Are you a coffee noob? Have you never had coffee but want to try it? Maybe you’re not sure what to make or order. You’re probably imagining a cup of classic drip coffee steaming on a countertop right now.
Many people don’t know if coffee is the right option for them, or if it is, what types of coffee drinks work for their body or their particular taste.
Coffee appeals to so many people because it is such a diversified beverage. What to drink, how to make or order it, and even what tools to have at home can be hard to decide, but don’t be overwhelmed. If you’re new to coffee, read this article to learn all about how to start drinking coffee and turn into a pro in no time!
Coffee for Beginners
Starting on your awesome coffee journey can be difficult. With all of the different elements of coffee production, where do you begin? So why not start with the beans themselves?
Coffee beans are coffee berries that have been dried and roasted. The discovery of coffee happened on the Arabian peninsula. The energizing benefits of coffee were soon realized and come from the caffeine contained in the beans. They come in different types, and all have different scents and flavors and ways you can use them. Below are three types of coffee beans to become familiar with.
Arabian, also known as Arabica, or mountain coffee, is the most commonly used coffee bean in the world (60% of coffee production), and they are said to be the first type of coffee plants cultivated. It was discovered on the Ethiopian plateau by a goat herder who realized his goats were more active after eating the berries of coffee plants.
These beans are slightly sweeter than some others and have a less intense taste. One fun fact is that because of their high acidity level and fruitier taste, Arabica coffee beans are compared to wine.
However, this bean is more expensive due to the effort put in to help it grow at high altitudes.
Liberica bean coffee is more rarely used in coffee production. Therefore, this type of coffee bean is much less common in the United States. Liberica coffee beans’ unique flavor is much darker and smokier than the Arabian coffee beans mentioned above. In contrast, they share a similar aroma with Arabica coffee beans. If you can find these beans, they are worth a try!
If you’ve ever tried instant coffee, chances are you’ve tried robusta coffee beans. These beans have a stronger flavor than Arabian coffee beans and twice the caffeine. Because of the strong flavor, the taste of robusta black coffee can be intense for some, hence the need for lots of milk and a bit of sugar.
However, these beans are more readily available since they are easier to grow. The majority of coffee in the US is made out of robusta beans.
Coffee Types for Beginners
To try coffee beans at their best and most authentic, it is a good idea to try your coffee black. Doing so will give you a better idea of the scent and the taste of coffee in its purest form. However, the coffee taste and the smell can be quite different from bean to bean, and you may need to get used to the way your bean of choice tastes.
Medium roast coffees are more acidic than dark roasts and are the more accessible variety. Hot coffee also tastes different than the same coffee made using cold brewing techniques.
The brewing vessel used can also affect the flavors of coffee. Buy good quality equipment and avoid junky coffee pots. High-quality coffee beans also make a difference in homemade coffee.
You can also try any of the following common coffee recipes to ease you into the flavors.
The majority of coffee drinkers have this comforting beverage in the morning. Latte is Italian for “milk.” Hot Lattes are typically made with hot steamed milk and a shot of espresso. Espresso is concentrated coffee. They are also topped with a layer of milk foam and fun latte art. Flavored lattes are among the most popular coffee shop choices for people drinking coffee on the go because of the sweetness of certain flavors that can be added. Vanilla lattes flavored with simple syrups are the most common choice. The only downside to lattes is that you need a special brewing device to make one properly at home.
Cappuccino, which is also made with espresso, is another popular choice for coffee drinkers. It is smaller than a latte but is made with equal parts espresso, milk, and foam instead of the latte’s single espresso shot. Cappuccinos are typically topped with foam and can sometimes have a little added flavor.
Americano-style coffee is allegedly named for a rather amusing reason. Supposedly, in America, people couldn’t take the bitter taste of strong coffee, which is why the Americano is (literally) espresso with water. It can also be topped with foam and, depending on the size you order, can have little or a great deal of caffeine.
Mocha is an especially delicious choice for chocolate lovers because this milky coffee combination is flavored with cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. Mochas come in different flavors like white, milk, and dark. You can enjoy them with foamed milk or whipped cream for a hot chocolate-style drink with a kick.
Iced coffee is a more diverse choice since it can be brewed in many different ways and come in many flavors. It is also brewed stronger than regular coffee because of how it is diluted with water. Cold-brew is the most common method, as you do not have to wait for the cooling process. An iced latte is made combining cold brew coffee and milk.
