Buying The Best Coffee Beans

If you prefer coffee beans to instant coffee, this article is for you! Coffee made from beans invigorates, boosts brain activity, protects the heart, and retains youth due to the living active ingredients in their composition. It is excellent if you have tried many varieties and found your perfect drink. But how to cover all bases if you’re a novice?

It’s easy for a novice coffee connoisseur to get lost in the wide assortment of elaborate packaging and fancy terms. What is the difference between arabica and robusta? Why do lightly roasted beans usually cost more than heavily roasted? Perhaps it is better to take that enormous bag on sale and be done with it? It is not an easy task to tackle.

coffee cup

That’s a mere trifle! Cook It editorial staff will gladly share tips on how to choose good coffee beans! Follow these seven steps and the desired package will be yours.

How to Choose Beans for Brewing

coffee bean varieties

We do not want to kill your enthusiasm, so in this article, we use a simplified classification of types, varieties, and methods of roasting and grinding. The science of coffee is highly specialized and complex, but even this knowledge will be enough for you not to get confused.

So what should you look for when buying coffee beans?

Packing Date

best before date

To find the best coffee, always check the rear of the shelf. Store employees like to place the freshest produce in the back and the oldest in the front.

Roasting Date

roasted coffee

Manufacturers provide this indicator less often, but it tells a lot about the aroma of coffee. Look for freshly roasted beans: they are the richest and most pleasant.

Coffee Bean Varieties

coffee bean varieties

There are three varieties of coffee beans: arabica, robusta, and liberica. They are sold in pure form and in a blend.

Approximately 70% of the coffee produced in the world is arabica. It has the most delicate taste and a soft aroma of walnuts and chocolate. You can find several arabica coffee varieties on store shelves: Typika, Bourbon, Maragogipe, Mocha and Abyssinia. Arabica coffee varieties are the most expensive.

coffee fruit

Robusta is strong and bitter. It has an earthy aroma and contains three times more caffeine than arabica. As a rule, it is not sold in pure form but added to coffee blends for extra density and strength. Varieties of robusta are called Congensis, Quidou, and Coniglion du Brazil.

Liberica is the underdog of coffee species.

The region where the beans are harvested and roasted determines the character of the coffee. For instance, arabica of high–altitude plantations and arabica of tropical forests of Colombia taste differently. Every variety is unique and indicates the country of origin.

Place of Manufacture

coffee beverages

Taste, strength, aroma, and body of the drink depend on the country of origin.

African coffee characteristically has a slightly sour taste and berry and citrus notes. For instance, the high–altitude plantation variety called Tanzanian Southern Peaberry combines notes of brandy, almond, jasmine, and apricot. And the Zambia AA Lupili has notes of caramel and bitter orange.

coffee fruit

Latin American varieties. Colombian drink has a wine aftertaste, whereas Guatemalan — a pronounced sourness and bitterness with notes of smoke. And Costa Rica variety has a pronounced taste of walnuts.

Arabian Mokha, grown on the Arabian Peninsula, has notes of rare wine and chocolate.

Indonesian arabica varieties named Ankola, Mandeling, and Gayo Mountain are quite strong and have an unusual smoky flavor. You can also detect notes of cloves, pepper, and persimmon.

coffee flavors

Indian coffee is very delicate and has a rich wine taste. Arabica Mysore is the best–selling variety.

Typically, the manufacturer vividly describes the taste and aroma of the drink on the label. Unfortunately, this info is often an exaggeration, but you should nevertheless pay attention to it.

Coffee Bean Roasting Degrees

coffee bean roasting degree chart

According to a simplified classification, the manufacturer offers light, medium, and dark roast coffee.

  • Light roast coffee has the highest price. It is mild, has a sour taste and a subtle aroma of bread. It goes well with milk and cream.
  • Medium–roast beans have a slight sourness and a characteristic caramel taste with herbal notes, and they are often best for espresso.
  • Dark roast makes the drink more saturated, dense, and bitter. Sourness almost disappears, but there is a pronounced caramel flavor, as well as smoky notes. It leaves a prolonged aftertaste.

Bag Size

coffee bag

If you fancy trying a new coffee variety, it is better to buy a small package. You might not like it, and 9 ounces of coffee are easier to get rid of than 36. Besides, the longer you store coffee in an open bag, the faster it loses its flavor.

How to Choose Ground Coffee

ground coffee

It is necessary to pay attention to the degree of fineness and instructions for use.

  • Coarse-grained coffee is suitable for brewing in a French press, pot, or drip coffee maker.
  • Medium-ground coffee is excellent for a carob coffee machine. It has a rich taste and it filters easily.
  • Fine-ground coffee is best for brewing in a Turkish coffee pot.
  • Ultrafine coffee powder is best for brewing oriental coffee. Due to the density of coffee grounds, the drink seems thicker.
black coffee

We hope our tips will help you select the most delicious, high-quality coffee beans. Carefully study the packaging, and you will succeed.

What kind of coffee do you like? Share your thoughts in the comments!


I am an English major with a love of languages and fiction, and with an incurable travel bug. In my free time, I read fantasy, drink copious amounts of coffee, and like to go see movies. Culinary art means everything to me. My main hypostasis is the taster, though. The music school has taught me to appreciate the symphony of airy meringues, to create harmonious overtures of light snacks, hard rock of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill. Choir classes have accustomed me to hear and feel the people nearby and create perfect harmonies of sounds.