Introduction to Coffee for Dummies

Coffee Bean Types – Introduction to Coffee

Cassandra Clare said, “As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad things could be?” Well, unless you are not too poor to buy an existing coffee, everything will be alright.

Millions of people enjoy a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Hey, who could function well without a cup of coffee? It has also become a popular drink to serve after a meal or at social gatherings. People can enjoy coffee piping hot, chilled, dull, or as Non-fat, Sugar-free Caramel Macchiato with Soy Milk.

There’s a lot more to coffee than simply popping some grounds into a machine and waiting for it to brew. You can have various roasts, which influence the different tastes and will undoubtedly wake up your soul.

You can also have various grinds, which give the coffee different textures when it’s ground. The type of taste that you’ll get from your coffee will depend on which coffee beans you choose and what kind of coffeemaker you use.

Sounds tricky, right?

If you want to be a somewhat coffee expert, read on.

I won’t tell you to watch coffee-related videos 24/7 on Youtube, but to avoid coffee brewing mistakes and maximize your pleasure of drinking this soothing drink, you need to have a little knowledge about it.

You need to know about the roast types and how they affect the flavor. You need to understand how to select the best machine to make your coffee and operate it. And it would be best if you experienced the satisfaction of learning about other coffee flavor tips that enhance your satisfaction with this drink.

The coffee movement is something that’s always developing. Years ago, no one could have imagined that consumers would be so hungry for information about where their coffee came from, how it could be manipulated into different tastes, and be willing to pay upwards of $5 per cup for it.

Now, there are simple $1 per cup versions for the average person on their way to work who wants a caffeine jolt to wake them up. There are also expensive cups of coffee that have art on the surface to post it on Instagram; after all, being aesthetic is more important than the taste. (haha, don’t bully me) It becomes more of an experience than a habit of the morning.

Three-fourths of adults claim to drink coffee ritually every morning. Some consume it all through the day. If it’s a habit that means so much to us, why should we muddle through each day, barely being familiar with how to maximize our pleasure from it?

Benefits of Drinking Coffee

It might surprise you to learn that your coffee habit has more nutritional benefits than many healthy foods. You know that you’re supposed to eat a balanced diet based on lean meats, fruits, and vegetables because of all the good things those foods do for your body.

Coffee has more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables. Not only can the nutrients in coffee help keep you healthy, but it can also help with specific health issues you might already have.

It works as a multi-layered protector for your body.

The nutrients in coffee can give you a boost in energy. The nutrients, along with the caffeine in coffee, help protect your brain function – including helping to block certain neurotransmitters, which are known to induce stress.

In addition to being a mood booster, the nutrients in coffee can boost memory function and overall brain performance. Coffee can also help protect you against brain-related conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease, and it can slow the rate of dementia.

The nutrients in coffee can give your metabolism a boost. This helps you lose weight as well as burn fat (YES, GIRLS AND GUYS!). Although some people believe that caffeine in coffee harms the body, it’s actually the opposite.

Not only can caffeine elevate your energy level, but it can also help you perform physical tasks easier. Your nervous system responds to caffeine faster, which helps with your response time.

Most coffee drinkers are unaware of the type of nutrients that are found in coffee. Just having a single cup of coffee gives you nutrients such as Magnesium, riboflavin, which are vitamin B2, vitamin B5, potassium, vitamin B3, vitamin E, and more.

You can get almost half your daily recommended amount of vitamin B2 by drinking four regular-sized cups of coffee. There are so many ingredients in coffee that can improve your current and long-term health.

These nutrients can cut down on the odds of you getting type 2 diabetes.

You can cut your risk by as much as 50% over people who don’t drink any coffee. The benefits found in coffee include protection against liver conditions like cirrhosis, colon cancer, and even depression.

The nutritional value of coffee can lower your odds of getting heart disease and reduce your risk of having a heart-related health issue such as a heart attack. Thanks to the nutrients found in coffee, coffee drinkers tend to live longer than those who are not.

Just a reminder, everything should be in moderation.

Don’t drink one gallon per day, and comment down below how painful your heartburn and acid reflux is.

Know Your Roast and Bean Types

Coffee Bean Types
Coffee Bean Types

1 – Light Roasts

As you can guess, the lightly roasted coffee beans did not go through the roasting process for the same length of time that dark roasts did. The lighter the roast of the coffee, the less bitterness the coffee flavor has.

