When we talk about coffee, most of us would probably think of the instant coffee in a sachet. Sometimes, we tend to forget that coffee actually came from coffee beans.
In an age where Keurig machines and instant coffee are the norms, our idea of what coffee is has transformed into that little sachet that we stash in our office drawers or that expensive takeaway coffee that everyone loves. I know because I used to think that way.
Everything changed after my trip to South America. I visited a coffee plantation in Colombia, and it opened my eyes to the very basic nature of coffee.
The coffee that we know and love all starts from those handpicked and carefully selected coffee beans. But how many of us have seen a coffee bean, really?
What Is A Coffee Bean?
Coffee beans come from the Coffea plant, which is a shrub-like plant that grows into a small tree and is usually found in tropical regions in Africa, South and Central America, and Asia. The fruit of the Coffea plant is sometimes called cherries or berries, and they are usually bright red or purple color at the peak of their ripeness. The beans are actually the seeds of the fruit, and it is processed into our much-loved coffee drink.
The Coffea plant can grow from 5-10m in height. As it gets older, it has fewer branches, grows more leaves, and bears more fruits.
There are three primary types of coffee beans: Robusta (Coffee caniphora), Arabica (Coffee arabica), and Liberica (Coffee liberica).The fourth type is a variation of Liberica coffee called Excelsa (Coffee liberica var. dewevrei).
Choosing Your Coffee Bean
With so many available brands of coffee beans in the market, how do you know which one makes good quality coffee?
I have tried and tested different brands of coffee beans, and here’s what I think about them.
Top Rated Coffee Beans
- Lavazza Whole Bean Coffee Reviews
- Starbucks Whole Bean Coffee
- Dunkin Original Blend Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee
- Peet’s Coffee Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
- AmazonFresh Colombia Whole Bean Coffeeu
Best Whole Bean Coffee – Lavazza Whole Bean Coffee Reviews
Lavazza is probably one of the most popular coffee brands in the market right now.
I have always been a fan of Italian coffee, and I think it passed the standards of what makes good Italian coffee.
The Lavazza Whole Bean Coffee Blend uses Arabica beans. I tried the Medium Espresso Roast. When I brewed it for the first time, it gave me a very good espresso.
It has a nice aroma, with floral and fruity notes. It gives you a full body with hints of roasted hazelnut and brown sugar.
The Lavazza comes in a pack of 2.2 pounds (1 kg). It’s also available in other blends such as the Qualità Rossa, which is a combination of Brazilian Arabica beans and African Robusta, and Qualità Oro, which is a mix of six varieties of Arabica beans from Central and South America. This is one of the best coffee beans bramd, and one of the overall best rated coffee beans on the market!
Best Coffee To Buy – Starbucks Whole Bean Coffee
We all know that Starbucks makes good coffee. There’s no question about that. Still, being the coffee enthusiast that I am, I wanted to see how its coffee bean range would compare to other brands out there.
And here’s my conclusion. Starbucks never disappoints. I have tried the Starbucks Veranda Blend and the Sumatra for this particular review.
I love the Veranda blend. At first, I thought it would be acidic and bitter, just like the Willow Blend, but I was wrong. It has a light roast and a well-balanced taste. It’s very smooth and mellow, and it doesn’t have that weird citrusy aftertaste that most blonde-roasted coffee usually has. It is definitely the “best of the blondes.”
I wanted to try a dark roast next, so I picked the Starbucks Sumatra blend. This product is definitely a league of its own. Starbucks says that the beans of their Sumatra coffee are harvested from Indonesia. It has a lush, spicy taste which reminds me so much of my trips to Bali.
Each cup gives you a full-bodied, smooth taste with hints of dried herbs and notes of fresh earth without the acidity that normally comes with dark roasts.
When I have my friends over for a night of drinks, they always look for a cup of Sumatra coffee the following morning. I always have a strong cup for myself, and it just gives me the energy that I need to kickstart my day. I call this my “all-nighter’s coffee,” and it’s just a 360-degree shift from the Starbucks blondes. Starbucks are the best fresh roasted coffee beans and the best medium roast coffee on the market today!
