Brands We Recommend
- Illy Medium Roast Whole Bean - Red Can. $$$ This is actually the brand that is used in demonstrations. Illy is the company that invented espresso.
- Capresso East Coast Blend Whole Bean $$
- Ikea Medium Roast Whole Bean $
What Are Your Favorites?
We would love to hear about what beans are working well for you. Let us know!
1. Pick Medium/Light Roast - Avoid Dark
Dark roasts are generally designed for weak machines. Companies like Starbucks and Peet's developed an early reputation for deep roasting coffee for superior flavor. However, this is largely because they are roasted for drip coffee makers and weak espresso machines. The process destroys the coffee. This allowed drip makers (or French press) to get more flavor into the cup. It sort of like eating baby food as an adult.
Dark roasts and oils interfere with high pressure machines like a Jura. The oils and over extraction make it difficult for a Jura. The oils tend be more on the rancid side and clog the machine and give bitter tones.
2. Roasting Date < 3 Months Ago
People tend to forget that coffee is an agricultural product. How long would you be willing to eat a vegetable after it was sitting on the counter? For coffee pay attention to the actual roasting date, not the expiration date. Coffee only lasts about 1-2 months after roasted, no matter how you store it.
Starbucks and Peet's used to be consistent about fresh beans. They would not sell beans older than a few weeks to month. Today, they frequently sell beans that are much older. Pay attention.
Coffee prices tend to drop as they get old. If there is no date, ask the retailer. If they don't know the answer, don't buy it. The next best question is when did they receive it. The sooner it arrived the more likely it is to be fresh. You re not getting a deal in the same way rotten vegetables are a not a deal.
3. Avoid Coffee Exposed to Light
Light does destroy coffee. While coffee is attractive in the store in bulk bins or at home when you can see it, light is the biggest destroy of coffee because it is an oxidizer. Do not buy coffee that is stored or displayed in clear containers. You will notice that Starbucks or Peet's have coffee on display in clear containers but will not sell it to you. That's good.