18 Best Coffee Beans and Grinds – Best Aromas and Flavors for 2020

by | Jul 19, 2019 | coffee | 0 comments

Coffee beans vs ground coffee
Whole Coffee Beans vs Ground Coffee – Which Is Better?

If you have the time and a grinder, coffee beans are always the best choice as they result in a better extraction process and a tastier cup of coffee.

However, ground coffee has its time and place, as there is an army of coffee enthusiasts who simply cannot or do not want to invest in a grinder or prefer the convenience of ready grind to the mess of grinding your. own grains.

Depending on the brand, you can get more or less effective sealing bags or boxes that can help preserve the freshness of the grind once opened, but you should consume the packet within a week or two or it will lose its aroma and his taste.

Roast date versus best before date – What is a more useful indicator?

However, even whole beans can have freshness issues as a best before date can on the bag can be up to 1 year after the roast date, making the beans of questionable freshness, if that happens. .

You should always read the lines and make sure your beans have not been roasted too long and preferably after placing an order or very shortly before, in case you are buying them online or in a store.

In other words, a roast date is a more useful indicator of how fresh beans are because you immediately know how long they’ve been roasted and make a decision from there, while with an expiration date, you only have the dark left.

Arabica vs. Robusta

Arabica Vs Robusta – Which is better or stronger?

It’s primordial. Despite the countless coffee beans and geographic locations, there are only two main types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta.

Arabica accounts for around 70% of the world’s harvest and is considerably more expensive than Robusta because it is considered to be of better quality and produces a better cup of coffee.

But while Arabica is considered superior in terms of flavor, it is lower than Robusta in caffeine content, which contains almost twice as much.

Robusta is also much easier to manage, is more resistant to pests and less expensive to grow, while Arabica is best grown at higher elevations and preferably in the shade, unlike Robusta which can grow easily in low altitude in a more rugged environment.

While it is common for coffee brands to advertise the quality of their beans with a “100% Arabica” badge, you are unlikely to come across a “100%” Robusta badge, as Robusta is primarily used for cutting grain. ‘Arabica in order to give it a stronger caffeine punch while retaining its milder flavor.

Single Origin Coffee Beans

Single Origin Blends or Blends – Which One to Choose?

Single Origin Beans are just that, coffee beans that are 100% sourced from one region or one producer. It is the stash of gourmet beans or particular beans with a distinctive flavor that consumers appreciate and are ready to buy, think Jamaican Blue Mountain beans, for example.

However, most beans come from blends from different geographic regions and blended in different proportions. The ratios are calculated based on the taste of the consumers and what works best for the human palate, so much so that you can find an endless variety of blends on the market, with Arabica or Robusta blends mixed and matched. from all over the coffee belt region.

The Coffee Belt region is the tropical area where coffee beans grow naturally, ranging from approximately 23rd parallel north to 25th parallel south across the world, including regions such as Indonesia, Southeast Asia. East, Africa and Central and South America.

The coffee varieties from each country offer a distinctive aroma and taste, the result of unique geographical, climatic, soil and growing conditions. By combining these beans in different ratios, you can achieve almost endless variations on the subject of aroma and taste.

Types of roasts

Types of Roasting – Which Is Right For You?

Until roasting, the coffee beans are kept in bags and look, smell and taste very different from the finished product. Unroasted beans are green, toothy, and smell and taste like a common vegetable or grass.

It is the roasting process that brings out the magic. Roasting involves bringing the beans to high temperatures very quickly and then cooling them quickly.

The temperature, time, and chill time are critical to the type and quality of roast you want to make and take a lot of learning to master.

In general, the shorter the roast, the lighter the grain will be, showing no oil on the surface and giving off a more acidic but less bitter taste.

On the contrary, the longer the roast, the darker the grain obtained, showing an oily surface and giving off a less acidic but more bitter taste.

