When you order a coffee at Starbucks or your favorite local coffee shop, you probably don't think about the process that has taken place in order for you to end up with a delicious hot cup of coffee in your hands. There are so many small details that go into creating a good cup of coffee, that we as coffee drinkers, often don't even think about.
Your favorite cup of coffee will likely have delicious tasting notes that play a major role in why you like it so much. The bean, blend, and roasting level will all have an effect on your coffee's final taste, as will how the beans have been grown and where they are from. When you start to explore the world of coffee, there is so much that goes into growing great beans.
So, to get high-quality coffee, you need to take into account a lot of factors. The bean type is essential since a blend made with different beans will significantly alter the taste of your coffee. As well as this you need to think about whether the beans are organic or not, when they were roasted, and if they've had any flavorings added to them. There's a lot to think about and it can definitely be intimidating to a coffee drinker who isn't so experienced with the world of coffee.
To help you out, we've compiled what we believe to be essential information on coffee beans. Although we aren't coffee farmers, here at Chamberlain Coffee, we know a good coffee when we drink one. We want to share all of our knowledge with fellow coffee lovers so that everyone can buy the best beans out there and feel reassured that they've made good purchases when it comes to their coffee. Most importantly, we think everyone deserves to drink fantastic cups of coffee, and the quality of the beans is an essential part of that!
Which Coffee Bean Is The Best?
Unless you've been making homemade coffee for years, you're probably unaware that there are several types of coffee beans. Different bean types have unique flavor profiles, and each individual will have a personal preference.
There are four main types of coffee beans - arabica, robusta, liberica, and excelsa. You'll probably have seen a few of these words displayed on bags of coffee as you've wandered through your local grocery store. Unless you know a bit about each bean, the type of bean in your blend probably won't affect your purchase. However, learning more about each one can help you to make better tailor-made choices, that will result in you having better coffee overall.
Each one of these beans grows best in different environments and settings, which is why you'll find some beans are grown more often in South America, and others fare better in Africa. They need different temperatures and climates to thrive in, and even the smallest factors such as soil can affect how they grow.
Here's a little more information about each bean, so that you can find out which one is best suited to you.
All coffee lovers will have heard of the arabica bean. This bean is by far the most popular variety on the market and is probably what you'll find most of in grocery stores and in coffee shops.
This bean is commonly used because it delivers a pleasing flavor that both coffee novices and aficionados can enjoy. The arabica usually has a sweet, rich flavor, which lends itself well to medium and dark roasts, since when roasted properly, it can have delicious chocolate and caramel tasting notes. When brewed correctly, arabica beans can create a smooth flavor that goes well in most drink styles, like cold brews, lattes, and cappuccinos.
These beans fare well in higher altitude environments and need a lot of rain. For this reason, they grow well in places like Brazil, where there is plenty of rainfall. The beans are small in size, which makes them easy to harvest. However, they are more likely to suffer disease. Since this can spread quickly amongst coffee plants, it's hard to produce arabica beans in large quantities.
The sensitive nature of this bean and the particular environment it has to grow in means that it is more expensive than other varieties on the market. So, if you're looking for a bag of 100% arabica beans, then you may have to spend a little extra. But if you want to make delicious sweet tasting coffee, it's definitely worth it!
Robusta is the second most popular coffee bean in the world. They are different from arabica beans and have a slightly more bitter taste. If you want a strong tasting coffee, then the robusta bean is a fantastic choice.
Robusta is much more resilient than the arabica and can grow in both high and low altitude settings. It doesn't need as much rainfall as arabica and can grow with a lot of sunlight or be shade-grown. As well as this, it has a higher caffeine content, which helps it to repel insects and protect itself against disease. For all of these reasons, it is grown in several different continents and can be harvested in large batches.
Many people like to use robusta in strong, black coffee drinks like espressos. Once roasted, these beans can have lovely tasting notes of chocolate and nuts, and taste particularly great in hot drinks.
Due to the fact that robusta beans can grow almost anywhere and are stronger than arabica, they are often used in blends. Arabica and robusta beans go well together, and this blend is very popular with many coffee brands. This is because the arabica provides sweet flavors, while the robusta gives a bitter taste that adds an extra kick to your coffee.
It's therefore unlikely that you've drunk a coffee made entirely from robusta beans, but you've probably experienced this strong flavor in a blend of some form. Robusta beans are definitely one of the best options for those who like their cup of morning coffee strong, black, and highly caffeinated!
