Is ordering your coffee beans roasted-to-order worth it? If you’re a coffee addict like me, you’re probably dying to know the answer to this question. I took the time and tried different types of coffee, roasted-to-order and from the grocery store, single-origin vs a blend, and flavored beans. The differences were so incredible that it revolutionized my sipping experience. Then I got into the things which I didn’t always notice: the aroma, the quality, and the benefits.
I thought that just grinding my beans at homemade the most significant difference. And it does. But, it doesn’t come close to ordering your beans roasted to order. I got the freshly roasted beans shipped to my door! It helps me stick to the vibe I give off, which is energetic from all the coffee drinking, but without too much effort put into it. When you’re buying coffee from the supermarket, it means that it was probably roasted months prior. The beans have been exposed to air longer and have probably lost most of the essential benefits and surprising flavors.
For years, I have been buying my bags of coffee beans from coffee shops thinking that I’m buying the best possible product. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I ordered some UnroastedCoffee and it changed the way I drink. This week, I tried different beans from this site with the help of some of my friends. And now I’m here to help you take your coffee game to the next level.
What I Used to Buy
When you order your coffee from any website that has a bunch of flavors ready for use or just from the food store, you are missing out on some great benefits which come with roasted to order beans. Most of the coffee which you order is sold “aged.” This means that the beans were already roasted when the packages were manufactured and have been sitting around losing their flavor and aroma.
There is usually a roasted-on date printed on the side of the packages. It could be that the coffee was roasted halfway around the world and sat around for six months before it was even packaged. Basically, it’s stale coffee, and no one likes that. So, I tried out this roasted to order coffee and it changed my life.
Falling in Love with Roasted-to-Order Beans
You can tell that a coffee bean has been roasted recently if it is still a bit shiny – as if all the flavorful oils are sitting on the outside of the bean. Almost like it hasn’t had time to wear off yet. This, along with where you buy your beans is essential. I started grinding my own coffee beans about a year ago, and I quickly tasted the difference. Then I found out about ordering coffee beans which are roasted on the day it ships out. Umm, yes?!
I thankfully managed to find a place that has real blends and actually has my favorite seasonal flavor all year round. Of course, I’m talking about pumpkin spice. My go-to website is now unroastedcoffee.com. They sell different size bags of the beans and offer to grind it for you in different ways. I personally prefer to order smaller bags and to order more often, so it doesn’t go bad. Also, it’s nicer to try the flavors without being left with beans I’m not a fan of.
I Learned A Bit About It
Coffee beans start out a green color, and, in this state, they don’t really have a smell or taste. When they are roasted, they shrink to about half their size. When they are first roasted, all of the natural oils, nutrients, and chemical compounds leave the bean, and you get a powerful smell of earthy flavors that is almost like leather and chocolate.
Because of all the natural chemicals that come out of the beans when they’re roasted, it should sit for a bit before it is packaged and shipped to you. The website I tried out also has an option to send the beans already ground up, but I personally do the grinding myself. This way, I have the absolute freshest cup of coffee when I wake up in the morning. #MyCoffeeGameIsOnPoint
Try the Tanzania bean here. It had a great flavor to it.
Why I Grind at Home
Now, when it comes to grinding at home, this is what I’m all about. If you buy the beans pre-ground, you miss out on one of the points to purchasing quality coffee. When you grind the beans, the inside gets exposed to the air. When it starts to come in contact with the air, it reacts and oxidizes. This is why you get this strong scent of delicious coffee when you start the grinding process.
The longer you wait to brew the coffee after you grind it, the more flavor is lost. I read that the beans will lose about 60% of their flavor within 15 minutes of exposure to the air (after grinding). While I’m not sure about the numbers, I can say from experience that the flavor right away is probably the freshest, most flavorful cup of coffee you can get.
How I Store My Coffee
Before I get more into the coffee I tried, I want to bring up the importance of storing your coffee the right way. Storing them right will slow the rate that they age and that means it’s guaranteed to stay full of flavor for longer. When it comes down to it, coffee is just like any other real food: it can, and will, spoil. Now, the best way to keep it fresh is to not grind it first. Store your beans in an airtight container at room temperature in a dark and cool place.
Again, I don’t recommend buying too much each time as the fresher the bean, the better it tastes. But some of us just enjoy our bulk shopping, don’t we? So, keep the beans vacuum-sealed or as airtight as possible in the freezer. When you take the bag out, make sure to let it sit for a bit first before opening it, so no moisture gets inside.
Sometimes, I will even keep my beans inside of a zip-loc bag and that inside of another container, but I think that’s exaggerating a bit. An airtight container works great.
That Smell of Coffee in The Morning
The aroma that your cup of coffee gives off just makes the whole experience. If you are used to drinking coffee from the store which comes ground up and pre-roasted, be prepared to have your mind blown. When your beans are freshly roasted, it brings a powerful, potent aroma that could really awaken all your senses. It gives your coffee personality. It’s probably the only thing that could really get me up in the morning.
In my mind, you don’t even need to drink coffee to get the benefits from it. There is nothing that wakes me up in the morning more than the first scent of freshly roasted beans brewing, except for drinking the actual cup of coffee. But smelling the coffee really gets me excited enough to start my day. That and actually drinking the coffee with an episode of Ellen DeGeneres or Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. #MorningRituals
Exceptional Flavor Only in My Kitchen
The only way to get the true coffee flavor at its best is with freshly roasted coffee. It is naturally sweet and lively, and you can really pick up the distinct flavor profiles of certain beans. All of the flavor in coffee is in the oil, which is on the beans. It took me a while to figure out how much coffee I went through and how long in between orders was most comfortable for me, but this site is the perfect way to test it out. You can buy different size bags of most beans ranging from 12 oz to 12 lb.