Best Coffee Blend – Dunkin Original Blend Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee
First of all, I love Dunkin Donuts. It has been my favorite donut store ever since I was a kid. I don’t really go to the store to have a cup of coffee, but when I saw their Whole Bean Coffee on Amazon, I thought maybe I should give it a go.
I think because I have tried so many good quality coffee beans, I feel like it falls short of what I think a good cup of coffee is. That is, in terms of quality coffee, it sits just slightly higher than instant coffee. It is okay as it is smooth and gives you a moderate dose of caffeine, but other than that, it doesn’t really surprise me or elates my mood.
It is available in a 12 oz or 20 oz bag. I bought the 20 oz, which is really a shame. I think I’d just have this in my cabinet in case I run out of other coffee.
I’d give it two out of five ratings, and that’s the best that I can give. These coffee beans are just good coffee beans, and overall probally the best gourmet coffee beans, but it still isn’t better than other beans on the list.
Best Coffee Beans Online – Peet’s Coffee Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
One of my friends had suggested that I try Peet’s Coffee Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee. She said that it’s really good and worth the price. So I bought one pack (1.2 pounds) of Peet’s in Big Bang flavor and tried it out.
It’s a medium roast, and it gives you this smooth and almost fruity taste that I really liked. It has a premium and rich texture and can be a cheaper alternative to Starbucks. Peet’s use Arabica beans. This particular blend reminds me of Mr. and Mrs. Mill’s Delight in Ethiopia coffee.
I had my first cup of Peet’s straight, but I soon liked it better with a dash of vanilla creamer. Caffeine-wise, it gives me the boost that I need. It really ticks all the boxes for me. This is the best coffee for the money, and if you’re wondering what is the best coffee in the world is, this is the best quality coffee on the market today!
Best Tasting Coffee – AmazonFresh Colombia Whole Bean Coffee
Because I really wanted to try and experience different kinds of whole beans coffee from both ends of the caffeine spectrum, I decided that I should give AmazonFresh Colombia Whole Bean Coffee a go.
It’s an Amazon product, obviously. The packaging says that it’s 100% Arabica coffee grown in Colombia. I was excited because Colombia produces really good-quality coffee.
After opening the pack, I noticed that some of the beans are way too dry. Not a good sign. But I gave it a go and brewed myself a pot of coffee.
I didn’t expect Amazon to dive into the premium coffee market, but I expected to have at least a cup of coffee that is better than an instant coffee. It’s flat and is not a good quality coffee. Honestly, between AmazonFresh coffee and Dunkin, I would choose the latter. At least it gives me something more than mediocre.
It’s disappointing, but maybe this brand’s just not for my taste.
Types of Coffee Bean
Arabica is probably the most common and heavily marketed coffee in North America as well as in other parts of the world. Around 80% of the coffee sold in markets today is Arabica coffee.
Arabica coffee is known for its rich, sweet, and delicate flavor, unlike the other beans. It is also less acidic and has lower caffeine content.
Arabica coffee beans are farmed and harvested in high elevation areas above sea level, where there is rain almost all year round. They are commonly found in Brazil, some parts of India, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Uganda. Brazil is one of the world’s top exporters of Arabica beans, which can be attributed to its lush rainforest and rainy climate.
Arabica beans are delicate and require special farming methods. They are said to be prone to disease and need a fair amount of pruning.
This popular but sensitive coffee bean also has a reputation for diminishing a little bit in taste when it is added with milk or creamer or served cold.
While that may be the case, there is no denying that Arabica coffee is still the most popular and most consumed type of coffee on the planet.
Robusta coffee beans come in second when it comes to global production. This coffee bean is most popular in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Unlike the Arabica, the Robusta coffee bean is known for its strong flavor, extremely high caffeine levels, and is commonly used in instant coffee. This coffee bean has 2.5% more caffeine than Arabica or Liberica beans.
