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Find your personal favourite coffee

April 22, 2022 3 min read

Find your personal favourite coffee

Taste is a very subjective thing so one person's idea of a delicious tasting coffee may be very different from another's. Finding a coffee that you prefer can take a little work and you may need to understand a little bit of industry jargon, and a little of how coffee is processed to become confident in choosing coffee you'll really enjoy

Find your preferred coffee species

We usually distinguish between two main types of coffee beans:

  • Coffea Arabica: Makes up 75-80 percent of all coffee. Has a mild, fresh and pleasantly acidic taste. Arabica is used in most specialty coffees due to its reputation for more nuanced flavour profiles.
  • Coffea Robusta: Makes up 20-25 percent of all coffee. Robusta is characterised by a rich, punchy taste. Sometimes robusta cane be chocolatey and is often bitter. It is used mainly in instant coffee or espresso blends and is considered a less exclusive coffee than Arabica.

Within these types there is a variety of different flavours, qualities and roast profiles. It's a good idea to try a few of each type, including blends to work out your preference.

Find your preferred roasters

There are so many amazing coffee roasters, you could try coffee from a new one every week for years and years. Some tips on finding the ones worth spending your money on:

  • The more information there is on the bag or product description, the greater the chance that the coffee is of good quality.
  • Look for roasteries that have a clear link to the coffee producer; look for information such as farm name, coffee variety, process, harvest date. Even if they're using an importer, most roasteries will know details of where the coffee was grown and who processed it.
  • Pay attention to the roast date – more on that later but make sure the information is available first of all.
  • Discover the best coffee roasters through our partners at Best Coffee — the leading guide to the global speciality coffee scene. Download the app or check their speciality coffee roasters directory

Find your preferred coffee origins

Where the coffee comes from, and the terroir is a strong indicator of how it is likely to taste. Try coffees from a range of different countries and growing regions to find out what you like. You should also pay attention to the tasting notes, or flavour profiles listed by the roastery as these will also help you narrow down the types of coffees you prefer.

In general, one can say that coffee from East Africa is often fruity, intense and has a lot of freshness and acidity. Coffee from India and Brazil is often more rustic with flavours of nuts and chocolate, while coffee from Colombia and Central America is often sweet with a little freshness and fruitiness.

Roast profile and date

How long and at what temperature the coffee beans are roasted during production also has a great impact on the taste. This is often referred to as the roast profile, and we usually distinguish between dark and light.

Dark roasts are bitter and powerful, while light roasts tend to be grassier, with light acidity and fruit/floral notes.

Most often, when a coffee is given a strength rating, it relates more to the roast profile than anything – dark roasts are referred to as stronger due to their increased bitterness and body.

In addition to the level of roasting, you may want to check the roasting date on the beans, as roasted coffee has a limited shelf life. As the coffee ages the oil and fats that give coffee its pleasant taste will oxidize, and you risk a stale, ashy tasting coffee.

The coffee is best within six weeks after roasting, so if roasteries give a 'best before' date, rather than a roasting date it may be best to avoid buying from them in favour of freshness.

If you're looking for more help choosing coffee and finding the right fit for you why not speak to your local roastery or specialty coffee shop? In these places you have a much wider selection and the chances are greater that you will find just your personal favourite coffee, as well as receiving some expert, tailored advice.