I am a coffee addict! I love writing and my “comfy time” is during the wee hours of the night when everybody is in a deep slumber. I can think and focus better when the place is peaceful and quiet. My best buddies are the computer and my mug (not a cup, that’s too small) of hot coffee. They are very effective in keeping me awake!
My tastes are simple. I like those that smell so good and creamy. Lately, I tasted my first espresso coffee. From then on, I can’t help but think, “How would it taste, if they used another kind of beans?”. What exactly are the best espresso beans that we can try? Are there many to choose from?
The Difference Between An Ordinary Coffee Bean And An Espresso Bean
- One thing’s for sure, they are both the same coffee beans.
So where do the differences start? It is confusing since there are a lot of coffees to choose from with different labels, descriptions and information.
As have I learned, the differences are all in the roasting process and brewing method! What you see on the labels are just suggestions from the manufacturer or roaster. They are the experts, so they know what the beans are good at. Espresso is one method that they have successfully used.
As we are so interested in espresso, let’s find out the different kinds of coffee beans that are the best to use to make an espresso and also where to find them. However, bear in mind that having the best tasting espresso does not depend on the coffee beans alone. Who makes them and what espresso coffee machine is being used is also important.
The Finest Coffee Beans Sources That Are Best For Espresso
It takes a lot of tender, loving care to grow Arabica. You can find this coffee bean in the highlands of Ethiopia. It is found in the seed of a coffee plant found inside the cherry fruit (coffee cherries or coffee berries).
Arabica has a gentle taste and is very aromatic. However, it is expensive in the market.
This is a robust plant (which is where its name came from). It has a low level of acidity and a highly bitter taste. You can find it in central and western sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the experts, its beans are considered to be of the highest quality. It is the Italian’s first choice when it comes to making espresso due to its high caffeine content. It is much cheaper compared to Arabica.
Now we know about the two best source of coffee beans that are the best for espresso, let us move on to the top coffee espresso beans that are available in the worldwide market. You can buy them from your favorite supermarkets.
Best Espresso Beans That You Can Find In The Market
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- Whole bean; Dark roast.
- With 10 flavors to choose from. So whatever flavor you like, you can be sure it is fresh and 100% organic.
- It comes from shade grown Arabica beans and is then Rocky Mountain-roasted in Canada. It tastes velvety, earthy and has a spirited blend! If you want to stay awake for a long time, this is the coffee for you. Some say it can even wake the dead up!
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- Whole bean; Medium roasted.
- It offers a variety of flavors/blends to choose from.
- It has a velvety crema, persistent aroma and long-lasting taste that is suitable for both the espresso (fine grinding) and drip coffee (coarse grinding) options.
Image from Amazon.com
- 100% Arabica; Organic; Whole bean; Dark roast.
- It has a wonderful aroma all of the time! The kind of coffee will force you to wake up. After smelling this dark roasted gourmet coffee you will be sure to get up.
- It has a strong and smooth blend, but it is not bitter, this is a coffee great for espresso.
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- Whole bean; Italian roasted and one of the most popular coffee.
- The beans are glossy and black in color, with a heavily delicious and rich flavor. Highly recommended for espresso blends!
The best brands of coffee beans sold in the market would not be there without first undergoing these processes. This is how the best espresso coffee is made.
Let us discover the journey of the coffee plant, from where it originally came from, right through to the well-known manufacturers and roasters, until we reach the last stop – your coffee cup!
The Coffee Plant’s Journey – How It Becomes The Best Tasting Espresso Coffee
This is usually in large beds and shaded areas. The best time to plant it is during the rainy season when there is an abundance of water, which makes the soil moist.
2. HARVEST SEASON
It takes for a coffee plant 4 years to produce fruit. Of course, it also depends on the kind of plant. When the color of the fruit turns red, it is time to harvest.
3. PROCESSING THE HARVESTED CHERRIES
It is best to process the cherries while they are fresh to avoid spoilage. There are two kinds of processing:
- Dry Method: This is the old-fashioned way of processing coffee.
- Spread the freshly picked cherries on to the open ground to dry under the heat of the sun.
- Using rakes, turn the drying beans during the day and cover them at night to stop them from getting wet when it rains and spoiling.
- The warmer the weather is, the faster the coffee dries out. The cherries’ moisture content level must drop to 11% before they can be taken. Usually, it takes weeks.
- Wet Method: Use a pulping machine to make it faster.
- Take out the pulp after the cherries are harvested. Only the skin is retained when they are drying.
- As they pass through water channels, the beans are segregated according to their weight and size. The lighter beans float while the heavy ones sink.
- After segregation, the beans go into water-filled tanks for fermentation. They stay there for an average of 2 days, which is enough time to dissolve the gluey substance that sticks to the skin.
- After fermentation, they undergo rinsing. Then they are ready for drying.
These coffees are going to be sold worldwide, but before that, the “parchment coffee” undergoes the following:
- Hulling: Removing the skin from those that sent through the wet method.
5. SHIPPING THE BEANS WORLDWIDE
The beans are loaded into vessels and are called “green beans” already.
6. TASTE TEST
The coffee taste is conducted by coffee experts and called “cupping”. The person who tastes it is called the “cupper”. Cuppers evaluate the quality of the beans’ physical appearance, their quality of taste and their aroma.
How do they do it?
- The beans are roasted, ground and boiled at a controlled temperature.
- Taste test. It is here they decide on the proper roast and determine the blending of the different kind of beans.
This is when the green beans are transformed into the brown colored beans that we purchase from stores. After roasting the beans are cooled.
You will attain the coffee’s best flavor during grinding. The finer the grind, the faster the coffee will be ready. Ground coffee for espresso machines is much finer than those that undergo the dripping method.
How long the coffee ground stays in the water and is essential in enhancing the flavor. Espresso coffee has the shortest brewing time (25 seconds).
10. ENJOY YOUR CUP OF ESPRESSO COFFEE!
- Remember that after brewing, the coffee starts to lose its finest taste, so it is highly recommended that you only make the amount of coffee that you need.
Now that you have traveled far in the fascinating journey of the coffee bean and learnt the process of coffee making, enjoy your espresso coffee carefully, in the same way as it was made. Take in and enjoy the aroma and savor the excellent taste of every sip. Relax.
Share your adventure today with all the other coffee lovers out there! When they know how delicate and carefully their coffee was made, each sip will never be the same. So let’s talk about it here with a great cup of coffee. Enjoy!