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Coffee Know-How

Choosing Coffee

There are two main species of coffee, arabica and robusta. The types have different botanical and chemical features.

Arabica vs. Robusta beans on a table


Arabica beans are the most popular beans in the world for a reason: they make delicious coffee. 100% Arabica coffees have a light, sweet taste.

They are rarely ever bitter, due to their acidity and sugar content.


Robusta beans are the less produced bean in this instance, only making up about 30% of all coffee production.

The flavors can be strong, harsh and have high caffeine content. Generally, these are used most for instant coffee but also companies that claim to have the strongest coffee in the world.

Different Types of Roasts

The taste of coffee revolves around the bean, the roasting process, and the brewing system. Each one of these factors directly impacts the taste of the coffee.

Light Roasts – Light roasts are considered the “mild” taste for coffees. The taste that comes through isn’t strong and there is no bitterness to them either. The beans themselves are a light brown and they should be dry as well.

Medium Roasts – Medium roasts are one of the most popular types around and is considered a “standard” cup of coffee. The bean itself is a brown color and it will also be dry as well, with the oils yet to be visible. 

Medium-Dark Roasts – these beans will be a dark-brown colour, slightly less bitterness than typical dark roast and will have a little oil.

Dark Roasts – These beans are practically a black color that will have the surface covered by a glaze of oil as well. This is the most bitterness you’ll find from a coffee taste, as well as the strongest. 

Buying Coffee

back of a coffee bag

Supermarkets rarely offer good coffee as it’s mass batched, this means generally you will find it stale and not always sourced ethically.

Ideally, you want to buy your coffee from a place that specializes in this, whether it’s online or from a local coffee supplier. This will always be your best choice to source good quality coffee.

If you’re unsure, I’ve found coffee suppliers are very happy to answer your questions! I am frequently emailing my local coffee supplier on what bean are you selling is good for x. At the end of the day they want to provide the best coffee to their customers and it changes from supplier to supplier.

However, if supermarket coffee is something you choose I do have an article on good coffees for home use.

Nespresso Pods

Coffee suppliers have started creating their own original pods for the original Nespresso Machine. These will offer way superior coffee than Veurto which only allows you to buy their pods due to the pattern restrictions.

A lot of these are compostable so it’s super easy to dispose of and will have better quality coffee than the home owned pods.

Storing Coffee

The best way to store your beans is in an airtight container, in a dry, dark place. The bag you receive your coffee beans in will not fill these criteria. It’s best to place the bag in a Tupperware container or something similar.

Preground coffee will become stale in a couple of hours but whole beans can last several weeks when properly seals. Investing in a burr grinder will allow you to have the freshest coffee.

Don’t store your coffee beans in the fridge unless you’re aiming to preserve your coffee. In this instance, you want to freeze them and only thaw the amount you need each time. Never re-freeze the thawed beans.


Grinding your own beans will always provide you with a superior cup of coffee. Make sure that you are using the correct grind setting.

Burr grinders will offer you a range of settings to adjust for the grind size you need for the coffee maker. I bought the Wilfa Svart Grinder and it’s been the best addition to the way I brew coffee.

Blade grinders are commonly available, these use timers to grind the coffee. This can be hard to get a consistent cup of coffee.

Depending on the style of coffee you like to brew this will also influence your purchasing decision. Espresso grinders will be more expensive than filter-style grinders and you want to look at this in the purchasing process.


When we make coffee, we don’t always think about the water we use to make it with. The impact that water chemistry has on the flavor of the coffee during brewing is significant. 

Water has its own taste and can impart this on to your coffee, to improve the results of your coffee you can play with the water types you use, whether it’s bottled water or filtered.



Milk is the perfect pairing with coffee and added by millions to their coffee every day. The types of milk you use will make a difference to the taste of your coffee, especially if you plan on steaming it and getting that foam.

Full fat milk will always steam better due to the fat within the milk. This why non-dairy milk needs to be adjusted with oil to create the same foam. If you use non-dairy milk, barista versions will be designed to be foamed and create the styles of coffees we are used to.

Types of Coffee