How to choose coffee beans for best cup of coffee? Arabica or Robusta?

Porcelain designer Coffee mug Gzhel

How to choose coffee beans? Do you prefer Arabica or Robusta? How to differ an espresso from an americano? How to brew coffee correctly? Every single person probably knows the answer to their preferred coffee drink. So, what if your used to buying grinded or instant coffee from anywhere and now you choose to join the coffee culture and prepare your own invigorating coffee at home according to all the rules. In this article, we will explore the basics to knowing your coffee beans and which ones are ideal for you.

Firstly, packaging

Before buying any coffee beans, you must pay attention to packaging, because the quality of the packaging is key. The quality of your drink will largely depend on the storage method and conditions the coffee beans are kept in.

Proper and high-quality packaging keeps the beans dry and one-way valves allow excess oil to evaporate out. It is believed that the most intense and flavorful taste of the grains is acquired 2-4 weeks after roasting. Later, the quality of the coffee begins to deteriorate, meaning that it will lose its fresh and intense coffee taste. Which is why it is extremely important to choose a freshly roasted product. Moreover, information of the date and degree of roasting must be indicated on the package, along with the percentage of Robusta and Arabica.

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Also, the manufacturer must indicate the country of harvest and list the main characteristics of a particular mixture or variety. If the product is flavored, a distinction should be made between natural and artificial flavors.

Arabica or Robusta? And what is Liberica? 

Yes, we are used to hearing only the names Arabica and Robusta, but in fact, there are more.

These names are not coffee varieties or types. Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa are the 4 main types of trees (there are about 80 trees in total), each of them has several differences. Coffee lovers are mostly interested in just the two, Arabica and Robusta. Their beans have the most pleasant and pronounced coffee flavor. These two types of coffee are so popular that the grains account for about 98% of world production.

In order not to get into the jungle of botany, here is a simple list of the distinguishing characteristics that are important when choosing coffee beans.

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Robusta beans are used in the manufacture of instant coffee and blends. Arabica is the main ingredient in a single bland coffee, but the country where the fruit is grown, and its climatic conditions can significantly affect the taste of the coffee. For example, Brazilian Arabica will be completely different from the one produced in India, because of the climatic conditions. Best coffee producers are considered Brazil, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Colombia.

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Now beans roasting. Roasting is a process during which the coffee bean acquires its beautiful coffee taste and chocolate shades. Perhaps it is a surprise, but ripe beans are a light green color and only their high-quality roasting allows you to get an aromatic coffee with its pleasant taste.

There are 3 degrees of roasting grains: Light, Medium and Dark (depending on the color they acquire during the cooking process.)

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Light roast

Taste: Sour

Smell: Intense.

Features: contains the most caffeine, retains notes of taste and aroma characteristic of the region of cultivation, dry grains

Purchased at a heating temperature of 180 to 205 ° C, at high temperatures coffee beans begin to grow and crack.

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Medium roast

Taste: Sweet and bitter, with a slight sourness

Smell: Intense, smoky

Features: the grains are dry, a caramel flavor appears

It is cooked at a temperature of 210-230 ° C, between the first and second crust, and takes on a bitter taste. Light and medium roasted beans are most often used during tastings, because only under such conditions of preparation the authentic aroma and taste are preserved.

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Dark roast

Taste: Sweet, bitter

Smell: Coffee, with burnt notes

Features: oils begin to stand out on the surface, it is most easily absorbed by the stomach, the taste is caramel-chocolate

Roasting temperature – 240-250 ° C, obtained after the second crack. Dark roasts are most used in espresso. However, not all varieties can withstand such temperatures without turning into ordinary coal to taste.

The choice of the roast is a matter of personal preference and may vary. Some, for example, drink light roasted coffee (the most invigorating) in the morning and enjoy dark, freshly roasted coffee in the evening. It should also be borne in mind that grains from different regions of cultivation have different shades and taste properties. You may need to try more than one variety before you find your ideal one.

If you are a coffee person you might like to drink it from a designer fine porcelain coffee cup. Most beautiful bone china and fine porcelain hand-painted, and handmade travel coffee mugs and designer cups brought in our shop and waiting for you 🙂

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