Buying Coffee Beans 101 - A Guide To Specialty Coffee Beans For Newbies

If you are new to Specialty Coffee, finding the right coffee beans for you can be a little intimidating, there are so many new terms that are being thrown at you that this could make the process not as enjoyable as you hope.

Here at Sippy we aim to be your source of information for everything specialty coffee so we will break down all of the things you need to know from A to Z.

First you will have to start by looking at the information on the coffee beans, most specialty coffee beans mention similar things on the label. 


Origin & Region 

What does origin tell us and why is it important? Apart from being able to recognize the country where the beans come from, other details such as region, farm and producer can tell you a lot about the beans.

Two coffees from Ethiopia that have been grown in two different regions will taste nothing alike, therefore, with time you will be able to differentiate what you prefer down to the specific region and even farm.

Processing Method

There are many different types of ways to process coffee, from the most advanced to the most ancient technique.  

These techniques will all add a unique flavour and characteristic to the final roasted beans, therefore, this is another area to experiment with until you decide on your preferred processing method for your coffee beans.

Check out our blog on processing methods to learn more.


Some people believe that if coffee is 100% Arabica Beans is all the information you need to know, well they are wrong. It is true that all Specialty Coffee is made up of only Arabica Beans, however, there are many different varieties that can be found.

  • Bourbon
  • Catuai
  • Carturra
  • Geisha
  • Pacamara
  • Etc

Tasting Notes - Taste Profile 

All specialty coffees have their unique flavor characteristics written down to help you decide whether you might enjoy these tasting notes in your coffee or not.  Some coffees can have very complex explanations, therefore, we have decided to break down the tasting profiles into easy to understand categories to make selecting easier for everyone.

Roast Level 

The process of roasting the coffee is the one that really brings out the flavours and the aromas of the coffee, and there are different roast levels which will massively affect the tasting notes and profile of your cup of coffee.

Check out our blog on different roast levels to learn more.

Roast Date

This is also a really important thing to look for, as once the coffee is roasted, it starts to oxidise. Usually around 3 months is the optimum time to drink coffee.

The Roast Date is printed on the bag, usually on the back or bottom.

Sippy Tip:

When making filter coffee at home we recommend you buy single origin coffee. However, for espresso, you can use either single origin or blend. 

If you ever have any doubts or questions, reach out to us and we will be happy to help you with your coffee journey!

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