Coffee has a lot of fans. However, not all people think about the fact that this drink can be something big.
If you decide to learn to understand coffee, to understand its varieties and methods of preparation, then this article will help you know where to start.
So, let's begin.
Beginner's Guide to Understanding Coffee
Find out the country of origin
Coffee beans produce countries that are in the so-called coffee belt of the Earth. It is located between 10 ° south and 10 ° north latitude.
There are four main coffee exporters: Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia. Since the climate, soil, altitude and cultivation technology differ in each country, the taste of the same variety will differ depending on the manufacturer.
Brazilian coffee is usually strong and has a nutty flavor. Guatemalan has a taste of flowers and spices. Indian - strong and chocolate. Kenyan gives sour and berries. You will have to find out by practical consideration which drinks from which country you like best.
After you found out about the country of origin, you can explore many different coffee shops which will make the experience more unforgettable and will even give you information on the origins, types, etc. TheDarkestRoast.com compiled an amazing list of coffee shops definitely worth checking out.
Find out what types of coffee are
There are more than eighty types of the coffee tree, and only two of them are suitable for making coffee: it is Arabica, or Arabian coffee, and Robusta, or Congolese coffee.
Arabica grows at an altitude of 600 to 2,000 meters on mountain slopes and plateaus. It has a mild flavor and aroma.
Robusta is stronger, bitter and less aromatic. It grows in equatorial forests at an altitude of 600 meters. It is used to prepare instant coffee. Also, it can often be found in blends with arabica. It is believed that the ideal proportion of grains in the mixture is 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta.
Understand the different degrees of roasting
The weaker the roasting of the beans, the harsher and sourer their taste. Dark tastes are richer and they contain less caffeine. Refried beans have a charcoal flavor. However, the taste and aroma of the drink depend not only on roasting but also on the variety. Different beans react differently to the roasting process.
Here are the main types of roasting:
- Cinnamon Roast. Light brown beans with a slight saturation of taste, pronounced sourness, and delicate bread aroma.
- Light or New England Roast. Light brown beans. Taste with pronounced sourness, but without bread notes.
- American Roast. Roasting is popular in the eastern United States and is used during professional coffee tastings.
- City Roast. Roasting is popular in the western United States, suitable for tastings.
- Full City Roast. The taste is dominated by caramel and chocolate notes.
- Vienna Roast. Sweet-bitter caramel notes, at least sour. Sometimes this roast is used for espresso.
- French Roast. Minimum sourness, burning notes. Popular roast for espresso.
- Italian Roast. Very dark brown color. The taste is more pronounced than in French roasting. Common roast for espresso.
- Spanish Roast. Almost black beans. This roast can withstand a few varieties of coffee.
Deal with grinding
There are three main types of grinding: fine, medium and large.
Fine grinding is intended for brewing coffee in Cezve. A distinctive feature of this coffee is a large amount of suspension, due to which the drink is thick and viscous.
Middle grinding is intended for coffee machines of the horn type: so that the filter holes are not blocked.
Coarse grinding is needed for a French press: the particles of beans get stuck in the grid of the French press and do not fall into the cup. Whole-ground coffee is brewed for at least six minutes.
There is a mass of traditional and alternative methods of brewing coffee.
Here are the main ones:
- Cezve. An ancient and affordable way to brew Turkish coffee. If you do not miss the moment of boiling, it turns out a thick and rich drink with foam.
- Espresso machine. Costly and automated way. The output is a good espresso, but not always as good as in coffee shops.
- Capsule coffee maker. The way for the lazy: no need to wash the coffee maker from the thick and grind coffee. The main disadvantage: capsules are expensive.
- Moka pot. A quick and affordable way to brew. The drink turns out to be like an espresso.
- French press. An economical way to brew coffee. As easy as brewing instant coffee, but much more delicious. The taste is soft, one teapot is enough for the whole company.
- Chemex. The Chemex flask-like coffeemaker is exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as an outstanding subject of contemporary design. In such a coffee machine you get a gentle coffee.
- Hario. The Japanese brewing method, similar to Chemex. The only difference is the presence of a groove for air transmission. Thanks to this coffee are obtained more fragrant.
- Aeropress. The way is similar to a french press, but thanks to the paper filter the drink is clean, without suspension. Aeropress can be taken on a hike.
Drink coffee properly
Truly good coffee does not need milk and sugar: just like aged whiskey, cola.
Do not drink hot coffee. The taste is better felt in a warm drink.
Pay attention to the texture of the drink. Coffee tight? Sweet? Have a sour taste? Or burnt?
Experiment with different roasting, varieties, producing countries, and brewing methods. Record your feelings to not forget.
How to choose beans
The packaging should contain comprehensive information about the product.
Packaging must be free from defects.
Check the date of roasting and packaging. If possible, smell the beans. Do not take more than 200 grams of beans at a time. Coffee loses aroma if it lays for a long time.
Keep in mind that beans collected in the valleys contain many times more caffeine than mountain ones.