How to Become a Coffee Expert in the UK

Throughout the UK, many thousands of people enjoy a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. It has also become a popular drink to have during the day for a break or after a meal.

Many coffee shops have popped up all over the UK in the last 5-10 years. Coffee can be enjoyed piping hot, chilled, plain or customised with many different flavours and toppings.

In the days gone past the majority of people simply made a quick cup of instant. However these days their tastes have changed a lot, and in many UK homes there will be some type of coffee machine. However, there is a lot more to coffee than simply popping some grounds into a machine and waiting for it to brew.

Know Your Beans & Roasts

If you want to become something close to a coffee expert, then the best starting place is to understand what beans are available. More importantly is is important to understand the different ways in which these beans are roasted.

In the market today you can buy a variety of roasts, which influences the different tastes and will certainly wake up your taste buds. You can also have your beans ground in a variety of grinds, which gives the coffee different textures when it's ground. The type of taste that you'll get from your coffee is also going to depend on which coffee bean you choose and what kind of coffeemaker that you use.

If you want to learn about coffee, you need to educate yourself just a little and become somewhat of a barista - a coffee expert! Simply by knowing just a little more about the proper techniques, you really can greatly improve the flavours and tastes of your coffee.

The best place to start this journey is to find out a little about the different types of beans available. Once you have learned that then it is good to get to know about the roast types and how they affect the flavor. When you know about the beans and the various roast types, then brewing is next on your list.

different types of coffee roasts

You need to understand how to select the best machine to make your coffee, and how to operate it. Don't forget there are many different types of brewing methods and you should try them all to see which you like best. Finally you then need to learn about other coffee flavour tips that enhance your satisfaction of this drink.

Years ago, no one could have imagined that consumers like me and you would be so hungry for information about where their coffee came from, or how it could have so many different tastes, and more importantly why we would be willing to pay upwards of £3 per cup for it. These days it is quite common to see people pop in for a quick espresso, and also to visit Starbucks as a social gathering place and try a variety of coffees.

Drinking Coffee in the UK

In the UK these days drinking coffee has become more of an experience than a habit of the morning. Around 3/4 of adults claim to drink coffee ritually every morning. Many of those continue to drink it throughout the day. If you are a bit of a coffee lover like me, then I believe you should find out how to do this at home and make great tasting coffee. Let's have a closer look at the various elements.

Different Bean Types & Roasts

Coffee beans are actually a green colour before they go through the processing stage. Coffee beans get their different colours after they have been roasted. It's also primarily how they get their flavour.

During the process of roasting, the oils within the beans flavour the coffee. At the same time that the process is giving the beans their flavor, it's also giving it the roast type.The color of the coffee beans will tell you if it's a light or a dark roast.

This signifies the length of time that the beans spent in the roasting process. Depending on where the bean originated while it was being grown, this can also impact the taste of the coffee.

Roast Types in Brief

roasted coffee beans

There are four basic types of roasts and this is how the different coffees you can buy are classified. There is actually a wider scale than this but here I am just dealing with the basics of roasted coffee beans. If you would like more detail on the various roasts then please click here.

For now though let's just look at the 4 types. There are light roasts, medium roasts, one that's between medium and dark and then there are dark roasts. As you can guess, the light roasted coffee beans did not go through the roasting process for the same length of time as the dark roasts did.

The lighter the roast of the coffee, the less bitterness the coffee flavour has.The length of time the beans spent in roasting is what you see on the labels on the outside of the bag or can of coffee that you purchase - the light, the medium, the medium dark and the dark. If you don't like strong, bitter coffee, you want to go with a lighter roast.

​For those of you who want to know more about roasts, then please check out this article on why coffee beans are roasted. I have also completed an article on which roast beans make the best coffee.  Simply by knowing your beans and the grading systems, and then understanding the different roasts which are available, will make you quite the coffee expert.

Discover the Many Coffee Brewing Methods

With that knowledge, I would then recommend learning about the various brewing methods. There are lots of these such as filter, percolator, stove top, French Press and making espresso. Espresso is the foundation of any great tasting coffee.

Once you grasp these and understand them, you will quickly realise that different brewing methods require different types of grinds. To find out about those, you can click here. ​When you then collect all of this information together about beans, roasts, brewing methods and grinds, you will truly be very close to becoming a coffee guru.

After that everything else becomes a little experimental. There are tons of flavours that you can add, usually in the form of syrups. Those are what can really spice up and widen your coffee choices.​

Enda McLarnon

Enda McLarnon has a Business Management Honour's Degree and applies his professional insight, to analyse and write helpful product reviews with tips and useful advice. I am also a coffee lover and enjoy tasting all of the coffee types the world has to offer.

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