But there really is a reason for the snobbery. Coffee beans are like grapes that are grown for wine in that the coffee beans take on the nuances of the area they are grown in. The sun, air,water, and soil play a huge roll in how the coffee not only grows, but tastes. I recently read in a magazine that coffee beans grown in Hawaii are "light, delicate, and floral with well balance acidity." The beans in Kenya are "lush with big, bold, fruitiness and complex qualities that mimic a hearty wine." I personally adore Brazilian coffee's. My favorite Brazilian Ipanema by Starbucks, is grown in a volcanic soil. The volcanic soil of Brazil gives the coffees a nutty taste with a light sweetness, and low acidity.
There is also the issue of shade grown and fair trade coffees. Shade grown is actually the traditional method of growing coffee. With coffee production at an all time high, trees have been cut down in order to plant more coffee plants. According to eartheasy.com next to tobacco, coffee is the MOST chemical sprayed product consumed by humans. When coffee is shade grown chemicals are not used on the coffee because it is usually being grown organically. The trees that are used to shade the coffee house migratory birds that, among other things, eat bugs that threaten the coffee. Another bonus of shade grown coffee is that the coffee beans mature at a slower rate, which increases the natural sugars of bean and enhances its flavor. Yummy.
Store coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Do not store beans in the fridge or the freezer as they will absorb smells, which translates int o off-tasting coffee. (been there, done that, yes the freezer does.)
Use whole beans within 2weeks of purchase.
Choose a coffee maker that brews between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. ( or buy a french press and broil the water yourself. Talk about yummy coffee!)
Grind according to your type of coffee maker.
Use very cold, filtered water fro the purest coffee flavor. (believe it or not it does make a noticeable difference.)
Use about 2Tbsp or ground coffee for each 6 to 8 oz of water, adjusting for taste.
If you would like more coffee info I have listed some sites below:
*Eartheasy.com is a site dedicated to "ideas for environmentally sustainable living."http://www.eartheasy.com/eat_shadegrown_coffee.htm
*Coffeeresearch.org is a site dedicated to coffee education. You can even look at coffee info by region.http://www.coffeeresearch.org/
*Global Exchange is a website that is "devoted to social, economical, and environmental justice around the world." http://www.globalexchange.org/index.html
*Coffeereview.com "The worlds leading coffee buying guide"http://www.coffeereview.com/