The Best Coffee for First Time Drinkers? Here’s the Scoop

Last Updated on December 20, 2021

Coffee can be a bit intimidating for first-time drinkers. You might not know where to start, what kind of flavors you like, or if it’s just the right time for you.

Coffee has a distinctive taste as well, and add to that, coffee beans themselves can be a bit intimidating if you’re new to the world of coffee-drinking. The choices are wide and varied, the flavors rich and complex, and it might just feel like too much at times.

best coffee for first time drinkers

Luckily, there’s a coffee out there for just about everyone, a brewing method that will suit you, and a specialty drink that you can learn to call your own (with much affection!) Let’s discover the best coffee for first time drinkers.

We’re going to make it really easy for you, too, and approach this topic several ways:

  • Understanding why we drink coffee and some of the benefits
  • How to choose the perfect cup of coffee, for you!
  • How to make a great cup of coffee at home as a newbie
  • Which coffee shop drinks are best for new coffee drinkers

By the way, if you click on a link and then decide to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Why Drink Coffee? What are the Benefits?

how to choose the best coffee as a first time coffee drinker

There are health benefits to drinking coffee, my friend. Coffee can reduce the risk of heart disease, promote better mental focus, and even help you live a longer life. Granted, these benefits are only found in moderate coffee drinkers- if you’re chugging down pots of the black stuff every day, you might want to cut back a bit.

But for those of us who enjoy one or two cups a day, the benefits are great.

If you needed another reason, here are just a few:

Easier to focus: Coffee beans have caffeine, which is believed to increase concentration. If you struggle with concentrating on the task at hand, coffee might be exactly what you need.

Bolder flavor: Coffee has more flavors than you think! The acidity of your brew will be heightened, you’ll taste more richness, which can make your flavors pop. This doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily bad for you–in fact, the opposite is true!

Smooth feeling: Coffee contains magnesium and other minerals which help with muscle contraction and relaxation. It has a smoother feeling than other caffeinated beverages like cola drinks, which can have a more jolting feeling.

Coffee shops are COOL: If you’re worried about not knowing how to order, what to order, or just looking like a first-timer–don’t be! Coffee shops know that these things take time and people mature into coffee drinkers over time.

You’ll see all different kinds of people in there that you can relate to and talk to–and, if nothing else, it’s a great place to get some work done and feel like you’re part of something bigger!

How to Choose a Perfect Cup of Coffee, for You

how to make the perfect cup of coffee

Arabica vs. Robusta Coffee Beans

It helps to understand the difference between arabica and robusta coffee beans when you’re deciding which is the best coffee for a first time coffee drinker.

Robusta coffee beans are found in about 40% of coffee brands. They are strong, earthy, and a little more bitter as well as slightly higher caffeine content. These little guys are less expensive to grow and cultivate so you’ll find them in cheaper coffees.

As a new coffee drinker, arabica beans are what you’ll probably want.

When you’re looking for the best coffee for first timers, you’ll want to start with arabica coffee beans. They’re not as harsh on the taste buds, they’re lower in caffeine, and they tend to have more nuanced flavors.

They also tend to be pricier, but if you’re just trying out the coffee game, arabica beans are your safest bet. They don’t typically upset people’s stomachs and they tend to taste better because of the way they grow. Arabica coffee is grown at higher altitudes than Robusta, which affects the taste.

So, what does this mean to you as a new coffee drinker? To keep things simple, do this: look for coffee that says “100% Arabica” on the label.

What is a Good Coffee for a Beginner: Light, Medium, or Dark Roast?

As a newbie to the world of coffee consumption, which type of roast should you choose? Light, medium, or dark roast?

Granted, it’s not an exact science. You might even discover that you enjoy different roasts for different purposes- but what do you start with?

Light roast coffees are typically the mildest when it comes to flavor. They can also be a little acidic. If you want to drink coffee but just get a taste and not be overwhelmed with the bold flavors, a light roast is your option.

Medium roast coffees are the most popular roast and they have a balance of flavor and acidity. They’re not as harsh as dark roasts, but they still have more flavor than light roasts.

Dark roast coffees are the most intense in terms of flavor. They’re also the least acidic and some can have a wonderful depth to them. These are great if you drink coffee for the flavor.

You might want to choose a medium roast like one of these, and if you learn to enjoy the taste, consider moving to a darker roast.

Brewing Methods: Which is Right for You?

french press or pour over coffee

There are a few different ways to brew coffee, but the three most popular are drip, French press, and espresso. You don’t have to invest in an expensive coffee maker, either. These brewing methods are all quite budget friendly.