The type of roast can be seen outside of the bag or can of coffee you bought. If you don’t like strong, bitter coffee, obviously, you should go with a lighter roast.

In a light roast, because the process isn’t as long, the oils are not freed to the outer part of the bean. This is why a light roast doesn’t taste as bitter when you drink it.

2 – Medium Roast

With a medium roast, you’ll get a darker color and more of a strong taste. You still won’t have as much bitterness – because there’s not a lot of the oil to give it that bitter taste.

3- Medium-Dark Roast

With a medium-dark roast, the first thing that will catch your attention will be the color of the beans. This color will be noticeably darker than the light roast and slightly darker than the medium one.

If you hold a single, unground bean up to the light, you’ll be able to see the oil on the bean. When this type of roast is made, there’s a distinct bitterness to the flavor.

4 – Dark Roast

Dark coffee beans roasted no longer look brown. Because these were in the roasting process the longest, they have a black color. The oil on the bean is more noticeable right away. The taste of this coffee is very bitter. If you’ve ever had an espresso, it was made using these darker, bitter beans.

The type of coffee bean that you prefer to drink will depend on the kind of roast it is. If you don’t like bitter coffee, you’re not going to be a fan of the darker roasts. Smoother coffee with not much aftertaste is your preference? It would be best if you chose the light roast.

If you like the taste of coffee and you’re not looking for something that’s going to pack a strong taste kick, then you want to take the medium or medium-dark roasted beans.

Because beans can vary even within their classifications, what one medium coffee tastes like doesn’t mean that another medium will taste exactly like it. So you may have to try several different varieties of coffee within one grouping to figure out what pleases your taste buds the most.

Now, if you like to drink coffee with a robust taste and give you that bitter flavor, you want to go with the darkest roast. Don’t be surprised by the appearance if you buy them whole.

Sometimes, these beans can even look as if they were burned.

That’s what all that oil releases in the bean. And then, the time in the roasting process will do to this roast of the bean.

Choosing the roast you like will depend on what else you plan to put in the cup with your coffee. If you plan to drink your coffee straight with no additives and you know you don’t like bitter coffee, stick with the lightest roast that you can find.

But if you somewhat like robust and bitter coffee and plan to put some flavored elements in the cup, it can take the edge of the bitterness off, and you might find a blend that you like.

The beans you buy can be chosen from all over the world.

Different countries and regions will deliver coffee that has a unique taste. Even how the bean is processed initially (picked by hand versus machine) can make a difference.

When you’re starting to shop smarter for your coffee beans, you’ll notice that you sometimes see single-origin and sometimes blend. This blend is when the beans are brought together from more than one source.

This can be wonderful because the flavors are paired together to create a rich fullness in flavor. It can also be great to get one robust and pure taste of a bean from just one region.

Coffee beans are always a choice that depends on individual tastes, but you should know that whatever means you use to grind or make that coffee can affect the roast’s flavor. (So complicated, I know! That’s why coffee is so expensive, in…you-know-where!)

If you’re someone that likes to brew a cup of coffee and not give it a lot of thought, then you may not be looking for a machine that’s going to turn cartwheels when it makes coffee.

You may want something simple where you can press a button, and the coffee gets made. But what happens sometimes is that people end up buying a coffeemaker or grinder that’s relatively simple. Then they develop a better palate for their coffee flavors and wish they would have purchased one instead with more bells and whistles.

So keep in mind that even the top-of-the-line coffeemakers that have a lot of different features and can make fancy coffee can also make you a simple cup of coffee. That way, when you want more options, and better flavor, you have it.

Regardless of what roast type or flavor you want, make sure you measure out your coffee before putting it into the machine. Don’t eyeball it. It would help if you had precise measurements to brew the best cups of coffee consistently.

Picking a Coffeemaker That Brews Supreme Taste

Coffee Bean Types

Coffeemakers can range from a simple “plug it in, press the on button, and it brews a cup of coffee” – to ones that set the water temperature from low to high and practically deliver a cup of it to you in another room (haha kidding)

The type of coffeemaker that you pick will depend on what features you’re looking for. Get the best that you can get if you have the budget and you are really into coffee. People never regret having options, but they always regret not having them.

