8 Mistakes You Don't Want To Make When Buying Coffee Beans

Just because it hasn't expired doesn't mean it's good.

Cover image via Unsplash & La Marzocco

If you're a coffee lover, chances are you own (or want to own) a coffee machine at home

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A cup of coffee a day can end up burning a hole in your wallet, especially if you're getting your speciality coffee from cafés outside that charge upwards of RM7 per cup. For those of you who are really serious about your coffee, you should consider making it at home.

Not only is it cheaper, but you also get to experiment with different coffee beans and brewing methods to find out which coffee you prefer the most. So if you are wondering how to get started, you'll need to learn this very first lesson—it's all in the beans.

To find out more about what coffee lovers should be looking out for when shopping for beans, we spoke to expert Paul Berthelsen, founder of Perk Coffee

Image via Epoch Times

Perk Coffee is an online coffee subscription service. You order your coffee beans online and they deliver it to you freshly roasted (and freshly ground to your preference) at a frequency that you want, so that you always get the perfect cup of homemade coffee. Plus, subscribers always get a better pricing than one-off purchases! Use the promo code "50SAYS" to get 50% off your first subscription order.

Prior to starting Perk Coffee, Paul lived in Kenya and Hawaii. A farmer himself for 15 years, Paul was able to bring in some of the world's highest quality coffee beans from these regions and deliver them to coffee-loving Malaysians through Perk Coffee. We asked him what were the most common mistakes people made when buying coffee beans, and this is what he had to say.

1. Don't buy more coffee beans than you actually need

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Coffee beans have a relatively short shelf life. While it may not necessarily be close to the expiry date, coffee beans are best consumed within four to five weeks of its roasting date. Therefore, you should treat coffee beans like you would fresh fruits. Get your beans fresh in small batches and stock up once every few weeks.

2. Look for a roast date to ensure the freshness of the beans

Image via Perk Coffee

Coffee loses its flavour over time, so as a rule of thumb, it is always good to finish your coffee beans within four to five weeks of its roast date. If you can't manage to find a roast date, try looking for other things like a manufacturing or expiry date to give you a better idea of how fresh the beans are.

3. Pay attention to the colour of the coffee beans you select

Image via The Epoch Times

Over-roasted coffee beans that look darker than usual can taste bitter and lack flavour. Pay attention to the colour of your coffee beans, and learn to differentiate between light, medium, and dark roasts. For coffee lovers looking to get the full flavour profile of the beans, it's better to go with a lighter roast.

4. Try not to buy ground coffee off supermarket shelves

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Most of the ground coffee you see in supermarkets do not show you a roast date, so it's harder to tell how long the coffee has been sitting on the shelves. It's always better to buy whole beans and grind them just before you brew your coffee.

If possible, try looking out for specialty coffee. These beans are usually premium grade coffee with a score of at least 80/100 by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Even though these beans are slightly harder to find, you will definitely taste the difference.

5. Find out what grind size works for your coffee machine

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Having fresh and good quality coffee beans is not enough. Knowing the right grind size to go with the type of your coffee machine is also important. Certain machines only require you to put the coffee beans in and will do the work for you. For regular espresso machines, you'll need to grind the beans manually or get the store to do it for you.

Quick tip for brewing coffee using different coffee makers:

  1. Use a fine grind for espresso machines.
  2. Use a medium grind for drip coffee makers.
  3. Use a coarse grind for french press.

6. Learn the difference between single origin and blended coffee

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Single origin coffee beans are best enjoyed black, to fully appreciate the nuances of the coffee. On the other hand, blended coffee beans provide a complex yet balanced espresso that goes well with milk. Knowing your coffee beans means that you'll also be able to bring out the best in every cup!

7. Get to know where your coffee comes from

Image via Five Senses

Coffee beans from each region have their own personalities and taste profiles. In general, coffee from Central and South America tastes clean and sweet, while coffee from Africa is fruity and complex, and coffee from Asia is earthy and luscious. Try out coffees from different regions to discover which flavour you prefer.

8. Make it a point to care about fair trade and sustainable coffee

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When you choose to purchase fair trade coffee, you are helping ensure that small-scale coffee farmers around the world get a fair wage. Fair trade coffee is able to pinpoint the exact farm where your coffee beans came from, allowing these farmers to continue planting coffee in a sustainable manner. So, look out for the fair trade logo next time you buy your coffe beans.

Ultimately, coffee is so much more than just a drink to keep you awake. It tells a story and takes your taste buds on a journey, if you get the right coffee beans for your coffee machine at home.

Image via La Marzocco

And that's what Perk Coffee is here to do—to help coffee lovers get the best cup of coffee without having to worry about where to get their coffee beans

Image via Perk Coffee

With Perk Coffee, all you have to do is order online, either as a one-off or a subscription. You can specify the type of coffee grind you want to go with your coffee machine at home (or get them as whole beans). What's more, you can get the coffee beans delivered to you within days from roast for maximum freshness.

Use the promo code "50SAYS" to get 50% off your first subscription order.

Perk Coffee also carries a wide variety of brew gear to help you make the perfect cup of coffee

For more information on Perk Coffee, their products, and their philosophy, head over to their website today

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