Arabica and robusta are without a doubt the two most commonly produced beans in the world. Trailing behind them is the liberica bean. Liberica beans are hard to come by, and this isn't because they aren't delicious, because they most definitely are! Their rarity on the market is down to the fact that they need very specific conditions to grow in, and are mainly grown in the Phillippines, which makes them difficult and less lucrative for coffee farmers around the world to grow.
These beans were incredibly popular at the start of the nineteenth century when vast amounts of the arabica bean were destroyed due to a disease called 'coffee rust'. Liberica acted as a replacement and was for a time, the most popular coffee bean in the world.
If you're lucky enough to get your hands on a bag of these beans, you can expect it to come with a marginally higher price tag than the other two varieties. This variety of beans has different tasting notes than arabica and robusta since it usually has light, fruity flavors. The beans are larger in size than others and often have irregular shapes.
The rarest of the beans on our list, the excelsa bean is actually classified as a member of the liberica bean family, due to the fact that it grows in the same way and has a similar appearance. However, it has a very different flavor and is very fruity.
This variety is grown mainly in South East Asia, like the liberica, and tastes great in a light roast form due to its sharp tartness and fruity notes. However, it also is good in a dark roast blend, because it has natural roasted flavors that are enhanced by a long roasting process.
Due to the fact that this bean is a lot less common than the others, it can cost a fair amount to buy a bag of single origin excelsa beans. However, if you are really into your whole bean coffee, and want to try these coffee beans in a brew, it's worth the higher price tag.
So, as you can see there are a few options when it comes to beans. If you like a bitter taste, then you're best off trying a robusta blend. If you're searching for a unique taste then a high-quality bag of liberica or excelsa beans may be the best beans for you.
Generally, arabica whole beans are considered to be the best coffee beans due to their high production rate and the fact that they have a sweet and rich flavor that tastes great in a variety of roast levels. At Chamberlain Coffee, we have many 100% arabica USDA certified organic whole bean coffee blends. Our blends contain some of the best coffee beans, sourced from great coffee farms. Using our coffee will ensure that you can create the best coffee.
What Affects The Quality of Coffee Beans?
Although the type of coffee bean you choose will affect the way your coffee tastes, this isn't the only factor that separates a good coffee from a bad one. There are many other things that will affect the quality of your coffee beans, and some of these are vital to remember when you're searching for the best bag of beans.
Not only can aspects such as the environment affect your beans, but so can factors such as the freshness of your bag. To help you work out which beans will be the best for you, we've laid out the most vital things to consider when you're buying your whole beans.
Environment and Soil
The main factor that affects beans is the environment in which they grow. It's essential for each bean type to grow in perfect climates so that you get a high-quality cup of coffee. If a batch of arabica beans doesn't get enough rainfall, they may not taste as good as those that have grown in an optimal climate.
For this reason, it's best to research where your particular choice of beans grows best, and then look for blends that contain beans sourced from these parts of the world. This will help you make sure that your beans were grown in the best environmental circumstances as possible.
Just like the sun and rain play a role in the quality of beans so does soil. Many people are unaware of just how much soil can affect the flavor, yet coffee beans will absorb the nutrients and minerals that are in the soil. This will then affect the flavor profile of the bean and things such as its acidity level. It's therefore important that good fertilizer is used when the coffee trees are planted, to help turn the coffee cherries into excellent beans.
Of course, it's hard to tell from a pack of beans whether or not they've grown in the best circumstances. However, you can look at an individual whole bean, and if it looks slightly different from the rest, and appears to be smaller and irregularly shaped, toss it to one side and avoid using it!
Just as sun and rainfall can affect the quality of beans, so can shade. For some bean types like the arabica, they fare better when not exposed to a lot of sun. This is because direct sunlight can severely affect the final taste of coffee beans.
Whether beans are grown in forests or under makeshift canopies, the lack of sun will allow the beans to fully develop and ripen more slowly. This will ensure that they reach their fullest size and that they don't ripen before all of the flavors have come to the forefront. It's definitely worth considering purchasing shade-grown beans if you have the option to do so.
Organic Coffee Beans
If you want a rich-tasting coffee, made from beans that were grown without the use of pesticides or any additives, then organic is the way to go. Although in some parts of the world, many farmers use artificial fertilizers and pesticides to ensure their beans grow in the best way possible, a lot of people feel this can negatively affect the taste.
