With the onset of home brewing kits, coffee beans have become more accessible than ever. It is the main ingredient for brewing your own coffee within the comforts of your home. A lot of individuals prefer taking matters into their own hands by purchasing the coffee beans themselves and then making coffee at home.
If you are a beginner, there’s a lot about coffee beans that you need to orient yourself with. Being well-versed about coffee beans will help you make the right shopping decisions and bring you a step closer to the perfect coffee blend for you.
Where Do Coffee Beans Come From?
Coffee beans are seeds of the Coffea plant which is the primary source of coffee. The beans are the pits inside the red or purple fruit of the plant.
As of today, there are two main types of coffee beans that are deemed as the most economical choices so far. Arabica coffee comprises up to sixty percent of the total coffee beans produced worldwide while Robusta occupies the other forty. These are subspecies of the Coffea plant with distinct flavors of their own.
How To Grind Coffee Beans
There are different ways by which you can grind coffee beans. One classic way is by using a mortar and pestle at home. There are also handheld coffee grinders that you can use in which all you need to do is to twist the crank and then the coffee beans get broken down into more manageable pieces. If you really have no equipment, you can place the beans in a Ziploc bag and then pound it with a hammer or a rolling pin. Just make sure to do so gently so that you will not puncture the bag. The finer the beans are, the better. You can also go for a coarse ground if you wish.
How To Roast Coffee Beans
Coffee beans need to be roasted first before you can brew them into a delicious cup. The process of heating the beans will intensify the flavors and release the aroma, which accounts for the unique taste that coffee beans possess.
There are different types of roasts that account for the different intensities of the flavors. A light roast is a light cinnamon in color. It is low in acidity and is mild in flavor. Medium roasts are medium brown in color with a higher body and higher acidity. The flavors intensify as you go up the roasts. The final type is dark roast coffee, with the most intense flavor and darkest shade of brown.
Any type of coffee bean can be roasted in the three main aforementioned ways. Keep in mind that a darker roast does not automatically result in a strong cup of coffee. It is just a more consistent flavor that you can use for specific coffee recipes, like espresso shots and whatnot.
Coffee beans start out as green before they are roasted. They go a darker shade of brown as you roast them longer and at higher temperatures. The natural sugars are converted into carbon dioxide byproducts as well as caramelized flavors that account for that unique coffee flavor. The ideal roasting temperature is three hundred fifty to five hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
How To Store Coffee Beans
It is ideal to store your coffee beans in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. The temperature should be consistent. It is better to keep your coffee beans in airtight jars to keep them fresh and viable for a long period of time. It is also recommended to use an opaque container so that the beans won’t be affected by sunlight which can compromise the overall flavor of your coffee beans.
Store your coffee beans according to their type. Make sure to label the containers accordingly so that you will not confuse them together. You are allowed to store ground coffee beans away but they are more susceptible to moisture and loss of flavor. The ideal thing to do is to immediately consume your freshly-ground coffee beans for the maximum amount of flavor.
How To Make Coffee From Coffee Beans
The basic rule is to ground the coffee beans first. This makes it easier to extract the flavor. One tablespoon of ground coffee corresponds to a cup of coffee. One handy trick is to lightly wet the grounds for thirty seconds before pouring in the rest of the hot water to make a cup of coffee.
The difference lies in the type of coffee equipment that you use to extract the flavor. You can use espresso machines that grind the beans for you and create a slow drip to create concentrated shots. You can also use a French press or pour-over brewers. There are so many choices in the market and it’s all about finding one that suits you.