Types Of Coffee

If you love a good cup of coffee, but are confused by the types at the local coffee shop, here's some information that will help you bring home the best beans for you.

Buying a pound of coffee used to be easy. But not any more. Coffee shops abound. They offer flavored coffees, imported coffees, coffees with snap and body. How does someone who just likes a good cup talk to the coffee connoisseur? Read on and you'll be able to hold a conversation with the best of them.

Judging: Coffee lovers judge the quality of a cup of coffee on three criteria - body, aroma and snap.

Body: This is the thickness of the brew, the feel of the coffee in your mouth. A comparison would be the difference between a light white bread and a moist whole grain loaf. The heavier the feel, the thicker the brew.

Aroma: This is the smell of the coffee. Aroma is more important to those who rely on a sense of smell to enhance taste.

Snap: Technically, snap is the acid in a brew. But don't be put off by snap. Coffee with very little acid will be very bland and perhaps too smooth.

Strength: Contrary to popular belief, a coffee's strength has nothing to do with its variety. It does have to do with the ratio of water to coffee grounds. The more grounds, the stronger the brew.

Shelf life: How long a bean is good depends on how tolerant the drinker's palate is. As a general rule, a roasted bean should be ground and brewed within a couple of months. Green beans, alternatively, will keep almost indefinitely.

Indonesian beans: Indonesian beans produced the heaviest, most full-bodied cup of coffee. Hailing from Java and Sumatra, the brew is thicker than most but not as aromatic. It is a good dessert coffee and very suitable to flavoring with milk and sugar.

Hawaiian beans: Better known as Kona, Hawaiian coffee is some of the most expensive in the world. Kona offers average snap and body but is in powerful demand worldwide because of its powerful aroma.

African beans: Growers in Africa produce a coffee of medium aroma and body with good snap. Those who like very flavorful coffees will like those from Kenya and Tanzania.

South American beans: Coffee beans grown in Central and South America are the middle of the coffee-drinking road, offering moderate body, aroma and snap. Most breakfast blends are made with American coffees, as are most flavored coffees.

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