coffee selection guide: how to choose what coffee to buy

Hopefully this mini-guide will help you become more aware of little tricks to point you towards the best quality coffee possible!

okay, let’s get into this list.

Credibility:

The credibility of the roaster would be the first thing I look at: whether I’ve heard of them before (and if it was in a positive light), the branding and the reviews.

Quality:

The quality of the roaster is even more important. If you’re buying coffee in-person look for all the specifications on the bag. Good roasters will specify the technique they used while roasting.

Country of origin:

I’m going to keep this more user friendly, so I won’t be ranting about all 50+ countries that produce coffee and what each brings to the table. Just note that depending on the origin of the coffee and the wash processes used, it sets the scene for the flavor profile of the beans. Over time you may start to create a mental list of your favorite roasts you’ve tried and what country the beans came from. It’s another piece to the puzzle 🙂

The kind of roast:

(light, medium, dark, or somewhere in the middle)

The flavor notes:

The coffee notes written on a coffee bag are very subjective. It could say chocolate and you taste fruit, or you could be so lost like “ how could coffee taste like chocolate or fruit” and call it a day. Either is completely valid.

Notes can really help you determine what kind of coffee is your favorite kind of coffee.

Other coffee terms to help you fulfill your caffeine addiction -

Arabica vs. Robusta:

Single origin vs. a blend:

Single origin simply means its from one specific farm, crop, or region in one country. Not always, but a lot of the time single origins are of higher quality. A blend is an assortment of multiple roasts that are paired together in one bag.

Fair trade:

Some people do prefer to shop fair trade (& go you), so when purchasing coffee take time to look around for that accreditation.

Coffee Subscription Services

Subscription services are a great way to expose yourself to specialty roasters without having to do any of the searching. When signing up, you put in your roast and grind preferences ( cough, whole bean) and you’re all set! Easy peezy, you get great coffee straight to your door.

Let’s Recap!

I know this is a lot of information but make sure to remember these key points.

  1. when looking for a good quality, specialty roaster check their: branding, accreditations, reviews, but most importantly — what they make a note of on their coffee bags
  2. so, take the extra minute or so to read the information on the coffee bag — you can tell a lot from it without even having to brew it!
  3. if you’re able to, buy whole bean.
  4. over time you will develop a taste for what regions or notes of coffee you enjoy the most! I’m all about having a good coffee tasting!
  5. if you want someone else to do the searching for you, OR you just want great exposure to specialty roasters — try one of the subscription services I mentioned!

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Ashleigh Fay

Ashleigh Fay

An aspiring marine biologist takes on coffee culture, travel and lifestyle. I’m 23 and NJ based.