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There are so many types and brands of coffee on the market it can be hard to know what constitutes a quality cup of joe. Luckily, we’re here to fill you in on a few trade secrets that will help you become a coffee connoisseur in no time. Keep reading to discover our top tips for recognizing good quality coffee, including what to look for and how to look for it!
The Taste of High Quality Coffee
The perfect cup of coffee should always be complex. What this means in coffee speak is that it should provide the ideal balance of acidity, sweetness, and bitterness in every sip. In addition, it should be smooth to drink, without strong notes of any other major flavour. In essence, a good cup of coffee should taste just that - good! It should taste good enough that even after having a sip milk-free (for those that take their coffee with milk), it still leaves you wanting more. That means no burnt, charred, or raw taste, and nothing that’s out of whack (such as a super acidic flavour with little sweetness or vice versa).
Indicators of Quality
Here at Colombian Coffee.US, we believe there are a few indicators of quality that you can tell simply by reading the packaging of the coffee beans.
● Specialty Coffee: First, when surveying a bag of coffee, look to see if it has a Speciality Coffee designation on it. This designation comes from the Speciality Coffee Association of America, and they consider all aspects of growth, processing, and roasting when determining their rating. If a bag of coffee beans has a Speciality Coffee designation, it means that the beans inside are likely of top quality.
● Arabica: We’ve been saying it from the beginning, the reason we source our coffee directly from Colombia is because Colombia is one of the few producers, worldwide, of the arabica bean (which is by far the superior bean). Arabica beans are known for the rich and complex flavour that they offer.
● High Grown: One last indicator of quality is whether the bean is high grown or not. High grown refers to the altitude at which the beans were grown. High grown beans are grown at an elevation of 4,000 to 4,500 feet, while strictly high grown beans are grown at an elevation above 4,500 feet. Generally speaking, coffee beans grown at a higher altitude are of a higher quality than those grown at lower altitudes. This is partly because high grown beans tend to be shade grown as opposed to sun grown, which allows them to mature slowly, creating a richer flavour.
How to Recognize Good Coffee While Drinking It
Now that you know what makes high quality coffee, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to identify quality while you’re actually sipping on a cup of joe.
1. Smell the Coffee. The first step in determining the quality of the coffee before you is to smell it. Take in its aroma. Trap the aroma over the cup by cupping your hands around it and breathing through your nose. Do you smell notes of chocolate? Flowers? Licorice?
2. Slowly Sip the Coffee. Taking a giant glug of coffee is not what you want to do here. Instead, slowly sip (and even slurp) the coffee. Slurping ensures the coffee covers your entire mouth evenly, in turn giving you the most accurate reading of its taste.
3. Compare Notes. If you’re with friends, or even by yourself, consider how this coffee tastes in comparison to other coffee you’ve had, or in comparison to how the same cup of coffee tastes to your friends. When making your determination, consider the indicators of good-tasting quality above, such as smoothness, acidity, sweetness, and bitterness.
For quality coffee in every cup, you can’t go wrong with Colombian Coffee.US’s premium blends of 100% arabica beans. Click here to shop our selection now.
By: Emily Southey