Organically grown coffee beans are usually tended to with a lot more care since they require three years of cultivation and cannot come into contact with any artificial elements at any point during this time. They can't even get close to synthetic packaging, since this could affect their organic status.
If you follow a holistic and natural lifestyle, then it makes sense to look for organic coffee beans. A lot of people claim that organic cultivation methods help to produce the best coffee beans in the world. Here at Chamberlain Coffee, we sell some of the best USDA certified organic coffee beans on the market. We strive to make sure all of our beans are organically grown as we feel that this affects their flavor in the best way possible.
Freshness of Beans
The biggest factor that affects the quality of your bag of beans is their freshness. To ensure you get the best coffee beans, you need to buy those with a recent roast date. Almost all beans are roasted (except green beans!) and the roasting process affects the coffee beans' overall flavor.
A bean's tasting notes will peak around 4 to 7 days after roasting. From this point on, the roasted beans will start to degas more quickly. The degassing process is when beans start to lose their flavor notes and go stale. This process can be sped up if they are exposed to elements such as air and light.
Due to the fact that beans only have a short amount of time in which they experience optimal taste, it's important to get a recent roast date on a bag of beans. This will tell you how fresh the beans are and a more recent roast date will ensure that they taste good.
Once you've bought a bag of roasted coffee beans, or pre-ground coffee for that matter, with a recent roast date, you need to ensure that they stay fresh for as long as possible. Storing your coffee in good, airtight containers is of the utmost importance in ensuring that you get the best tasting coffee possible.
As we are coffee lovers at Chamberlain Coffee, we understand the importance of fresh beans. For this reason, all of our coffee beans are freshly roasted before they are sent to you. We can promise our customers that we'll never compromise on quality or freshness!
What Is The Best Coffee To Buy?
Knowing that there are many things to think about when it comes to the quality of your coffee beans, doesn't always help you to narrow down what the best coffee is. However, there are some things that are almost always advertised on coffee bag packaging which can help you to select the best tasting coffee beans.
At Chamberlain Coffee, we prioritize several things that we think give us the best coffee beans possible. To help all of you choose the right coffee products, we've compiled these here so that you can learn more about each factor and then make a fully informed decision about what the best coffee is for you.
Technically, the roasting level won't affect the core quality of a coffee bean. However, it will have a huge impact on the overall flavor profile of your bag of beans, and this is an important factor for a coffee drinker.
When you're perusing the coffee aisle in your local grocery store, you may notice that each bags of beans has a different roast level. The three main roast levels are light roast, medium roast, and dark roast. All three are very different and create unique flavor notes, so you need to ensure that you pick the right one for you.
Light roast coffee spends the least amount of time on the roasting machine and is, therefore, the lightest in color. A coffee made from lightly roasted beans will have fruity and citrusy flavors, and will contain a high amount of acid. It also has a high caffeine content, so is best enjoyed black without any milk or creamer added to it. This is so you can fully appreciate the strong, coffee flavors that come through.
If you're a true coffee lover and believe that the best coffees are those that have an authentic coffee bean taste, then a light roast is the best choice for you. Many people believe that the longer that beans are left on the roasting machine, the more that the whole bean's natural flavors are masked due to the roasting process.
Medium roast coffee is generally preferred for drinks such as cold brew since these coffee beans tend to have a sweeter flavor profile and subtle tasting notes that are enhanced through a slow brewing method. As well as this, a medium roast has a fairly low acid content, which makes it a good choice for cold brew drinks.
Medium roast blends often have chocolate or caramel flavors, and arabica coffee beans are particularly great when medium roasted. Many famous brands like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts use medium blends in their coffees, so it's likely that you've drunk plenty of medium roast coffee before!
If you love a strong, bitter-tasting coffee that has tasting notes of chocolate and a rich nutty and toasted aroma, then the best coffee beans for you will be a dark roast variety. Many people love dark roasts because they have such explosive flavor profiles, that really stand out, even when added to milk and creamers.
Many people prefer dark roasts to the other two levels since they have a low acid content, making them better for sufferers of acid reflux. As well as this, they give off an insanely delectable aroma that will attract even the biggest coffee skeptic.
