Have you ever wondered why the coffee made by your café baristas always seems to taste so much better? Yes, they likely have better brewing machinery and know how to get the perfect grind for each brew (more on that in a later email).

But the one thing they all have in common? 

They’re starting with high-quality, fresh coffee beans perfectly suited to the drink they’re creating. 

So how do you know which coffees are best to buy for your own home brewing creations? Read on for our top tips on how to buy great coffee for home and work.

Start with Buying Coffee Beans You’ll Actually Like

Not sure what you like best? We’re always sourcing and testing new coffees – and our favourites change all the time. Our love for trying new brews was what prompted us to start Doorstep Barista box – we wanted to share the coffees we were finding with others who nerd out over coffee as much as we do.

The simplest way to nail down your coffee profile is to take our super fancy coffee selector quiz! If you get a bit stumped on your preferred tasting notes and roast level, maybe this will help. 

If your go-to coffees have a strong and almost bitter flavour (they work especially well with cream and maybe even some sugar), chances are you’re attracted to classic notes like chocolate and hazelnut. Medium or dark roasts are your best bet here. 

If you gravitate more to coffees that are very light and can be described as ‘delicate’ and ‘light-bodied’ than floral notes and a lighter roast are probably more your speed. If you enjoy coffee with a fruity acidity, you’ll want to look for coffees that promote fruity and vibrant flavours such as apple, pineapple, or various berries. 

When in doubt, try a different type of coffee as often as you can and you’ll soon get a feel for the coffee beans that light you up.

Choose Reputable Brands

Coffee, after crude oil, is the highest earning industry in the world.  It’s a massive global industry that is unfortunately rife with corruption and environmental degradation. And the coffee farmers are usually hit the hardest. And with every cup of coffee we drink, every bag of coffee we buy, we directly impact the future of the coffee industry.  

That’s why we at Square One Coffee and Doorstep Barista only work with local roasteries that make meaningful connections with coffee producers and are committed to partnering with them to grow coffee in a sustainable way.

A non-negotiable part of that sustainability is paying the farmers a fair amount, which is perhaps the most important link in the coffee supply chain. Sustainable, direct-trade coffee is generally processed in smaller batches as well, so it’s easier to keep the quality levels consistent. 

But how do you know if the coffee you’re buying is helping the farmers, or hindering them? Unfortunately, it’s not always clear cut. Labels like ‘Rainforest Alliance’ and ‘Shade Grown’ sound good, but don’t have any real legal meaning. In the same vein, many small, ethical roasters won’t have any labels on their packaging at all. The best way to be confident your coffee habits aren’t hurting anyone is to dig and ask questions.

Luckily, we live for the research and nerd out hard over transparency reports, so you don’t have to. We guarantee that all of the roasters we work with are as equally dedicated to ethical coffee practices and sustainability as we are.

Buy Your Coffee Fresh

Like pretty much anything you eat or drink, coffee is best when it’s at its freshest (wine and whiskey are notable). Flavour is at its peak just after it’s roasted.  

When looking for the freshest coffee, be mindful of the roasting date. High-quality supermarkets will often keep fresh’ish coffee on hand, especially if it’s a popular brand. But by the time a bag of coffee makes it to the shelf, it’s usually a minimum of a couple of weeks after the roasting date and they may sit there as long as a year. 

At Doorstep Barista, we wait until the last possible minute to get our Doorstep Barista subscription box coffee roasted, so it’s packed up and shipped within 1-2 days of the roasting date.

If you’d like to save yourself the hassle of tracking down your favourite brews and instead have gorgeous coffees delivered right to your door, consider Doorstep Barista.

With new, vetted roasters shipped to you every month, you’re sure to find your next favourite coffee (and your next favourite, and the next NEXT favourite…)!