The Type of Bean
There are two basic coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is the good, flavorful stuff. Robusta, not so much. "Robusta really didn't even become marketable until there was a coffee blight, a big, massive worldwide scourge," says Sinnott. At the time, Robusta was a wild plant but you can now find it in most instant coffees. However, there might be a reason to shop specifically for Robusta: It has twice as much caffeine as Arabica.