What type of green coffee beans are best for you?
Before answering that question you have to determine your needs and preferences.
There are three types of people hunting for green coffee beans:
- Coffee as a tasty hobby. Someone looking for a fun and tasty hobby. This person is willing to experiment with different methods and beans and likes to enjoy tinkering. I compared this type of person to a gardener or florist was looking for new things.
- Serious coffee aficionado. A person who is looking to experiment with different coffees, much as a wine connoisseur experiments with different wines. They want to gather education and find that perfect ‘taste’ for them. For these people coffee is more serious stuff.
- Cheap, economical and fresh. This person is looking for cheaper and fresher coffee that suits them. They are not really interested in the nuances of creating it.
Coffee is a fascinating world to explore. People do so in many different ways. Some pick a particular type of coffee they thoroughly enjoy such as coffee from Sumatra. Then they will experiment in Tinker would different types and ways to roast it. Some people will standardize the roasting process and experiment with different types of beans. The possibilities are endless.
A cup of gourmet coffee is a relatively new idea. Gourmet coffee is usually only made from Arabica beans, which are usually the coffee beans with the fullest flavors.
There is one thing that is absolutely certain about producing a great cup of coffee.
It all starts with coffee beans.
So let’s take a look at Green coffee beans with questions that need to be asked and answered and need to know information that can start you on the path you desire.
What Are Green Coffee Beans?
Lets take a look at this short video:
You can have the fanciest coffee grinder, the most technologically advanced coffee roaster, the perfect coffee machine and your favorite mug all lined up. None of those factors matter as much as the coffee bean itself. There is an old saying “garbage in, garbage out”. This holds true for a good cup of coffee also.
But before we get to the process of selecting great green coffee beans we really should know what they are.
Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from the Coffea plant. The genus Coffea is native to tropical Africa.
The plant was exported from Africa to Arabia and to countries around the world. Coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa.
Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. Dried coffee seeds (referred to as beans) are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and brewed with near-boiling water to produce coffee as a beverage.
Although there are about 100 different species of coffee trees, there are only two species we need to be concerned with. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded arabica, and the less sophisticated but stronger and hardier robusta.
1. Coffea Arabica – is responsible for virtually all of the good in great coffees produced in all regions of the world. It has proper acidity and complexities to produce a wide range of flavors. Another important point to remember with gourmet coffee, is that you can choose where the coffee beans have come from and also know how it has been roasted. The Arabica bean is split again into two categories:
- The higher quality Milds – are grown at over three thousand feet, the perfect altitude for coffee growth.
- The lower quality Brazils – not surprisingly a product of Brazil, are grown in larger quantities, at lower altitudes, on the many large plantations of the area.
2. Coffea robusto – is a lesser species of coffee that lacks any subtlety. It is often used as the lowest grade and cheapest coffee available in supermarkets. It is used as ‘filler’ coffee in commercial blends. Robusta is the more potent of the two, with double the amount of caffeine. It has body buy lacks any refinement.
Commercial coffee is also usually not as fresh. Commercial coffee is pre-ground before it is packaged. After packaging it can take several weeks to actually make it to a grocery store. Usually, the longer pre-ground commercial coffee sits on a shelf waiting to be purchased, the staler and bitter it will become. Generally, the biggest advantage of commercial coffee is that it is cheap compared to some types of gourmet coffee.
How To Read A Coffee Bean Label
The following video shows the information available and offers explanations by reading the typical unblended coffee bean label. If you are in a hurry skip ahead to 2:12 in the video:
How To Determine The Green Coffee Bean That Will Give You Coffee You Enjoy:
You must learn the language of coffee tasting.
Before we can move to a starting place in recommending green coffee beans that you might enjoy, it is necessary to have at least a basic education on coffee tasting characteristics. In other words, you must be familiar with the language and descriptive terms universally applied to coffee. This is the only way to narrow your search.
Since this is a beginners guide, we will focus only on three basic terms that are universally used:
- Acidity. This category of tasting is often misunderstood, especially by beginners. We are not talking about the type of acidity that will give you heartburn oragita. Acidity as a tasting characteristic is usually responsible for brightness or cleanness of taste, much as the term “dry” is used in wine. There are a number of different acids that can be found in coffee beans that can affect their flavor such as citric acid, producing an orangey or lemony fruity flavor or phosphoric acid which is sweeter perhaps with a mango like flavor. If you think of flavor undertones or overtones these are most likely produced by the acidity
- Aroma. There is an old saying that says you taste first with your nose. Aroma is tied with acidity and flavor. Some common flavor profiles that can be tech detected through aroma are floral overtones (commonly found in Kenya coffees), nutty or vanilla aromas (commonly found in Costa Rican or Latin American coffees), or earthy aromas (commonly identified in Sumatran coffees).
- Body. Another descriptor of the body characteristic of coffee is mouth feel. Swishing coffee in your mouth will produce sensations. You can produce texture sensations such as watery, oily, etc. Another sensation that can be produced is the “heaviness” of the coffee. What makes a red wine heavier than a light white wine? It is the sensation of body.
If you have a grasp on these three terms you can begin to locate the coffee beans that will produce the flavors most likely to suit your palate. If you can state your preferences as a “medium bodied coffee with slight floral overtones”, we have a good starting point.
Once we have established your flavor preferences and profile we can begin to locate a region or area that will produce the coffee most likely to match your desires.
What Are Coffee Flavor Profiles By Origin?
