. www.coffeeloversmag.com/theMagazine
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