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Tips on how to buy coffee

Coffee is a daily staple for many people, but this everyday drink is far from simple. You'll find a wide variety of types to choose from, each with its own distinct flavor profile. You can order a wide range of coffee products online through Instacart for convenient same-day delivery. 

Your primary options when you're purchasing coffee are Robusta and Arabica. Arabica coffee has a smooth taste that's slightly acidic, while Robusta coffee offers a stronger and more bitter flavor profile. The level of roast plays a big role in your coffee's flavor as well. Coffee beans that are only lightly roasted have a lighter flavor that's usually less bitter. The longer beans are roasted, the bolder and more bitter the flavor. A dark roast has a deep, caramelized flavor.

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FAQs About Coffee

Unopened, a bag of ground coffee can last 3 months past the sell-by date. Once opened, ground coffee can sit for 1-2 weeks. Ground coffee stored in the freezer can last for up to 5 months. Whole roasted coffee beans will last for 2-6 months—store coffee beans in a cool, dark location. Use opaque packaging to protect the beans from sunlight. An airtight seal is best to keep all moisture out.

Coffee beans degrade when exposed to oxygen. Ground coffee beans degrade faster because there's a greater surface area that's exposed to the air. Light causes the beans to go stale, and heat will start to leach away some of the flavors. To get the best flavor from your coffee, use fresh beans and grind them just before brewing the coffee. Once brewed, coffee can start to taste stale after just 30 minutes. 

Buying whole beans won't typically save you money on your coffee, but it will improve the flavor. Pre-ground coffee can begin losing its flavor in just 20-30 minutes. Whole coffee beans will last longer than ground coffee, so you'll have a lower risk of throwing out coffee that's gone stale. If you don't mind doing the extra work of grinding the beans yourself, you'll get a better cup of coffee for the money when you start with whole beans.

If you're a coffee connoisseur looking for the best flavors, roasting your own coffee may be a very worthwhile endeavor. When you roast the coffee yourself, you'll get the very freshest flavors. Roasting the beans yourself gives you greater control over the flavor complexity and caffeine level. You can choose a complex lightly roasted flavor, an earthy medium roast, or a smoky caramelized dark roast. Lightly roasted coffee beans contain the most caffeine, while darker roasts have slightly less.

You can roast a small batch of coffee beans in 10-13 minutes, and you can roast up to 2lbs of coffee in 20-30 minutes. You should wait at least five days to grind your coffee after roasting it. If you prefer a quicker method of coffee prep, you may want to purchase coffee that's already been roasted instead.

Refrigerating coffee will help preserve its flavor. You can keep coffee in the fridge for up to a week. While you can reheat cold coffee, you'll get the best flavor by enjoying it chilled. If you'd like your brewed coffee to last even longer, you can freeze it in an airtight container and keep it for up to two months. You can also try making ice cubes from coffee. Add these to your refrigerated coffee for an iced coffee that won't get diluted as the cubes melt.

Reheating your coffee in the microwave will change its flavor profile. The microwave breaks down the aromas and flavors, which will leave you with a subpar brew. Microwaved coffee will typically taste bitter and acidic because the reheating process encourages more Quinic and Caffeic acid. If your stomach is bothered by coffee, microwaved coffee will probably upset it worse than a fresh cup. It's generally better to make your coffee in small batches so you can enjoy it fresh without microwaving it. You might also consider drinking cooled coffee over ice, so you'll get better flavor from it.

If you're running low on coffee, you can have coffee delivered through Instacart in as little as 2 hours. Get started with the Instacart app or webpage now!
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