If there’s a universal truth about green coffee beans, it’s that they’re not all the same. Ethiopian, Typica-Caturra blend, honey – the options are almost endless, and each one dictates taste as well as the optimal manner of roasting.
Here are things you should consider when buying green coffee beans:
Place of Origin
The taste and aroma of any coffee is largely affected by its natural environment, specifically the climate, soil, humidity and the like. Before knowing their differences based on the farms where they were grown, check which countries they came from.
Coffee specie and variety make a huge impact on green coffee once it’s brewed. A yellow Bourbon and a Gesha will give you two totally different experiences.
Temperatures are generally lower as altitudes climb higher. This decreases the speed of coffee growth too, thereby giving the sugars more opportunity to develop. As a result, it has a sweeter and overall more complex flavor profile apart from being more acidic in comparison to coffee grown in warmer areas. When looking into altitude, don’t forget that temperatures are not the same in various parts of the world.
In simple terms, processing is the manner in which the seeds are taken out of the coffee fruit. When you talk about natural processing (also called dry processing), the entire cherry is dried before the outer fruit is taken out, adding sweetness and fruitiness to its flavor. On the other hand, wet or washed coffees have been pulled out of the fruit before drying, making them less sweet but certainly cleaner with higher acidity. Honey processing takes out the skin but leaves a bit of mucilage or flesh around the beans while being dried, leading to a sweeter and fuller-bodied flavor. There are other processing types too, like monsooned, experimental and wet-hulled, each one of which is linked to a specific farm or region.
Key Points to Keep in Mind
There are several suppliers of green coffee on the Internet, and they ship to practically every part of the world today. But before buying anything, check cost and availability, and also other practical issues. Some green coffee beans, for instance, are not as easy to find during certain months of the year than others. Being an agricultural product, you need to wait for harvest season, which varies from country to country. And just like any fruit or bread, freshness impacts quality. If coffee’s already a year old or more, don’t buy it.
As well, some coffees may be insanely expensive as a daily beverage. And take note that some suppliers are only going to sell huge quantities. Don’t buy an amount that you do not have enough storage room for or that which you cannot consume before it loses its quality.