Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Myth 2: Freezing Coffee Beans will prolong their Freshness

I generally recommend against freezing or even refrigerating coffee beans. I have yet to see any evidence or explanation about how freezing coffee would delay staling of the coffee. In addition, it creates the risk of condensation on the beans as well as exposing the coffee to large changes in temperature, which can be destructive on its own.
So how should you store coffee beans? If we are talking about fresh coffee that will be used up quickly, within a week or two, then no special measures are really needed. Because freshly roasted coffee slowly releases CO2 over the first couple of weeks, it does a pretty good job of protecting itself against oxidation, the main culprit of staling. Keep it out of the sun and away from sources of heat and you should be good. If you go through your coffee slowly, say only drinking on weekends, I generally advise the use of mason jars, which are relatively cheap, air tight and easy to clean. The smaller the jar the better. I have found the half-pint jar hold just enough coffee for a medium-sized pot of coffee.
Enjoy your daily cup of coffee
Harry and Colin

Thursday, 9 August 2012

From Tree to the Cup

Coffee travels a long way before reaching your coffee mug.

            Here are some interesting coffee facts:

            It takes three-to-four years for a coffee seed to grow into a tree that produces coffee beans.

            Seeds are first planted in nurseries.  Six months to one-year later, seedlings are transplanted to open fields. Workers must prepare the planting ground for the small seedlings by loosening and grading the soil.

            Approximately two-and-a-half years after transplantation, the trees begin to flower and the flowers produce a small fruit known as a coffee cherry.  In the center of each cherry are two green coffee beans.

            Coffee plants grow best where there is plenty of rainfall at certain times of the year and thrive in a  well-drained, rich, volcanic soil.  The plant does not like sudden changes in temperature, and frost can severely damage or kill it.

            During harvest, coffee cherries are hand picked. It takes approximately 2,000 cherries—4,000 beans—to produce one pound of roasted coffee.

            After being husked, sorted and bagged, the green coffee beans are shipped from the countries where they were grown to the countries where they will be manufactured and consumed.
            Manufacturing involves the roasting and grinding of the coffee beans, or the production of instant coffee. Once manufacturing and packaging are completed, the coffee is ready for the consumer.

            The leading coffee producing countries of the world are Brazil and Colombia. The United States imports and consumes more coffee than any other country


Harry & Colin

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Myths about Coffee

Myth 1: Darker Roasters Have Bolder Flavor
There is a rather pervasive myth about coffee that I hear on almost daily basis, namely that the darker the roast the stronger the brew. The truth is that there are two different and sometimes competing flavors in coffee, one inherent to the bean and the other a product of the roasting process. From a roaster’s perspective, I want to taste the coffee, not the roast. Much of what makes coffee interesting to me is in fact the complexity of the coffee, some or much of which gets lost the darker you roast, delicate flavor oils are broken down by excessive heat. Some of the boldest coffees I have ever had were light roasted.
I strongly suspect that the myth of the dark roast is driven more by market realities than consumer taste. While light roasts have a lot of flavor within the first couple of weeks of roasting, the flavor oils begin to rapidly oxidize after two weeks. By comparison, the burnt outside of dark roasted beans have a much more enduring, if less interesting, flavor that outlasts light roast coffees by months. Since most roasters can’t get their coffee beans on the shelves, much less put them in consumers hands, within a week or two of roasting, it doesn’t make much sense to sell light roasted coffees that are only really good for a couple of weeks. So, instead they sell dark roasted or artificially flavored coffees, both of which don’t reflect the beans natural depth and complexity.
Colin and Harry