So when you’re looking for a coffeemaker, think of it as an investment that will pay you back in taste and enjoyment. Look for a coffeemaker that suits the amount of consumption you know you’ll use.

There’s no use in wasting even a cup of coffee if you know you only like one cup before you leave the house. You can get single-cup coffeemakers that can brew some pretty tasty coffee.

Look for coffeemakers that have the best features but won’t sacrifice convenience.

Even the most elaborate features need to be easily operated. If you have to spend 8 hours figuring out the instruction booklet, it will not feel like value.

Coffeemakers that will let you decide which strength of coffee taste you want based on the temperature is what you want to shop for. Fully programmable coffeemakers will let you set the time for it to start, and many of them will store your preferred selections.

You want a coffeemaker that lets you set the temperature because this directly affects the taste of the coffee. The hot water extracts more flavor from the coffee beans, but too much, and it turns a bit bitter.

Colder water creates a more mild coffee flavor, so if you like a more tame or bland taste, then you’ll want your machine to have the ability to cool it off a little during the brewing process.

Also, when you’re buying a coffeemaker, look for ones that come with charcoal filters.

You want this because if your tap water isn’t up to par or it has a distinctive odor to it from the chlorine, that can affect how your coffee will taste.

Sometimes tap water that’s not the best can affect the machine by contributing to build-up. The charcoal filter catches chemicals in the water supply that can affect the taste of the coffee so that what drips out is pure and delicious.

Some baristas will recommend that you wet a paper coffee filter in your machine with hot water before you actually run the coffee through. They swear that it delivers a weaker cup of coffee when you allow the machine to dispense hot water over the grounds without a pre-wet filter.

One feature that you don’t want to be without in any coffeemaker is the pause button.

This will let you grab a cup of coffee if you’re in a hurry without making you wait until the cycle is done first. Without this feature, you end up splashing coffee on the burner plate when you try to interrupt the cycle.

You can buy regular coffeemakers that will let you brew the coffee but won’t give you the option of grinding the beans. If you want delicious, full-tasting coffee, you may want to think about getting one that does have its own grinder.

You’ll see these listed in stores and online with the phrase “automatic bean grinder” somewhere on the box or in the description. You can buy it built into the coffeemaker or a separate grinding machine.

Coffee beans start to lose their flavor shortly after the bean is ground up.

So it stands to reason that you retain much of the aromatic essence if you have a grinder to process the beans immediately before you brew them into a cup of coffee.

What’s great about these machines that include a grinder is that they’ll give you a choice to use regular, store-bought coffee grounds – so it’s like you get the best of both worlds. It’s always recommended to buy the model that will let you do either one.

Fresh ground coffee beans will also deliver a more robust flavor, regardless of whether you like light, medium, or dark roast coffee.

You’ll find two types within the coffee grinder options – one that uses blades to grind up the coffee (known as a blade grinder) and one called a burr grinder. True coffee connoisseurs prefer this type of machine.

Blade grinders aren’t always consistent in how coarse or fine the coffee bean is ground up. With a burr grinder, the bean is crushed between two elements, so the grind ends up consistently sized.

Another problem many people have with blade grinders is that they sometimes ruin the bean’s flavor, making it taste almost burned. This could have something to do with the speed.

Burr grinders have a slightly slower process, but the full flavor of the coffee bean is retained.

If your budget can only afford a blade grinder, it’s still one step ahead of the store-bought pre-ground coffee beans.

Understanding the Settings on Your Coffeemaker

Most of the settings on coffeemakers are pretty self-explanatory. But now and then, you’ll get some that you won’t get, or you might not understand the benefits that some of these settings make when it comes to your coffee.

Many of the newer models of coffeemakers brew great cups of coffee – but they can also be used to make tea, hot chocolate, and even some liquid foods like soup.

This feature is usually found as a hot water dispenser used separately from when you need to make coffee. You can also find settings that regulate the grind function of the machine.

The type of grind you set will determine how fine or coarse your coffee beans are once you grind them. You have to get this just right because an ultra-fine grind can stop up the filter, while a grind that’s too coarse won’t give you the right flavor from the coffee beans.

It’s the water running over the grounds that give you the fullest flavor.

