You drink coffee as a pick-me-up, right? But it also has many potential health benefits. For this, you should have coffee at its best. So, learn how to choose good coffee beans.
First, there is an issue of sourcing. For example, do you know where your coffee comes from?
Second, it is about roasting. You should know that during the roasting process, beans are losing their protective antioxidants and polyphenols. Well, if you are using conventional coffee from your grocery store, you might not get all its benefits.
Third, your cup of java might contain mycotoxins. And especially it is relevant in low quality coffee. Also, are you drinking a single-origin coffee or a blend? And lastly, what is the difference between all beans’ certifications, and should you care?
Well, in this post, I review different aspects of why not all coffee made equal.
In short, how can you enjoy a morning java cup and get the most benefits? And how to choose good coffee beans?
Let’s get busy.
1. Coffee Sourcing
Have you ever been disappointed with your coffee? I have!
I will cover some issues of coffee sourcing and why it is so critical for its quality, nutritional value, and taste.
Grown at High Altitude
For starters, you should know about Arabica vs Robusta. Click here for more information.
As can be seen, Arabica beans are grown at high altitudes. For example, some best Arabicas are grown at an altitude of 5,500ft. This level of elevation with its cooler temperature has numerous benefits:
- slower development of beans
- absorption of more nutrients
- a higher number of oxidants
- superior taste
Coffee Beans: Why Shade Grown?
It is critical that top-quality coffee is shade-grown. Here, coffee cherries are ripening under the shade of a sun-filtering canopy. It works as additional protection for beans besides cooler temperatures. So, crops have a double shield.
But the trees that shade coffee plants are not just an ‘umbrella’ protecting crops. They enrich the soil through leaves decomposition. In turn, it adds to the bean’s nutrition. Also, it assures that beans have better characteristics than other crops.
Single Origin vs. Multi Origin
The next critical point is about single vs. multi-origin coffee. Well, what’s the difference?
Single-origin comes only from one area and a single farm. Therefore, coffee is not mixed with beans of other locations or strains which might be low quality.
As a result, it guarantees that beans are only from a specific batch. Also, it’s the same processing and roasting for each bean. Besides, you have higher odds that there are no harmful chemicals or mycotoxins from other beans.
Lastly, single-origin beans will give you top quality and better flavor.
TAKEAWAY: The best Arabica is the high altitude and shade-grown, as well as a single-origin.
2. Do Beans Need to Be Organic?
Another crucial point on how to choose good coffee beans is about coffee nutrients. And if you enjoy it, shouldn’t it be the best one?
Well, one way to assure coffee quality is its certifications. Below are the most known:
- USDA-Certified Organic
- Fair-Trade Certified
- Rainforest Alliance Certified
- Certified Paleo
- Kosher Certified
Organic Arabica Coffee
If your coffee is organic, you can rest assured that it was grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Also, it has no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Overall, the organic label guarantees a higher quality of beans. And it’s particularly important if you want nutrient-dense coffee.
Additionally, organic means that soil is harvested according to natural cycles. It has enough time to “breath” and “recover.” Besides, farmers don’t use any GMO—genetically modified organisms.
Well, are you a coffee lover and a health-oriented person? You can be both as long as you know how to choose good coffee beans. And organic Arabica is the best option for you. Click image below.
If not organic, what should you do?
Well, you would want a Fair-Trade logo on your coffee bag. It means that farmers grow coffee environmentally friendly. It assures that there are lesser pesticides, chemicals or other harmful compounds.
Also, farmers grow crops in different fields of the area and get them rotated. This guarantees that while one field is “busy,” another one is “resting.” So, it prevents soil from depletion and makes it more nutrient-dense. As a result, it assures a higher quality of your favorite drink.
TAKEAWAY: To assure your coffee is top-quality, rich in nutrients and has no pesticides and preservatives, stick with organic or fair-trade labels. Don’t compromise!
3. Coffee Bean Roasting Process
Another important characteristic of coffee is roasting. It turns raw beans into the brown one you use for your morning cup of joe.
The perfect roasting can give coffee superb characteristics:
- rich and smooth taste
- unique aroma
- deliciously-lingering aftertaste
So, how does the roasting process work?
The Process of Roasting
First, roasting involves the processing of beans under high temperatures. As a result, it causes chemical changes in a bean. Also, it changes coffee density, smell and how it feels to a bite. During roasting, beans gradually change colors from light beige to dark brown.
