A Guide for the Confused Coffee Buyer

Choosing among the more than thirty types of coffee in my local store always creates a sense of irritation and confusion. Among these choices is light, dark, vanilla, Carmel and so on. With all the choices available, one needs a guide to understand the choices that are out there on the market and which one is perfect for the needs of the customer.

It is not as complicated as it appears though since all information posted on a coffee package refers to the degree the coffee bean was roasted, the place of origin before being roasted, type of blend and finally the flavoring that each bean was roasted.

The degree the coffee bean has been roasted can be one of the trickiest parts posted on the coffee bags label. For instance a darker coffee is usually considered to be European: French, Italian, Viennese or Continental. These terms have nothing to deal with the origin of the coffee bean though; rather the amount the coffee bean has been roasted. Coffee beans are originally green before being roasted by the manufacturer. Therefore the longer the roast, the darker the coffee bean will turn. The darker the roast, the stronger the coffee flavor. With the availability of Espresso Machine Reviews, the purchase will be under the budget of the person. The selection of the reputed and licensed sellers should be done to get the best machines. Expert assistance can be taken through the person for the purchase of the device with plenty of benefits. 

A stronger coffee will taste bittersweet and tangy. A light coffee will be less so.If you like what is available at McDonald’s or any other gas station, a lighter choice should be selected. This very fact is why some coffee beans are lighter brown and why some are darker brown – it has nothing to do with the origin. If confused, look at the color of the beans. For instance, the dark more robust coffee will be dark brown almost black while lighter tasting coffee will be lighter brown in color.

Non-European coffee names such as Sumatra, Kenya, or Mexican are again a dark roast however refers to the place of origin before being roasted. For instance, a coffee that is labeled as a Kenya blend, means the beans were from Kenya. All coffee beans need to be grown near tropical areas; therefore coffees will never be labeled as Wisconsin method or et cetera. So, if the location is a country name that is near the tropics, the marker label refers to the coffee beans country of origin. Next to the beans original origin, another location name is listed. For instance, in “Brazil Bourbon Santos”, “Santos” refers to the general region that the coffee bean has been grown.

Next is the choice of blends, which vary among ground coffee. Most coffee that comes pre-ground or in a can are blends. A blend refers to the fact that two types of coffee beans are used, rather than just one coffee blend. Blends are not created to always be cheap; rather they are blended to have two beans complement each other for a better tasting coffee. For instance, “Mocha Java” is a blend of a fruity bean along with a smooth rich bean. The combination of the two beans creates a flavor that would not be tasted from just one bean. In some instances though, a coffee such as a “Hawaii Kona style blend” is created with 50% high end coffee beans blended with 50% cheap beans. Beware of these cheap “style” blends or “house” blends; they will usually use the word style to be able to hold a higher price tag while producing it for less.

Finally, there is a flavoring that each bean was roasted and is named. Coffee beans are basically soaked in a flavoring and then roasted afterwards. Some companies like to place small pieces of flowers or nuts in the grounded coffee; this has little effect in the taste of the coffee though and is merely for looks. Flavoring of coffee does not guarantee a good coffee, rather it to impress the consumer into buying more coffee. It is cheap to add a flavoring, therefore never pay more for a flavored coffee than what the original coffee is priced by the same company. In addition, flavoring has nothing to do with the location of origin of the coffee.

With these few terms explained, hopefully even the newest coffee buyer will be able to enter a coffee house and feel more comfortable ordering a cup of fresh coffee with ease. Just remember to look at the origin of the bean, the amount the coffee bean has been roasted and what type of flavoring (if any) has been added.

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James Scott is a general news and feature writer of Untitled Magazine. Prior joining the company, he previously worked as a senior writer in different publishing companies in New York.