Click to enlargeGuide to Purchasing Good Coffee

Coffee is one of our favorite legal addictions. The rich scent, fullbodied flavor, and jolt of caffeine that everyone from paralegals to poets rely on to jump start their morning. The best coffee is made from freshly roasted, freshly grounded beans. If you're buying coffee in the supermarket, check the bottom of the bag for the date the coffee was roasted or at least check the expiration date. Trust your senses, good coffee beans look and smell appetizing.

Determine what kind of coffee you enjoy: mild or full-bodied, floral-tasting, nutty or winy, less acidity, and so on. Learn about the different coffee-growing regions and which varieties are highly regarded. Discover which regions produce coffee that matches your taste. Most coffee is grown in Latin America, Africa, and Indonesia.

Determine your roasting preference. Different roasters treat their coffee to lighter or darker roasts. "French roast" and "Italian roast" are two terms for darkly roasted coffee, although the actual beans aren't specified. French Roast results in a full-flavored dark bean. Italian Roast is usually medium dark. Anything lighter is usually identified simply as medium or light roast. You can choose Dark Roast for bold and intense tastes, or Medium Roast for lighter tastes. Store your coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you plan to not use your coffee beans within a week, or ground coffee within a few days, then store your coffee in the refrigerator (not a freezer!). For the best taste result, invest in a coffee grinder, buy fresh roasted beans from a reliable and knowledgable source, and grind your beans at home right before brewing them.

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