Besides, coffee is losing its weight because moisture is slowly removed out of the bean. So, the darker the beans, the lighter they are and less dense. As a result, you will get more beans by count.
Additionally, during roasting, you might see the oil showing up of a surface of beans.
What Is a Roasted Coffee Bean
Roasting opens the flavor and aroma out of the green coffee bean. They have nothing to do with what you have in your cup. (1)
In contrast to a raw bean, the roasted bean has a coffee aroma as you know it. Also, it is crunchy and between light to dark brown color.
→ Click here to get top-quality roasted coffee beans.
TAKEAWAY: The smooth taste and wonderful aroma of coffee can only come from the perfect roasting. It opens in beans all their characteristics and gives them a unique identity.
4. Coffee Roasting Methods
The two most known roasting methods are drum and air-roasting. What’s the difference?
First, drum roast is the most common and economical method of roasting. Beans are placed on a large rotating drum, and mechanical arm periodically stirs the beans. (2)
But with drum roasting, it might be either too much heat or high speed of the drum. As a result, beans can get the desired color at different times. Therefore, you can get an uneven roast. (3)
Another big issue with drum roast is that most chaff stays and mixed with beans. Also, it can start “smoking” and affects the coffee taste. It also gives your cup a “burnt” flavor.
Besides, it is critical to know that the longer the roasting process, the more nutrients bean will lose. On average, it takes between 15 to 20 minutes to roast raw beans using the drum roasting method.
What Is Air Roasting Coffee?
Compared with the drum roast, air roasting produces the same result in half time. Why?
Air roasting works like a popcorn machine. Beans move inside the roasting chamber with hot air. It is transferred with high effectiveness and assures precise temperature. As a result, it removes moisture out of beans with great precision and produces an even roast. (4)
Next, during the air roasting, chaff comes off the bean and is “sucked” into the chaff collector. So, nothing “bad” is left in the chamber affecting the content and quality of beans. (5) Remember this when next time you taste “burnt” coffee.
In general, air roasting is not widely used. It is more expensive because it handles smaller batch sizes.
TAKEAWAY: Compared drum and air roast, the most critical are roasting temperature, time, control of the roasting process and potential contaminants.
5. Different Coffee Roasts
Overall, there are four different coffee roast categories:
First, I’m going to let you in on a big secret. In the eyes of many, the darker the roast, the higher the content of the caffeine, right? However, it is not correct. It all depends on how you measure beans—by volume or bean count. So, don’t worry about the caffeine comparing different coffee roasts.
Another critical point is that during roasting, beans might lose a good portion of its nutrients and antioxidants. Also, the taste directly depends on the roasting type.
Obviously, the perfect roast is a personal choice. For this reason, let’s answer the question, “What the heck is different coffee roasts?”
Dark Roast Coffee
First, it takes longer to get dark roasted beans. Unfortunately, they are often over roasted or even burnt.
Also, when you looked at coffee bags in the store, how would you describe the dark roasted beans? Well, visually they are dark brown color with shine and almost oily cover. Besides, dark roast is bitter than any other.
Another invaluable insight that most people don’t know is about coffee acidity. The darker the roast, the less acidic it is.
So, if you like the dark roast, stick with the highest quality premium beans.
Light vs Dark Roast Coffee
It’s been always a strong debate about light vs. dark roast. Which one do you prefer?
The light roast has a light brown color and no shine. It is favorite by coffee-lovers who prefer a mild taste. Also, the difference between light and dark roast coffee is its potency. The lighter the color, the stronger the coffee. But don’t confuse it with bitterness.
TAKEAWAY: Type of roast is a personal choice. If you love a dark roast, choose the best quality to avoid a burnt taste.
So, ripping all coffee benefits is easier than you think. Just know how to choose good coffee beans. With this, your morning cup of joe will never be the same.
In summary, remember that the perfect beans are:
- Organic or Fair-Trade
- 100% Arabica Single Origin
- High altitude and shade-grown
- Roasted to perfection
Get the best Arabica coffee beans.
All the above will guarantee the rich taste, amazing aroma and fantastic overall experience. Also, don’t forget that the higher the quality of beans, the more nutrients they have.
So, get smart about your coffee and turn it into a source of health and wellness. Coffee at its best – now you know how to choose good coffee beans.
I invite you to enlighten us with your thoughts. Leave them below.
Founder of Detox Generation
Disclosure: The views and opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author. All content, including text, images, and other formats, is for information purposes only. The author is not a medical professional, dietitian, or integrative treatment specialist. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health specialists with any questions you