The social beverage of the world, coffee, is by far one of the most satisfying addictions one can have. That aroma of a fresh brewed cup of coffee can awaken the senses like nothing else. That first sip of sweet espresso or well made Turkish coffee can entice even the most devout coffee hater. Not any old coffee will drive men to tears over its savory goodness.
Choosing the right coffee blend is an art form. You can compare it to those who choose wines for gourmet dinners. Coffee is no different. Following are several tips to help you on the way to finding great coffee.
1. Do yourself a favor and avoid buying name brand coffee. All that you are doing is helping them pay for their substantial marketing machine.
2. Look for local roasters. They take great pride in their coffee beans and the roasting process. You may find a gem.
3. Roasting is one of the keys to a great coffee. Light roasts typically go way of being acidic in flavor. Dark roasts are more bitter and “full" or “medium" roasts are balanced between the two.
4. The higher quality coffee lends themselves to distinct flavors and sweetness regardless if they are dark roasts, medium or light roasts. A good bean roasted lightly will still be sweet with a touch of bitterness whereas a good bean dark roasted will be akin to a desert that contains nuts.
5. People like to think that certain countries produce different types of coffee. The best coffees produced tend to be suited to darker or lighter roasted coffees. Light to dark the countries are: Central America, South America and Caribbean, Africa and then finishing up with Indonesia and India.
6. Use coffee beans roasted for less than ten days prior. Older beans will simply taste like boring, unsweetened cocoa.
7. Grind your coffee beans minutes before actually brewing. This will give you the height of flavor and substance in your morning cup and make those gourmet coffee recipes shine above and beyond.
Arabica vs. Robusta
When you buy coffee at a Starbucks or online you will generally be buying Arabica coffee beans. Purchasing from a deli (typically an Italian-run one) will be a blend known as Robusta. Robusta is a bitter coffee with twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans.
Arabica is the choice of gourmet coffee drinkers all over the world. It is a subtle flavor that is sweet and nutty, but pleasant. Robusta is simply just too bitter and is really your grandfather's blend and should be avoided for social coffee drinking.
All of this information is for naught if you do not get yourself a quality coffee maker in order to brew your favorite beverage. One-cup coffee makers are great because they keep your coffee fresh by the cup with no sitting around to get stale and lifeless. Espresso makers with milk steamers are great if you wish to experiment with your coffee. You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on a machine either. Go with the best that fits your budget.
Paul is a regular contributor to Coffee Maker Review is an informational website for Coffee Machines ratings and reviews, and provides information to the coffee club