Step-by-Step Coffee Guide – Choosing Your Coffee Beans

whole bean coffee from dark to light


Choosing your coffee beans can be challenging with all of the options, flavors, and types of coffee out there. There is a wide variety of gourmet coffee beans on the market. Understanding the flavor guides that come with each type of roast is crucial to finding the best coffee bean for a meal, a season, and the right reason. In this quick guide to coffee beans, we will talk through the diverse coffee landscape to help your decision.

  • Roasted Coffee Beans

    Defining the various types of roasted coffee and how roasting affects the coffee flavor profile

  • White Coffee Beans

    Learn why white coffee is our most purchased SKU

  • Unroasted Coffee Beans

    Explore the health benefits of raw green coffee beans

  • Certified Organic Coffee Beans

    A look into how this certification process works and why it’s important to your coffee experience

  • Cold-Brewed Coffee

    Why drinking cold brew is good for you all year round


Mastering coffee roasting could take you a lifetime, we have been micro-roasting for 30 years and not a day goes by that we don’t learn something new. The length of time coffee beans roast, the style of coffee roaster used, the roasting temperature, and the breed of coffee bean you start with, all affect the coffee flavor. It’s science and art combined.


French Roast Coffee Beans

French Roast is bold, slightly smoky, and full-bodied with a rich velvety finish. The longer and darker beans are roasted, the closer their flavorful oils come to the surface. Roasted at approximately 475 degrees (depending on the roaster), the essence from the bean’s origin gets masked by the flavor that is developed as it is roasted. Despite the strong taste, french roast coffee beans actually have a lower concentration of caffeine because the high temps change the coffee bean’s density. Creating a great french roast takes discipline, at Poverty Bay, we never burn our beans!

Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Dark roasts are dark brown in color, have visible oils released during the roasting process, and bigger in size as they expand in the roasting process. Typically, dark roasts are heavy-bodied, bold, with hints of spice and chocolate. When properly roasted, they have a smooth finish not burnt or bitter.

Medium Roast Coffee Beans

Medium coffee beans are balanced with a rich flavor and moderate acidity. Roasted at around 420 degrees, medium roasts are brown in color, without oil on the surface, and have a nutty flavor with caramel undertones. The lion’s share of House Blends at restaurants and cafes are medium roasts as the profile appeals to the broader palette.

Light Roast Coffee Beans

Light coffee roasts are smaller, dryer to the touch, and have a high concentration of caffeine. The shorter roasting times and lower roasting temperatures result in a more mild coffee taste. Light coffee beans have a smooth taste, no bitterness, and can have toasty and cinnamon finish.
Between the above roasting categories are some variations you may prefer like medium-dark roasts, and breakfast roasts. There is a coffee character profile for everyone, we recommend doing your own coffee taste testing or ‘cuppings’ at home to find yours.


White Coffee is the newest movement in the coffee industry. Try it today and find out why, hint: it’s 2X as stronger than regular coffee! Our White coffee beans are ‘special grind’ only because the beans are tougher and require a high-torch grinding machine. Don’t try to grind it at home, you may break your grinder. Fortunately, the way you brew it at home is safe as roasted coffee beans. It has a nutty, creamy flavor that diverges the typical roasted coffee taste. To continue learning about White Coffee, check out our full write up.


Why order green coffee beans? Many people choose to, or attempt to, roast their own coffee beans at home. In addition, the process of finding a trustworthy coffee importer can be daunting, expensive, and impossible without a business license, or per-existing relationships in the coffee industry. There is an abundance of information about DIY coffee online but be weary of the information on health benefits of green coffee and always consult your doctor before using it for as a dietary supplement.


What does it mean to be Certified Organic Coffee? It means that your coffee roast started with coffee beans that were produced according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s strict guidelines to earn that certification. Knowing where your coffee beans come from and understanding how they are grown is very important. These requirements permit the use of harmful pesticides and/or fertilizers either in the soil, on the coffee plants, or in production facilities. The strict USDA Organic Coffee Certification comes with high fees and regular inspections all created to protect consumers from harmful pesticides used in growing coffee plants, as well as to support biodiversity and the nature ecosystems that thrive in the Rainforests.

All of our coffee beans are 100% Organic but not all of our coffee farm partners in Mexico and Peru put their beans through the expensive and rigorous regulations that it takes become USDA Certified Organic. If you feel more comfortable with the label, as many do, you can browse through our USDA Certified Organic Coffee Beans.


Cold Brew Coffee comes from steeping coffee grounds for a very long time, usually 18-20 hours. Originally called ‘Toddy’, back before the process of making cold-brewed coffee became more main stream. Cold brew is primarily used for iced coffee drinks so that you could maintain the rich coffee flavor without the exaggerated bitter flavor of hot brewed coffee when it is cooled down. Cold-brewed coffee has come a long way and some people have also moved to making cold brew at home.

Cold-brewed coffee is smooth and 75% less acidic than hot brewed coffee. It makes wonderful iced and blended gourmet drinks that can easily be replicated in the comfort of your own kitchen. With Dan’s Cold Brewed Espresso you become your own barista! Browse our size options, available in regular and decaf.


Depending on what area you live and whether or not you are looking for ‘coffee near me’, you may end up buying coffee online or from your local coffee roaster. Either way, verify where your coffee comes from. Find out the distinction between Arabica beans and Robusta beans and ask questions regarding the coffee bean’s origin. Other coffee buying factors to consider are whether or not the coffee roaster supports sustainable coffee which is good for the world, or if their business model is harming the environment. Fact check the coffee source, as often as you can.


ground white coffee beans in bulk

What is White Coffee?

What is White Coffee? White Coffee is coffee roasted half of the way through and to a lower temperature. By roasting it to this much lower temperature, you get a whitish colored bean that is higher in caffeine because you roast out less caffeine. This results in a very nutty and sweet taste profile much different from traditional coffee.

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