The fact that you can now buy coffee beans, grounds and pretty much everything else coffee-related online is a Godsend – there are no two ways about it. However, there’s always been something understandably unsettling about handing over your cash without first getting to inspect the product, or even seeing it in the flesh. Sure, it’s exciting to get the parcel in the mail and rip it open to see what’s inside, but find yourself greeted with a dud and you’re in for a real headache.

That’s why anyone making the decision to buy roasted coffee beans online really should bear a few pointers in mind when doing so. After all, these are pretty precise products we’re talking about and the margin for error is somewhat slim to say the least.

Here’s a quick overview of the golden rules to follow when you buy roasted coffee beans online:

1 – Retailer Specialism

First up, it’s one thing to buy roasted coffee beans online from any old generic retailer but another entirely to buy them directly from a seasoned and dedicated coffee specialist. It shouldn’t take a genius to work out which of the two represents the safest choice – especially for those looking to take home the very best on the market. Quality beans will only ever come from sellers that know what quality beans are – these should be sought exclusively.

2 – Ethical Sourcing

Speaking of sourcing, some coffee suppliers on the web move Heaven and Earth to make sure their beans are sourced ethically and within the strictest of guidelines. By contrast, others really couldn’t care less about where their products come from which is on the whole somewhat unacceptable in this day and age. If they can’t tell you where every last bean came from, don’t buy roasted coffee beans from them!

3 – Freshness Guaranteed

It’s one thing to tell buyers your beans are fresh, but another to put your money where your mouth is. Were you to buy roasted coffee beans that were apparently roasted just prior to shipping only to find upon arrival that they’re anything but fresh, you need to know the seller will in fact do something about it. Check for roasting dates, freshness guarantees and general policies.

4 – Fast Delivery Guaranteed

And in a similar vein, it’s pointless to buy roasted coffee beans only for the beans to then take several weeks to arrive in the post – by which time they’re really no good to anyone. One of the policies that should be held in the highest regard by the seller is that of fast and reliable delivery, so accept nothing less.

5 – A Fair Returns Policy

And finally, things will inherently go wrong from time to time as it’s impossible to see what’s around the next corner. And when it does, it’s good to know that there’s a fair returns policy in place and it won’t be you yourself that’s liable for covering costly shipping charges and then made to wait weeks on end for a refund or product replacement. Fresh roasted coffee beans can be a fickle asset to say the least, so always make sure there’s a solid returns policy in place.