Dark roasts are great for espresso shots since they create an overpowering flavor that can be enjoyed alone or with other elements. If you want to have a sweeter flavor, then you can get a medium-dark blend, which contains a mix of both medium roast and dark roast beans. Many coffee brands offer this option since a medium-dark combination can create a sensational tasting coffee.
One important thing to remember, regardless of what roast level you choose, is that every whole bean will have differing tasting notes, depending on where and how it has grown. It's therefore important to read the coffee bag packaging. The best tasting coffee beans will be the ones that have flavors that you personally like, and there is such a wide variety on the market that you'll definitely find something that suits your taste buds.
As far as we're concerned at Chamberlain Coffee, we believe it is important to offer various coffee bag blends in different roasting levels. In our online shop, there is something for every coffee drinker and we work closely with our Californian roasters to ensure that you'll get the best coffee in every order.
Fair Trade Coffee
We'll go ahead and just say it. If you want the best coffee beans, then you should ensure that you buy fair trade products. Whole bean coffee tastes better when it's fair trade for a number of reasons and this is why more and more coffee brands are only using ethically sourced beans in their products.
Buying fair trade coffee ensures that coffee farmers who are a part of this program get fairly recompensated, not only for their beans but for all of their work during the cultivation and harvest process.
Farmers who participate in the fair trade scheme often employ sustainable methods to grow their coffee beans, and many of them will go one step further and grow their beans only under organic circumstances. This means that you're not only supporting sustainability and contributing to a good market, but you're getting a great quality product in return. Some of the best organic brands use fair trade beans.
As big believers in sustainability and working towards a better future for our planet, at Chamberlain Coffee we work with fair trade farmers to source our beans from sustainable farms. For us, making ethical and responsible choices with our products isn't just about providing our customers with good coffee. It's also about setting a standard and example to everyone and trying to make a difference in the smallest way that we can.
So, as far as we're concerned, the best coffee beans are definitely fair trade ones. Shop responsibly and notice the effect it has on the taste of your coffee.
Single Origin Beans Vs. Blends
When you buy coffee bags, you'll find that they are either labeled as 'single origin' or a 'blend'. Single origin means that the coffee beans have originated from either the same farm, the same country, or the same continent. It doesn't always necessarily mean that the beans were grown together, but for some people, this label is reassuring since they can trace back to the exact place their beans are from.
With single origin beans, you're more likely to get stronger flavors that are more similar. This will lead to an overall more intense-tasting coffee, and some coffee aficionados believe the best coffee has to be made from single origin beans.
However, there is a lot to be said for coffee blends as they have a lot of advantages over other single origin bags. For example, you can get blends that contain different types of beans, say the arabica and robusta. These two work well together in Espresso blends since the bitter robusta flavor adds a strong roasted flavor to the otherwise sweet arabica bean.
Once beans have been harvested, they are tasted by professional coffee tasters, who then create blends. This is often done because different beans will complement one another and can create incredible flavors that are brought out during the brewing method.
So, although a few coffee enthusiasts may sneer at the idea of coffee blends, they offer a lot of variety to your drink. All of our Chamberlain Coffee bags contain whole bean coffee blends. We have combined the best beans in order to create flavors that will smell and taste amazing in your cup of coffee.
Flavored Coffee Beans
Every roaster will know how to perfectly roast coffee beans so that each bag of beans has a full body of flavors. Roasting definitely enhances the natural tasting notes that each whole bean has. However, many coffee brands sell flavored coffee beans.
Flavored coffee is made by adding syrups and oils to the beans straight after roasting. This process infuses the beans with artificially and naturally derives flavors to enhance the taste of your coffee. Although the use of artificial flavors doesn't sound particularly inviting, it's actually safe and won't affect your health or the final result of your coffee.
If you live a holistic lifestyle and want to only consume the best organic products, then you can look for beans that have been flavored using only natural substances, there are many coffee brands who sell coffee beans like this.
Flavored coffee beans can actually be beneficial since by using them you won't need to use as much sugar or syrup in your coffee brews. It's definitely worth considering these beans when you're looking to buy the best coffee out there.
Brands And Roasters
Something else to think about when you are buying coffee is the brand. We know that fair trade and organic coffee is an important factor, but you should ensure that you purchase from a reputable brand that meets the highest industry standards.
