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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