When it comes to a great cup of coffee, it all begins with the beans. Try to use fresh, beautifully roasted coffee beans. As you're planning office ordering and stocking the break room, it's helpful to understand the differences between the different roasts, flavors, and options.
Type of Coffee Beans
There are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans, which are grown at high altitudes, are generally considered to be the highest-quality options. They're more labor-intensive to grow, which usually means they come with a higher price tag. When these beans are roasted, they develop a variety of rich, complex flavors. In fact, most of the coffee you find probably includes Arabica beans.
As their name suggests, Robusta beans are slightly hardier than Arabica beans. They grow at lower altitudes and stand up to tougher weather conditions, which means they're cheaper and easier to farm. However, these coffee beans often have a more acidic flavor. They're occasionally used in intense Italian espresso blends, but you probably won't find them in your typical coffees.
Coffee Bean Regions
Does the origin of your coffee beans matter? Most probably. The weather, geography, and soil can all affect the taste of the beans. Coffee beans that come from Colombia and Central America tend to have a mild, nicely balanced taste. You might even notice some fruity notes. If you choose coffee from Ethiopia, the world's original coffee-growing location, it's safe to expect a full body and strong flavor. The same goes for Kenya, the rest of Africa. and the Middle East. Another big coffee-producing region is Southeast Asia. Ground coffee and whole-bean coffee from this area tends to have a rich, earthy taste.
It’s All in the Roast
Roasting has a big impact on the final flavor of your coffee. The roasting process can affect the amount of acidity and bitterness left in the bean. If you prefer a mild coffee, consider a light roast. Since these beans spend less time in the coffee roaster, they often retain more of their original flavor. For a less acidic taste, you can opt for a medium-roast coffee. This roast, which is common in standard grocery-store varieties, has a nice balance of flavor and acidity. When you're choosing coffee for your office, medium-roast varieties are versatile and appealing to a variety of palates. If you're after a strong, rich flavor, a dark roast is your ideal. These beans are roasted for a long time, resulting in a smokiness and low acidity that can be tempered with sugar and creamer.
Understanding Fairtrade and Sustainability
Are you looking for ways to make your company more environmentally and socially responsible? The coffees you order can help you achieve that goal. Organic coffees are one place to start. These beans are grown without synthetic pesticides, so they may be easier on the environment. Keep in mind that organic beans can still use natural pesticides, so it's a good idea to look into the producer's individual practices.
Other coffees are labeled as Fair Trade Certified. This simply means the farms that produce the coffee beans meet Fair Trade standards. When you buy Fair Trade coffee, you can rest assured that these farmers and laborers are paid fairly and treated well. The goal of this certification is to ensure fair supply chains and help alleviate poverty around the world. These varieties are available in ground, whole-bean, and K-cup form.
When you're in charge of managing the coffee supply for a business, it's helpful to know the bean basics. When you understand how the region and roast affects the final brew, you can pick the options that appeal to a variety of employees.
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