Coffee Guide For Beginners

Coffee Guide For Beginners

For a coffee enthusiast, the world of speciality coffee can seem a little overwhelming. Different processes, roasts, blends, and brews. Sometimes you don’t even know where to begin!

So here we’re going to break down the few terminologies of coffee that you’ve probably come across while browsing through speciality coffee. 

Let’s start at the bottom of the scale


There are many factors that make different coffees taste the way they do, and one of the factors you legends most often see on coffee bags is the way that particular coffee has been processed. While processing is by no means simple, and trust us when we say this. It is one of the most important factors that affect coffee. When it comes to coffee production, the most commonly used processes are washed and natural.

Natural Process

After harvesting the coffee cherries, immature and defective cherries are sorted. Cherries are then dried directly under the sun with the fruit part intact.

Washed process  

After harvesting the cherries, they are soaked in tanks where the fermentation process takes place. The washed process leads to bright and acidic flavours in the cup.

Honey process 

The title “Honey Processed” leads many people to assume honey is used in the processing stages of the coffee or that the coffee itself resembles honey tasting notes. But in reality, neither are true. This process gets its name from its sticky, honey-like feel on top of the bean before they are spread out for drying. 

Roast Profile

Coffee roasting is a heating process that brings out the aroma and flavour locked inside a green coffee seed, which has a mild, grassy taste on its own. The smell of freshly roasted coffee is indescribable. 

Filter Profile

Light brown in colour, this roast is generally preferred for lighter coffee varieties. There will be no oil on the surface of these beans because they are not roasted long enough for the oils to break through to the surface.

A filter roast is created for brewing equipment's such as Chemex, V60, AeroPress, Drip machine, clever-dripper or a Frenchpress.

Filter roast is roasted at a lower temperature and for a shorter time, revealing a sweeter cup of coffee with more subtle fruity flavour notes.

Espresso Profile

This roast is medium brown in colour with a stronger flavour and a non-oily surface. 

An espresso roast will bring out the specific and interesting flavours of the roasted bean when brewed using an espresso machine.

Espresso machines brew coffee very quickly, forcing water at high pressure through coffee grinds to produce a syrupy, concentrated espresso coffee. It can be drunk on its own, with hot water added to create a long black/americano, or it can be used as a base for a flat white, a latte or a cappuccino.

Different brewing equipment's such as moka pot or south indian filter can be used to brew an Espresso Profile Coffee.

Grind Size

Grinds are often confused with roasts when it comes to coffee.

The grind is the coarseness to which the coffee is ground, from coarse (large particles of coffee beans) to pulverized (coffee turns to powder). The coffee grind is chosen based on the type of brewer being used. The aim of grinding the beans before brewing is to expose enough surface area to extract enough of the flavour locked inside the beans to make a good cup of coffee.

Below we have listed some common coffee grind sizes to get you started; which you should be able to use with a range of different coffee brew methods.

Coarse Grind

The appearance is very similar to sea salt. Coarse coffee grind is most commonly used for French Press or Channi ( tea strainer ). 

Medium Grind

Similar to the consistency of regular sand. One of the most popular grind sizes and is often used in drip brewing methods such as automatic drip coffee makers, cone-shaped pourover brewers, Siphon coffee brewers, and the AeroPress.

​Fine Grind

A little finer than table salt. Fine grind coffee is perfect for espresso or the espresso coffeemaker or a Mokapot.