• Meet a good cup of coffee

    Cup of Quality

Meet a good cup of coffee

“A good cup of coffee starts with knowing the beans.”

-Xu Xinyi

Choice of coffee beans

Know every cup of coffee, starting with every coffee bean. When you stand in front of the coffee counter, how do you choose coffee beans? “Smell, see, and peel” are the three steps we provide to let you know if coffee beans are fresh. If you have accumulated some experience in coffee, you can also judge each “comprehensive coffee” exactly, including the coffee beans origin.

Choose your beans and drink your coffee

Master introduction:
Mr. Ting Changxing, the coffee maker of the roasters, is a teacher of the University Coffee Course. The coffee shop “Roasters” in Neihu, Taipei is a very different coffee shop. Although it is in Taipei, it is not like some cafes in the downtown area of ​​Taipei. Most people regard the coffee shop as a social one. In this case, people will go to the cafe in a glamorous manner, and even choose a decoration similar to their own clothing. They will look at people in the cafe and be seen at the same time. I think that freshness is the first life of coffee. Mr. Ting Changxing is also dedicated to the word fresh in his coffee roaster almost every day.

RoastTing is a coffee shop with a taste of the community. Whenever you walk into the store, you have the feeling of walking into the neighbor’s living room because you will see someone with a young man drinking coffee around the table. There are also mothers with children. I exchanged my childcare experience with my neighbors here; there are a few nearby elderly people who will sit in front of the counter for a cup of fragrant coffee.

There are more customers who come to the store to have a cup of coffee and then bring home half a pound of coffee beans. During several visits, I have seen people driving a Mercedes-Benz. They drive from the other side of Taipei to buy coffee beans. Some eager customers will ask where the coffee beans they buy are produced. Mr. Ting will also carefully pick up the original coffee book in the store, open it to find it, and tell the customer where the bean is produced. It will even teach some places to pay attention to brewing that kind of coffee beans.

Here, coffee conversations and coffee teaching are happening at any time.

In addition to operating this café, Mr. Ting is also a roaster of imported green coffee beans, which is also the origin of the name of the coffee shop.

Choose a bean

How to choose coffee beans. In fact, can be divided into two levels: the first is to choose fresh coffee beans; the more advanced is to know and determine the coffee beans you choose, which is actually from that place of origin.
First, talk about the first level: how to determine the freshness of coffee beans. There are three steps: smell, see, and peel.

Smell:  Get close to the coffee beans and breathe deeply. If the coffee beans are fresh enough, you can clearly smell the coffee; on the contrary, if the coffee has only a little bit of aroma, or it starts to smell greasy (similar to the taste that peanuts or nuts will have for a long time, indicating that the coffee beans are completely new). Such coffee beans, no matter how much pain you spend grinding and cooking, will not have a cup of good coffee.

See: Determine the origin and variety of coffee. Also, look at whether the coffee is evenly baked.

Peel: Try peeling a coffee bean with your fingers. If the coffee beans are fresh enough, they should be easily peeled off and have a crisp sound and feel. But, if it’s not fresh, you will find it seems very laborious to peel off a bean. Another important point of peeling coffee is that you can see if the heat is even when roasting. If it is even, the color of the inner layer of the bean and the outer skin should be the same. If the color of the skin is obviously much deeper than the inside, this means that The fire may be too hot during baking, and the aroma of the beans will be significantly affected.

Before deciding on the type of coffee beans, you must first have a concept: coffee beans are almost the same as tea leaves, and there are varieties and places of origin. Coffee beans from different regions have obvious differences in appearance.

Before you knew each type of coffee beans, you may have been like me. When you walk into the coffee shop, you can distinguish the beans with the color of the coffee beans, like the most black and shiny ones, or the Italian coffee. The order of the depths is probably: Mandheling, Brazil, Colombia, the lightest color may be Mocha. This method that seems to work, is actually to distinguish beans from the depth of coffee roasting; but each bean can actually be fried black and black, and can also be lightly shredded like a mocha . So what you know is not the coffee beans themselves, but the degree of baking that everyone is used to.

You can probably understand why people have been drinking coffee for a lifetime, and they have been arrogant, but they may not recognize the same degree of baking Mandheling and Mocha beans.

In coffee varieties, there are two main types: one is Arabica, and the other is Robusta. The two beans are compared as follows:

  • Arabica
  • Prolific in the tropical regions of Central and South America
  • Planted on alpine slopes at an altitude of 900 to 2000 meters
  • Needs high manual intensive care
  • Rich in taste
  • Low caffeine content
  • Higher price
  • The bean type is small, the front is a long oval, the middle crack is narrow and zigzag, and the circular arc on the back of the bean is flat.
  • Robusta
  • In Madagascar, in the Midwest and East Africa, Indonesia in Asia
  • On an alpine slope about 200 to 600 meters above sea level
  • In comparison, no need for too much manpower
  • Lack of taste, bitter taste
  • Caffeine content is about 2 times that of Arabica
  • The price is lower, so it is mostly acquired as the raw material of instant coffee.
  • The bean type is larger, the front is more round, the back is round and convex, the crack is straight, it is a bit like big glutinous rice.

