How to Choose, Buy, and Prepare The Best Coffee Beans?

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How many coffee beans should I buy?

The coffee bean is a very delicate product and, once roasted, it loses aroma and flavor as the days go by. It will not expire, nor will it cease to be fit for consumption, but it will lose organoleptic properties.

Buy the coffee as fresh as possible, as soon as it has been roasted, and consume it in less than three weeks. The optimal point in terms of flavor is usually between 7 and 14 days from the date of roasting.

My recommendation is that you do not buy more coffee than you can consume in that time. Calculate how much coffee you consume in a normal week and adjust your purchase so as not to accumulate the coffee for more than three weeks.

Coffee is usually sold in packages of 250g, 500gr, and 1kg, so you will have no problem finding the right size.

For example, at home, we consume around 200 grams of coffee a week (we are both very coffee growers) and we usually buy packages of 500gr so that it can last for two to three weeks. If you don’t drink so much coffee, 250gr packages are ideal.

Where is it better to store coffee beans?

Once you have bought the right amount of the best coffee beans, you have to pay attention to the storage location. This is important to preserve the freshness of the product for longer.

Roasted coffee beans are very sensitive to humidity, heat, sunlight, strong odours, and sudden changes in temperature. In addition, they can absorb external aromas from other foods with which they come in contact.

The refrigerator is often thought of as a good place to store coffee, but it is generally not a good idea. The refrigerator has a high degree of humidity and the coffee beans may absorb aromas from other foods. An alternative, if we are going to take time to consume it, is to vacuum pack the beans and if we could refrigerate or freeze them.

In the end, the answer is easy. Store your coffee in a cool, dry, dark place. The best place to store coffee is in a cupboard or pantry, as far away from heat and humidity as possible.

It goes without saying that in kitchens there are usually places more exposed to the heat produced by appliances or stoves.

How to preserve the coffee beans once opened?

We already know that grains are very sensitive to heat, humidity, and odors. For this reason, it is important to choose well the container where to keep it to avoid losing aroma and flavor over the days.

If your coffee beans come in a vacuum-sealed aluminum foil container, you can keep it in the original container if you are going to consume it in a week or two. These bags are designed to keep all the aroma of fresh coffee during this time, so you will have enough margin.

However, if your beans come in a paper bag, change them to an airtight container as soon as you get home. Choose a completely clean container, without odors, of some resistant material and preferably opaque.

The best materials are ceramic, metal, or glass. If you can buy a container specifically designed for storing coffee, even better

What is the best brand of coffee for the espresso machine?

This is a very repeated question but one that has an easy answer: the coffee grind has to be fine. It will not depend so much on the type of coffee you use. Of course, I will always recommend a good 100% Arabic natural roast bean.

Why should it be fine ground? The thickness of the grind will affect both the quality of the drink obtained and the correct operation of the coffee machine and its possible breakdowns. Espresso machines work by injecting water at very high pressure through a filter with the coffee.

If the coffee is coarsely ground, the water does not soak the mixture in the same way and the full flavor of the coffee is not extracted.

In short, to make espresso you need a fine ground coffee, even finer than those commonly used for other types of coffee makers.

But be careful, do not over-grind it to the point of obtaining a floury texture because you could have problems removing it from the filter.

Is it better to buy coffee beans or already ground?

It is true that buying coffee already on the ground has its advantages, we will not deny it. However, if you are reading this page it is because you appreciate the quality of the coffee, so I am going to reveal the two main reasons why you have to buy coffee beans.

The coffee begins to release its aromas and flavors, which are very volatile, immediately after it has been ground. The ground grain is more exposed to air and light, and its properties begin to greatly degrade. It would be a shame to buy good coffee and that after a few days it has lost some of its aromas because it is ground before its time.

Each type of coffee maker requires a different type of grinding that adapts to its characteristics. An espresso machine does not require the same degree of grinding as a plunger coffee maker, for example. Therefore, an advantage of buying coffee beans is that you can adapt your grind to your coffee machine by grinding it yourself.

Therefore, if you want to have a coffee with all the aroma and flavor, choose a coffee bean and grind it at home just before going to drink it, either with a coffee grinder or with a coffee maker with a grinder.

How to grind the coffee yourself?

If you have come this far, I have probably convinced you that you have to buy coffee beans and grind it yourself, but how do I do it? Coffee grinding has to be done correctly, it is not complicated, but you have to take into account two basic tips.

  1. It is essential to grind the grains just before extracting the infusion. Once ground, the coffee loses properties quickly. Grind the right amount that you are going to consume, and do not make the mistake of grinding a large amount of coffee to store it and use it little by little.
  2. The size of the grind matters, a lot. Do not forget that the grind of the grains will have to be different for each preparation method. Each coffee maker requires a different grind thickness to extract all the qualities of the coffee.

As a general rule, the longer the coffee extraction time lasts, the coarser the grind should be.

This should be the type of grinding depending on the coffee maker you use.

  • Express or professional coffee machines: fine grinding.
  • The mocha or Italian coffee makers: between fine and medium.
  • Filter, Chemex, or Plunger Coffee Makers: Medium Grind.
  • For stewed or squid coffee: coarser grind.

One last piece of advice, don’t be obsessed with the result, the important thing is that you enjoy preparing the coffee and that you learn about the nature of the beans and the different processes involved.

After all, it’s not that difficult to make good coffee at home either, is it? And you, do you already know which is the best quality coffee beans on the market?

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