We get asked this question frequently: Which is the best coffee to use for my Smarter Coffee machine? The short answer is there isn’t one, it all depends on personal preference. Coffee varieties and blends can be so different from each other that choosing the correct one can seem daunting. Below we have covered the basics that we believe will help you choose a coffee that suits you best.
- Coffee bean varieties
There are two main species of coffee beans, Coffea Arabica (mainly referred to as Arabica) and Coffea Canephora (mainly referred to as Robusta):
Arabica is usually grown at higher altitudes and is naturally floral or fruity with a lower caffeine content. It is generally marketed as the more premium coffee bean, but this is not necessarily the case. Arabica is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated and originates from Ethiopia. This is also where coffee is believed to have emerged from. Depending on the roast and origin, pure Arabica coffee blends will give you a fruitier and more delicate coffee.
Robusta beans are more cost effective to produce, but also lower in quality. The beans tend to grow on plains and Robusta is easy to care for, has a greater crop yield, almost double the amount of caffeine and more antioxidants, and is less susceptible to disease than Arabica coffee. Roasted Robusta beans produce a strong, full-bodied coffee with a distinctive, earthy flavour, usually with more bitterness than Arabica.
Robusta bean blends are a great option for strong coffee lovers and espresso fans. Blends with Robusta beans will also give you that extra kick of caffeine in the morning.
Roasting is another important element in the coffee beans that makes a big difference to the final result, i.e. the brew that ends up in your cup. This is highly dependent on personal preference, so we once again recommend trying out different roasts to find out what suits you best.
The lighter the coffee beans are roasted, the more floral and fruity the aromas they release. A darker coffee roast tends to make the coffee bean lose its vegetal properties and these are replaced with a darker, smokier aromas similar to cacao. Lightly roasted coffee beans tend to have a more fruity flavour, the highly roasted coffee beans tend to lose this acidity which turns into a pleasant bitterness.
If you tend to drink your coffee with a lot of milk or are used to drinking espresso we recommend choosing a darker roast. If you prefer a lighter flavour or are a tea lover we recommend choosing a lighter roast for a more delicate cup.
- Coffee Grind
The coarseness of the coffee grinds also makes a big difference in the final product. Filter coffee is typically milled more coarsely than coffee grinds for espresso which tend to be really finely milled.
The Smarter Coffee machine lets you select how coarse or fine you would like to grind your coffee. If you prefer a more full-bodied coffee select the finest grind setting on the Smarter Coffee machine, if you prefer a lighter brew, select the coarser grind setting.
- Smarter Coffee
The Smarter Coffee machine is a Grind & Brew machine. This is a filter coffee machine with the added bonus of a conical burr grinder, which saves you the extra step of grinding your beans when preparing your coffee. We wanted to automate the whole process so you have to do less work. We have selected a bean hopper with an airtight seal to keep the coffee beans fresh for longer. This is also a better option than storing pre-ground coffee in the machine as grinding increases the surface area of the coffee in contact with oxygen and therefore risks losing its aromas more quickly. The Smarter Coffee machine lets you select the coffee strength and grind coarseness giving you the chance to experiment and find a setting that fits you perfectly. Find out more about Smarter Coffee here.
We have partnered with Union Hand-Roasted Coffee to bring you a Single Origin from Panama made by the legendary producer Graciano Cruz. It has notes of apricot, tropical fruits and crème brûlée. It makes a clean and bright cup that perfectly complements Smarter Coffee’s capabilities. Union Coffee source their high quality Speciality Coffee straight from the farmers. It’s called Union Direct Trade, and it means they work in partnership with farmers to improve both the quality of coffee and livelihoods long term. All their coffees are hand roasted in small batches to develop delicious flavour and aroma. Union Coffee are Award Winning, proud roasters for Britain’s finest restaurants, cafés and high end food stores. You can out more about Union Coffee here.
For a limited time only and while stocks last with every Smarter Coffee purchase you will receive two weeks’ worth of freshly roasted coffee beans from Union Coffee.
Let us know what your favourite coffee blend is and if you would like to see more blogs on coffee!
* A big thanks to Union Coffee for providing the lovely images!