For many, coffee is just a part of their morning routine, but more recently we’ve started to see a shift as people are beginning to understand and appreciate the complexity of coffee.
If you are someone who wants to grow your appreciation for coffee, keep reading.
When learning anything new, remember to have fun and don’t get overwhelmed, enjoy the journey, continue your research and taste away.
First things first. The best way to begin your coffee journey is to find a local roaster and purchase a bag of beans. If they have a coffee house, order a cup.
These are just a few questions to ask yourself, which will help identify the bean, its process and its flavor. Every step will alter the flavor of each cup.
Where was the coffee grown?
Answering this will help you know if the coffee is single origin or if it is a blend. Coffee was first grown and traded in the Arabian Peninsula and quickly journeyed to Central and South America.
Today, Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia are still the world's leading producers of coffee. The most sought-after beans are typically grown in cool to warm tropical climates. Every environment brings its own unique flavors to the beans.
How was the bean processed?
There are three ways to process a bean: dry/natural, wet or honey processed.
The dry process is the oldest method, where the red berry is dried out by the sun to produce a natural flavor. The wet process involves soaking the berry in water, which creates fermentation.
Lastly, is the honey process — more costly, because it is a cross between the dry and wet process. Both natural and the honey process leave sugar in the pulp that cover the beans and cause a metabolic change in the chemical structure of the beans. The response produces a sweetness and body in the final cup.
What is the roast level?
This is the degree to which the coffee bean is roasted. The range is from very light to very dark and ultimately affects the acidity level, which alters the flavor.
What method is used to brew the coffee?
There are many ways to brew a cup of coffee including the following: auto drip (regular coffee pot), syphon, pour over, espresso, Turkish, French press, or mock pot. If you are just starting out, I would suggest utilizing The Gabi or Chemex to make a proper pour over.
What are the flavors/notes of the coffee?
Fun fact: There are least 75 uniquely identified flavors and yes, rubber is one. For help with this, locate a coffee wheel online.
The only way to find this part out is by drinking coffee black! Yes, I said black. If you are scared of black coffee, give it a shot and in time you may change your mind.
Smell the coffee, slurp (to aerate and allow your tongue to register the taste) and locate the flavors.
Now, it’s your turn to begin your coffee journey starting out with these local retailers:
• Café Smitten- Counter Culture Coffee
• Rig City Roasters
• Umaga Cafe