So you need this part to be done correctly. Some features – such as a water indicator or a safety lock to keep small children from turning it on and getting splashed with hot water – are pretty easy to understand.

Where most people run into trouble is with the programmable part. This usually contains the clock display, the time, the temperature setting for the pot, and the clean setting.

Once you set the display, then you can adjust the temperature setting. Some features call for you to figure out when the cleaning will be done, but many coffeemakers have features that will remind you it’s time to clean the coffeemaker instead.

Flavored Coffee Beans

Coffee Bean Types
Coffee Bean Types

Pecan pie. Caramel Brownie. Pumpkin pie. Those sound like rich desserts to serve after a meal, but those are coffee flavors that you can buy for your coffeemaker.

While you can buy some flavors in ground coffee, you get a pure, full-bodied taste when you get these flavors as beans. There are hundreds of different brands and flavors.

When you’re looking for the different flavors, you can buy them in a variety of packs so that you can try more than one, or you can buy them in bags of one flavor. When you’re shopping for them, though, you want to make sure that you see that the bag states it contains whole beans.

Because sometimes, manufacturers will put the words “flavored coffee” on the bag, and people assume that means whole beans. The beans will first go through the original roasting process to get the flavoring.

Once that’s complete, these beans are then mixed with syrup. It’s the various ingredients of the syrup that gives the coffee beans the taste. They’re usually mixed in large quantities and then separated into bags or individual cups.

If you find that any of the flavored coffee bean mixes are too strong for your taste, you can mix the flavored beans with regular beans if you have a grinder with your coffeemaker.

By mixing them, it will tone down the flavor.

If you want the flavor to be more robust, you use a little more coffee coupled with a little less water per cup or per pot.

Doctoring Up Your Coffee

Coffee Bean Types

If you like your coffee with a little something extra, you have so many different choices. From creamers to flavoring syrup to toppers, any flavor you can imagine can be created and enjoyed with your cup of coffee.

Creamers come in powder or liquid form, and the flavors of these can be soothing chocolates and caramels to spicier flavors.

Syrup that’s made especially for coffee is another hit with coffee drinkers.

These give a more pronounced flavor to the coffee than powdered creamers do and come in flavors like pumpkin spice, hazelnut, and more. Cotton candy flavored syrup also goes well with coffee.

Sprinkles on coffee are also a hit.

Adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, or pumpkin spice to coffee can ramp up the flavor.

What some people like to do is use crushed toppings to flavor their coffee. These are excellent ground toppings, such as crushed peppermint.

Some coffee drinkers think that the sweet taste they get from the additional toppings makes the coffee sweet enough, but others disagree. So if you want sweeteners, you can get sugar packets or sugar substitutes.

If you want to keep all the condiments organized, you can buy a simple coffee caddy or organizer. You can buy organizers that let you store everything – from stirring straws to sugar packs – or you can purchase caddies that only hold the actual coffee pods.

When adding these flavors and condiments to your coffee, you have to understand that as you start to invest in richer coffee beans and machines that handle these grounds better. You won’t need as much doctoring up of your liquid as you do when you’re dealing with sub-par beans and a basic coffeemaker.

So don’t be afraid to wean yourself off of flavoring over time so that you can experience the full flavor of the coffee beans. You might find that you start to appreciate a blank canvas over time – brewing your coffee black every day.

Professionals call this coffee cupping or mouthfeel.

It’s akin to how wine tasters experience the aroma of the wine first, followed by a sip of the wine to taste. With coffee, you want to sniff the smell first, then slurp the coffee and see how it tastes on your tongue.

You’re looking for how sweet or bitter it tastes. You want to experience the aftertaste, too. You should do this with a raw cup of coffee, not once it has been flavored with additional creamers, syrups, or sweeteners.

Conclusion

So that was a pretty boring article, isn’t it? Well, you won’t read it unless you are REALLY into coffee, or you’re planning to build a coffee shop, and you want to familiarize yourself with coffee.

If all of those are too much for you, I won’t judge you. We can always get instant coffee and buy some fancy one in…you-know-where.

Whatever our preferences are, we shouldn’t coffee-shame any coffee…lol

Happy drinking!

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Jace Sinclair

A caffeine-dependent writer.

Articles: 16

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