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Roasted Coffee Bag Label Guide For Beginners

It can be tricky to purchase the right bag of coffee, especially when you want to try the tasty roasted kind at home. There tends to be a host of information on the label, and you end up getting confused. Should you go for the washed medium roast type of Maragogype from Nicaragua, or should you opt for the Brazil produced pulped and natural Full City Caturra Catuai? What is actually the difference between them, you wonder. 

Most importantly, what could bewilder you is to be able to know which one you’ll really like. Fret not, because this article will help elucidate you on your coffee-related queries (get your coffee subscription discount).

Should You Choose A Blend, Or A Single-Origin Coffee?

A single origin coffee, also sometimes called a single estate columbian coffee has been produced from a particular region or farm. A blend, on the other hand, is comprised of multiple sorts of coffees. There is also micro lot coffee that has been planted and harvested from a small section of a specific farm.

Why then is coffee categorized in these ways? It is mainly because the area and method of growing coffee greatly impact its make-up. How flavorful and aromatic your coffee drink is affected by its origin country and region, along with how it was farmed and processed and its plant variety.

Single origin coffees can be apt for you if you prefer high quality drinks with distinct savors and aromas. Roasters wouldn’t want to obscure this tang by combining it with other kinds of beans.

What about a blend? Roasters choose coffee blends when they think that two uniquely tasting coffees mixed together is more delicious than sipping each on their own. For instance, an Ethiopian coffee with a light and fruity relish might need a tinge of body for it to taste complete.

It primarily depends on your preferences and palate, so to speak, but both blends and single origin coffees are excellent. Nevertheless, single origin coffees are inclined to be more expensive, and are held in esteem by specialty coffee lovers.

What Roast Level Do You Prefer?

The type of roast for coffees vary and are many, ranging from light, to medium, to dark, Filter, City Plus, Vienna, and blonde, among others.

The savoriness and the aromas of the coffee beans are already there, but they are developed by the process of roasting. If you happen to roast the beans too much, their elements will be overwhelmed. Beans that are under-roasted are likely to become sour and grassy, while those that have been over-roasted become bitter and smoky, and on the overall unpleasant.

Lighter roasts tend to be the preference of specialty coffee lovers, but the fact, however, is that the best roast is according to the kind of beans, the brewing method, and your palate as the roaster.

Types of Coffee Roasts:

  • Light roasts- referred to as blonde, City, or cinnamon, whereas City Plus is typically a light medium roast. This brings out acidic tangs and aromas, and are therefore ideal for like coffees. Some would say that light roast coffees are not so sweet, but that is not always the case.
  • Dark roasts- known in other terms such as Light French or Vienna, while Italian or Full French generally means very dark roast. Drinking a dark roast allows you to taste its roasting process as well. Specialty coffee drinkers usually frown upon dark roasts, assuming that it is an excuse for covering up bad coffee.
  • Medium roasts- called as Full City, too, while Full City Plus refers to a somewhat medium roast. This is the middle ground wherein the coffee is neither light or dark. Essentially, this roast is balanced and smooth where the natural relish of your coffee is not overwhelmed.
  • Espresso roasts- it is apt to be a tad darker and produced from intense brewing, suitable for coffees that are sweet and full-bodied.
  • Filter roasts- tend to be a little bit lighter, and is rather complicated.
  • Omni roasts- this method is suited for both espresso and filter.

Your Choice of Processing Method

Coffee is not a bean, but a berry, or cherry fruit. It is shaped round and commonly has a red appearance when it is ripe. Machinery, along with fermentation, are generally used to remove the gummed layers of this berry (cherry) fruit, and these are referred to as the coffee processing method. The way this method is done significantly affects the savoriness of the coffee. On your coffee bag label, these may be indicated as:

  • Wet or Washed: Water is used to remove the berry flesh, after which these beans are dried. This method allows you to taste the natural flavor of the coffee.
  • Dry or Natural: While still cherry fruits, the coffee is slowly left to dry under the sun, giving it a sweet and fruity flavor. It has to be done well for a delicious result. This processing method is environmentally-friendly.
  • Honey and Pulped Natural: This method produces a sweet and full-bodied coffee because some amount of cherry flesh still adhere to the seeds.

These are only a few of the characteristics that you will find on your roasted coffee bag. Be particular as well about other elements such as the specie and variety of the coffee, along with the elevation or altitude where it was grown, and the awards it has garnered.