Brewing Coffee Manually

Better coffee. One cup at a time.

Month: January 2015

Coffee Origins- How Geography Relates to Taste

The country and region a coffee originates from is often the most defining characteristic by which a roasted specialty coffee is labeled. Specialty coffees that are not a blend (called single origin) often distinguish themselves by the country they are from and a regional or trade name to specify where in that country the coffee was grown. Most of the time a roaster will put a few flavor descriptors about the coffee profile.

Side Note: If your coffee is solely described as being “Pure Arabica beans,” you can usually translate this to mean “At least we didn’t use robusta.” It may be time to switch it up.

Defining a coffee by an origin country is helpful because you can get a basic sense of what to expect. While there are definitely broad distinctions that can be made by coffee growing regions, there is so much variation and other variables that impact flavor (read about coffee processing). Geographic coffee flavor profiles don’t really fit into neat little boxes. A coffee taster should certainly be able to pick out the distinctive flavors of a Sumatra coffee in a field of Central American coffees, but may not be able to single out a Mexican Chiapas from a field of Guatemalan Huehuetenangos (I certainly could not).

Because altitude, varietal, processing and origin all play an important role in coffee flavor development, you will find many differences in coffees grown in the same section of the world. There can even be some dramatic flavor swings year to year at the same farms. Keeping that in mind, I don’t recommend ever writing off a particular region of the coffee world. You should should always be willing to mix it up and try new coffees. You never know when one might surprise and delight you.

Here are some coffee regions of the world and some general flavor profiles you can expect to find with in them.

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Green Coffee Explained (In 1,652 Words or Less)

Enjoying a cup of coffee with it’s intricate flavors and comforting aromas seldom leads the average consumer down the road to wondering what all went into making such a delicious brew.

The fact of the matter is, with a misnomer like coffee bean floating around, most people don’t even know what they are drinking let alone all the delicate steps it took to process the coffee before it even arrived from origin to be roasted.

Not only is learning about what coffee is and it’s processing at origin interesting, it can shed some light on the semi-cryptic coffee lexicon and help you better understand the flavors you are tasting in your coffee and why those flavors are there in the first place.

What is coffee exactly?

Raw coffee is a small green seed that comes from a coffee tree.

The Coffea Arabica plant is a tree that grows primarily between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The coffee tree produces a cherry-like fruit that is most often called the coffee cherry. Inside of the fruit are two flat bottomed seeds that sit back to back in the center of the cherry. When the cherries are ripe they are harvested, the fruit is discarded, and the coffee seed is processed, dried, and bagged up for shipment.

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French Press Coffee- An Intro to Immersion Brewing

A simple yet delicious manually brewed coffee

Using a French press is a very popular manual coffee brewing method that most people are at least vaguely familiar with. French press or coffee press brewing is a relatively straight forward method. Like drip brewing, there are lots of variables to tinker with if you are a tinkerer.

While drip brewing is in the pour over brewing category, French press brewing is an immersion brew method. Immersion brewing methods generally utilize a larger grind size and longer brewing times. The result is typically a cup of coffee with a lot more body, but less brightness in the cup flavors.

The French press brewing method, is widely considered to be a little more simple of a brewing method. It is a little easier than most pour over techniques to control your variables and get a consistent cup of coffee. There are also far less variations and techniques associated with brewing with a coffee press.

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