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HOW TO BUY COFFEE BEANS, PART III.

What to look for when buying coffee beans:

The date of roasting,

is an important factor that needs to be taken into account when brewing coffee. For brewed coffee it’s recommended to use the coffee beans 2 – 14 days after they had been roasted (max. 30 days off roast). To get excellent results for Espresso and moka pot coffee preparation, use the beans 2 – 21 days after roast. But nevertheless, you can use and get good results from coffee beans that are older than 6 weeks.

In the European Union, you can have up to 3 years warranty for coffee. Therefore, many producers only display the expiration date on the packages
It’s best to buy coffee in specialty coffee shops and check the roasting date of the coffee. Specialty coffee roaster almost always display the date of roasting. If this isn’t the case, don’t buy the coffee.

The roast levels,

should be marked on the packages. A common way to define coffee roast levels is by the color of the roasted beans, ranging from light to dark (or extra dark). Many coffee roasters roast the same beans on two levels. For filter between light to medium (or dark medium), and for Espresso from light-medium up to dark medium. Tips: Don’t buy coffee with oil on top of the skin of the coffee beans, or beans that are labeled Italian or French roast.

coffee beans, freshly roasted
Coffee beans roast level

Origin of coffee the beans

Where the coffee beans come from plays a significant role in determining the tastes and flavours of the coffee in your cup. As a matter of fact, the world of specialty coffee is a kaleidoscope of various different exciting tastes and flavours! It’s best if you search for a single-origin beans from a particular micro-growing region, a cooperative or even a farm. Coffee beans from various regions (even if it’s the same coffee variety) possess their own distinctive characteristics. Every region has a different soil and climate conditions. The leaves can have different Ph, some places are sunnier than other places, the soil can be volcanic and therefore nurture the coffee plans effectively.

label on coffee beans bag
origin of coffee beans

Method of coffee processing

Wet-processed coffee beans are very popular. Their flavours are usually bright and fruity. Depending on the growing region, they can have various different flavours and aftertaste effects. The flavours are ranging from nutty, chocolate and berry to acidic characteristics such as apple, grape, orange, lemon or lime. Natural-processed coffee beans usually offer sweeter flavours. But their flavours can also be associated with chocolate, nutty or various berries. The Honey-coffee processing method differs in many ways from the traditional coffee processing methods. Because of the difficulty of the process and the higher risks involved, they are usually also more expensive. It’s also more challenging to brew coffee drinks from Honey processed coffee beans. But it’s worth the effort! The brewing process is exiting and if done correctly, the results can be very interesting. Read more about the processes in the coffee beans section.

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