Gourmet coffee beans – how to get started choosing the coffee you’ll like

Everyone knows that picking the perfect coffee beans is the first key to making great coffee.

With about 50 coffee-producing countries worldwide, deciding where to start can seem complicated. Here is some basic information to get started. With some over-generalization to simplify this, you can narrow this decision down into three primary coffee choices, with these general tastes.

African coffee – acidic and fruity undertones. Examples would be coffees from Kenya and Ethiopia.

Indonesian coffee – an earthy flavor. This includes Sumatra, and Java.

Central American coffee – nutty taste. Colombian coffee is the gourmet taste with which Americans are most familiar.

You also need to make sure you’ve bought freshly roasted whole beans, regardless of where they were grown. Then you need to store them properly and grind just enough to use for a day or two at most.

Unless you’re a true coffee connoisseur, you should purchase roasted coffee beans. Darker coffees have a reputation for gourmet coffee flavor, although the three most popular roasts are light American roast, medium roast, and full city (dark) roast. French roast is extremely dark, and has a caramelized, smooth flavor.

I suggest that you find a local roaster, or shop online with some of the better coffee merchants. You can see some of the online specialty roasters, at our Online Coffee Stores page at Coffee Daydreams.

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