Its strong aroma and almost burnt taste serve as an insect repellent that keeps insects away from the Robusta tree, making it more resilient than the Arabica. The Robusta coffee tree is also more tolerant when it comes to its environment, and it can thrive in most climates and altitudes.
Some coffee shops also use Robusta coffee beans as a filler for dark roasts. Coffee experts believe that shops save up to 20% on the coffee bean cost when they use three parts of Arabica to 1 part of Robusta. Robusta coffee beans are known for its high acidity levels, and most of the time, it has these chocolatey rum-like notes.
Robusta coffee beans are commonly found in Vietnam, Indonesia, and some parts of India.
Liberica coffee beans are rare and not as popular as Arabica and Robusta. It has a larger seed, and its flavor profile is quite complex. It has a fruity and floral aroma, but when turned into coffee, the Liberica produces a woody and full-bodied taste.
Liberica coffee trees are now scarce, and they grow only in specific climates. It originated from Liberia in West Africa. It was said that in the 1890s, a plant disease called “coffee rust” massively infected Arabica trees around the world, which gravely affected the global supply of coffee. Because of this, farmers had to look for an alternative to keep up with the demand for coffee.
They resorted to the Liberica coffee beans cultivated and harvested in the Philippines and in Indonesia. When farms were able to recultivate Arabica coffee, the production of Liberica coffee beans diminished. This is the reason why it is hard to find Liberica coffee beans in grocery aisles today.
Aside from knowing the different kinds of coffee beans, it’s important to know how the coffee seeds are transformed into the coffee that we know today.
Processing Coffee Beans
Before coffee beans are brought to the market, they go through a series of processes that bring out their best taste and ensure their quality.
A coffee bean is practically a seed. When a coffee bean is not processed for coffee, the seed can be planted and grown into a coffee tree. On average, it takes about three to four years for a coffee plant to grow and bear fruit.
In most farms, coffee trees are planted in rows with enough space for their roots to grow. Coffee trees have a taproot, and their roots need deep, permeable soil to be able to sprout well.
Young coffee trees are delicate. They need shade and do not like too much sun. Coffee trees are often planted during the wet season when the soil is moist, and the roots can be firmly grounded.
The fruit of a coffee plant is called a cherry. Cherries are green in color, but when ripe and ready to be harvested, they turn into a bright deep red. Harvesting coffee cherries usually happens once or twice a year.
In most farms, cherries are carefully selected and picked by hand. This process is tedious and labor-intensive. In some countries where the landscape is flat, machines take care of this process.
There are two ways of picking coffee cherries: strip picking and selective picking.
Strip-picked cherries are removed off the branch at one time, either by hand or using a machine.
Selective picking, however, is a process where only ripe cherries are picked individually by hand. Fruit pickers would rotate among the coffee trees every eight to 10 days and choose only the cherries which are ripe enough. This process is labor-intensive and much more costly than the use of machines.
At the farm I visited in Colombia, an average picker harvests approximately 100 to 220 pounds of coffee per day, which produces 20 to 50 pounds of coffee beans. The harvested cherries are then transported to the processing plant.
As soon as the cherries arrive at the processing plant, they have to be processed immediately to prevent spoilage.
There are two ways of processing coffee cherries: the dry method and the wet method.
The Dry Method is a traditional method of processing coffee. The freshly picked coffee cherries are spread out on a flat surface to dry in the sun. To prevent spoilage, the cherries are raked and turned all day. At night or when it rains, they are covered to prevent them from getting wet.
This method is still being used in countries where there is a limited supply of water. The goal of the dry method is to decrease the moisture content of the cherries to 11%. This process needs to be repeated for several weeks, depending on the weather.
After processing the cherries, they are then brought to the coffee huller, where they are hulled, polished, graded, and sorted before being packaged for the stores.
It sounds like a simple process, but it actually involves a lot of manual work before coffee can be placed on our grocery shelves.
