[Q] Best Coffee Beans


New member
Jun 11, 2004
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I have a friend who really like coffee and I want to purchase some
really good beans. However, I know that if I were to ask what the best
beans were, I would only get back 'it depends' as an answer.

So, my question is this...

What questions should I ask my friend so I can purchase the best beans
that they would most likely really enjoy?

Now, if you can provide one or more questions, then do you have any
suggestions based on how my friend might answer those questions?

Thank you.
eric- you could go down a variety of routes on this one...and still not get the answer that would be complete enough for you to buy beans for your friend that he would be guaranteed to enjoy! Anyway you could make a start by following the SCAA standards for tasting...asking whether he likes Mellow (Sumatran, PNG), Bland (Santos Arabicas), Sharp (Indonesian, Angolan and IVory Coast Robustas), Soury (Unwashed Brazilians...meaning the beans, not the people!), Winey (Indian Arabicas)....or acidic (Kenyan, Columbian etc). Then focus on the type of roast he likes. Genrally the darker the roast, the less sour tastes will come through in the coffee. The degree of roast either allows the particular characteristics of the origin to emerge (lighter roasts)....or partially-completely masks them (dark roasts).

So...hope thes helps! An easier way of course would be to take him to a local roaster and ask him to chose himself...but this takes the surprise out of the exercise I guess.

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
Seattle,Washington USA
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Great responses A.E.; You know, it's really hard to put yourself in some one elses shoes to try and think for them. I'd suggest maybe purchasing a pound of each as A.E. describes in his post based on the different properties of some of the beans. Start off with a medium roast, as this is usually a safer way to enjoy that coffee. Then after that you can determine if you'd like that coffee as is, lighter, or darker. :wink:

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