Coffee selection guide: Selecting the right wholesale coffee beans
Over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the UK every year. That comes to an average of £730 million on coffee, making it one of the most popular beverages consumed in the country.
As predicted, the coffee industry is very competitive across the globe. If you plan to open a coffee shop or have one already, you need to serve high-quality coffee beans.
Coffee beans are the backbone of coffee; the raw material can make or break your business. So to choose the best wholesale coffee beans available, you might need to take into account three things:
- The type of seed
- The roasting process
- The grade type of coffee beans
Type of Seed
Coffee beans are harvested from ‘Coffea’ but are mostly called the coffee tree. Not all coffee beans are the same. They are categorized into two,
The Arabica coffee type is the most popular kind of coffee worldwide, making up 60% of the coffee production in the universe. It is originally from Ethiopia and was the first grain to grow and harvest for coffee production purposes.
The high-quality beans grow mainly in Latin America and African countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, India, Mexico, and Rwanda.
Brazil is the largest producer of Arabica coffee beans in the world. However, there are over 20 types of Arabica beans that range from Caturra, Kent, Mocca, Pacas, and Villalobos, to mention a few.
If you are starting, we highly recommend you consider investing in this specific bean type for a couple of reasons.
- It is the most accessible mass-produced bean in the world.
- It is consumed by 80% of the world’s coffee-drinking population.
- It contains a higher percentage of sugar content than other grains, which is an advantage since people prefer sweet coffee blends.
- It is one of the smoothest grains to process.
The Arabica coffee bean has some downsides. It is more expensive than the other grains. This is because the Arabic plant produces less per year than other coffee plants, making the demand extremely high.
The second type of bean grain is the Robusta which grows exclusively in the eastern hemisphere, initially from Africa and Indonesia. Today, Vietnam is the leading producer and exporter of Robusta coffee, totalling over 40% of the world’s production.
The Robusta coffee beans are primarily used in instant coffee as they are more acidic. They are more accessible in management than Arabica coffee plants and have a higher crop yield. If you are looking for cheap coffee beans, then look no further. Take note that cheap doesn’t mean poor quality.
The Robusta beans have great attributes such as:
- They are very rich in flavour and quite dense.
- They have more caffeine than any other grain that exists.
- They are used as a natural stimulant and antioxidant.
The method of choosing the right wholesale coffee beans boils down to the wants and needs of your target audience. Suppose your customers are looking to buy sweet aromatic coffee.
In that case, Arabica is the way to go: but if they love the strong taste of traditional Italian espresso (see the best coffee espresso), you should purchase Robusta.
It is crucial to ask the coffee bean providers about their roasting process. It may always seem like a no-brainer, but that is such a crucial factor if you are looking for high-quality coffee.
The person in charge of the roasting should be thoroughly trained and equipped to do so. The job requires one to have a ton of experience since not everyone can do the job.
Furthermore, the roasting process includes other critical tasks aside from the apparent roasting. They are sorting, cooling, and packaging your grains.
There are various types of roasting used within the process. This will ultimately determine the type of product you will be offering. The most common types are:
- Clear: this type of roasting produced higher acidity coffee.
- Light: this one has a hint of acid with high levels of caffeine.
- Average American: this is the most traditional toasting method used by most companies or at home.
- Dark: this type is accustomed to knowledgeable coffee drinkers. It is less bitter and with higher sweetness.
You should importantly, with keen eyes, take a look at the colour of the beans you are buying.
The most significant variant in roasting coffee is the colour. This attribute is your guide to knowing if the coffee in your shop will have more or less acidity and or sweetness.
Grade of Coffee Beans
It might sound untrue, but coffee beans have grades. Depending on the quality, grains can be categorized into different groups. A coffee bean can be:
- Grade 1 or Specialty Grade Coffee Beans
- Grade 2 or Premium Grade Coffee Beans
- Grade 3 or Exchange Grade Coffee Beans
- Grade 4 or Standard Grade Coffee Beans
- Grade 5 or Off Grade Coffee Beans
The Coffee screening method is very extensive and highly technical. Aside from grading, companies are responsible for certifying the quality of their coffee.
Now you can see that choosing the best wholesale coffee beans available is more straightforward than you may have ever imagined. You need a basic understanding of the coffee-making process principles and a good grasp of what the customers want.
In the end, the coffee bean will define the quality of your product. Don’t take the process of selecting a wholesaler lightly. It is necessary to invest your time and even money in the process and evaluate all your options.
We provide a flexible price structure at the UK Coffee Gems Company, depending on your company's demands.
Our primary goal as speciality quality wholesale coffee roasters is to improve the quality of the bean, but we can also obtain cheaper or more exotic wholesale coffee alternatives if that is something you are interested in.
Because coffee beans are a traded commodity, their price fluctuates constantly, which is why we might encourage you to sign a contract to lock in the best prices!