The magic ingredient of the first two coffees on our list, espresso, is served hot as a small shot or double shot because of its high caffeine content. If you need a kick of caffeine in the morning, espresso-based drinks are a fantastic option. But beware of the adverse effects of drinking too much. You can drink the shot on its own or mix it with other ingredients like with other types of coffee.
Making Your Coffee at Home
If you’re new to brewing your own coffee and are afraid you’ll mess it up, don’t worry! You only need a few tools in your kitchen to make yourself the perfect coffee. Once you have these three pieces of essential coffee gear, you’ll be making excellent coffee like a pro-at-home barista in no time.
A kitchen scale is the first essential tool you will need. It may seem minor if you’re particular about one type of coffee, but because the weight of beans per cup can change depending on what brewing method you choose, you’ll want a good one.
You’ll need one of these to grind up your beans and begin the brewing process. To get the freshest cup of coffee, you’ll want to grind your beans just minutes before brewing. While the coffee grinds, you can enjoy the fresh smell of your coffee before brewing it too.
There are all sorts of common coffee makers out on the market. To avoid being overwhelmed by the coffee machine variety available, it’s best to get a feel for your taste in coffee and see which machines are known for making that well. You can typically find plenty of espresso machines, French press coffee makers, Turkish pots, and auto-drip coffee makers on just about every website out there.
Different Ways to Brew Your Coffee
You can prepare cups of coffee in a variety of ways. Each of these common brewing methods produces coffee with distinct textures, aromas, and flavors which you can learn more about below.
Espresso is made by forcing a small amount of water through finely-ground coffee beans. It has a higher percentage of dissolved solids and is thicker than coffee brewed in other ways.
Espresso has a strong flavor that works well in any espresso-based coffee drink, including lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, and Americanos. Although espresso contains more caffeine per unit volume than other coffee beverages, the serving size is substantially smaller.
A mesh plunger and a filter screen are the important parts of a French press. In this brewing technique, ground coffee is soaked for 2-4 minutes in a beaker of boiling water. The grounds are then separated and held at the bottom of the beaker using the plunger. The resulting brewed coffee is then poured out.
Coarsely ground coffee works well in French presses. The use of a French press produces coffee with a smooth, rich flavor.
When using a French press, brew the coffee with hot water. The ratio should be 2 tablespoons of ground coffee to 6 ounces of water. Because of its convenience and mobility, many people choose this brewing method.
If you’re shopping for a French press, make sure it’s constructed of stainless steel so it won’t rust. You’ll also need something with a dual filtering system to ensure a clear drink with no grit.
Turkish coffee is made using finely ground non-filtered coffee beans before being served with the coffee grounds remaining in the coffee. You can brew Turkish coffee with a mix of sugar and a variety of spices, including cardamom.
This is a brewing method popular in Turkey and throughout the Middle East and Southeastern Europe. Turkish coffee is known for its strong flavor, which you can soften with different amounts of sugar.
Final Thoughts and Beginner Tips
If you’re new to drinking coffee, you want to be careful. Slowly ease into coffee to avoid stomach irritation and caffeine-related side effects of coffee. Make sure to give yourself time to acclimatize to the flavors and become a bona fide coffee addict.
One way to begin your entry into coffee drinking is by drinking two ounces of coffee per day, then four ounces, and keep increasing your coffee intake until you’ve reached your ideal serving amount.
Cheaply-made coffee isn’t always the best place to start when trying to ease yourself into the coffee drinking habit. It tends to be less flavorful and does not give you the full experience that the real beans should. Everyday coffee drinkers can tell you that affordable coffee isn’t necessarily bad though, and there is no reason to spend a big chunk of money on coffee if you don’t know what you want yet.
It’s just better to learn all you can about the coffee you are eyeing, such as where and how it was grown and when the beans were roasted because freshly roasted beans make for a much better flavor. Search for coffee articles and guides, like this one! Talk to a fellow coffee enthusiast friend to get a feel for which coffee flavor might work for you. Go to hipster coffee shops and listen ask around.
Another factor to consider before you start your fresh coffee journey is the amount of caffeine it contains. Coffee is a nervous system stimulant. So, if you’re not used to a certain caffeine intake or any caffeine at all, decaffeinated coffee is a good way to lessen the effects of caffeine. Before incorporating caffeine into your daily routine, you may also want to speak to your doctor about your health history and the potential health benefits of coffee in your diet.
Hopefully, the information in this article can assist you in your coffee drinking ventures, and you can become more comfortable with drinking and making coffee.