7 Key Things To Consider When Buying Coffee Beans- #5 is surprising

The aroma of fresh roasted coffee beans is intoxicating. Maybe because I love coffee. It’s something I am not sure I can live without. 

There is no doubt that the freshest coffee is always the best coffee. There is a substantial difference between brewing coffee where the beans have been sitting a while for a while vs. coffee beans delivered directly to you from the roaster. 

After doing lots of research I found there are seven essential things to look for when you are buying coffee for home brewing.  That is if you want really fresh flavorful coffee. 

I Gotta Have My “Bean Oil”

Steve and I are both coffee lovers, and I can’t imagine starting my day without a fresh cup of coffee. I admit it; it’s my morning vice.

In our house, we call coffee “bean oil.” It’s an old joke. Growing up in Seattle, I have always appreciated high-quality coffee with various flavor profiles. It’s incredible to see how far coffee has come from that can of Folgers coffee my parents use to drink to a highly specialized coffee of today. 

Coffee beans- growing

Did you know that there is an art to a good cup of Coffee? Aka “bean oil”. 

If you are a coffee lover like me, you will appreciate the art of making the best cup of coffee, and it starts with harvesting the bean.

In search of the best cup of coffee, I came across a brand that is not only one of the freshest on the market, but it’s farmed with love and compassion.

Before I tell you the story behind Lina Coffee, there is something you need to know about how to buy and store stellar coffee beans. 

You can buy beans from dozens of origin countries with with tons of new and diverse flavors. There are organic coffee, fair trade, direct trade, bird-friendly, light roasts, arabica, washed process—Yikes, It can be confusing.

Where is your coffee from? Gal Pal Blog
You should know where your coffee is from

There are so many different types of coffee bean brands on the market today so, it can be overwhelming. I hope the information I am sharing today will serve as a helpful coffee buying guide.  

Coffee Bean Close

The Seven (7) Most Important Things To Look When Buying Coffee Beans-  For The Freshest Home Brewed Coffee:

1. Buy Whole Coffee Beans

You should buy your coffee beans whole (whole beans) and grind them right before you brew. Why? 

When the beans are ground, oils that drive those fruity, toasty, floral notes and exquisite flavors will degrade. So don’t buy pre-packaged ground coffee in the store because it’s impossible to get a fresh cup of coffee that way.

2. Buy Coffee In Properly Sealed Packaging

Buy whole bean coffee in sealed packaging and not from barrels in a store or in the traditional  package with the wired folded top. 

If the coffee comes in a resealable bag with an actual zip seal and one-way valve—then it’s okay to store it in the bag itself. Otherwise, pour the beans into an airtight container with a lid. 

It will look pretty, and it keeps them fresh. The best way to store coffee is in a cool dark place not in the fridge, freezer, or in your grinder’s hopper (that reservoir above the grinding gears)- Until it’s ready to brew. 

Young specialist worker is roasting coffee in hangar

3. Know The Origin Of The Coffee Beans

Know where the coffee beans are from. Tasty coffee is all about transparency, and great coffee roasters will make sure to provide as much information about the farms, regions, and roasting locations as possible. If your coffee doesn’t say where it was grown and roasted, it’s probably not that great.

Understanding the way the beans are grown and processed, what region they’re from, and how they’re roasted are the basics of getting the highest quality beans. 

The soil the coffee is grown in makes a difference. For instance, popular coffee regions like Columbia and Indonesia have volcanic soil, which adds depth and body to the flavor. The humidity and temperature also plays into the game. For instance Costa Rica is slightly less humid and hot.

4. Check The Roast Date – Key For Freshness

Coffee is a complicated bean to farm. While it’s possible to get beans from massive plantations, most beans worth buying come from smaller farmers and families. 

Coffee plants will start producing berries after a few years, which is when the plant is harvested. Depending on the farmer’s experience, these berries will either be stripped off en masse or selectively picked depending on the quality of the berry.

Roast Date: The roast date is the essential piece of information on a bag of coffee. You want beans that were roasted no longer than two weeks ago. Once they pass that stage, they start to lose flavor. And once they hit a month, they’ll begin to taste like cardboard.

