Let Me Tell Ya What I’m About!
This is an online informative outreach to coffee lovers! If you’ve come to this page, chances are you love coffee beans as much as I do! It is also quite possible that you spend a great deal of hard-earned cash on coffee beans that you hope are the best thing you’ve ever tried, only to get home and realize you do not like the variety or roast you purchased. Imagine a place online, where someone could do all that hard guessing work with an unbiased review, exploring all aspects a variety of different beans! Best of all, we are online, you do not have to go anywhere! We can discuss the taste, smell, packaging, and even the coffee shop that roasts the beans!
This is the place to be if you want to buy some new beans online! The first thing I am going to do is go over the types of beans that are available out there! I will also go over the different regions beans come from and what characteristics those beans have. There are also some washing processes to go over, which can bring out different flavor notes from the beans. After educating my fellow seekers of the Holy coffee beans, I will discuss some better places to purchase your beans online!
The World is Full of Beans!
So there are two types of coffee beans out there: Arabica and Robusta.
Robusta Beans: What you need to know about Robusta variety beans is that they are more resilient and can be grown more places with lesser restrictions. These coffee beans tend to have a harsher taste with more acidity. Because Robusta beans are easier grown, they are more marketable for money hungry corporation coffee roasters! These beans will be less expensive, however you are risking quality. And since coffee is like the second largest trade in the world, think about all the pesticides farms probably used to grow the beans at a rapid rate to increase profitability!
Arabica Beans: Arabica beans yield smoother coffee! Less acidity and better taste! They are the opposite of Robusta, so they require more intense labor to grow, making them more expensive. The main thing you need to know about these beans is that they are better! More care goes into growing them and they taste better. This is what we seek!
From Beans to Roasts! – Which Flavor Do You Favor?
Once a farmer grows their bean, it is distributed and sold either to wholesale bean distributors or directly to a company or roaster. There is a washing process, which I will cover later! But first, lets discuss the roasts! This is the process the beans take on before we can brew them. Think of it like making popcorn with kernels. It’s the same concept minus the poofy treat at the end. Coffee yields a better ending treat in my opinion! The roasts dictate the acidity, flavor, aroma and even the caffeine content! (That theory is based off weight…- Light Roasts actually weigh slightly less, so the amount required is slightly greater to yield the same brew. It is not very substantial.)
- Light Roast – These roasts will turn the beans from the natural green color into a light brown color. They produce a sweeter taste, usually floral or fruity, depending on the region they come from. These beans do not contain oils because they are not roasted long enough for the oils to surface. Light roasts are definitely an advance taste if you’re used to drinking Starbucks Coffee because all of their roasts are Medium to Dark Roasts!
- Medium Roast – Medium roasts contain beans with a slightly darker brown than the light roast. Like the light roast, there is no oil on the surface, however they are considered more balanced, with more acidity.
- Dark Roast – Dark roasts are usually super dark brown. This just means the beans have been roasted longer and the oils have cracked through the surface of the bean. The aroma coming from a dark roast will be a bit stronger and have a bolder, heavier taste. Most dark roasts either taste burnt, chocolaty, nutty or earthy.
- Blends – Blends are going to be a mixture of same or different roasts to develop new and different flavors. Often times a roaster will have several roasts of light, medium and dark, using beans from different parts of the world. It would therefore be impossible to get the flavor notes and aromas from a combination of coffees, compared to just using a single roasted bean.
Regions – Profiling Beans! 🙁
Regions are kind of exactly what they sound like, which is the place the beans are cultivated. The location of where the beans are grown will determine the flavors a roaster can pull from those beans.
Today some of the most prominent coffee beans seen in coffee shops are from Mexico, Honduras, Ethiopia, Kenya, Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Rwanda, Brazil, and Panama. Even Hawaii has Kona Coffee, exclusive to their island. Now as I said before, each region carries its own goodness! So below I will give a basic overview of the flavors you can expect from different regions, however I will do so based off continents.
- Americas – (Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Mexico) Most of these beans will yield a rich, smooth, nutty, earthy and chocolate flavors. I even had a Guatemala taste like peanut butter before!
- Asian – (India, Indonesia, Papa New Guinea) Beans from Asian regions are usually earthy, dense, nutty, smooth and can sometime taste like dark chocolate.
- African – (Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania) These beans usually yield flavors such as: floral, sweet, blueberry, spice, lemon, pear, peach. African beans are an amazing way to explore your coffee palette!
Wash out for those beans!
In my attempt to create a catchy pun I have just transitioned into describing a key step into how beans will taste after their roasting process. There are two techniques farmers will used to wash coffee beans before they collect them into jute or woven poly bags and ship them to distributors worldwide.
- Wet Process – This process involve lots of water and soaking of thebeans in water to separate the beans from the fruit which they come from. After the fruits pulp and skin is mostly separate from the beans, the beans are spread about and sun dried or machine dried. Fruit notes are found, however the natural flavors of the beans are shown here because they are at their rawest form sooner than the natural process.
- Dry Process (Natural) – This process is the oldest method of separating the coffee beans from their fruits. It involved the drying either by sun or machine until the fruit breaks off the bean itself and then the beans are further separated until ready for shipment. This process has more interaction with the mucilage of the fruit, giving the beans more fruity and fermented flavors.
- Semi-dry Process – This process requires the removal of the fruit from the beans by the farmers. From this point the mucilage leftovers on the bean are settled for a short period before they are dried. It is supposed to reduce acidity and increase the body of the beans.
Bold or Sweet? Which Coffee Beans Are For You?
To sum this all up, we have two types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. We typically want Arabica for its quality and taste. Different regions will yield different flavor profiles. My favorites are light roasts, usually from Ethiopia. They have blueberry traits that I crave! One of my favorite coffee shops, which I hope to feature soon has a roast that tastes just like blueberries! Its heaven! Americas coffees are going to be earthy, nutty and chocolaty, while the African are going to be sweet and floral. That is just the way it is folks! Now that you have a better idea of coffee, you can make a sounder decision on where to invest your money on the next cup! Or the next bag of beans you wish to purchase online!