The Two Basic Types Of Gourmet Coffee

Gourmet coffee…if you love it, it goes far beyond a pleasant experience. It can easily become a passion, a raison d’etre, a delicious indulgence. It is, if not the sole reason, at least a primary incentive for getting me out of bed in the morning.

With all the choices on the market, how do I choose which beans to brew?
For me, it starts with flavor. Whether I choose a straight dark roast, a sweet flavored coffee or a spicy seasonal bean, the flavor must have a good balance. While the industry continues to turn out new varieties to tickle the market’s collective taste buds, there is something pure and robust about a traditional, strong roast.

My go-to bean, safely tucked in my pantry, is the ubiquitous Arabica bean. It’s bold and distinctive taste offers a judicious balance of smoky darkness and sweet caramelized flavors. It brews up a strong, dark cup of coffee, suitable to a wide majority of coffee lovers’ palates. All else could fall away, and I’d still have my Arabica beans, so life could go on.

Still, despite my love, I can’t commit to an exclusive relationship with Arabic. Why the waffling? Robusta. Due to its stronger caffeine kick, the Robusta bean is gaining a foothold in the gourmet coffee marketplace. With almost twice the caffeine content as the Arabica bean, it is the brew of choice for those who need that extra dose of jumpstart in their morning brew. The intensity is extreme, and it takes me to a different place. Perfect for those times when I need a jolt, something to make me sit up and take notice.

So where do you lean? Are you more of an Arabica fan, or do you crave the kick of the Robusta bean? I say commitment, when it comes to gourmet coffee, is over-rated. Play the field, shop around, and never settle for a mediocre cup. Life’s too short to drink bad coffee!

Lili Rousso is a coffee aficionada who reviews gourmet coffees and accessories from all around the world. This month she features gourmet coffee brands from

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