10 Tips for Making the Most of Your Coffee Beans

A high contrast photo of a cappuccino in a yellow mug with coffee art.

There’s nothing quite like a freshly brewed cup of coffee to kick-start your day. But to get the most out of your coffee, you need to start with high-quality coffee beans and know how to store, grind and brew them properly. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know to get the most out of your coffee beans and enjoy a perfect drink every time.

1. Buy high-quality coffee beans

The quality of your coffee beans will have a direct impact on the flavour of your drink. High-quality coffee beans are typically grown at higher altitudes, which allows them to mature more slowly and develop complex flavours. Additionally, high-quality coffee beans are carefully harvested and processed, ensuring that only the best beans make it to your cup.

It is also important to look for coffee beans that have been ethically sourced and sustainably grown. This not only supports responsible farming practices, but it shows more care for the coffee too.

2. Check the roast date

Once you’ve found high-quality coffee beans, it’s essential to check the roast date. Coffee beans are at their best when they’re fresh, so look for beans that have been roasted within the last few weeks rather than months. This will ensure that you get the maximum flavour from your coffee beans.

If you buy ground coffee instead of whole bean then getting a recent roast date is even more important. As whole coffee stays fresh for longer, pre-ground coffee means that you are instantly losing out on flavour. 

Don’t be shocked if an independent coffee roaster doesn’t add the roast date though, as their coffee will be consistently fresh as standard. However, if you’re in a supermarket then checking roast dates is absolutely essential.

We highly recommend investing in a grinder so that you can always buy whole beans. A good grinder will allow you to control the grind size of your beans and allows the natural flavours of the coffee to be released minutes before you use them instead of potentially months!

3. Know the difference between coffee roasts

When it comes to roasting coffee beans, there are three main roast levels: light, medium, and dark. Anything roasted in between (such as a medium-dark roast) will just be a combination of the labelled characteristics.

Light roast coffee beans are roasted for the shortest amount of time and have a light brown colour. These beans have a bright, acidic flavour and are often described as having a bright taste. Light roast also allows the true flavour of the bean to come through. 

Medium roast coffee beans are roasted for a slightly longer period, and they have a darker brown colour. These beans have a well-balanced flavour, with notes of sweetness and acidity. Due to them being roasted slightly more, they become sweeter than the light roast.

Dark roast coffee beans are roasted for the longest period and have a dark brown colour. These beans have a bold, smoky flavour and are often described as being nuttier, fuller, and richer.

Although many think that the roast of a coffee affects caffeine content, this is largely untrue. There is no significant discrepancy between the caffeine content of a light roast and a dark roast, especially as every bean has different characteristics.

You may be left wondering which coffee beans are the best. The only answer is that it’s up to you! We love our Minster Blend coffee beans, but we highly recommend trying a range of coffee so you can discover the flavours you enjoy most.

4. Store your coffee correctly

Once you’ve purchased high-quality coffee beans, you’ll want to make sure you store them correctly. Contrary to popular belief, storing coffee beans in the fridge or freezer is not recommended. This is because coffee beans are porous and can absorb moisture and odours from the surrounding environment which can impact the taste. 

We recommend storing your coffee beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. This will help to preserve the freshness and flavour of your coffee beans.

5. Grind your coffee beans correctly

To get the best flavour from your coffee beans, you’ll want to grind them just before you brew your coffee. This ensures that the oils and flavours are still intact and stop them from losing flavour (remember what we said in point 2 about buying pre-ground coffee!). 

The grind size you choose will depend on the brewing method you’re using. For example, a French press requires a coarse grind, while an espresso machine requires a fine grind. 

A general rule of thumb is that the longer the coffee is in contact with the water, the coarser (chunkier) the grind should be.

6. Use the right coffee-to-water ratio

The amount of ground coffee you use per cup will also depend on the brewing method you’re using. If you use 10g or one dessert spoon of coffee for every 200ml of water then this should generally result in a really enjoyable cup of coffee. 

Don’t forget that this can vary depending on personal preference and the strength of the coffee you prefer. Remember; all beans are different.

7. Use filtered water when possible

The quality of the water you use has a significant impact on the flavour of your coffee. Tap water can contain minerals and impurities that affect the taste of your coffee while using filtered water helps to remove these impurities and result in a cleaner, more flavorful cup of coffee.

Solutions to avoiding tap water are investing in a water filter jug, a kettle with a water filter (and ideally temperature control), or using the hot water function on your coffee machine; they will usually have built-in water filters.

Where possible, always aim to use filtered water – the coffee will taste much cleaner and have more clarity in the flavour.

8. Never pour boiling water over ground coffee

We can’t stress this one enough; never pour boiling water on your coffee! It’s far too commonly done and will instantly lower the quality of a great cup of coffee. The reason for this is that the beans are instantly scorched, which ruins the flavour and turns them bitter.

But, if you have a traditional kettle then you’re probably not wanting to get the thermometer out every time you make a coffee. So, if you’re in the market for a new kettle, then it’s well worth investing in one that has temperature control on it. This way you can set the temperature to a range of 90°C to 96°C and enjoy the perfect temperature every time.

9. Don’t pour the hot water too heavily

It’s obvious, but it still has to be said. When you come to pour the water over the coffee, don’t go too heavy on it and pour it all at once. You want to ‘bloom’ your coffee, which is when you pour a small amount of water over the grounds to release the CO2 within the coffee. Wait about 30 seconds and then go ahead and gently add the rest of your water.

This creates a (yep, you guessed it!) blooming effect and should result in an even and full flavour in the coffee. If you pour the water on too hard, you’ll completely disrupt this step and be one more faux pas away from your perfect cup.

10. Find your favourite bean, but never stop exploring

There’s nothing better than a perfect cup of coffee fresh from your favourite bean. But, if you’ve already got your favourite then you can’t just drink that forever! We recommend having two air-tight containers at all times; one with your favourite bean, and one with a ‘guest’ bean. That means you can always explore new things while having your comfort coffee on hand at all times.

We’re confident that you’ll love our coffee, so whether you’ve already found your favourite or looking for a new bean to try, then visit our shop and give us a go!

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