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Coffee Purchasing Tips

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No matter your favourite bean or brew, there are a few tips to follow when it comes to purchasing coffee beans.

Of the utmost importance is purchasing beans that come directly from a coffee roaster. This guarantees freshness and exceptional quality. We also recommend to our customers that they use their beans within three weeks of its roasting date. This is because coffee is highly perishable, and is susceptible to light, heat and moisture. Too much exposure to any of these elements will cause the beans to lose their flavour, and become stale.

Beyond this, choosing the coffee that’s right for you is a matter of personal taste. Here we share with you the key things to look out for when selecting your coffee beans. 

Country of origin

Climate, altitude, growing conditions and processing methods all contribute to the flavour profile of a coffee bean. Given these vary from country to country, it only makes sense that certain countries are renowned for delivering particular flavour profiles.

South and Central America

Beans from this region are recognised by their sweet, almost sugary and caramelised taste. Medium bodied, they also feature varying amounts of pleasing acidity. 

Africa

African beans tend to befruity and complex, as well as highly fragrant and full-bodied, which makes for a truly sensory coffee-drinking experience. 

Asia

Beans from Asia are particularly polarising – you either love them or you hate them. This is due to their dark, savoury flavour profile with strong earthy undertones and heavy body. 

Blend or single origin

A tricky subject, because it comes down to personal preferences once again. However, most coffee roasters will agree that blends are perfect for creating a complex flavour profile that suits almost all coffees – right from the espresso through to lattes and other milk-based coffees.

Here at Cisco’s, our roasters create an array of blends that contain a unique mix of contrasting and complementary beans to deliver a nuanced flavour profile with delicious mouth feel.  

We also sell a range of exceptional single origin beans, which, in our opinion, are best suited to black coffees whereby you can taste all the characteristics specific to that particular region or estate.  

The best way to find out which one you prefer is to experiment. Keep trying new blends and beans until you find the one that you love. As always, our team of roasters are here to help. Simply tell us what kind of flavours you enjoy, and we’ll happily assist you in finding the perfect coffee for you.  

Roast

Roast is crucial to delivering a flavoursome bean. Roast depth typically comes in three stages – light, medium and dark.

As the roast darkens, less acidity and caffeine is retained in the bean, and the body of the coffee gets heavier. This is because the bean loses its own flavours, as it’s stripped away during the roasting process. However, this isn’t always a bad thing, as dark roasted beans tend to have pleasant chocolatey or caramel tasting notes.

Lighter roasts, on the other hand, retain some of the acidity of the bean, and deliver a slightly toasted flavour. Hugely popular with siphon, filter and cold-drip coffee drinkers, light roasted beans retain more of their flavour and caffeine than their dark roasted counterparts. 

As the name suggests, medium roasts fall somewhere in between, and are particularly well-suited to stovetop coffee makers, plungers and espressos.

We think the best way to determine your ideal roast is to consider how you drink your coffee most often. Medium roast beans tend to be more versatile, while lighter roasts deliver the full flavour of the bean, and darker roasts provide a delicious chocolatey taste (albeit with less caffeine). We recommend you sample a variety of roasts to experience the full spectrum before you settle on your favourite.

If you’re still not sure which beans are right for you, get in touch with us today or visit us in store. The team at Cisco’s are experienced roasters who can share with you their abundant coffee knowledge to ensure you go home with a bean you love. 

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