How to Choose Coffee Beans

Sometimes the choice between different types of coffee bean can seem overwhelming. Here are a few hints to narrow it down and get what you want.

  • How to brew coffee
    The best coffees are made purely, or mainly, from beans of the arabica strain. The shrubs that produce arabica beans are slow to grow and mature, producing a fine flavour. Some coffee blends, particularly espresso blends and some instant coffees, are made with a high proportion of robusta beans. These have a coarser flavour, more caffeine and are much cheaper to produce.
  • The quality of a coffee is assessed by its body, acidity and aroma, each of which will have been affected by the degree of roasting the bean has undergone.
  • If you enjoy mellow coffee, try Colombian, which is sweet and smooth, or New Guinea, which has a light body. Mild coffees include Australian and Costa Rican, with a sweet and tangy acidity, and Brazilian. Kenya coffee has high acidity and a full flavour, while Java is rich, heavy and spicy. Jamaican Blue Mountain has a flavour that is rich, sweet and mellow.
 

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