Interesting to see what people know and don’t know when talking about coffee.

Initially coffee is a cherry…yes, a fruit.

In each cherry there are two (green) beans.

Cherry coffee structure

Cherry coffee structure

This can be a real surprise for a few individuals even if they are regular coffee drinkers.

In order to be able to drink coffee, these green beans need to be roasted. This will give them flavour, acidity, aroma…etc

Devon Coffee Exeter - freshly roasted coffee | hand built roaster

Devon Coffee Exeter – freshly roasted coffee | hand built roaster

But, it is also essential to make a difference between:

  • taster,
  • drinker.

It is like being a gourmet or a gourmand.

In general a “gourmet” or a taster will appreciate a brew more in depth by asking the barista the origin of the beans and whether it is a natural or washed coffee. It is more about the “degustation” and appreciating all subtleties of the crafted beverage – whether it is prepared with a chemex, aeropress or V60. This could totally be compared with wine tasting. The coffee equivalent would be a cupping session.

coffee cupping

coffee cupping

Assessing the coffee is a rather serious and important task. Not everyone has the palate for such exercise.

Coffee tasting - mouth and tongue regions

Coffee tasting – mouth and tongue regions

It is starting to happen that people or gourmet are buying coffee brewing equipments to be used when they are traveling (locally or globally) and even in their office space, because it gives them a break and of course, there is the pleasure of freshly brewed coffee in a few minutes… which can be stimulating during a long day. The only thing needed is hot water.

Aeropress coffee brewing

Aeropress coffee brewing

A coffee drinker (that’s the “gourmand“) won’t care about the origin of the beans. He/She just wants a hot drink quickly …not even being fussy if the latte is on the cappuccino side or a black coffee is an americano or a filter. Maybe stereotyping, but sugar is usually added as well. Making the drink rather sweet and forgetting the actual taste and nuances.

Drinking coffee is overall a great experience because each coffee is different according to its origin without forgetting the way it is processed and then roasted.

It can be seen as a complicated world especially if you step for the first time into a real independent coffee shop with boards explaining what is on the menu from cup sizes to brewing methods. If you aren’t too sure just ask the person behind the counter and all can/will be explained to clarify what drink you are after.

You will certainly leave with a smile on your face because you will have learned something – it is almost guaranteed that more visits will follow.

On a final note, a drinker can become a taster too.

Cherry to coffee process

Cherry to coffee process