Beige background with paper coffee cup, coffee beans steam from hot coffee

5.  From Farm To Cup- Purchase Direct

Purchasing beans directly from a high-quality roaster goes a long way toward guaranteeing freshness. And since beans reach their peak within about 10 days of roasting, buying small quantities (a pound or less) at regular intervals means you’ll always have fresh ones on hand.I would avoid buying beans from the grocery store.

For instance, coffee-like Lina Speciality Coffee is single-origin, which means that all steps to taking care of the perfect coffee bean are done in one location. Having all of the steps for great coffee in one area allows Lina to ensure the final product is outstanding. From the actual farm directly to your doorstep and then to your cup.

Transportation Of The Beans

Transportation of the beans makes a difference. Once the beans are processed, they have to be taken to the roaster. This actually impacts the flavor since transportation time, and conditions can vary. 

If you’re buying more premium coffee, it was likely flown in from the farm to the roaster, making it as fresh as possible. Sometimes, it’s driven by truck if there’s a land route, which can cause the coffee to age, adding a bit of complexity to the flavor.

Types of Coffee Roasted beans

6.  Know What Kind Of Flavor Coffee Roast You Prefer

The flavor of different beans can vary significantly from blend to blend, so knowing about the coffee market will help you buy a roast that will make your morning cup of joe the best it can be.

The type of roast is what makes coffee taste like coffee. The ideal coffee bean roast is a personal choice. There is four-color categories of coffee bean roasts to consider when buying coffee.

The National Coffee Association outlines the three types of coffee roasts.

Light roasts

Light brown in color, this roast is generally preferred for milder coffee varieties. There will be no oil on the surface of these beans because they are not roasted long enough for the oils to break through to the surface.

Medium roasts

This roast is a medium brown with a more robust flavor and a non-oily surface. It’s often referred to as the American roast because it is generally preferred in the United States.

Medium-dark roasts

Rich, dark color, this roast has some oil on the surface and a slight bittersweet aftertaste.

Dark roasts

This roast produces shiny black beans with an oily surface and a pronounced bitterness. The darker the roast, the less acidity will be found in the coffee beverage. Dark roast coffees run from slightly dark to charred, and the names are often used interchangeably — be sure to check your beans before you buy them.

7.  Giving Back- Does The Brand Support The Local Community Where the Coffee Is Made? 

When you are sipping your morning coffee, make sure the coffee brand you are drinking are giving back to the coffee farming communities. Research shows  that 80% of the coffee farmers around the world are extremely poor. 

A lot of work goes into farming coffee beans and it feels good to know you are helping the people behind the delicious brew you are blessed to enjoy every day. 

A good example of this would be the coffee brand called Lina Coffee. Lina  is a women owned coffee company in Columbia. Lina grew up with her brothers in the coffee fields. Today she has her own coffee company with a mission to help others. 

Lina is the owner of Lina Coffee of Columbia. 

When I learned about Lina Premium Coffee and how they give back to the local community where the coffee is farmed it warmed my heart. It’s such a beautiful story not to mention how Lina met her husband Robert (who helps run the business) is a true love story. 

The story is touching and the coffee is amazing. A women owned and run business that was started with the passion to help others. Wow!  

Lina tells me that :

With my Foundation “Fundacion Colino” we now have an opportunity to help the regions’ coffee pickers through my dental profession. We not only provide oral health, but we assist with medical and social needs that the farming families of rural Colombia desperately need.”

Think of Lina when you sip your cup of “Lina” instead of calling it a cup of “Joe”. Ha Ha 

She is an inspirational women out to make a difference in this world. We could all use more inspirational in our cup of coffee.

I grew up on a coffee farm, among the magical shades of green found in the mountains in the heart of Colombia. Awakening to the rhythm of a harvest, the bustle of collectors, and the appreciation for the red beans that would become my family’s crop are cherished memories of my youth.

Lina Madrid, Lina Coffee

Every time you purchase Lina Coffee, you will be supporting many families in Columbia. 10% of every sale goes directly back to the farming community.

Primarily single mothers and children. However, education and community support help the mothers and the next generation.

Lina says “We have been helping with dental and medical support that is costly and hard to access while we are implementing educational and nutritional support in rural communities.” See more here about how Lina gives back. 

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