There are 4 different types of roasts:

Light roasts

  • Color light brown
  • Dry surface
  • Original flavor and acidity retained

Medium roasts

  • Brown
  • A little oil on the surface
  • Stronger flavor but no more acidity

Medium dark roasts

  • Dark brown color
  • More oil on the surface
  • Stronger flavor and aroma, some bitterness but no acidity

Dark roasts

  • Very dark brown color, almost black
  • Oily surface
  • Original flavor lost, stronger aroma and taste obtained, bitterness but no acidity.

Acidity and bitterness of coffee

Acidity and bitterness of coffee

While the acidity is predetermined by the type of bean and the roasting process, the bitterness can be changed further by the process of grinding and brewing.

When you buy a bean, its acidity remains virtually unchanged no matter what, but you can play with bitterness by changing the coarseness settings and / or brewing time.

The finer the bean, the more bitter the coffee will be, as finer beans will provide more surface area for hot water. Likewise, the longer the extraction, the more bitter the coffee will be because the hot water will have more time to extract more of the beans.

USDA organic coffee
USDA organic coffee

USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture and it is the organization that sets the standards for what constitutes organic coffee. For a coffee bean to be USDA certified, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Coffee beans should be grown naturally without the use of chemical pesticides.
  • Coffee plantations should be an integral part of the natural environment with trees acting as a natural habitat for birds, which in turn function as a natural pest control.
  • Coffee beans should be grown using traditional methods such as crop rotation to prevent soil depletion and avoid chemical fertilizers.
  • The production methods of the coffee plantation must not pollute the soil, water or air.

Organic coffee is a loose definition simply indicating that some of the principles listed above can be followed, but only USDA certified organic coffee can be confidently considered fully organic.

Fairtrade coffee

Fair trade

Fairtrade is a vague definition that you come across very often on the labels of coffee beans. In reality, there are different organizations that promote the well-being and self-sufficiency of farmers, and if all are committed to taming the farm, some do so with more stringent criteria than others.

Not all organizations are created equal, and what may be considered fair standards for one person may not be as appropriate for another. The only way to find out is to look through the lines and look for specific information on the labels, if there is any.

The most powerful fair trade organizations are:

Fair Trade Federation – The FTF is one of the most stringent organizations endorsing nine principles that its members must adhere to in order to be certified.

Fairtrade certified – The FTC promotes farmers’ self-sufficiency and fair deals regardless of their financial situation, which means that all farmers are included and not just the poorest.

Fairtrade International – FTI promotes fairer conditions only for the poorest farmers, not for everyone, to help them become self-reliant and grow.

Just for life – FFL is not specific to coffee producers, it simply includes them as part of a broader policy of equitable partnership with all farmers and buyers everywhere.

Coffee preparation

Brewing methods

Brewing or extraction methods dramatically change the result you can get with the same beans. Likewise, some brewing methods are suitable for certain beans, roast level and coarseness range but not for other applications.

A fine grain size for espresso machines that works well for extracting coffee from a high pressure pump will not work well with a drip coffee machine, causing clogging and overflow.

A large size for a drip coffee maker does not go well with an espresso machine, resulting in weak, watery espresso with no cream on top.

A dark roast bean suitable for espresso and cappuccino will not cut it for drip brewing, as this will make the coffee too bitter.

A light roasted bean for a drip brew is not ideal for an espresso because it will be too acidic.

Each brewing method requires its own range of beans and settings, which you can adjust to suit your personal taste.

Coffee beans

Closing thoughts

As you can see, finding the right coffee bean or the right ground coffee isn’t that difficult once you know where to look. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your priorities and preferences.

If you want to invest in a grinder, coffee beans are the best bet, but if convenience is your priority, there are some pretty decent ready-made ground coffees available.

And whether you’re a drip coffee lover, French press enthusiast, or an espresso junkie, you know what kind of beans, roast, and coarseness to look for.

Take a break, have a coffee.

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