When looking for the best coffee beans, try to purchase from a brand that offers you everything you look for in coffee. Whether you want to buy organic of fair trade coffee, you want to experience the taste of gourmet coffee beans or you like the roasting style of a particular company, take all of these factors into consideration when choosing.
Although you may think that all coffee is the same, different brands have different roasting methods and will use different beans. We are very selective with our beans here at Chamberlain Coffee and only the best go into one of our bags. We oversee all of our beans at our roasting facility in California to ensure your medium or dark roast is perfect.
Whole Bean Coffee Or Ground Coffee?
All coffee starts out as coffee beans, but once roasted, it can be sold in its whole form or as ground coffee. Depending on the equipment you have at home, and how you want to make your coffee, it may be better for you to buy whole bean coffee or ground coffee.
There are benefits to both. Once you grind beans, their flavors get released and they start to lose their freshness. This is why many people prefer to grind their own coffee beans at home, to ensure that they get maximum freshness and taste in their cups of coffee.
However, unless you have a good grinding machine, it can be difficult to get the best coffee from homemade grounds. For this reason, many people buy ready-made ground coffee. If you do so, you can find some high-quality varieties out there. You need to purchase coffee that was ground recently, to ensure that it is fresh and all of the tasting notes from the roasting process are still there.
So, whether you buy beans or ground coffee, it doesn't really matter. The most important thing to look for is that your coffee is fresh and was roasted recently, regardless of its form. Of course, you're going to get a better overall taste with whole beans, but that doesn't mean that ground coffee won't deliver you excellent results as well!
Whether you buy whole beans or ground coffee, you need to remember that different brewing methods will also affect the overall quality of your cup of coffee. It's not just about the coffee you buy, but it's also about how you make it! If you use a coffee machine, like those in coffee shops, then this will do all the hard work for you and you can expect to get a great-tasting drink every time.
However, for some drinks, there are other ways to brew coffee. If you want to make a batch of cold brew, you need to steep ground coffee using either a french press or using the drip over brewing method. Both of these brewing methods will give your coffee a more subtle flavor, which is what is needed to get the best possible cold brew drink.
If you want to create an authentic tasting espresso shot, then not only do you need to use espresso beans, but you should use an espresso making machine, or a Mocha. This style of coffee needs to be made with extremely hot water shooting through the coffee grinds, and so it can't be brewed in the same way as a cold brew.
For those of you who want coffee that meets your high standards, without having to use beans or ground coffee, you can buy steeped coffee bags. These are full of ground coffee and will simplify your coffee-making procedure, ensuring that you don't need to use any complicated methods to get a good quality coffee.
Made just like teabags, steeped coffee bags are very easy to use. All you need to do is sink the bag in hot water and leave it to brew for several minutes. This will give you great coffee within a short amount of time, without the need for complicated machines or brewing methods. Our Chamberlain Coffee blends are available in steeped coffee bags, for those of you who want an excellent cup of coffee without all the hard work. We use freshly ground coffee in them and they are available in a range of blends and roast levels.
Even if you buy the best coffee beans out there, you need to ensure that you use them correctly to create your coffee. Great coffee beans are a good start towards an excellent coffee drink, but it also depends heavily on how you brew them!
Chamberlain Coffee Beans
If you want top-rated coffee beans then check out our coffee products at Chamberlain Coffee. We offer good coffee beans at an affordable price so that you don't have to break the bank in order to purchase gourmet coffee beans.
All of our coffee bags come in various roasting levels, and each one has particular tasting notes. We roast our beans to perfection to ensure that every blend tastes incredible, and we use arabica whole beans to guarantee that every bag contains the highest quality beans.
We believe that we sell the best coffee beans because all of our products are organic. As well as this, we participate n the fair trade scheme, to ensure that we work with farmers who are fairly compensated for their work. Sustainability plays a big role in the quality of beans, and this is something we want to support and bring awareness to.
We are constantly working on new coffee products, and experimenting with roasting methods and flavors to create the best tasting coffee beans.
If you want to be the first to know when new products drop on our online shop, don't forget to sign up for our newsletter with your email address. Once you've signed up, you'll get 15% off of your first purchase and you'll get behind the scenes information and updates delivered straight to your inbox!
For more information on all of our coffee products, browse our site. If you want to know how to make the best cups of coffee using our coffee bags, then check Emma's extensive list of recipes. Soon, you'll be making coffee like a pro with our incredible Chamberlain Coffee products.