Coffee...It's Brew Time

November 16, 2016

Some describe it as "a hot cup of your personality" to others its a case of being an O.C.D ( Obsessive Coffee Drinker). Wherever you sit on the spectrum, there is always going to be a right way to drink coffee, so lets dive in and get grinding.

 

A cup of coffee is 98% water. It’s the remaining 2% where the magic happens. Just like wine, there are many myths, tips, tricks and dare I say rules as to how to create a perfect cup of coffee.

 

A true coffee perfectionist would use filtered or bottled water, not tap. Brewing coffee only ever on demand - never letting it sit in on a hot plate or heated jug. The flavour is literally damaged as the water molecules agitate the coffee, giving rise to weak or burnt flavours in the finished product. 

 

Never add boiling water to coffee; ensure that the water is several degrees below boiling point or the sudden intense heat will damage the beans.

 

Aside from a full espresso machine, a Cafetiere provides some of the richest coffee available at home. Use dark roast beans, following the rule of two scoops coarse ground coffee per person. 

 

A mainstay in Italian homes, stove-top espresso makers could not come more highly recommended. Quick and easy, yet require the finest ground beans for optimum results. 

 

Coffee cups should be warm, but not hot, and filled to only two thirds capacity. 

 

 

HOME BASICS

Beans: to keep coffee fresh at home, buy beans and, if possible, grind only as you need them. Find a good coffee merchant who can tell you when and where the beans were harvested and roasted. 

 

Grinding: A good grinder is essential at home, bad grinding is the quickest way of ruining your coffee. Grinders will allow you to “grind on demand” and give you the freshest taste possible. 

 

Storage: Store your coffee in a dark, air-tight container. Oxygen and light will ruin the flavour ( a beans flavour will dissipate after ten days at room temperature). Store in a fridge for consistent temperature and freshness. 

 

 

Decaf Decoded 

Decaf or as some call it a "Depresso" due to its lack of kick, does have its place. For people with insomnia or on certain medications, this is the only way they can continue to enjoy a cup of coffee. So how is it made? And is it good for you? 

 

There are TWO main decaffeination processes; 

(Beans Following Water Decaf Process) 

 

[1]  Water-Processed: The beans are steamed and soaked in water vats, removing both caffeine and flavour. The liquid is then drained away, the caffeine removed and the beans resoled in the flavoured liquid. This is the most effective way of removing caffeine but also removes the most flavour. 

 

[2] Chemical-Processed: Decaf Coffee made using this method tastes far superior than other methods as more of the flavour is left intact. Some sight issues of contamination from the chemicals used, however studies suggest the levels of chemicals found in the drinkers cup are minimal and safe. 

 

World of coffee

 

 

Caribbean: 

Mild and sweet, the finest being from the island of Jamaica and its famous Blue Mountains. Rich and flavourful. Also very expensive at over £55 for a 500g bag of beans. The personal favourite of Ian Fleming and his creation James Bond. 

 

 

 

Central America:

Costa Rican beans, legend says, are all descended from a single tree imported by explorer Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu in 1723. Praised for there balanced sweetness and acidity 

 

 

Kenya:

More acidic than most, grown at altitude giving them a very full flavour. Kenyan coffee is regarded as being of consistently high quality. 

 

 

South America:

Perhaps the most famous region. The areas of Brazil and Columbia are regarded as consistently excellent who's beans are rich and sweet. Often thought of as “safe”, these are not the most exciting coffees available. 

 

 

 

 

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