This is a beginners guide to locating a coffee profile that might fit your tastes.
We will now take a look at the major coffee producing countries and regions and identify a general coffee flavor profile for each. We must take care to emphasize that were talking in generalities. Coffee beans can vary from region to region, estate to a estate, and from farm to farm.
There are no absolutes certain rules when it comes to coffee flavors, but we need to start somewhere.
So let’s get started.
Central American Coffees – Colombian, Costa Rican, and Guatemala.
Coffees from these countries are the ones that have shaped the typical North Americans coffee drinking flavors and preferences. They are generally big and bold yet balanced and consistent. Coffees from this region develop their flavor profiles from high in varied types of acidity. Most coffee drinkers definitely know what to expect when ordering Colombian coffee. Of all the South American and Latin American coffees Colombian coffee has one of the most consistent flavor profiles. This is due in large part to a very active coffee growers Association the Columbia Coffee Federation.
The most famous wine coffee is Kona coffee. These coffees are powerful and often have a very balanced yet full body. They are known for having complex flavor characteristics. Coffees from other Hawaiian islands have sunny, bright and rich acidity. A great deal of the flavor profile derives from the fact that the coffees are wet processed. (Topic for another article). Many Hawaiian coffee estates or marketing themselves as boutique coffees. Many coffee aficionados feel they might be overpriced compared to values and taste profiles available elsewhere.
Caribbean coffees – Jamaican Dominican Republic Puerto Rico and Venezuela
These coffees in the pure state such as Jamaican blue Mountain coffee will be big, bold, yet well-rounded. The body is rich and worth savoring. Unfortunately, coffees from these areas are becoming more and more scarce. As an example, although Puerto Rico does grow some fine coffee beans it now imports more than it exports. Jamaican blue Mountain coffee is extremely difficult to locate in a pure form. As with Kona coffee, Blue Mountain coffee has fallen victim to marketing gimmicks and deceptive labeling practices. Saying that coffee is “blue Mountain style” or BlueMountain blend, does not assure pure BlueMountain coffee. In fact it is almost always a dead giveaway that you are not getting what you believe.
Ethiopian coffee is a wonderful way to experience many different varieties of coffee. The flavor profiles available here are greater than almost anywhere. This is due to the fact that there are tremendous variances in coffee growing regions. Coffee often grows wild in on catalogued. They are also known for utilizing both wet processing, or natural, dry process. Each method provides distinctly different flavor profiles. Ethiopian coffees using the natural process often produce a thick almost syrupy body characteristic. They typically have distinctly fruity overtones and undertones especially of Barry flavors such as strawberry or blueberry. There wet process coffees are lighter in characteristics and have more gentle and subtler flavor overtones.
one of my favorite coffees is Sumatran coffee. Most people either have a love or hate relationship with most Indonesian coffees, there are very few middle of the roaders. These coffees are often presented as dark roasted as they can hold their flavor profile well through that dark roasting process. These cof
fees have a full body and an “earthy” feel to them. They are less acidic. They are deep dark and complex. For me, there is a richness to them which thoroughly gets my motor moving in the morning.
imilar to Indonesian coffees Kenyan coffees are often described as big and bold. There are different subtleties Kenyan coffee that cause a different flavor profile. Whether they are grown with or without shade can affect the flavor. There are processing differences that reflect the flavor. They can be described as floral in fruity with aromas that are stronger and provide full-body flavors.
Where To Buy Green Coffee Beans
We found a site that we recommend simply because of the way it is organized. It is called CoffeeBean Direct. The site is organized by region. You can start with say, Central America, quick that and then narrow it down. They also offer coffee beans in various quantities with discounted prices for larger quantities.
Here is the link CoffeeBean Direct
Coffee Lover’s Accessories:
Here are some gift ideas to help make your coffee experiences richer. We selected these gifts based on practicality and usefulness any coffee lover would appreciate.
1. Ground Coffee Dispenser. No need to measure every time.Designed to measure one tablespoon at a time, the dispenser can be used to place ground coffee directly into coffee makers or espresso machines. It is constructed to keep ground coffee fresh for maximum flavor, and the included base keeps counter tops clean of ground coffee spills. Holds up to half a pound of ground coffee. Click & Check it out here. Image below.
2. Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale An accurate scale is a must for precision coffee making and coffee bean roasting. This is a top seller. Precision Tare Button calculates the net weight of your ingredients by automatically subtracting the weight of any bowl or container.Runs on 2 AAA batteries (included) that automatically power-off after 2-minutes to preserve battery life. Click & Check it out here. Image below.
3. Grey Iced Coffee Maker – Travel Mug Pour hot coffee in – get iced coffee out. Make chilled iced coffee or tea in as little as 5 minutes, no ice needed and it works with any brewing method, including single cup machines, drip, and pour over methods 4 designer colors to choose from. Click & Check it out here. Image below.
4. Portable Cup Holder With Clamp – Durable, Portable, and Foldable! This is not cheap plastic – it is aluminum with great clamping power. It fits many sizes of cups and appears safe and secure when holding a 32oz filled cup, a mug (up to 3″ in diameter), a thermos, a water bottle, or a soda can. Click & Check it out here. Image below.
Zevro Indispensable Coffee Dispenser, Silver – 1/2 PoundOzeri Pronto Digital Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant BlackZoku Grey Iced Coffee Maker, Travel Mug – Hot Coffee In – Iced Coffee OutCup Holder Desk Clip Silver – Durable, Portable, and Foldable!