Archives for posts with tag: flavour

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

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The coffee culture is on the rise. Coffee shops and espresso bars are the new social places to meet and work (WiFi connection being almost everywhere). There is initial a trend of people a coffee drinker maybe because of all the subtelties in the aroma and flavour?!

Drinking coffee is also a lifestyle.

You are what you drink…remember this?

In the past, there were lager, bitter and ale drinkers. The price of of pint of beer is gone through the roof. Alcohol is also restricted when you have to take the road. The new alternative being caffeine. It keeps you awake, helps to concentrate (sometimes) and is a stimulant. Overall a winner for the wallet, the well-being and finding a right balance when it comes to working positively.

Price of Pint of Beer infographic

Price of Pint of Beer infographic

But can we (or should we) categorize coffee drinkers? Let’s have a look at the most popular ones.

1/ Americano: a double shot espresso and hot water – generally black but with a dash of milk for some. Those are for the ones who are after “just a coffee” – in a hurry and willing to have that coffee hit with no hassle. It can’t go wrong.

2/ Cappuccino: foundation of a double espresso with steamed milk and that froth to end the beverage. The chocolate sprinkles are sometimes requested, because it looks good – but for a coffee gourmet this is irrelevant. A kind of long drink ideal when meeting with friends or colleagues.

3/ Latte: in other words espresso with warm and little frothy milk (way less than a cappuccino…or it would be one). This drink is generally ordered by customers who are looking for something really hot served in a mug so they can hold it too. Practical on the way to work or during lunch break to “escape” the stressful day. Rather comforting with a piece of cake or toasty.

4/ Flat white: a new comer – smaller cup with a double ristretto and just warm enough milk (not hot), delivering a smooth coffee that the client could drink instantly without any burning feeling. The milk temperature and texture being the essential factors to get the perfect flat white. Younger generations are after such recipe…some say “this is a hipster drink” – no comment on this front.

Flat white in Acme cup

Flat white in Acme cup

Coffee fans/experts shouldn’t be assimilated as snob or arrogant: they just like the drink to be made correctly according to the rules. No sugar would be added to the ordered cup. This would almost be seen as a sacrilege. As prime examples, no lemonade would be added to expensive red/white wine – no extra should alter the original aroma/taste – simple as that!

Nowadays, it seems to be the norm to ask for supplements on everything. When people purchase a bicycle they want “free” accessories added because the initial cost is high – a helmet or front & back lights will do. This pattern is also present when it comes to catering (food and drink) people want to get as much as possible bits from cinnamon to ketchup, mayonnaise…etc, even if left on the table when leaving. It is the want rather than the need. In these particular cases the “less is more” attitude should be chosen, in order to appreciate the full flavours released by the ingredients when reaching our taste buds. Quantity doesn’t win anymore…quality comes first.

A similarity when watching TV programmes related to properties: why do people want huge bathrooms or bedrooms – isn’t the living area a space to focus on?

The main and ongoing question applicable for everything: what are you expecting from a specific service/product/space?

The first words to come up: good – meaning durable, solid which is after all quality!

It is obvious that investing your cash in an estate is a serious matter – it can’t be compared with buying a daily crafted coffee – or can it? When you think that the average price of coffee is about £2.50… and if you fork out this amount 5 times a week for let’s say 11 months, the total amount dedicated to the brew could be around £550.00!

Being “addicted” to coffee requires solid finances, but it brings this unique feeling and almost privilege of belonging to a specific group of individuals who appreciate first class beans, extraction and ratio…without being too pedantic.

UK and the love for coffee - infographic

UK and the love for coffee – infographic

 Click on image for larger version

Interesting presentation about coffee culture, origin and names on a global scale.