Deciding on the right type of coffee beans can be a scary task for those just starting to venture into the world of espresso. When it comes to picking out coffee there are several things that should be taken into consideration.
When it comes to coffee beans there are two main coffee plants that are used to grow these beans. These coffee plants are Robusta, and Arabica. Robusta coffee beans will have a more acidic and bitter flavor. Their high level of caffeine make these types of coffee beans perfect for espressos. These beans are able to be grown in tropical climates at any elevation.
Arabica coffee beans are thought to be the first ever cultivated species of coffee. It has low acidity which creates a very favorable flavor. Growing these beans can be quite a challenge because they are picky, and can only be grown in high altitudes in humid or tropical climates.
Types of Roasts
Not only are there different beans to pick from, but there are also different roasts that should also be taken into consideration. Before coffee beans are roasted they are soft and have little to no taste. By going through the roasting process the beans will start to lose their original flavor and will start to take on flavors that come through the roasting system. This process will transform the beans into what we have come to recognize as coffee beans. After they have been roasted they can be ground and made into espresso shots.
The most common way to describe coffee roasts is by the color of the beans, which ranges from light to extra dark. This color change happens as the coffee beans start to absorb the heat in the roasting process. With that in mind, there are several types of roasts that coffee beans are available in.
Light Roast: This means that the beans have only been roasted for a short amount of time, and have been roasted to a slight light brown color. Having a shorter roast time will produce a highly caffeinated, but acidic tasting coffee.
Medium Roast: The beans are roasted for a medium amount of time, which creates a medium brown color of beans. This type of roast will create a nicely balanced flavor, that is not too strong or too mild. Medium roast coffee is the most popular type of roast.
Medium Dark Roast: This roast type is right between medium and dark roast. The beans will turn to a nice rich dark brown color. The flavor of this coffee will have a slight bittersweet aftertaste to it.
Dark Roast: These types of beans have been roasted for long amounts of time, which gives the natural sugars in the beans time to caramelize. This creates a slightly sweeter tasting coffee that contains a small amount of caffeine. The color of these beans will be a dark brown that is similar to chocolate. Dark roast beans tend to create the best tasting espresso.
Best Espresso Beans
What it really boils down to is your own personal preference. Some people enjoy the lighter roasts in the morning due to its high level of caffeine, while others might choose to go with a darker roast because of its bold taste. Below we have reviewed some our favorite coffee beans, to help you get a head start on picking out that perfect coffee bean.
Tiny Footprint Coffee Light Roast
Tiny Footprint has put together a team of coffee artisans that work to create the best tasting cup of coffee. Their coffee is made out of organic arabica coffee beans that have been harvested from the Ecuadorian forest. The beans are then lightly roasted which brings out the gentle taste of lemon and orange with just a touch of cocoa. The flavor can be mildly acidic but has some sweet notes that balance the taste out. For those that eco-friendly, this is a good brand to try. All of Tiny Footprint coffees are from Fair Trade farms and cooperatives.
Zen Bean Coffee Medium Roast
Zen Bean Coffee uses only the best Colombian arabica beans. Grown in a perfect climate creates a medium-bodied coffee bean that when roasted provides a strong flavor with a low acidic flavor. This medium roast coffee will still have a pretty high level of caffeine. The key to the wonderful flavor is that the roasting process is done in small batches which creates a consistently fresh product. Colombian coffee has often been referred to as an American favorite because of its perfectly balanced flavor. Zen Bean Coffee is Fair Trade Certified and it’s completely organic.
Bright Eyed Medium Dark Roast Coffee
Made from organic Fair Trade arabica coffee beans this medium dark roast coffee makes a great cup of coffee. Often times several types of coffee beans are blended together to create the perfect cup of coffee. This Bright Eyed blend is made with three types of beans which include Colombian, Sumatran, and Guatemalan. This coffee has rich dark chocolate and hazelnut flavors, which will not only taste good but will fill your house with a delicious smell as well. With no bitterness and low acidity, this coffee blend is sure to please every coffee lover.
Kicking Horse Kick Ass Coffee
This coffee is a dark roast that is made out of beans from Indonesia and South America. It creates a deliciously strong cup of coffee that has a great bold taste without tasting burnt. The Kick Ass dark roast coffee has a smoky sweet vanilla and dark chocolate flavor. With so much flavor this coffee is one of the smoothest dark roasts that is currently on the market. Not only is Kicking Horse Coffee Fair Trade and organic it is also Kosher. Even the pickiest coffee drinker will love Kick Ass.
No matter which coffee bean you decide to go with make sure you know how to keep them fresh and favorable. Once that coffee seal is broken, it is best to use the beans within a two-week span if not sooner. Make sure to store the coffee beans in an airtight container. This container should then be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. Now that you are a coffee expert it is time to go out and find the best coffee blend for you.