The Weekly Grind: Beans
Coffee is the world’s second most valuable traded commodity, behind petroleum. We run on it, we swear by it, we’re obsessed with it.
Humans have been drinking coffee since the 15th century, but how much do we really know about it? Like wine or fine dining, coffee is an art. To truly become a coffee connoisseur you need to get to know every aspect of the brew.
With the help of Know Where Coffee, we’ve decided to break the beloved drink down in our new series, the Weekly Grind.
How does a bean’s origin affect the taste of coffee?
Three main factors affect a bean’s taste: geographic origin, processing method and bean variety.
Geographic origin is one of the most important factors affecting taste because coffee flavors vary greatly with location, climate and soil composition. For example, Ethiopian coffees tend to be rich, full-bodied and wine-like, Hawaiian coffees, like Kona, tend to be more acidic in terms of flavor and Latin American coffees are more medium bodied, fruity and floral.
Green coffee beans can be processed washed or unwashed. Washed coffees remove the cherry before the bean is left to dry, while unwashed coffees have their beans removed from the cherries after drying. Unwashed coffees often come from Africa and Indonesia and have richer, earthier flavors. Washed coffees often come from Latin America and are smoother and fruitier.
Beans come in two different varieties: arabica and robusta. Arabica coffee beans, which Know Where Coffee uses, are more ubiquitous and generally regarded as superior in quality to robusta. Robusta beans are easier to grow and are often used in instant coffee. (Have we mentioned you should ditch your Keurig yet?)
Know Where Coffee rotates their menu every three weeks to not only highlight the difference between coffees in the same country, but the special traits derived from different farms through their unique processing and growing techniques. It’s a fantastic way to maintain fresh coffee for optimal brewing and showcase roasters and their new origins. Stop by and experiment with the different options! Stay tuned for next week’s java lesson.
Stay caffeinated, Gainesville.