Here are some things you should consider when buying coffee beans online!
Whether coffee is your morning kick-start or your afternoon pick-me-up, if you’re a one-shot or a five-cups-a-day person, you know that good coffee is one of life’s greatest joys.
Once you’ve found your favourite café, you can trust that your barista will make your coffee just how you like it, each and every cup.
But how do you bring that confidence into your home?
If you’re looking to buy coffee beans online, we’ve put together some tips to help you avoid difficult decisions and banish any chance of disappointment.
A bit of know-how can go a long way and, let’s face it, learning about coffee is never a chore.
Whether your home coffee setup is a top-end espresso machine or a straightforward filter system, and whether you have a grinder at home or need to order pre-ground coffee, sit back and we’ll have you buying coffee online like a veteran in no time.
Freshness of the coffee seriously matters
It’s tempting to assume that roasted coffee is a stable product, but like any food or drink, it's best consumed fresh.
Roasted coffee begins to stale as it's affected by exposure to heat, light, oxygen and moisture.
The good news is that our packaging offers benefits like one-way valves and airtight tins to minimise these negative effects.
This means that the clock starts ticking on your freshly roasted, online ordered coffee only once you open the bag and breathe in those glorious coffee aromas.
It’s also good to remember that whole beans are more stable than ground coffee. Once opened, whole beans retain their optimum flavour for four to six weeks.
Ground coffee is best consumed within a couple of weeks of opening. Once open, reseal the remaining coffee so it has minimal contact with air – preferably in its original packaging - and store it in a spot protected from heat, direct light and any strong odours, like the back of a dark cupboard.
Ideally, coffee is not kept in the fridge as cold is as detrimental as heat, but beans can be kept in a frost-free freezer.
However, you do need to make sure the beans come to room temperature before grinding and using them.
We usually assume that buying in bulk is cost-effective and time-saving, but this mantra does not apply when shopping for coffee online. Only buy amounts that you’ll be able to use during the window of optimum freshness.
That can mean ordering smaller amounts more often, and for many people. The bonus is that you’ll feel freer to experiment with different origins and blends to find your perfect brew.
You generally get 70 cups of coffee out of a 1kg bag of beans. Use this as a guideline to work out how much coffee you need.
Beans vs ground coffee
A huge advantage of buying whole beans over ground coffee is that it stays fresh for longer.
But that’s no help if you don’t have the ability to grind your own coffee.
So, the question of whether to buy beans or ground comes down to a very simple question: Do you have a grinder?
If you don’t yet own a grinder and are serious about your coffee, this is a great time to add one to your wish-list. Grinders don’t have to be expensive, so make sure you buy one that can be adjusted, allowing you to grind at a size that’s ideal for your home coffee setup.
But if you don't have a grinder, don't stress. We can custom grind your beans for you. Just select the grind rating when purchasing beans.
If you have any questions about what grind to choose, this handy guide will help.
Which brewing device should I use at home
Once you've bought beans online, the next step is actually brewing them at home.
If you don't already have equipment at home, you're in luck, as we also stock a wide range of brewing devices, starting from just $12.50.
Here's a brief overview of our most popular home brewing devices.
AeroPress: Rich, smooth and grit-free coffee. Very compact and great for use on the go. Takes 1-2 minutes to make a coffee and is super quick to clean.
Bialetti Moka Express: Uses the stovetop to produce a rich and authentic coffee similar in strength to espresso.
Hario V60: A small pourover device that uses a filter to produce a balanced cup of coffee. Easy to use and takes up no space at all in your kitchen.
Chemex: An elegant device that delivers a clean coffee full of sweetness and flavour. Portable and easy to use.
Bodum Chambord Plunger: The plunger or french press is a classic device that produces a smooth, rich and full-flavoured coffee.
Finding your ideal coffee beans online
Coffee is a complex substance and we are complex people. Put these together and it’s no wonder that what is considered a good coffee varies with cultural and individual taste.
There is a science to coffee - something good roasters have dedicated their lives to understanding - but there is also an art. You know a coffee is good when it excites your senses and you can’t wait to share it with others.
We stock over 20 blends and single origin coffees.
Blends are combinations of two or more coffees from individual countries or regions, mixed together according to a recipe. The ambition of blending is to create a coffee which is greater than the sum of its parts.
Single origins on the other hand, are coffee grown within a single known geographic origin.
We could tell you that our Espresso blend is our most popular bean, but part of the joy of loving coffee is experimenting and learning as you go. So don’t be afraid to jump in, expand your coffee knowledge and find your perfect cup!
Or let us make the decision for you, and subscribe to our Bean of the Month which is a new, premium quality, single origin bean that we offer each month.
If you live near a Merlo location, head instore to try different blends or single origins, or stock up on a new bag of freshly roasted beans.