Like I mentioned before, these oils are mostly present for a while after they are first roasted. This is another excellent reason to switch to roasted-to-order beans. Once the beans are ground up, the oils will evaporate. So, it really is best to grind your beans and brew them immediately. When you do this, the subtle flavors in your specific coffee beans will just be that much more noticeable.
Which Roast Should I Choose?
Now, I always thought this fact was a myth: darker coffee = more caffeine. But, nope. The more roasted your beans are, the less caffeine is in them. When you choose a light roast, they will keep the lighter color but be filled with caffeine and will keep most of their flavor inside. A medium-light roast brings out flavors of brown sugar and dark chocolate.
Medium roast brings a smell of caramels, vanilla, and even dark beer. When you get further down the list towards medium-dark roast, you get to scents of old leather and smoke. A dark roast has the least amount of caffeine and gives off a smell of burnt toast, black tea, and cigars. Not exactly the best taste if you ask me, but it still smells great.
How I Chose the Right Roast
The type of roast that you get will also have different effects on the coffee. There are five levels of roasted beans, which are all done at different temperatures. Think of it like a steak at a restaurant and the waiter asks you how you would like it cooked, from rare to well done. So, this process starts with light roast, medium-light roast, medium roast, medium-dark roast, and a dark roast.
The level of roast that you prefer your bean at is subjective, but when you’re choosing, you should keep in mind the level of flavors and caffeine that you are looking for. You can use my new favorite site, unroastedcoffee.com, and you can choose your bean based on the roast as well. Under each flavor profile, it shows you the roast, where it is from, and even gets down to the soil type and process of getting the beans ready when picked. My favorite level of roasting is a dark-medium roast when I don’t need that serious rush of caffeine, like in the Cowboy blend. When I need the caffeine, I run for a light roast.
Now we are getting into the different types of beans that you have to choose from. Let’s start with single-origin coffee beans. This basically means that they come from one single known geographic origin, meaning a single farm. It can also mean that it comes from an entire country that produces different types of beans. Coffee is also usually named after the region it comes from.
Just an example would be Tanzania, which is grown in the Mbeya Region of Tanzania and has a nice floral and fruity flavor to it. This is a popular coffee and one that I order often. Another example is the popular Colombia bean, which, of course, comes from Columbia and has a dried orange, berry, and chocolate taste.
My Favorite Single-Origin Bean
Ethiopian Natural is a single-origin bean from the Sidama Zone, which has a milk chocolate, fruity, and caramel flavor profile. This also comes from the roast, which this site gives the bean a medium-light one. This is one of my favorite levels of roast, along with my favorite coffee beans.
Not only is the roast perfect, but there is a really good flavor profile, and I don’t even need to use sugar. I usually use a small spoonful of brown sugar, but I prefer a blend that has a slight sweetness to it. That way, I don’t have to add any. I recommend adding a 12 oz. bag of this coffee to your order and try it out. You definitely won’t regret it.
Blending the Beans
After reading single-origin, this may be more self-explanatory, but a coffee blend is a mix of coffee beans originating from more than one location. Usually, a single-origin bean is more expensive than a blend, but this site has pretty reasonable prices all around. When it comes to a blend, it doesn’t just mean one bean from Columbia and one bean from Ethiopia is put together to make a fun mix. Columbia happens to have a lot of micro-climates within the country itself.
So, there are at least seven or eight different flavor profiles from there alone, meaning you can have a Columbian blend. There is a really cool blend called the 6-bean blend, which is made up of coffees from Indonesia, Africa, Central, and South America. If you are a fan of drinking espresso or cold brew on ice, this is the blend for you.
Single Origin Vs. Blend
Now let’s get to the difference between a single origin and a blend. The biggest thing is how you prefer to experience your flavors. People who were to tell you they are well-versed in coffee will probably tell you that the way to go is a single-origin bean where you can experience each flavor note for what it is. Usually, they won’t add any milk or sugar to keep the full taste. Then you have the people who enjoy the experience of a blend more.
That’s me: my go-to “order” at home is a cappuccino. If you were to order this at a coffee house, you would probably get a house blend. Blends give you an experience that single-origin doesn’t have, which is a blend of flavors and an aroma-like artwork. It brings multiple flavors together and balances them perfectly to create a smooth blend experience, and it is worth it. I would say this is true for most blended coffee beans, but I only like them from this site. Sometimes, you can get a mix of beans that aren’t the freshest or even a mix of old beans. I feel more comfortable buying blended beans from this site because of this.
My New Favorite, Flavored Beans
Flavored beans are made from a single origin or blended coffee bean mixed with flavoring oils. This site uses their single-origin beans with high-quality flavoring oils while the beans are still warm. While I sometimes will throw some sugar in my coffee, the flavored ones from a coffee shop can be way too sweet for me. So, these flavored beans give me the option of having actual flavorful coffee which won’t mess with my blood sugar and still tastes good.
I really used to prefer plain old coffee, but they actually have a pumpkin spice flavor that I love. Not only that; it’s usually a seasonal blend, but they always have it in stock. The caramel-flavored bean is also good, but the Cinnabun is starting to become my favorite. There is something so creamy about this blend, especially for those of us who add foamed milk to our coffees.