A Coffee Primer

coffee_primerAs part of my project to learn more about coffee I’ve assembled a simple bulleted list of what I consider to be the basics. Now I never have to wonder about the differences between dark roast vs. light roast (dark is sweeter with less caffeine) or the difference between a latte and a cappuccino (espresso-to-milk balance).

This should take less than three minutes to finish, and when you’re done you’ll be a Level 1 coffee geek, which means you’ll know more than the average coffee snob, but without the attitude.

Basics

coffee_berries

coffee_trees Wikipedia.org

coffee_molecule Wikipedia.org

  1. Picking the berries (usually by hand)

  2. Sort by ripeness and color

  3. Remove the flesh of the berry (think grapes)

  4. Ferment the seeds (called coffee beans) to remove the layer of plant mucous (mucilage) on them

  5. Dry them. This used to be done by laying them on concrete in the sun and raking them, but now it’s mostly done by hot-air blowers

  6. Roasting dries the bean out and and makes it much larger. Roasting starts when the core of the bean reaches around 200C. Roasting causes caramelization as the starches in the bean become sugars, which gives the dark brown color. Caffeine is lost during roasting, but an essential oil is created, called caffeol, that is largely responsible for a coffee’s flavor

Wikipedia.org

  1. Get a fresh batch of your favorite coffee in its whole bean form, i.e. not ground yet
  2. Grind it yourself using a high-quality conical burr grinder
  3. Combine 70g of grounds of your coffee per liter of filtered water into a quality French Press
  4. After combining the water and coffee, use a chopstick to briefly whisk them together. Nothing extreme, a few good swipes. Just make sure full uniform contact is made.
  5. Brew for four (4) minutes with no lid on the press. You'll notice a "bloom" forming.
  6. At the four minute mark, skim the bloom off with a spoon, trying to get as much as possible, but not stressing it too much
  7. Put the lid on and pour.

Drinks

Wikipedia.org

This primer is a work in progress, so if you have any corrections or ideas for what should be included, please let me know. ::

Links

[ Coffee | wikipedia.org ]
[ Coffee Guide | coffeeguide.com ]
[ List of Coffee Beverages | wikipedia.org ]
[ French Presses | wikipedia.org ]
[ Coffee Recipes | cooksrecipes.com ]
[ Coffee Geeks | coffeegeeks.com ]



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