Step 2: Buying Coffee Beans: How to Choose the Perfect Beans for Your Brew

Now that you’ve got a grip on the world of coffee varieties and their flavors, it’s time to take the next step on your home barista journey – buying coffee beans. Choosing the right beans can make a world of difference in your cup. In this guide, we’ll share tips on how to choose the perfect beans for your brew.

Understanding Bean Freshness

One of the key aspects of choosing coffee beans is understanding freshness. Coffee is a perishable product. Once roasted, coffee beans start to lose their freshness and, consequently, their flavor. Look for beans that have a roast date on the bag, not a best-before date. Try to buy beans within a month of their roast date.

Choosing the Right Roast

The roast level of coffee beans significantly influences the taste of your coffee. Roasts are generally classified as light, medium, or dark.

Light Roast: These beans are roasted for a shorter time, preserving the unique flavors of their original coffee variety. Ideal for those who prefer a delicate, nuanced cup.

Medium Roast: This roast results in a more balanced flavor, aroma, and acidity. It’s often preferred by those looking for a classic, well-rounded cup of coffee.

Dark Roast: Dark roast beans are roasted for a longer time at a higher temperature. The result is a robust, full-bodied flavor often associated with strong coffee.

Selecting Beans Based on Flavor Profile

As we discussed in step 1, different coffee types have distinct flavor profiles. When buying coffee beans, look for packaging that provides flavor notes. Do you prefer a fruity, sweet, or more nutty and rich coffee? The flavor description can guide you to choose beans that will offer your preferred taste.

Buying Whole Bean vs. Ground Coffee

For the freshest coffee, consider buying whole bean coffee and grinding it yourself just before brewing. Pre-ground coffee may lose flavor over time. Grinding your beans at home allows you to adjust the grind size to fit your preferred brewing method.


Choosing the right coffee beans is an art that combines your personal taste preferences with an understanding of freshness, roast levels, and flavor profiles. As you experiment with different beans, you’ll refine your palate and become more adept at picking beans that will deliver your perfect cup of coffee.

Ready to keep brewing? Discover how to properly store your coffee beans in the next step of your home barista journey.

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