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Despite what some people may say, all coffee is not the same. If you realize this and you want good, fresh coffee, there are several shopping tips that you can apply to help you make the right choices. You can start by being particular about your sources.
The first source you need to consider is your retailer. The best place to buy fresh coffee is from a specialty shop. These businesses usually care about the products they sell, and the people who work there are usually knowledgeable about those products.
Purchasing your coffee from a specialty shop increases your chances of getting the fresh coffee best suited for you. Allow the staff to educate you about coffee. You should learn to draw certain conclusions from the appearance and aroma of the coffee.
Next, you should consider the natural source of the coffee. There are numerous countries that harvest coffee beans. Within those countries, coffee can be produced in various regions. This factor can greatly affect the flavor.
When choosing fresh coffee, it is important to determine your flavor preferences. For example, you may think you like full-bodied coffee. If, however, you drank full-bodied coffee in the past that was old or not properly cared for, you may be surprised in the difference when you try fresh full-bodied coffee. You may want something less intense.
Take note of when the coffee was roasted. You will get the best flavor if the coffee beans are roasted on the day you buy them. This is not usually an option when purchasing coffee from grocery stores. However, even coffee offered in the grocery store should have a roast date or freshness date. Always take this into consideration.
You also need to consider when the coffee beans were ground. For fresh coffee, you need freshly ground beans. This means it is best to buy whole bean coffee and ground it as you use it. If you do not have the capability and must grind it at the retailer, it is best to only buy quantities sufficient for a few days.
Once you have chosen the coffee that is best for you, you will need to take care to preserve the freshness. This is done buy keeping your coffee away from things that cause it to degenerate, such as moisture, air, and heat. Instead of storing ground coffee in the freezer, as is commonly recommended, store it in a valve sealed bag. Coffee beans should be sealed in an airtight container. In either case, coffee should be stored in a cool, dry place.
When you buy from a specialty shop, they can almost always tell you exactly when your coffee was roasted. However, buying from these shops will cost half again as much as supermarket coffee, so bear that in mind.
Fresh coffee should also smell good. It shouldn't have a rancid or "old" smell. It should smell vibrant and strongly reminiscent of a cup of brewed coffee.
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