There's nothing like a great cup of coffee to start off your day off right. Whether you drink one cup or one pot each day, the taste, aroma and price, all contribute to whether or not you continue to purchase a specific brand. It can seem like there's a dizzying array of coffee types and brands from which to choose, but know that all coffees are NOT created equal. How do you choose the best coffee? Ultimately, your own taste buds will decide that for you. However, starting with a little background will likely make your search not only more enjoyable, but easier on your pocketbook, as well.
Types of Coffee Beans
There are basically three types of coffee beans: robusta, arabica and kona. Coffees advertised as "100% Colombian" are generally arabica but could also be a blend of arabica and robusta.
These beans are the type from which supermarket coffees are generally made, since they are the least expensive type of bean. Robusta's hardiness makes it easier to grow, and the flavor is more consistent than other types of beans. Its strong flavor and high caffeine levels make it perfect for blended coffees such as inexpensive store brands.
Arabica beans comprise the bulk of coffee beans harvested world wide, despite being more fragile than their robusta cousins. They have more varied flavors, and are also pricier than robusta, with which they are sometimes blended. Most flavored coffees use arabica as the bean of choice.
Grown only in Hawaii, this bean is smaller than robusta and arabica, and much more expensive. Its aroma and taste are exceptional. This type of coffee stands on its own, and is seldom seen offered in a blend.
How Do You Make That Great Cup of Coffee?
How you prepare your morning cup of java will definitely influence its taste. Many experts feel that the drip filter coffee maker makes the best coffee and offers the best value. The water you use to make your brew is very important, so if you have heavily chlorinated or sulfured water you should consider using spring water instead. Many coffee drinkers insist that grinding their own beans right before brewing results in the tastiest coffee, but others find that pre-ground, vacuum-packed coffee works just as well. Store your coffee in a cool, dark place; some experts advise against storing coffee in the freezer or refrigerator, since moisture may form and negatively impact the taste.
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