Archives for posts with tag: beans

A lot of coffee drinkers (not tasters) just like coffee for what it brings: energy, stimulant and comfort.

Some aren’t even aware that coffee is a fruit and before being roasted it is a green bean which has been carefully hand picked, washed, dried and selected after a strict process of harvest.

When a barista starts to speak to a customer about coffee cupping, there is sometimes this strange look as if these two people aren’t from the same planet. Coffee is more than just a dark liquid with a lovely crema!!!

Why aren’t cuppings more common and public – like wine tasting can be?!

Is it to keep something precious, unique and exclusive? Shouldn’t be new coffees be accessible to all coffee lovers?!

How to define a “coffee lover“? It is certainly not someone who:

  • adds sugar in a cup
  • likes the taste of syrup
  • wants cream and/or marshmallow
  • asks to have a flat white extra hot
  • requires chocolate sprinkles on a cappuccino
  • is after milk (hot or cold) when getting a filter
  • desires an extra hot espresso (yes…this happens).

It is not just about drinking and smelling the coffee, but TASTING it!

Coffee cupping sessions are for the time being maybe something strictly reserved to connoisseurs… There is in fact nothing arrogant/pretentious about it. It is not a cult, but a kind of serious and for some individuals a geeky meetup to analyze the intricate beauty of coffee, in order to describe the actual subtlety which makes a single origin special!

If things were better understood by the current drinkers – who would eventually become tasters – cuppings might then become a new social gathering and alternative to evenings at the pub around a pint and a packet of pork scratchings.

 

It is all about five main factors:

  • aroma
  • body
  • acidity
  • flavour
  • finish

When going to a local (and preferably) independent coffee shop there are sometimes little details which don’t seem important to us – as a customer.

Usually, we look at the board/menu to see which kind of hot drinks are available and the price (regular, large, drink-in, take-away). This is in general what matters when you are on one side of the counter and need an intake of caffeine.

However, for the barista the price for a flat white, mocha or latte is about the specific milk texture (which is a real skill) and the quality of the coffee beans. The way the bean is roasted can change the entire taste of the shot from the coffee machine.

For a lot of coffee fans, it is all about the way the hot drink looks with the nice crema on top of the espresso. This is certainly a sign of quality but the taste is another part, which shouldn’t be neglected.

Coffee roasters are playing a major part to supply “la crème de la crème” in the world of coffee shops, where the competition is high.

The beans are initially green then the process of roasting –  also called torréfaction – needs to be done carefully as you wouldn’t like to get an over-roasted and consequently burnt beans, which wouldn’t be useable.

Coffee Roasting stages

Who thought that coffee culture would become so big…especially in the United Kingdom…the country where the cup of tea is a real iconic symbol throughout the rest of the world.

As an example Origin Coffee located in Cornwall started with almost nothing in 2008.

…In 2011 our roaster is roasting 20 times more coffee than what we started off with and we’re pretty happy with that. We’ve moved in to a brand new building in Helston, we’re a team of 17 people, and we’re not yet full grown. We have direct relationships with farms we buy from and everything we sell we are 100% proud of… Source

So, the price for a brew reflects the work involved to get the right roast. This is why there are no deals or bargains in respectable coffee shops such as 2 for 1 present in some chains who buy everything in bulk from a supplier who doesn’t actually care about the quality but is just money driven.

Always remember, that quality is not cheap and of course, you can get a coffee from a vending machine, but the taste will be nothing like “the Real McCoy“.

Coffee cup with raosted coffee beans

Getting the right beans directly from the farmers/plantations will be the winner and it is not by sending an executive headhunters in Switzerland that this will happen. It is about being at the right place, at the right time and going to the source rather than working from an office on the other side of the globe.

…We visit the farms we buy from and then spend a long time roasting small coffee samples with different profiles to make sure we’re roasting our beans to get their optimum flavour…Source

Coffee facts and trivia infographicLarger version on visual.ly