The Coffee Lover’s Guide to Decaf Coffee

Coffee has over a thousand different compounds in it, the most well-known of which is caffeine. While many consider caffeine a desirable stimulant (and sometimes the only reason to drink coffee), a significant number of people can’t have or don’t want to have caffeine. That’s where decaffeinated coffee comes in, of course.

Here’s a look at what qualifies coffee as decaffeinated, how decaffeinated coffee is made and perhaps the most important question of all — do you really want to drink the stuff?

Read moreThe Coffee Lover’s Guide to Decaf Coffee

Different Coffee Roasts: From Light to Dark

We all have our preferences when it comes to coffee. Some of us love our single-origin coffees meticulously brewed with a pour-over, while others prefer a classic milk-based espresso drink such as a cappuccino or latte. But there’s one thing that has a huge impact on the flavor of our favorite coffee before it ever hits our cup: roasting.

Before it’s roasted, coffee doesn’t look, smell, or taste anything like the coffee that we drink. After it’s picked from the fruit (yes, coffee is a fruit) and processed, coffee starts as a green bean that is soft, spongey, and smells a bit like grass. It’s the heat introduced during the roasting process that causes chemical changes within the beans and ultimately creates the coffee that we know and love.

Read moreDifferent Coffee Roasts: From Light to Dark

Coffee Flavor Profiles by Region

If you ever buy single origin coffee, either at your local coffee shop or from the grocery store, you might be a little lost when it comes to choosing your coffee based on country. Should you stick with the classic, full-bodied coffee from Colombia? Or should you try the exotically fruity Ethiopian coffee that the barista recommended? Does it even make a difference?

Believe it or not, it does.

Coffee is grown in more than 50 countries around the world. Thanks to regional differences in factors such as altitude, climate, soil, and processing methods, each country produces unique coffees with very distinct characteristics. Some countries produce smooth, chocolatey sweet coffees while others produce bright, intensely fruity coffees. Coffees from one country could have a thick, syrupy mouthfeel while others are so thin that they’re almost tea-like. The possible combinations are endless.

Read moreCoffee Flavor Profiles by Region

How to Taste Coffee

If you’ve been in a coffee shop lately, you’ve probably seen a menu with coffee that has “amazing notes of blueberry with bright acidity and a clean finish” or “hints of milk chocolate and apple with a jasmine aroma and a syrupy mouthfeel”. And unless you’re a professional barista, these highly detailed descriptions likely left you either feeling confused, left out, or just flat out convinced that the barista is a liar. But the truth is that, believe it or not, you really can taste all of these things (and more) in just a single cup of coffee.

Read moreHow to Taste Coffee

What Is Single Origin Coffee? Everything You Need to Know

“Is this a coffee shop or geography class? Why are there so many countries listed?”

If you’ve been inside a coffee shop lately, you’ve likely asked yourself some variation of these questions. It probably happened when the barista asked for your preferred origin of coffee beans — Brazil, Ethiopia, or Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, your knowledge of coffee descriptors extends only to terms like ‘dark roast’ or ‘breakfast blend,’ so you just took whichever one was cheapest. I mean, what is the origin of coffee anyway?

Your barista wasn’t giving you a pop quiz. Those countries listed on the menus of your local coffee shops describe different single origin coffees.

Single origin is a term that has become increasingly popular recently. Today, you seemingly can’t even walk into a coffee shop without hearing the term.

Read moreWhat Is Single Origin Coffee? Everything You Need to Know

Why You Should Ditch Your Cold Brew for Japanese Iced Coffee

I remember a few years ago when a small coffee shop near my house started carrying cold brew coffee. I heard about it from a friend who told me that, as a coffee lover, I absolutely had to try it.

Soon enough, people everywhere were swapping out their boring iced coffee for this artisanal beverage. Cold brewed coffee was special because it took hours to make and it removed a lot of the undesirable characteristics of the usual iced coffee. It was a fresh take on the stale taste of traditional iced coffee.

But if you’re one of the many people, like me, who just don’t think cold brew coffee is all it’s cracked up to be, fear not. Japanese iced coffee might be just what you’re looking for.

Read moreWhy You Should Ditch Your Cold Brew for Japanese Iced Coffee

Japanese Vs. American Siphon Coffee Brewing Methods

Equal parts science and artful craft, brewing coffee with a siphon brewer turns an otherwise simple task into an immersive experience. The devices themselves are often sleek, yet scientific looking. The contrast of metal and glass makes it look like something out of a chemistry lab. And if you’ve ever been to one of the many cafes that have adopted siphon brewing, you know that the brewing process is a spectacle on its own. 

The siphon brewer first gained real traction in America a few years ago when Blue Bottle dropped some serious money on a siphon bar for one of their cafes. The siphon bar was bought and shipped all the way from Japan, adding a sense of mystique and exotic luxury to the purchase. This helped to solidify the idea of the siphon as a brand new Japanese coffee brewing concept being brought to America. But this was never the case.

Read moreJapanese Vs. American Siphon Coffee Brewing Methods

Immersion vs. Drip Coffee Brewing

french press coffee maker

When learning the ropes of coffee or comparing different brewers, you hear a lot about the difference between drip and immersion brewers. Some people prefer the body of an immersion brew or the clarity from a drip brew.

But what does it all mean? Isn’t coffee just coffee? Is the process really more complex than hot water + ground coffee? Yes. Yes it is.

But that’s OK! It doesn’t have to be as complex as it sounds. Just like there is more than one way to cook a steak, there’s more than one method of brewing coffee. And if you’ve made coffee before, you’ve already utilized one method already. Maybe even both!

For the sake of learning, let’s take a look at the differences between the two primary methods of brewing coffee.

Read moreImmersion vs. Drip Coffee Brewing

5 Home Coffee Brewing Mistakes to Avoid

5 home coffee brewing errors

Every day, millions of us go through a daily ritual of preparing our morning cup of coffee. For some of us, it’s a sacred process of getting us the quality coffee we deserve. For others, it’s strictly about finding the fastest way to get that sweet, sweet caffeine into our bodies.

Regardless of which group you fall into, you’re likely to make a mistake along the way, whether due to sleep deprivation or ignorance. Unfortunately, those little mistakes in brewing your coffee can have a massive impact. Take a look and see if you’re making these 5 coffee mistakes that could be sabotaging your brew. Fix ‘em and you’ll be on your way to a better cup in no time.

Read more5 Home Coffee Brewing Mistakes to Avoid

What Affects the Taste of your Coffee Brew?

What affects the taste of your coffee brew

Learn how to get that barista-crafted flavor from your home brew

It’s the most frustrating part of the journey to better coffee. You purchase a bag of coffee from your favorite local roaster (hopefully), grind it up, brew it, and… it’s just not the same. Did they sell you the wrong beans? Is your equipment not fancy enough? Is the barista a wizard? All of these very valid questions arise as you try to figure out where you went wrong.

Fortunately, there are other possible reasons for your less-than-stellar brew. Coffee is one of the most chemically complex foods that we consume, and the process from farm to cup isn’t much different. By the time you purchase your bag of coffee, the farmer, roaster, and barista have all done their part. Now, it’s up to you, the consumer, to do yours.

Read moreWhat Affects the Taste of your Coffee Brew?