One question we get a lot is “How can you tell if coffee beans are high quality?” Our response is usually, “How much time do you have?” There are a myriad of factors that affect the flavor of a coffee and it all starts with the bean. And while we all have different preferences, here are some of the basics for what we consider quality coffee beans.
There are four main types of coffee beans, with the two most prominent being Arabica and Robusta. Generally speaking, Arabica beans produce a sweet, smooth coffee that is less acidic than its counterparts. Robusta beans display a harsher flavor, and is generally used in lower quality blends or instant coffees. So, to start, choose 100% Arabica beans.
Established Growing Region
Where a bean is born matters. Different regionshave different flavor profiles, but it's best to stick to the most established growing regions to ensure the best tasting coffee. After all, coffee plants can be pretty delicate, so the climate is important. You’ll want to drink coffees from Central & South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.
As they say, fresh is best. A coffee bean is best brewed 7-21 days after it is roasted. That is when the flavor will be best. Of course, the coffee will still be good to drink for weeks after, but if you’re trying to catch it at its best, stick to the 7-21 day window for brewing.
How coffee beans are roasted can be as varied as how they’re brewed. But, each method results in its own unique qualities. Though there’s no one method to rule them all, at Grounds & Hounds, we roast ours in a Probat Drum Roaster in small batches using a traditional European roasting method.
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