How To Become A Coffee Connoisseur

4:19 PM

coffee shop

Coffee. Just reading the word likely produces a reaction; like a craving or a recall of the familiar smell. 

People love coffee so much that it's the most-consumed beverage in the world aside from water.

But any self-proclaimed "coffee snob" knows that there's so much to explore within the world of coffee beyond Starbucks and standard coffee makers. 

If you love coffee but want to take your coffee-drinking habits to the next level, this guide will show you how. 

How to Become a Coffee Connoisseur   

Learn the Coffee-Production Process

What does it take to make a cup of coffee? 

Coffee production, practiced predominately in tropical climates, is a precise science. How farmers grow and process coffee significantly impacts the taste of the final product. 

According to the National Coffee Association, coffee production boils down to the following steps: 

  • Planting coffee beans, which are actually seeds
  • Harvesting the cherries, the fruit of planted coffee trees
  • Processing these cherries to extract the coffee beans, with the dry or wet method
  • Drying the beans, if using the wet method
  • Milling the beans
  • Exporting the coffee beans
  • Quality checks
  • Roasting the beans
  • Grinding the beans
  • Brewing the coffee grounds
You can learn more about how different factors at each step of the production process affects the final taste here

coffee beans in a pan

Try All Different Flavors and Roast Profiles

Finding the varieties of coffee you enjoy the most requires research, exploring, and taste testing. 

As mentioned above, numerous factors impact the taste of a given cup of coffee. 

Two factors, in particular, significantly affect the taste of coffee and deserve more in-depth investigation and taste tests. 

  • The Type of Coffee Beans Used– Coffee is grown around the world, and the specific coffee species grown as well as the environment in which it's grown affects the taste.

    There are countless different types of coffee beans available, but a few popular options include:

    Arabica- This is the number one coffee bean sold on the global market. The flavor is sweet and mild, and considerably less acidic as compared to Robusta. Ethiopia is a famous exporter of Arabica beans.

    Robusta- Robusta is the second most popular coffee bean. They have high caffeine levels because the cherries repels insects and protects the tree.

    Liberica- Liberica coffee beans are rare and more challenging to come across. People describe the flavor as mildly acidic with a woodsy touch aroma.

    Excelsa- Although it is a part of the Liberica family tree, it has a unique character. These coffee beans are the rarest of them all and are only grown in Southeast Asia. Excelsa bean coffee tastes tartish and fruity.
  • The Roast Profile– The roasting process impacts coffee's taste because once the heating begins at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, pyrolysis occurs, causing a hidden fragrant oil to emerge from the beans.

    The longer the beans roast, the less strong the coffee tastes. You can check out this coffee roast guide to learn more.
different coffee flavors

Buy Your Own Beans

Although it's more convenient to buy a bag of ground coffee, there's no doubt that grinding your own beans makes for better-tasting coffee.

Coffee works like most produce and other food items: the sooner you consume it, the fresher and better it tastes. If you leave ground coffee aside for a while or store it away, it loses its freshness and quality.

When you buy coffee beans, you may still have to store them. If you do, follow these tips: 

  • Buy just the right amount or store the beans in a large batch
  • Opt for an air-tight container
  • Store the container at room temperature
buy coffee beans

Become a Brewmaster

Yes, you can buy fancy lattes and macchiatos at coffee shops, but nothing beats brewing your own delicious coffee at home. 

To find your perfect cup of homemade coffee, try out a few different brewing styles: 

  • Pour-Over– All you need is a coffee cone and a matching filter. Simply pour hot water over the ground coffee and into the filter and wait for it to slowly drip into the mug below.
  • French Press– Fill the carafe with the ground beans, top it off with nearly-boiling water, stir it, and close the lid. After waiting for four minutes, press the plunger down to press the coffee out into the carafe, then pour.
  • AeroPress– You can learn about the 10-step brewing process directly from the AeroPress website.
  • Drip Method– The drip method differs slightly from the pour-over method. For the drip method, you use a glass flask that acts as a carafe along with a special drip filter paper. Just pour water into the ground beans and wait for the coffee to drip down into the flask.
brew your own coffee

Experiment and Find Your Favorite

Not all coffee connoisseurs like the same cup of coffee. The key to really enjoying your daily brew is to research your options, try them out, and identify your favorite products and methods. 

Also, be sure to try out different combinations of bean types, roast profiles, and brewing methods. After enough trial and error, you'll find the perfect way to enjoy your favorite drink.

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