A lot of us just cannot begin our day without drinking a hot cup of coffee. This beverage is available in various forms and we generally wonder which will be the best for us. Selecting coffee beans is an art and most learn it through experience.
Selecting the best coffee beans has always been a very confusing task. Considering the fact that the world produces around 8 million tons of coffee every year, it does make selecting the best out of it, an extremely difficult task. Choosing coffee beans depends on individual preferences, as each person has a different taste for their cup of early morning brew. I am a big fan of almond-flavored coffee, but there are people who like their beverage strong. Similarly, some like to drink a hot cup of coffee, whereas there are others who prefer it cold and then there are some who prefer to have it along with a scoop of ice cream.
Best Coffee Beans in the World
The climate in which the coffee is grown, is the most influential factor which decides its quality. The climatic conditions lend a distinctive and aromatic flavor to the cherries. The following list helps us to identify some of the places where good quality coffee is produced.
Coffee Beans from Kenya
The coffee beans produced along the shores of Lake Victoria in the Kenyan Rift Valley are said to be the best. This coffee is well nurtured by the farmers and is graded as AA. They are sold in weekly auctions conducted by Kenya’s Coffee Board.
If your preferences tilt in favor of gourmet coffee, then Arabica coffee would be the best one for you. These coffee beans are known to have the best aroma and flavor. In comparison with others, the flavor of Arabica is superior, aromatic and richer. These are produced in Yemen and Ethiopia and grown along higher altitude regions. Some grow at altitudes as high as 3000 feet. These plants cannot grow or survive in regions with low temperature or frost. Therefore, it is a meticulous job to grow them, as they require a lot of attention and care.
Coffee Beans from Medellin
Coffee beans which come from Medellin in Colombia are also amongst the best in the world. They are slightly acidic, richer, and also full bodied. They lend a syrupy and sweet taste to the beverage.
Civet coffee is produced on the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Bali in the Indonesian archipelago, in Philippines, Vietnam, and East Timor. The process of making this coffee is very unique. The Asian Palm Civet is fed the coffee berries. The Civets eat these berries and they are passed through their system, undigested. The fecal matter produced is said to possess the best aroma and flavor. It is in high demand in the world of coffee and is very expensive since the Civets produce only a limited quantity per day.
Very few are aware about the coffee produced in the Hawaiian islands. The quantity of coffee grown on these islands is indeed less, but the weather and soil conditions are excellent for growing it. The islands have volcanic ash soil, along with a hot temperature and also frequent showers, which makes it the perfect climate to grow coffee.
Quality coffee beans also come from Brazil, Colombia, Uganda, Mexico, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Indonesia, South and Central America. The beans from Indonesia, South and Central America are medium roasted, and lend a nutty sweetness to the coffee. Roasting makes the beans, which are originally green in color, lose their moisture, and expand when roasted at 200 degrees Celsius. This process causes change in color and it also gets caramelized. The longer it is roasted, more oil can be extracted from it and this results in production of bigger coffee beans.
How to Choose Coffee Beans
Purchase from Gourmet Shops
The first and foremost step you will want to implement in choosing the best coffee is to stop buying it from the local supermarket. It is often very difficult to find fresh beans in these supermarkets. The beans are usually pre-ground and they start losing their flavor in the oils that are released. You may want to choose a gourmet shop, where coffee is not kept in open bins, but in air tight containers. Most gourmet shops can grind the beans for you on the spot, which helps in preserving the freshness as much as possible.
Buy Fresh Roasted Beans
It is recommended to buy freshly roasted beans. If you are not sure, you may want to take help from the shop attendants. The gourmet shops have a policy to roast fresh coffee beans frequently, in order to retain their flavor for a longer period of time.
Buy Whole Beans
Another tip you would want to take note of is to buy intact whole beans. When they are fragmented, they lose their flavor and oils. Whole beans are able to retain these oils, which lend a better taste to the coffee.
Buy Fresh and Good Smelling Beans
Very often, after looking and smelling the dish cooked, we are able to assess if the dish has indeed turned out good. The same rule applies when it comes to choosing beans. If they smell and look good, then you can rest assured that they will taste good.
A Little Information About Coffee Roast
Usually coffee comes in three roasts: light, medium and dark. Depending on your taste, you can opt for any one of them.
- Light roast coffee, also known as cinnamon roast, is pale brown and has a sharp acidic flavor.
- Medium roast, on the other hand, has a bittersweet flavor and the beans are brown in color.
- Dark roast, also known as Continental or Viennese roast, has dark brown or almost black color and rich flavor.
To choose coffee beans, you will have to do your groundwork well. You may also have to spend some extra time while choosing them. There is also a possibility where you may need to experiment by buying it from a couple of gourmet shops before you are able to find the best one. Once you find it, you can relish your favorite coffee.