Choosing a coffee is one of the delightful challenges of home espresso brewing. Although the subtlest of distinctions among single-origin coffees are lost in dark-roasting, the rich diversity of espresso-suitable coffees now available presents the espresso drinker with a fascinating arena for experiment and connoisseurship.
Coffee suitable for espresso brewing can be purchased in four forms: pre-ground in cans; as pre-ground, pre-packed single servings called “pods”; whole bean in cans and bags; and whole bean in bulk.
Buying whole beans in bags or bulk offers the espresso drinker by far the greatest number of blends and single-origin coffees from which to choose. For the true aficionado, there also is the alternative of buying coffee green and roasting it at home. Home roasters can assemble a veritable cellar of fine coffees, since in its green state coffee keeps rater well.