Coffee beans aren’t really beans at all, but the seeds or pits of coffee cherries. Like produce, the fresher the coffee bean, the better the taste. For optimum flavor, buy your beans from a specialty store and ask them how long ago the beans were roasted. Another factor that determines the taste of the beans is how long they were roasted. Coffee roasts come in four varieties:
- Light – light to cinnamon roasts have a light body and no apparent roast flavor.
- Medium – medium roasts are sweeter, more complex and more full-bodied than light roasts.
- Full Roast – full roasts have spiciness to them as well as a fuller body and apparent roast flavor.
- Double Roast – double roasts have a flavor that’s both smoky and sweet and is light bodied.
True coffee connoisseurs will know that where the coffee beans are grown has an impact on their flavor, too. Some people prefer Colombian coffee, some prefer coffee from Java, while still others like the taste of coffee grown in Ethiopia. To determine which kind you like best, try buying a small amount of beans from various areas. Brew a cup of coffee made with beans from each area until you taste one that you like better than all the others.
Coffee beans go bad quickly, so if you want to ensure that you get a great tasting cup of coffee every morning, buy only as many beans as you can use in one or two weeks. You should also have an airtight container in which to store them. This will help preserve their freshness. Contrary to popular belief, the refrigerator is not an ideal place to store your specialty coffee beans. Someplace cool and dry would work better.
When you grind your beans, make sure you only grind as much as you need to brew enough coffee to drink in one sitting. Coffee goes bad more quickly once the beans have been ground for brewing. Once brewed, it, usually, starts to taste bitter after sitting for about an hour.
Fresh roasted coffee tastes better than any other because you get the full flavor of the beans when you brew them. This allows you to enjoy a coffee house quality cup of coffee without having to pay a coffee house price.