Buying Guides

The Ultimate Guide To Know About A Simple Coffee Bean


Everything you need to know about what makes a good coffee bean and how you can get the best brew at home.

Ah, coffee. Or for many of us “life nectar”. What would a morning be without your beloved travel thermos or go-to Starbucks order in-hand? Whether you’re a casual drinker or addicted to the bean, there’s far more to know when it comes to coffee beans than just light, medium and dark roasts. The art of coffee is a splendid, deliciously layered world and it all starts with, you guessed it, the coffee bean. There are literally thousands to choose from, whether its flavored or all-natural, imported from Brazil or Italy or manufactured right in the United States. Coffee is a vital part of many countries’ cultures, and you’d be doing your palette a huge favor to take the time to learn a bit about the simple coffee bean and how you can get some new, tantalizing roasts to spice up your routine.

Bean Basics

Believe it or not, some people are so accustomed to their instant coffee that they don’t even realize how vastly the types of coffee beans vary. Sure they may know that the flavor changes, but the truth is that everything from the shape, color, aroma, consistency and more change from the bean.

All coffee starts out as a fully ripened cherry. That’s right. Beans don’t just sprout from the ground. All coffee begins as a blossom on a tree that turns into a fruit. When a coffee cherry reaches peak maturity, it’s picked, the bean is extracted and through a more complex process, turned into the rich smelling beans you see at your favorite coffee shop.

Types of Coffee

Regardless of their origin, coffee comes in all different forms. It’s time to introduce you to some of the most popular types of coffee beans.


One of the world’s most expensive coffees, the Esmerelda Geisha hails from Panama and has a traditional Scandinavian light color and does best with a delicate roast.

French Roast

A French roast bean appears to be black or very dark brown, oily to the touch, and produces a very heavy, strong flavor. Coffee lovers around the world admire the French roast for its bold taste, though due to its strength, isn’t for everybody.


Decaffination (gasp! the horror!) is done through a process known as the Swiss Water Process. This strips the bean of its caffeine without chemicals and leaves you able to indulge yourself with some flavor without the extra energy boost.


One of the largest varieties of coffee beans is the pacamara of El Salvador. This type of bean is known for its dramatic flavor, as well as the challenge it can prevent roasting. Although a skilled barista may be better inclined to keep it at the right temperature and produce the perfect roast, it’s still something that the typical drinker could accomplish as well with some practice and research.

Unroasted Cofee Beans

Many coffee connoisseurs prefer to purchase unroasted coffee beans or “green coffee” and do the work at home. It’s a fun hobby, not overly expensive and also packs a lot more punch than the coffee you buy from the supermarket that’s been sitting on a shelf for months and probably lost a good percentage of its flavor.

There are stores online that sell some of the best coffee beans for roasting yourself, like Burman Coffee and The Captain’s Coffee. You can also talk to a local coffee shop about techniques for preparing your unroasted coffee beans or check out one of the many tutorials online.

The best coffee beans for you will all depend on your particular taste preference, but one thing is certain: you owe it to yourself to get out there and try some authentic roasts.


Natasha D.