Although espresso has a narrow place within the coffee world, narrowness shouldn’t be confused for uniform. There are multiple ways to pull an espresso shot, with the standard shot merely being the most common. One other alternative is the lungo.
Coffee is delicious on its own, but it can often taste even better when paired with the right food. A good pairing can bring out aspects of the coffee that otherwise are understated, and it’ll also highlight desirable flavors in the food. The result is a richer combination of flavors that results in greater enjoyment.
If you aren’t confident in pairing coffee with food, here’s how to go about finding successful pairings and several suggestions to get you started. Hopefully, both the common and the less conventional pairings mentioned below will open up another world of coffee for you.
Coffee cuppings are used throughout the coffee industry to identify the qualities and characteristics of different coffees, and they’re also able to be set up at home. If you’d like to taste coffee like a professional, here’s how to set up a home cupping.
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?
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.