How To Make Coffee Using Coffee Beans
First, start with the equipment. Make sure everything is clean and rinsed properly.
Learn how to use your grinder. You have to grind the beans right before brewing time, if possible, to maintain the freshness of the beans.
I use a burr grinder and not a blade grinder as it grounds the coffee well and produces a consistent texture. I don’t recommend the blade grinder because it produces uneven coffee ground. Some will be finer than others.
Here’s a fact. The way you grind coffee affects its taste.
When the beans are ground to a fine powder, or it is over-extracted, the coffee will taste bitter. However, if the grind is too coarse or under-extracted, the result will be a flat or tasteless coffee.
I grind 25g of coffee beans for my 275mL French press, which takes around 3 to 4 cups of coffee.
I use the French press at home, and I found it really easy to use.
After grinding the beans, I pre-heat the French press by adding hot water to it. I just let it sit there for a few minutes until the press is pre-heated. Then I dry it out and add the ground coffee.
I then add water. So remember, my ratio is 25g coffee for 275mL of water. First, just add enough water to soak the ground coffee. I don’t immediately add all of the water into the press.
And then, stir it around to make sure the coffee is well incorporated in the water.
Cover the press and let it sit for 30 seconds. My friend, who is a barista, taught me that this process actually brings out the taste and the flavors of the coffee.
After 30 seconds, you can now add the rest of the water. Once added, just give it another gentle stir.
Put the plunger and let it sit for three and a half minutes. One thing I learned from my trip to Colombia is that good coffee has exact measurements and time. So I really use a timer for the whole process.
After three and a half minutes, press the plunger down slowly. This is where you will know whether you ground the coffee too fine or coarsely. When pressing down and there’s no resistance, you ground your coffee too fine. If you have a hard time pressing down, then you ground the coffee to coarse.
Here’s a pro tip. Always decant your coffee after pressing. If you leave the coffee there in the press before serving, it will keep on extracting, and it will make the coffee more bitter than it should.
After decanting, let it cool down, and voila! It’s ready to serve.
You can add a dash of vanilla soy cream (my favorite) or milk.
Sometimes I add a drop of peppermint oil on days when I want my coffee to be minty. You can even add a teaspoon of strawberry syrup for flavor. This will create the best tasting coffee!
Brewing your coffee at home, especially when you are using whole beans, can be overwhelming at first. I was overwhelmed too.
You would think it’s way too hard or it takes a lot of time. You can’t do it, and you’ll just stick with the instant coffee sachet on your drawer.
But hey, don’t be too hard on yourself. It gets easier. And once you get the hang of it, you will never trade your own home-brewed coffee for those sugar-filled instant coffee sachets again.
Different types of coffee beans
Coffee is one of the most loved drinks in the world. Most coffee drinkers know that it’s usually made of different types of coffee beans and have heard about Arabica (the most common in America) and Robusta (the favorite of Europeans), but ignore the existence of Liberica, whose variety Excelsa is by many deemed different enough to be considered a kind of its own.
Let’s see the characteristics of these three (plus one) varieties of coffee beans briefly:
1) Arabica: the most cultivated coffee bean, it’s sweeter than other varieties and less acid.
2) Robusta: recognized as a different species only in 1897; it has a stronger taste and much more caffeine.
3) Liberica: the less rich in caffeine among the three kinds, and the less cultivated, it’s typically the more expensive.
4) Excelsa: a variety of a rare variety, it’s often appreciated for its fruitier flavor.
Can you eat raw coffee beans?
Raw coffee beans look green and round, quite similar to a pistachio. Eating raw coffee beans or unroasted coffee beans is completely safe. Raw coffee beans are harder and more difficult to chew than roasted coffee beans. Also, the flavor has been known to be quite disgusting. They are more acidic and will taste more earthy and green.
Some people like to buy raw coffee beans and roast them at home. In small quantities eating them should be fine, but they do still contain caffeine, so there will be a short boost in energy levels. They can even ward off certain diseases. Unroasted, they last for up to 1 year. If the raw coffee bean begins to shrivel and smells defective, then this is a good way to see that it has gone bad.
