How to read a coffee label?

by Ghostbird Coffee on June 09, 2021

What does it all mean? How do I read the information on it?


In today's blog, we’re talking about the coffee label! So how does a coffee label help you make a decision in buying a coffee which you may like? Let’s  talk about the few major elements of a coffee label which will help you make a more informed purchase the next time around.

The Company Logo

In most cases, the first thing you’ll immediately be drawn into is the logo or the name of the brand on the label. This basically tells you who is responsible for bringing in the green coffee, roasting, packaging and getting it to you in your homes. A lot of these labels will either be colour coordinated to fit a theme or a particular logo design which has grown and evolved over time to fit the narrative of today’s society ( take Starbucks as an example, they have been in the market since 1971, and see how much they have changed! ).

Fun fact, did you know that for us at Ghostbird, our logo is actually a reference to an eye of an Owl, in which it also ties in with the name of our company. 


The Coffee Name

The second thing you will probably notice is the name of the coffee, whether it be the name of a blend or the name of the single origin coffee itself. For most of the coffee roasting companies out there, the name may be a specific term in the industry which looks to invoke a certain feeling, memory, or sensation when drinking your cup of coffee.

However, for single origin coffees typically the name of the coffee highlights either the country of origin or the name of the coffee farm producer. In the case of our coffee blends, we have tapped into the galaxy  theme and elements to our coffee’s such as the Milkyway, Gemini, Aurora and Moonwalker blends.


It’s Origins

Thirdly, In our coffee blends, you will notice that we have two or more unfamiliar names or words on a label, this typically means the company has  combined a mix of beans from different origins that makes up the flavours of the coffee. An example would be a combination of Brazil Caldas Royale and an Indonesian Sumatran Gayo for our Milkyway Blend.

However, for our Single Origin coffees we have chosen to highlight the name of the farm and the town that it originates from such as our new coffees like Peru, La Union or Kochere Banco Gotete as seen on our stickers here. Typically, beans of different origins will carry distinct or pronounced coffee notes such as chocolaty notes from Brazil or fruity and floral notes of an African coffee. Today, with the technological advances within the coffee industry, one would be surprised to find flavours that are uncommon to the country of origin as more and more unique coffees can be found in the market.

How is it made?

Fourth, the next thing you may notice is the coffee process. This is actually how the coffee seed or bean or also known as cherry is processed in order to remove the fruit of the coffee for us to then roast them. Primarily, there are three different coffee processes to which they are the Washed, Honey and Natural process. The Washed process means the flesh of the coffee is quickly washed off and is then placed on a raised surface to quickly dry the seeds of the coffee. Coffee of this process is known to have a cleaner and clearer flavour. The Natural process is when the coffee bean is then picked, clean and left to dry with the flesh still intact, this is done so the flavours of the flesh is able to then infuse with the seed which will impart deep fruit like flavours like strawberries or blueberries. This will come across as a more wine-like flavour to their coffee. Lastly is the honey process, this process is a combination of the two processes whereby the skin of the fruit on the cherry is removed and is then left to dry, over time the flesh will get sticky which results in it looking and feeling like honey. The coffee will then develop a clean cup like a Wash process with the intense and deep flavours one would normally associate with a natural process.


Final Thoughts!

So as a coffee drinker who is either a casual drinker or a full on coffee enthusiast, understanding and knowing what your coffee label means is a great skill to have simply because as we steer away from traditional shopping to e-commerce shopping we would like to be able to make better choices when purchasing our coffee.

For those who buy coffees online, What are your thoughts when purchasing coffee online? We would like to know what you are looking for when making your coffee purchases?