Perfect Coffee Beans

Ever stepped into a coffee store and been bewildered by the choice of coffee beans? Most will stock dozens, probably more, of different types of beans. You might have wondered, what’s the difference between an “anaerobic” or “carbonic” coffee? Are the rarities, like Geisha, worth spending a little more on? And much more. 

We can’t tell you which coffee beans you are bound to love (that’s down to your taste preferences) but we can help you find them. Here’s a guide to finding your perfect coffee beans in Dubai

Understand the breadth of flavours available

Coffee novices are often surprised by just how much variety there is when it comes to coffee flavours. From incredibly light and fresh, floral tasting coffees, to deep, dark and intense flavours, there are so many options.  

How can two coffees taste so different?

There are several reasons why coffee beans can produce different tastes. The first is the coffee plant — there are several varieties of coffee plants and even the same variety can taste different depending on where it is grown. Both these variables greatly affect the flavour. 

Next is the method of producing the coffee beans. Variety starts with the way the coffee cherries are harvested from the plant (hand or machine picked) and continues with how they are treated and then dried. 

There are a few standard methods for turning a coffee cherry into a delicious coffee bean, but each one can be tweaked. Producers experiment with different drying methods and timings, fermentation processes (this is where the terms anaerobic and carbonic come in) and roasting practices to generate the optimal results. 

The art of coffee production

Producing coffee is an art and there are many coffee producers out there who are dedicating their lives to the creation of something truly sublime. The best coffee producers are as masterful as the producers of the finest wines or whiskies. Their knowledge and skills, as well as the time and devotion they put in, can produce some incredible results. 

Every human action, from the sowing of the coffee plant seed through to the packaging of the coffee bean, influences the final flavour. This is why coffee has such a range of flavours, and also why the quality of taste can vary so greatly, too. 

Find your preference

Now that you know just how vast the world of coffee flavours is, you need to find your own preferences. Would you prefer a fresh, floral coffee or a nutty, chocolate taste, for instance? 

As a beginner, you don’t need to know which fermentation method you prefer, or the ins and outs of the roasting process. First, focus on finding the flavours you love most. 

Reputable coffee retailers will print descriptions of the coffee flavours on the packaging and in store so that you can get an idea of taste before you buy. Many also use a numerical system that indicates the strength and caffeine content. 

Your options

Coffee specialists from Three Coffee in Dubai have a clever colour coding for the flavours of coffee. Coffees are grouped into purples, browns and greens, which helps customers save time on their selection. And by using the colours, coffee enthusiasts can easily explore new varieties of coffee they are likely to love.

Browns are the most balanced in flavour, with a little sweetness and hint of acidity. The tastes of these coffees are reminiscent of chocolate, hazelnuts or caramel and are perfect for everyday drinking. Purples are the richest coffees with deep, berry-like flavours. They are heavier and more indulgent, almost syrupy. Finally, greens are the lightest coffees with fresh, citrusy flavours and a honey-like sweetness. 

Try not to make assumptions without tasting first. It’s well worth experimenting with the whole spectrum of coffee flavours before you invest more heavily in one type. You might also prefer drinking lighter coffees in the morning, and heavier coffees after dinner. Enjoy exploring all the possibilities. 

Check for freshness

Even the very best coffee beans will only taste delicious for a fairly short window of time. Most coffee packaging will have an expiry date, so check before you buy that you’ll have enough time to enjoy the beans before they pass this date. 

When you remove the beans from their packaging, make sure you store them in an airtight container. You should keep them away from light, so either in a dark cupboard or opaque container. This will ensure you have the freshest coffee at hand. 

Study the origins of the beans

Not all coffee is equal when it comes to sustainability. Try to find out the story of the coffee you are considering to buy. Is there evidence that the farmer has been paid fairly? Is the farmer taking steps to protect the environment on his or her coffee plantation and in the surrounding natural area?

Businesses that support sustainable, ethical coffee production will be proud to provide the stories behind their beans. It’s always worth taking a moment to check.  

Look for the Cup of Excellence seal of approval 

The Cup of Excellence is the world’s most prestigious award for coffee. During the three-week annual competition, hundreds of coffees are tested and scored by leading coffee aficionados. The coffees are auctioned during the same competition, often reaching record-breaking prices.

If you can get your hands on a Cup of Excellence award-winning coffee, you can be sure you will be tasting one of the world’s finest. Furthermore, the Cup of Excellence is committed to improving sustainability and fairness in the coffee industry. It empowers farmers to make improvements to their farming and production methods by incentivising them with lucrative financial rewards for the finest coffees. 

Following the five steps here should put you on the road to finding some delicious coffees you can enjoy at home. Find a good supplier, somewhere with a range of high-quality beans and a focus on sustainability and fairness. They will be happy to give you further advice on preparation methods, answer your questions, and hone your choices. Then, all that is left is to enjoy your coffee! 


Drew Dennehy is the co-founder of THREE Coffee, one of the region’s leading specialty coffee companies, headquartered in Dubai. His passion for coffee has led to the pursuit of career opportunities around the world from New Zealand and Europe to the United Arab Emirates. Drew’s goal is to enhance coffee experiences and ensure the industry is sustainable at every level. “We will achieve this by telling the story of the farmers who make each cup possible.”

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod, as a blogger he used to spread all about app-based business, startup solution, on-demand business tips and ideas and so on.

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