If you are a newbie into coffee, this article is for you. If coffee is already running through your body, but you’d like to reconsider how you buy coffee, this is for you as well.
Know Your Regions
The flavor of coffee varies per region. African, Middle Eastern, and South American, they each have specific levels of acidity and a type of aroma and tones that distinguishes them. Even inside a particular country, there are even more regions with their distinctive flavors. Aside from longitude and latitude, the type of soil where the coffee grows also affects the flavor of the coffee.
There is no right or wrong here, really. But know that the regions and the pride they carry is for a good reason. Most coffee connoisseurs can easily try a cup and identify its region of origin. Nicaraguan coffee has a smooth body and is less acidic than the average bean. Colombian coffee has higher acidity and is known for a distinctive caramel scent. Brazilian coffee has the lowest acidity and can be recognized for chocolate and nutty undertones.
How Much Should I Order?
The first question is a consideration of what type of coffee you consume on a daily basis? If you drink espresso based drinks such as a latte or affogato, the coffee to water ratio (1:2). If you have a 14oz bag you can make around 28 shots of espresso per 14oz of coffee beans. Espresso is the highest concentrated form to drink coffee, so naturally you’d need more beans.
For your typical cup of black coffee, maybe with a splash of milk or simply black, the brewing method would be the drip and the pour over coffee. Coffee to water ratio is 1:17, that's 26 cups of coffee for a 14oz bag. If you drink a cup per day, your 14oz bag should last almost the full month.
For the French Press method, the coffee to water ratio is 1:12, . With a 14oz bag of coffee beans, you can make 19 cups of French press coffee. The end result is very similar to the drip and the pour over method, but it has the inconvenience of often leaving small traces of beans in the bottom of your coffee cup, so watch out for those.
Whole Bean or Ground?
Ground coffee is simply convenient. It goes straight from the bag to your machine of choice. But when it comes to maintaining flavor, quality, and aroma, whole bean coffee provides an unique feature. Grinding coffee at home is simple and convenient. Through an electric grinder, you can simply select how fine you’d like your grind (finer for espresso) and press a button. There is also the manual grinder which has the either plus or downside of an arm workout, but it is effective! Grinding coffee at home ensures more freshness and a stronger aroma.
There is no right or wrong among coffee types. There is something for every occasion and every person. I must add, that things like overheating coffee do ruin its aroma as well as cooling it down and then reheating as the change in temperature affects the quality of the bean. This can happen with almost any brewing method. Always keep in mind that quality coffee means that the tones and strength of the coffee is enhanced by its brewing method, roasting method, and how it was grown. Hence, by buying quality beans from a brand you trust, you can be sure that the roasting and harvesting are top notch quality. The brewing part, is on you and your local barista.