What you should be looking for in your coffee.

May 21, 2019

What you should be looking for in your coffee.

You may be ruining your cup of coffee

before you even press

“brew”!

YIKES! Sounds a little aggressive but, when it comes to a “damn good” cup of coffee it begins way before you press start on your machine. It begins way back on the farm and on the land it was grown. Freshness is the key to any good cup of coffee. Where it comes from, how it’s roasted and then packaged should all be apart of your criteria when choosing a brand to brew in your home! 

 

No worries, we got you! One quick read over this and you will become a coffee connoisseur in no time.

 

FIRST STEP, PICK THE RIGHT BEANS! 

There are two main species of coffee  Arabica and Robusta. These are used as a marker of quality. 

Here is what you need to know. Arabica coffee is considered to be better tasting with a softer taste that matches characteristics of the soil and climate that they’re typically grown. Arabica is a little harder to grow due to needing a higher altitude and requires a specific climate to excel. A large majority of coffee beans are now Arabica.

Robusta beans have a harsher and more acidic taste. But, since Robusta can be grown more easily, it is cheaper in price and easier to cultivate. 

WARNING: some cheaper blends will mix in Robusta beans to decrease cost. This can make for an acidic, stringent and metallic taste. Look for coffees that mark themselves as “100% Arabica beans” or something similar, so you know you’re getting the best beans.

 

KNOW WHERE YOUR COFFEE COMES FROM 

You like to know where your food that hits the table comes from so your coffee should be no different. 

Altitude, soil chemistry, rainfall, and sunshine all contribute to the flavor of the final coffee bean, so the beans’ origin is an important indicator of how they’ll taste.

Coffee trees thrive along the “Bean Belt,” which is the zone between 25° north and 30° south along the equator. 

More than 50 countries produce coffee, but you may want to start with some of the more famous regions, and get to know their flavor profiles before moving on to more exotic varieties.

Some top places that we think have the best coffee are:  

  • PERU
  • HAWAII
  • COLOMBIA
  • BRAZIL
  • ETHIOPIA

SINGLE ORIGIN OR BLEND

It's great to just be educated on the difference between the two. Here at Bandit we prefer the single origin. 

    blended coffee, most of the time, specific single origins have been chosen to use in that blend that create a complex and balanced espresso while still having a milk based beverage in mind. The coffees have been carefully selected to provide increased body, or to simply add some complexity in order to help balance the espresso. 

    A single origin coffee is from a single known geographic location, such as a farm or estate. This allows the coffee drinker to appreciate the specific nuance that a particular growing region provides. 

    FAIR TRADE & ORGANIC

    Bottom line is, this should be a priority not only when purchasing such a globally traded product but also a product that most people ingest daily. 

    "Organic is another one of those fuzzy words used to sell products for a higher price. But when you see the USDA Organic label on a bag of coffee, it means the coffee is produced under the following conditions:

    • The growers actively manage their land to restore, maintain, and enhance local biodiversity.
    • The growers work to integrate their farm into the local environment without disrupting the balance of natural ecological systems.
    • The growers use methods to minimize pollution in the air, water, and soil.
    • The growers do not use most conventional pesticides, bioengineering, ionizing radiation, or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge.
    • The growers rely on traditional methods, such as crop rotations and biological controls, to manage weeds, pests, and soil health.

    The main focus of the USDA organic label is to ensure farmers are doing everything they can to maintain local biodiversity and soil health without turning to conventional chemicals. That does not mean all organic products are chemical free, though the list of chemicals approved for use in organic farming is short.

     

    Fair Trade summed up means this. It's a way of buying and selling that assures that the people producing the product and treated and paid fairly. 

    “The goal of Fair Trade is to reduce poverty for farmers and workers in developing countries. This means not just paying them more in the short term, but also helping them improve their skills, build up their communities, and protect the local environment so its resources will be there for future generations,” says money crashers. 

    Read the 7 principles of fair trade here:  

    https://www.moneycrashers.com/fair-trade-definition-products-facts/

    You can also read more about fair trade here

     

    SHOP LOCAL OR ONLINE

    When you shop local or online 9/10 times your coffee is most likely roasted to order. We highly recommend going this route! Not only do you have a chance to support local small business’s or you can experience so many unique flavors and be exposed to some really cool brands. 

     

    Now because your with the Bandits, we had to let you in on some quick pro tips just to make sure your picking up the best possible coffee! 

    PRO TIP 1  : Try buying whole beans! Whole beans will help the coffee stay fresher longer and has such a unique taste! Ground beans may sound convenient but you are missing out on such amazing flavor. You can pick up a grinder right here on amazon too! 

     

    PRO TIP 2: THE HIGHER THE ALTITUDE THE BETTER THE BEAN. If you happen to be a geography wiz and can pinpoint the altitude of farm that your coffee we suggest choosing the higher altitude beans. The higher the altitude the sweeter, less acidic the bean. This means little to no acid reflux

     

    PRO TIP 3: Now that you have the perfect beans keep them fresh by storing in a cool dark place and in an air tight container. Avoid the fridge or freezer as this will produce moisture. 

     

    PRO TIP 4: DRINK BANDIT