The complete guide to bean selection
The decision around buying beans for home brewing can be a daunting one with many brands, blends and origins available offering varying characteristics.  Here we offer some basic pointers to enhance your morning coffee ritual.

Whether you’re using a plunger, stovetop or espresso machine, get your grind as fresh as possible.  That means buying your beans freshly roasted and best used within two to three weeks of roast date.    Buying direct from a roaster will assure freshness – check for roast date displayed on the packaging.    At Wētā Coffee we release our beans on day five after roasting when the flavour and aroma have developed to deliver the perfect cup. 

Keep your precious beans airtight.  Our beans are packaged with a one-way valve, but after opening keep in an airtight container away from heat, moisture and too much direct light – and do not store in the fridge.

Blend or single origin?  A signature blend is a union of contrasting and complimentary flavours to produce a well-rounded masterpiece coffee.  A single origin is from one specific area delivering a unique flavour profile.   It could be said the purist lets the bean stand on its own where the blend lover searches for synergy in a cup.  We say, enjoy the virtues of both!

The roast level is going to give varying taste profiles – light or ‘cinnamon’ roast will be more acidic with notes of wet grass, toasted grain and bright character.  Medium or ‘full city’ roast gives a good balance of sweetness, body and acidity.  Darker roasts will give a bittersweet flavour with heavier body.  Our award-winning Wētā Bush Blend is roasted to full city while single origins are often roasted moderately lighter to emphasise the characteristics of that stand-alone bean.

If your coffee equipment setup can extend to a grinder you will never look back.  Nothing beats grinding right before you brew.  If you don’t have a grinder, purchasing ground coffee to use within two to three weeks of roast date is next best.

Lastly, enjoy this adventure of trying new blends and origins, buying fresh and brewing like a master!

Written by Gayleen Pratt