This is a variety of coffee beans, but you may be wondering: Why haven’t these two names been heard or seen in a coffee shop? This is because the coffee naming we are used to is named and classified by the origin of the coffee, not by the variety. The coffee beans of these two varieties vary greatly in price, and the appearance of beans is also easily recognizable. Robusta seeds with a shape like “big coix seed” are more commonly found in cheap synthetic coffee.

In the origin of the coffee beans, this is to prevent you from being deceived by the unscrupulous coffee merchants (we certainly hope that the less the better), Mr. Ting takes the beans imported from his store as an example to lead us to know a few more common coffee beans in Taiwan:


The shape of the beans is closer to the rectangle. At present, Mandhel’s beans in Taiwan are from Sumatra, which belongs to the variant of Arabica beans. It is characterized by its alcoholicity and has many supporters in Taiwan.


The crack in the middle is brown, because the local beans are mostly treated by the sun. Brazil is currently the world’s largest coffee producer. Therefore, Brazilian beans are also one of the main ingredients of all integrated coffee. Its taste is characterized by flat neutrality, not bitter and not too bitter.


The middle crack is white, because the locally produced beans are mostly washed with water. Colombia is the second largest coffee producer in the world, so Colombian coffee beans are often seen in integrated coffee, which is characterized by its acidity and uniform flavor.


The shape of the bean is longer and longer, and it is treated by the sun exposure method, so the middle crack is dark brown. The biggest feature of Mocha beans is that the beans are not uniform, and sometimes soft stones are found in the beans. Mocha beans are known for their acidity and are common in integrated coffee in order to enhance the richness of the flavor.


This kind of coffee bean is characterized by high alcoholity, which is second only to Mandheling in the single product, but because of the higher cost, it is rarely seen in general integrated coffee.

Blue Mountain

The shape of the beans is full, and the average is larger than the average beans, and the middle crack is white, which is washed by water. Because it is currently the highest price among coffee beans, there are more “alternatives”. Like an “elephant bean” from Central America (named for his huge bean shape), it is often used to mix with real blue mountain fish. Of course, consumers should also be aware that if you buy Blue Mountain coffee beans, the price is only 20% more expensive than the average Colombian beans, and the true blue peas will probably not exceed 20%.

Hawaiian Canna Bean KONA

The beans are average and neat. Because this coffee bean is highly concentrated in Hawaii, it is said to be cultivated on volcanic terrain, so each bean seems to have been carefully selected. At the price point, Kona is also an extraordinary value, because Hawaii’s high prices and high wages, so that Kona beans also have similar properties of sightseeing properties.

Among these coffee beans, the most expensive one is the “Blue Mountain Coffee Bean” which is the most expensive.

In Taiwan, we can easily buy cheap Blue Mountain coffee beans in the coffee shop, or the so-called “Special Blue Mountain”, which has a lot of knowledge. In addition to the price judgments we have just mentioned, the so-called “Special Blue Mountain” does not indicate or limit the proportion of real blue peas in the middle. So, you might buy a “Special Blue Mountain” with 10% Blue Beans 90% Colombian Beans and Brazilian Beans. It is also possible to buy a “Special Blue Mountain” with only a dozen blue peas in a pound. Look at the free heart of the baker.

Where you really have imported blue peas, you can see the special wooden barrels and certificates attached to the Blue Mountain coffee beans. This is also a clue that can be judged. But if you really want to distinguish between blue and white beans, and different from elephant beans, it is still important to see the accumulation of beans.

The origin of the coffee beans we mentioned just now refers to the beans of the Arabica species. Because in the world of coffee, Robusta’s beans are mostly used in instant coffee or other cheap coffee products. In Taiwan, Robusta’s beans are mostly from Indonesia, but the number of imports is not large, so in addition to some integrated coffee, it is not common to add a small amount to emphasize bitterness. (Illy coffee imported by Italian coffee brand, it is emphasized that it is 100% Arabica, but also highlights its exquisiteness and cost.)

Under the guidance of Mr. Ting, if you can put several beans together at the same time, regardless of its baking color, carefully observe and compare, you can probably distinguish the difference between several main beans. Then you can go to the next level and find a comprehensive coffee to do the advanced test. If you can recognize the kinds of beans in the integrated coffee and then seek the correct answer from the boss, your guinea skill is already good. It is.

Roasting coffee beans at home

Recently, because of the popularity of coffee, there are also many coffee people on the website, or write coffee books, encouraging everyone to buy imported green beans. Bake coffee at home to get fresher roasted coffee beans. Mr. Ting is not in favor of this practice in the position of a professional baker. His reasons are several:

  • In Taiwan, for the average consumer, the acquisition of small quantities of green beans is not so easy, and the range of choice is small.

  • The degree of roasting of coffee beans sometimes varies greatly depending on the moisture content of each batch of raw beans, which is difficult for non-professionals to judge.

  • A small amount of baking is difficult to grasp in uniformity. Mr. Ding’s example: As the saying goes: big pot rice, small pot dishes, coffee beans are more like rice, it is easier to control the fire, and evenly in firepower.

Although it is not suitable for baking coffee beans at home, fresh coffee beans are one of the most important factors for good coffee. Mr. Ting’s suggestion is: It is best to prepare a good grinder at home, cook it now, and buy it back fresh. Don’t put coffee beans for too long. If you have been away for more than two weeks, use the method we teach to see how fresh it is. If it is not too fresh, you should know what to do.