So if you have any raw coffee beans sitting around, feel free to eat them, just not too much.
Can Coffee Beans go Bad?
Yes, coffee beans can go bad, Typically raw coffee beans have a shelf life of up to one year. Roasted coffee beans have a shelf life of up to 18 months. Fried coffee beans are usually only good for a month. However, if you have coffee beans that exceed this time period, they may simply be of a weaker consistency.
Typically, roasted coffee beans tend to have a longer shelf life than raw coffee beans. So if you have coffee beans and are worried they will expire, it may be best simply to roast them.
If a foul unpleasant smell is coming from the coffee beans and there is mold growing, These coffee beans are certainly bad and should be thrown away. Coffee is a great fertilizer, so an eco-friendly way of getting rid of coffee you do not want to consume you can dump it in a compost bin for it to safely decompose.
Does eating coffee beans help you lose weight?
Caffeine has many benefits: it helps to boost your energy levels for both physical and intellectual effort, and YES, it even helps with your weight loss. Caffeine has been used for a long time in the form of creams and other beauty products in order to get a more slim and well-defined body.
You can use coffee beans in a variety of ways to help you lose weight: as a booster for your daily routine exercise -ensuring that you have energy and a bit more fat-burning power. However, if you lack the time or exercise just is not your cup of tea. You can simply introduce coffee beans into your diet as a snack to keep hunger at bay, but also due to its laxative properties, which help you to digest and process food efficiently, thus getting rid of unwanted waste.
Does eating coffee beans make you poop?
Does eating coffee beans make you poop? Ever wondered about this either out of curiosity or as an effective natural way to regulate your bowel movements. The short answer is “yes.” After your regular cup of coffee, you may notice a need to go to the toilet shortly after, a side effect of caffeine – and one of the reasons why it is used for weight loss!
However, your personal use of caffeine may influence how much of an effect coffee beans may have on you, are you a regular drinker, or do you tend to avoid drinking coffee? Dilution will also play its role; it is very different from having a tall cup of coffee than an expresso due to the concentration and water/caffeine ratio. Coffee beans can be enjoyed or even use for that specific purpose as long as you are mindful of the dosage you are taking.
Is coffee good for your health?
In the past years, many studies on the effects of coffee on health have been performed. Unfortunately, most of them were poorly made and could not establish causal relationships between coffee consumption and the effects observed. Let’s see some of the most relevant positive and negative effects attributed to coffee.
• Coffee contains caffeine, a psychoactive compound that is thought to cause and worsen anxiety.
• Some studies suggest that coffee might increase bone fracture and fetal loss risk in women.
• Coffee might cause gastrointestinal reflux.
• An overall lower mortality risk has been observed among people who drink coffee.
• Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease has been reported among long-term coffee drinkers.
• Regular coffee consumption seems to protect against type 2 diabetes.
What coffee does McDonald’s use?
Any fan of McDonald’s that’s deserving of the name knows that you cannot simply replicate their taste by fixing up the same ingredients at home and hoping for the best. Their hamburgers, their condiments, their fries, and even their coffee have a very special, particular taste to them that is difficult to find in store-bought brands.
A lot of McDonald’s fans wonder how this is even possible when it comes to coffee: after all, it’s simply beans that are roasted and ground in different manners, isn’t it? And the blends are all very similar, too! So, what coffee does McDonald’s’ use?
It turns out, McDonald’s coffee IS actually special! Their coffee is supplied by the gourmet brand Gaviña, and it is a special blend of arabica beans grown and sourced ethically in Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, and Costa Rica!
While this blend can not be found at supermarkets, McDonalds’ has teamed up with Keurig to offer it in special K-cups that you can use at home.
There was are guide on the best coffee brands on the market today, and the best coffee bean for you. We hope this guide was able to help you find some premium coffee beans! Thank you for reading!