Coffee is one of the most complicated beverages you can consume with more than 800 volatile aroma compounds. Aroma is the primary influencer of taste in coffee and can be sensed by smelling the coffee with the nose or via retronasal sensations (when the coffee has been swallowed and the volatile compounds drift upward into the nasal passage).
Only when coffee is handled well from harvest to brewing, will it reach its full aromatic and flavor potential. For this reason, it is important to:
- Buy whole bean coffee. Unless you are going to use the coffee very quickly (a few days), whole bean coffee will keep better and will give you fresher aromas and flavors if you brew right away after grinding.
- Buy coffee that is roasted by a company that demonstrates expertise in roasting and packaging. A good roaster will coax the most out of their beans and will package them in a way that keeps them in good condition until brewing.
- Experiment with different origins. The origin of a particular bean can dramatically influence the character of your coffee. Try to get to know the character of a few different regions to learn your preferences.
- Experiment with different roasts. Whether you are brewing espresso, drip or french press, some roasts are best suited to a particular type of brewing.
If you follow our suggestions, you’re certain to purchase a good bag or can of coffee. Now all you need to do it brew it well.