And, if you’re willing to try black coffee, good for you! That is the only way for me, friend. Drinking coffee can be an acquired taste, so give yourself some time to taste, sip, savor, and try again.

Of course, you can always add coffee cream or another type of coffee flavor using creamer. It’s up to you.

You’ll need to invest in some simple coffee gear to use these brewing methods, and we’ll go into more detail about each below.

Pour Over Coffee

pour over coffee vs french press

Drip brewing is easy enough for anyone to learn, simply pour water over the grounds! This method gives you a pretty balanced cup of joe with very few surprises.

The simplest and most cost effective method is to use a simple pour over coffee dripper. There are a number of choices, but a standard dripper will do quite nicely. You’ll need some coffee filters, too, as well as whole coffee beans.

Learn more about how to make pour over coffee without needing to use a coffee scale.

French Press Coffee

how to make french press coffee

French press can be intimidating- especially if you’re not used to some ‘manual labor’, but it’s a great way to get a strong, flavorful cup of coffee without investing a lot of money into coffee gear.

The press separates the grounds from the coffee, but leaves the oils from the beans on the top as well as a bit of natural sediment at the bottom of your cup. You’ll get a bit more of that intense flavor profile.

How to Make French Press Coffee

how to make french press coffee
1 | Heat the filtered water: Your water should be at about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just short of boiling. Pour a little bit of water into the press to warm it up, then discard.
2 | Grind fresh coffee beans to a coarse grind, kind of like sea salt. Remember the ‘golden rule’ of 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 ounces of water as you decide how much coffee to use. Add the freshly ground coffee beans to the French press.
3 | Pour in the water slowly, making sure that all of the grounds are completely immersed. It’s best to stir with a non-metal type spoon or stick…wood works really well.
4 | Place the plunger on the press and leave it at the top…don’t let the filter touch the water and grounds. Steep for 4 minutes.
5 | Press the plunger down slowly and evenly. Now pour yourself a delicious cup of French press coffee.

If you want to make French press coffee, you’ll need a French press carafe and a coffee grinder, as well as whole coffee beans:

Espresso Coffee

how to make espresso with a moka pot

Espresso is the most popular coffee for first timers. It’s short, strong, and can be enjoyed with milk or added to other coffee drinks.

If you want to try making an espresso-like coffee on a budget, the best way to accomplish this is with a simple moka pot. You can learn all about making espresso coffee using a moka pot here. It’s a little bit of a learning process but it makes a nice, strong cup of joe.

No matter which brewing method you choose, remember to always use fresh, quality beans! You’ll be able to taste the difference.

What is the Best Coffee Drink for Non Coffee Drinkers?

a latte is a great drink for new coffee drinkers

If you want to try drinking coffee and would prefer to purchase a coffee drink at your local coffee shop, here are a couple of suggestions. They are simple enough, easy to order, and will give you the taste of coffee that is made more subtle with the addition of steamed milk and optionally, sweeteners.

Lattes and Cappuccinos are a great place to start when you’re searching for the best coffee as a new drinker. They both include a shot of espresso as well as steamed milk.

When you order, just keep it simple and order a straight Latte or Cappuccino. That way you’ll get some of the coffee taste without other types of sweeteners.

Latte

A latte is made with espresso and steamed milk. It’s a popular choice for people who want the taste of coffee but find it too strong on its own. There is more milk in this drink and it tones down the boldness of the espresso coffee.

Cappuccino

A cappuccino is made with espresso, steamed milk, and foam. The foam should be thick and creamy- not too light and not too dense.

The difference between a latte and a cappuccino has to do with the amount of milk. Think of a latte as the lighter, milkier, more drinkable version of a cappuccino.

Once you’ve tried both coffee drinks, if you find them to be too bitter, add a flavoring (regular or sugar-free) such as vanilla, for a vanilla latte.

You can also substitute the whole milk for fat-free, soy, almond, etc.

Now that you know what to get and how to order, all that’s left is to get out there and try it for yourself. Keep this simple infographic handy (pin it!) as you learn more about coffee drinks. Visuals are so much easier to understand!

espresso coffee drinks made simple infographic

Sum It Up: Best Coffee for First Time Drinkers

So there you have it: how to choose the strength and roast of coffee, how to brew a great cup of coffee, and suggestions for ordering a coffee drink as a newbie.

Hopefully, you learn to enjoy your cup of joe as much as the millions of coffee lovers around the world!