How to Choose Coffee Powder
Coffee is a beloved drink for many. If you're a coffee lover, it's understandable you'll want to pick the highest quality beans or grounds possible. Luckily, assessing a few factors can help you pick the right coffee for you. Check the label to make sure the coffee is fresh and high quality. Choose a coffee made in a region that provides the taste you want. You should also pick a roast that will give you the flavor you want, or try something like lightly flavored coffee.
Evaluating the Label
Choose a coffee that provides details about its origin. Cheaper coffee will not provide a lot of specific information about where the coffee comes from. A label should let you know a specific farm, region, or country where the beans originated. This is a sign the coffee was crafted carefully and is not just a blend of random beans from various regions.
Check the “roasted on" date. Quality coffee will usually have a “roasted on" date so consumers can check the freshness. Coffee should be used within a month of the roast date, so buy coffee that's been roasted within the past month.
- In general, the more recent the roast date, the better. Coffee tends to peak in flavor about seven to 10 days after the roast date.
Opt for coffee that provides bonus information. More information usually indicates more care was taken to craft the coffee. A high-quality coffee label will include information about how the coffee was roasted, the date the beans were harvested, recommended brewing temperatures, and the elevation the beans were grown at.
- You don't necessarily have to dissect all this information, as it's mostly meaningful to coffee experts. However, the presence of the information alone indicates quality.
Look for labels regarding ethics. If it's important to you to buy coffee from an ethical manufacturer, check the label. Look for coffee that has a Fair Trade Certified label and a Rainforest Alliance certification. These labels indicate the coffee was farmed in an ethical, environmentally conscious fashion and was traded fairly.
- If it's important for you to you to find coffee that was not exposed to pesticides, look for an organic label as well. This indicates coffee was grown without synthetic fertilizers and industrial pesticides.
Avoid meaningless or misleading labels. Some labels are attached to coffee deceitfully to make it appear higher quality than it is. The following labels have little meaning and you should avoid buying coffee that includes them:
- 100% coffee.
- 100% Arabica.
- Vague phrasing about region (i.e., “roasted in the heart of Costa Rica").
Check the label for the amount of caffeine. Caffeine levels vary by coffee. A coffee's label should let you how many milligrams of caffeine it contains so you can choose a coffee with your preferred strength. You can also buy decaf coffee if you like the flavor, but do not want the caffeine content.
- Coffee usually has anywhere between 65 to 100 milligrams of caffeine per cup. Stronger coffee would be on the higher end of this spectrum, while weaker coffee would be on the lower end.