Knowing about the
origins of coffee beans, the
different coffee roasts, and
how coffee is named
choose the coffee beans
that are right for your perfect cup of coffee. For the coffee aficionado,
understanding all the subtleties
that make a great
cup can be as captivating as knowledge of good
wines is to the wine lover. Fortunately for all
of us, however, achieving the perfect cup is easy once
you're familiar with a few basic coffee-making concepts.
Knowing a little bit about the origins of coffee beans and
how they're harvested, roasted and named can help you
choose the roast
that's right for your cup.
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Right Coffee Beans
And Coffee Roast
Better Homes and Gardens
Choosing the Right
Bean... What's in a Name?
The names of the beans normally
do not refer to the kind of
coffee plant they
instead, the name
can refer to
any of the following:
Quite simply, a name may designate where
the bean was grown
Colombia, Kenya, Yemen).
Sometimes the name
is included in the coffee's name as well.
Coffees can be
as "single-origin" coffees—that is,
originating from one
only—or "blends," a combination of beans
from a variety
geographical areas. Generally, blended
coffees produce more
complex brews than single-origin coffees.
Once at their destination, the green
coffee beans are roasted (that is,
in a large roasting drum to
desired flavor and color).
the longer the beans roast, the darker their
their flavor. Knowing how strong you prefer
your brew will
help you decide which roasting style
Often, coffee roasters will put their
own mark on a batch of beans,
and roasting the beans
according to the
names such as "House Blend" will tell you
little; but the names
give clues as to how the coffee roaster envisioned
the coffee to be
enjoyed, such as
"Eye-Opener Roast" or
Styles of Coffee Roasts
and Italian roasts:
Dark, heavy-roasted coffee beans
that are almost black in
and produce a
A medium-roasted coffee,
which produces a coffee
coffee beans combined with
coffee beans combined with two-thirds medium-roasted beans.
the Right Coffee Bean
So, how does all this translate
into what's best for your cup?
Because coffees grown in the same
parts of the world can have
similar characteristics, knowing
your coffee's origins can help
you decide if it will be one you
Coffees from Africa are
often imbued with the aromas and
flavors of berries, citrus
fruits, cocoa and spices, while
coffees from Latin America are
known for their lighter body and
cleaner flavors. Coffee beans from
Southeast Asia are often
full-bodied and smooth.
you've got this overall picture
of origins and roasting styles in
your mind, honing your personal
likes and dislikes involves the
enjoyable task of trying a little
of this and a little of that when
you have a chance.