That’s Coffee – Guide to Buying Coffee Beans

We want to help you pick the right gourmet coffee and the perfect coffee roast to suit your taste preferences

Helpful Guide to Buying Coffee Beans

Buying gourmet coffee beans online can seem overwhelming to even the most experienced coffee drinkers. So many great choices! Choosing only 100% Arabica beans is a great start although it may take a few purchases to find the best Gourmet Coffee for your taste preferences.

Your enjoyment of gourmet coffee is dependent on several key factors such as coffee origin, roast, storage and preparation.

In this guide to buying coffee beans, we want to do more than just help you pick the right gourmet coffee and the perfect coffee roast to suit your taste preferences. We’ll also guide you through coffee storage and gourmet coffee preparation methods. Our end goal is to get the ideal cup of gourmet coffee in your hands.

Choosing the Right Gourmet Coffee Beans

Every coffee bean has a distinctive taste depending on where it is grown and how it is roasted. You will find that you might enjoy some more than others. If you haven’t already, we suggest trying several different kinds of gourmet coffee beans to discover which ones you prefer. Our Coffee Sampler Packs are a good way to get a variety of gourmet coffee beans in small quantities.

Perhaps the easiest place to start is deciding what roast of coffee you prefer – this helps to narrow down the selection within single-origin coffee beans and gourmet coffee blends. The temperature and length of the roasting process directly affects the flavor of the coffee and most coffees in each category have similar qualities.

Generally, as green coffee beans are roasted they change from a sharp, acidic taste to a smooth, full-bodied taste. Light roast coffee beans have a shorter roasting time and tend to retain the flavor of the bean and soil (earthy taste) while dark roast gourmet coffee beans generally take on the flavor of the long roasting process (smoky or burnt taste).

Typical FlavorsNutty
Acidity LevelsHigh – a lively, bright tasteBalancedLow – flatter taste
AppearanceLight brown
Milk Chocolate
Oil droplets on bean
Dark Brown/ Black
Very oily bean

*When comparing body, think of the difference between water and whole milk in your mouth. A heavier bodied coffee will retain more flavors when cream or milk is added.

If you know the roast that you like, you can shop for your coffee by roast type:

Light Roasted Gourmet Coffee
Medium Roasted Gourmet Coffee
Dark Roasted Gourmet Coffee

What Grind Should I Order?

We offer multiple grind options to meet all your gourmet coffee needs. Keep in mind that green coffee beans (non-roasted gourmet coffee beans) have the longest shelf life, followed by roasted coffee beans and then ground coffee. If possible, we recommend ordering your gourmet coffee beans whole and grinding the beans in small batches to be used for immediate brewing.

If this is not possible, we offer:

  • Medium grind recommended for drip-type machines
  • Fine Espresso grind recommended for Espresso machines
  • Course French grind recommended for use in a French Press brewing

Gourmet Coffee Storage

Once you have ordered your roasted gourmet coffee beans and they arrive at your doorstep, there are a few storage techniques to keep in mind:

  • Coffee is porous and will absorb other flavors – avoid putting your coffee near other strong foods and never place your gourmet coffee in the fridge
  • Coffee oils give coffee its distinct flavor – avoid freezing your coffee as this breaks down the oils
  • Coffee should be kept away from moisture, light, heat and air

The best way to store your gourmet coffee is in a sealed container, kept in a cool dry place.

Gourmet Coffee Preparation

There are several easy ways to turn your gourmet coffee beans into a delicious, flavorful cup of gourmet coffee:

  • Keep your coffee maker clean as mineral deposits and burnt coffee at the bottom of the carafe can affect the taste – check your maker’s manual for cleaning instructions
  • Grind whole bean gourmet coffee just prior to brewing – for drip coffee the consistency should be like granulated sugar, for French press coffee the consistency should be coarser and for espresso grind the consistency should be like a fine powder
  • Use cold, fresh water – using bad water can make bitter coffee
  • Measure the coffee grounds – the recommended serving is 1 -2 Tbsp of coffee per 6-8 ounces of water although your personal taste will dictate just how much to use
  • Transfer brewed coffee into a preheated carafe if it is going to sit for more than 15 to 30 minutes – keeping the pot on the burner will break down the coffee making the coffee bitter
  • Allow the entire pot of coffee to brew before pouring a cup to get a balanced cup of coffee – the brew cycle does not make the same strength coffee throughout the brewing process