Best Coffee Beans

Written by Sarah Provost
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Ask a dozen people to name the best coffee beans and you'll get 12 different answers. With the innumerable combinations of origin, processing, roasting, blending, grinding, and brewing to take into account, how can you possibly decide? Basically, the best coffee beans, like the best scotch or the best chocolate, comes down to a matter of personal taste.

Do Your Own Taste Test for the Best Coffee Beans

If you're really interested in finding your "personal best," why not try a wide range of the options available to you? Many people are so bound by habit that they use the same brand of coffee and the same method of brewing for decades. If you've always used supermarket brands, try some specialty beans from Kona or Sumatra. Try a store brand at a supermarket or organic store. Try blending your own combination, or using a different method of brewing.

One good way to try a variety of supermarket coffees is to buy the small, one-pot bags that are now widely available. Though these are not true specialty coffees, and are already ground to a standard coarseness, at least you can discover some broad general preferences, for darker roasts over lighter, for example, or for a particular flavored coffee. Then go to a coffee shop and refine your search further. Once you've discovered a few types of the "best coffee beans" for you, why not try blending them?

It's a bit harder to experiment with methods of brewing, since the equipment can be pricey, and some methods just aren't practical for a rushed morning cup. If you've never tried a French press, however, or a machine that uses espresso pods, it's well worth the investment. Even if you only use it once a day, for that relaxing cup of after-dinner coffee, it will more than pay for itself in pleasure.

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