How can you recognize coffee beans?
Its origin, roasting, manufacturing, and plant variety are some of the characteristics that determine the taste of coffee: but what are all the aspects to consider while purchasing coffee beans?
If you’re a novice, you might go to the supermarket and get the most well-known brand or the one that appears to best fit your taste preferences.
But are you sure it’s the best product for the occasion?
When it comes to the Italians’ relationship with coffee, it’s not enough to focus on the brand or advertising.
You can distinguish coffee beans and buy the perfect one for you if you are more aware of the aspects that determine the taste of your espresso.
Do you know that the degree of roasting determines the drink’s acidity? Or that the aroma of espresso is affected by the territory, altitude, and climate?
What to look for when selecting coffee beans
The world of coffee is so large and varied that mastering each component necessitates a great deal of expertise.
The majority of the time, those who drink espresso distractedly do not even take the time to notice the coffee’s fragrant qualities. As a result, they believe that all coffee beans are the same and that one brand is the same as the other.
However, for coffee lovers the situation shifts, and understanding the components that influence the organoleptic properties of coffee becomes critical.
So, how do you identify and select coffee beans?
A big help comes from the label, which contains useful information on the processing method, the degree of roasting, the plant’s country of origin, and the producer.
Coffee processing begins immediately after the harvesting phase. This is a fundamental step because it is the processing of the beans that prepares the coffee for roasting.
The processing is extremely complicated and consists of three separate systems:
- natural: the grains are left inside the drupes (the cherries that surround the beans) to dry in the sun. They are only peeled and deprived of the pulp after they have dried;
- washed: for quality control, the drupes are inspected and separated. They are then placed in enormous water tanks and double-checked before being washed. The pulping takes place before fermenting in water and drying in the sun.
- semi-washed: The beans are picked and stripped before being washed and dried in the sun in this case.
The processing method influences the aroma of the coffee.
Natural processing yields a rich, full-bodied espresso with overtones of sweetness or fruitiness.
The coffee made from beans that have been washed has a more acidic, fruity, and flowery flavour.
The semi-washed process provides an outstanding flavour compromise: the coffee retains its sweetness and texture while maintaining a good acidity.
Roasting and its degree
The roasting or roasting procedure of the beans serves to impart heat to the coffee beans, making them edible.
The coffee develops its distinct aroma and colour profile as a result of the interaction between temperature and roasting time.
Slow roasting offers the beans the finest flavour and enhances the coffee’s organoleptic qualities.
The three main types of roasting are:
Let’s see the differences.
The light-roasted beans have a colour that is akin to cinnamon and retain the inherent aromas of the coffee. They contain a lot of caffeine, and the extracted coffee has a lot of acidity and lightness.
Medium roasting makes the grains darker and less acidic. The espresso that results is slightly bitterer than the light roast, but it is more balanced.
Dark roasting produces a coffee that is more bitter and full-bodied but lacks acidity. It is the most commonly used degree of roasting in bars and by those who use a professional coffee machine at home.
Country of origin
One of the most common myths about coffee is that it only comes from Brazil. However, the reality is far more complicated, and while Brazil is the world’s leading producer, Coffea is grown not only in Central America but also in Asia and Africa.
Since the climate, vegetation, and kind of territory vary from continent to continent, the variety of plants and, as a result, the aroma of coffee can be different.
Therefore, the first thing to check when buying ground coffee or beans is the country of origin.
Coffees from Africa are more ideal if you enjoy a drink with fruity overtones. Central American products, on the other hand, are better for individuals who prefer a balanced espresso. Asian coffee varies according to the location of origin and should be tested according to one’s tastes.
In the coffee industry there are two main types of production:
- intensive, In which the goal is to maximize output at the expense of the final product and the entire process. This approach necessitates the employment of numerous chemicals.
- small-scale manufacturing, with enterprises that stand out for their attention to workers and use of ethical and environmentally friendly production methods.
Generally, organizations that make purposeful decisions pay more attention to the quality of the beans they sell.
These characteristics are highlighted on the product label, assisting you in selecting companies who trade fairly and care about environmental sustainability.
By knowing about the many producers, you’ll be able to select coffee companies that prioritize the entire production chain, thereby benefiting all the farmers involved. You will be able to get coffee that is healthier and more nurtured, as well as coffee that is free of dangerous elements for the body.
Coffee plant species and variations
Despite the fact that Coffea plants are fairly similar, there are various species with distinct traits in nature.
Arabica and Robusta are the most popular varieties, but there are many others, each with its own distinct aroma.
The main types of coffee are:
- Arabica: Coffea Arabica is of Ethiopian origin. The aroma is rich and pleasant, and the caffeine concentration is lower than in other variations.
- Robusta: the most widespread and economical variety, Coffea Robusta is of Tropical African origin. The flavour is stronger, and the caffeine content of the extracted drink is higher.
- Liberica: Coffea Liberica comes from Liberia, West Africa, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The beans have a pleasant aroma, but the quality is judged to be low.
- Excelsa: the size and resistance of the plants distinguish Coffea Excelsa. It’s used to graft weaker species together.
Espresso takes on highly distinct aromatic notes depending on the species and type, which is why it’s so important to pay attention to the coffee beans’ origins.
Our lever machines enhance your coffee
It’s time to taste your beverage after you’ve chosen the greatest coffee quality.
As we previously stated, espresso is a true art form, and no aspect should be overlooked.
If you’ve paid attention to the label and learned to recognize coffee beans, it shows you’re serious about getting a great espresso.
To accomplish your goal, you’ll need one more thing: a coffee machine that can improve the quality of the beans you’ve chosen.
The lever coffee machine allows you to regulate different phases of the extraction process, allowing you to customize the scents of your drink to your preferences.
The water pressure setting on Pontevecchio coffee machines is optimum, bringing out every aromatic note in the espresso.
You can’t just use any machine if you want to learn the art of espresso.
Discover our models, and you’ll be able to taste your coffee’s full aroma.