We all love coffee...the wonderful aroma when grinding it, brewing and of course, drinking it! So much goes into this seemingly simple morning ritual that it would take pages to explain the long and arduous process that happens in order for us to enjoy this magical beverage.
For starters, did you know that a coffee bean is actually a seed? It is the seed of the coffee cherry. Depending on the variety of coffee tree, it will take on average three to four years for the new trees to bear fruit. Each cherry usually contains two seeds (coffee beans). When the cherries are ready, there are different ways to harvest them, either by hand or by machine. Most large coffee companies likely use machine harvesting because it is faster. The problem with this method is that it "sweeps" by and takes everything else along with the cherry. I'm talking bugs, leaves and unripe fruit. When you choose a coffee that is harvested in this way, the coffee will not taste very good because the beans are not all picked at their peak of flavor. On top of that, machine harvesting takes away from the small farmers that are selectively picking the cherries.
The preferred method is coffee beans that are hand-picked. Why? Because the cherries are harvested at the peak of flavor, leaving the unripe ones behind. This type of harvest is much more labor intensive than the huge machine harvesters. And yes, there is definitely a noticeable difference in your cup. The aroma, flavors and especially the tasting notes come through. Your morning jolt is much more flavorful when the beans are harvested at peak flavor.
Once they go through the process of drying, grading and sorting, they will be ready for roasting. Roasting the green coffee brings out all the complex aromas and chemical transformations within the bean. A great roaster knows when the beans are at their peak flavor. A medium roast really brings out the nuances of that particular bean. When the beans are roasted too dark, it hides all those beautiful characteristics. So, that explains why the companies that choose not to hand pick their beans almost always have a very dark roast. Because the darker the roast, the more it masks the flavor! The medium roast will bring out the best flavor in the bean before it gets over roasted.
When the coffee beans finally complete the process, the next step should be the delivery right to your door! You do not want beans that have been sitting on the shelf for a very long time because keeping your coffee fresh is essential for a perfect cup. Actually, the freshest coffee is achieved by grinding your beans right before using them. Our coffees are roasted to order, so they arrive at peak flavor, ready for your enjoyment! Once you get your coffee home, it's time to decide how you would like to enjoy it. Some love a good pour over, Chemex or French press, while others like classic drip. Did you know that different grinds are used depending on how you plan on brewing your coffee?? If not, stick around!
In the coming months we will be sharing lots of coffee tips! What types of grinds to use for the coffee you want to drink, coffee recipes and storage tips. We will also continue the exciting journey from bean to cup, exploring the different drying methods that are used.
Til then, enjoy life, one cup at a time!