More than half of Americans who are 18 years and above drink coffee every day as they go about their daily business. Today, in the U.S, most people are working longer hours and taking even more than two side jobs to stay afloat in the tough economy. Thanks to coffee, Americans with such packed schedules can show up to work on time, with a smile on the face, and remain productive all through. If you are a coffee-lover, then you already know that coffee comes in different qualities, and it is all ingrained in the coffee beans.

As such, it all comes down to the quality of coffee beans you purchase. You could use the best brewing methods and techniques, but without quality coffee beans, you will be running in circles, and your coffee will never cut it. However, with the limited time at consumers’ disposal, it is becoming physically impossible to go shopping for coffee beans, and people are now buying coffee beans online.

Purchasing coffee beans online is more doable as you only need a few minutes on your phone or computer to make an order. Online coffee shops allow you to order any of the three main types of coffee, Arabica coffee, Robusta coffee, and Coffea liberica. Nonetheless, ordering coffee beans online means that you don’t get to physically see the coffee beans before purchasing. This can be a limitation if you do not trust the online store and also if you do not know much about coffee.

However, you should not sweat it as you can use the following tips to ascertain quality when you are buying coffee beans online.

1. Check the Type of Roast of Coffee Beans

The main types of roast are light, medium and dark roast. The roast type is mostly indicated on the packaging. Of the three types, dark roast is the cheapest and of the lowest quality too. Dark roast coffee beans are easy to identify by physically looking at them because they are oily and dark-black. Since it is not possible to see or touch the coffee beans online, the packages are usually labeled, ‘dark roast’, for you to know what you are buying. Some online coffee shops may also include the images of the coffee beans, and you can see the appearance and tell if they are dark roast or not.

Most online coffee shops sell medium roast coffee as espresso roast. When you see espresso roast indicated on the label, it means the coffee beans are medium roast. This type has much more quality coffee than dark roast and also costs more. Light roast is often more expensive and online stores also label it as filter coffee.

2. Check the Roast Date

Fresh coffee beans make much more coffee quality and you should, therefore, check the roast date before you buy coffee beans online. As coffee beans have a longer shelf-life, most people hardly check the roast date when ordering online. This should not be the case, as the more fresh beans you order, the better the quality of coffee you will make. However, some coffee beans make better coffee when they are much older. Ultimately, it depends on your personal taste and preference. Whether you prefer older or fresher coffee beans, you should check the labeling, for the roast date before you order coffee beans online.

3. Choose Between Whole Beans and Ground Coffee

If you prefer to brew coffee on your own, you should go for the whole beans as they will give you a more quality taste of coffee. Most people ordering online prefer to buy whole beans as they enjoy the brewing process involved. You can, however, order ground coffee online if you prefer a far much easier and quicker process of making your coffee.

When buying coffee beans online, also remember to check the reputation of the roaster. For the best roasters, their reputation precedes them, and you will not miss them when shopping for coffee beans online. If you are new in town, you can always ask a coffee-drinking friend to recommend the most trusted coffee shops in Knoxville, Tennessee.