Use Only High-Quality Coffee Beans
Updated: Nov 17
Even high-quality coffee beans produce low-quality coffee when brewed in a reduced-quality automatic coffeemaker.
It’s crucial to start with the highest quality coffee beans. Espresso machines of the best quality and proper techniques can only do so much.
No matter how perfect your technique is. You won’t be able to improve the quality that much if you start with low-quality beans.
Coffee scientist Christopher H. Hendon suggests: That the outcome of any given cup depends on four key variables. The quality of the green (unroasted) coffee beans, the roast, the water, and the brewing technique.
However, he doesn’t give each of these equal weight.
What Influences Cup quality?
Hendon says green coffee beans have the most significant influence on the brew (50%).
The impact is enormous compared with those of the roast (20%), water (20%), and brewing technique (10%) to emphasize; this is assuming that the brewer uses the best methods.
Another way to look at this. It is to realize that there are limits to what a great roaster and a great brewer can do to improve the bean’s quality if the quality is not there.
Robusta vs. Arabica
Variety of coffee trees and the conditions where it is growing. Also, make a big difference in the flavor of the coffee.
There are only two important species of coffee trees. They produce coffee beans that are widely sold: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (also known as Coffea Robusta).
Arabica beans have a better, sweeter flavor and are the way to make great coffee.
Robusta coffee is easier to produce and has more caffeine, but Robusta is bitterer than Arabica.
You may tell the difference between Arabica beans and Robusta beans by looking at them. Robusta beans are more round, and Arabica beans are more elliptical.
Processing The Beans
Coffee processing is the stage where the coffee seeds or beans are extracted from the coffee cherry.
The process by which the cherry is removed significantly affects the taste of the beans.
There are several processing methods.
Here are some conventional methods of processing coffee and how they affect flavor.
The main ones are natural or dry, pulped natural or honey, or washed or wet.
Each processing method will affect the flavor of your coffee.
When brewed, natural process coffee tends to have robust fruity notes and full body texture.
Pulp natural coffees will lack the natural process coffees’ fruity notes. But it will have a very similar body texture.
It will have sweetness and acidity similar to washed process coffee.
Wash process coffee tends to be juicy as far as texture. And will have delightful bright flavors and good acidity.
When buying coffee beans, you should find on the label or list on the website what process the coffee is. But if you don’t, leave and buy from someone else.
Storing Good Quality Coffee Beans
Storing your coffee beans correctly, you can keep a high-quality bean fresh for up to a couple of weeks from when it was roasted, but not more.
To freeze or not freeze?
There is a debate in the coffee industry regarding freezing coffee.
Some say you should, and some say not to freeze.
I go by what my roaster tells me. “Just buy enough for a couple of weeks and keep it in the dark, cool place.”
The enemies of coffee are oxygen, moisture, heat, and light.
So the best way to store it is in airtight, opaque canisters in a dark, cool, and dry place.
One right way to store coffee is to divide it into smaller portions. Keep about half of it in one container and the rest in another.
You can use one container for one week, and the other half of the coffee won’t be exposed to air every time you open the can.