Coffeelovers have two options regular or specialty. What is different in specialty coffee that regular one does not have and why do people care?
The journey of a coffee bean is a long and complicated one. The coffee bean goes through a number of stages during which it is ruined our tuned into a flavourful coffee. The ruined bean could turn a whole coffee container taste like bitter urine. Yes, you read it right.
Let's make it clear, in the present world; the regular coffee is just a bad quality produced coffee which lacks transparency and sustainability. As a result it gives you an unpleasant coffee experience with its bad taste and not so out-of -this-world-feeling. On the other hand, specialty coffee guarantees the quality throughout the stages of production from bean to cup.
Moreover, the specialty coffee is good for you in many ways besides its taste. You have possibly gone through studies regarding health benefits of coffee from reduced risk of various cancers, Alzheimer's, dementia to diabetes. On the other hand, drinking regular coffee can lead to worst side effects which affect your body from head to toe.
So how would you choose your coffee now? How would you know if you are having a regular or the specialty coffee? There is only one way to understand this and that is the comprehension of the production details of the coffee from its seeding to brewing.
Growth and Processing
It starts with a coffee bean, the same seed that your coffee is brewed from. Initially an unprocessed coffee bean is planted which has to be of supreme quality which has to be planted in the right time at the right place for the production of supreme quality coffee. There are two groups of coffee Robusta and Softer Arabica, but they are easy to grow. Generally, all the types of specialty coffee are produced by top quality seeds of Arabica.
After three to four years, the coffee tree gives its first fruit i.e. coffee beans which can be harvested. Generally, coffee beans are picked by hands through selective pick or strip pick. Strip picking is done quickly but it involves picking all the berries of the trees simultaneously. Selective pick is more time consuming but results are better as only the beans that are near ripeness are picked and raw beans are left.
After the stage of picking comes the stage of processing. This has to be done as quickly as possible to avoid spoilage. There are three ways to process the coffee beans, Wet, Semi & Dry
In the dry method, we spread coffee beans to dry them out into a larger surface under the sun. In the wet method, the coffee beans pulp is removed and we keep the beans to ferment in the tanks. After that we wash them with water. This is the most crucial stage of processing where most of the mistakes are made. Bad fermenting and washing can result in bad bitter taste of the coffee which cannot be removed later.
After drying the coffee beans, we separate them by weight and size. In this process, we remove all the bad colour and damaged seeds. It is important to remove the bad quality bean as it can ruin your whole coffee with adding sour vinegar like taste. After separation, the green coffee beans are kept ion sisal or jute bags to be shipped for roasting.
When the coffee beans arrive for roasting, we test them for the colour. The taster also known as the cupper details the quality. Right after visual approvals the roasting, smelling, brewing, slurping and quality test is done which is again approved by cupper to start the roasting of the rest of the beans.
We roast bean at around 230-260 degrees celsius. We keep the beans moving while they are roasted. When the inner temperature is reached to 230 Degrees, the beans' oil emerges. The beans change the colour from green to brown and the coffee beans reaches to the highest level of aroma. After the completion of the process, the beans are set to cool down through air or water. Now the beans are ready to be brewed for 2-30 days as the aroma begins to fade after that. Higher quality specialty coffee is most of the time gives excellent tastes even after the given time but the regular coffee is hopeless.
Grinding And Brewing
The beans can be bought in whole shape or we can get them grinded. Although grinded beans make a huge difference while extracting all the flavour within no time for a perfect cup of coffee. We grind the beans finer for espresso and keep them coarse for filtered brewing.
Coffee brewing is like a process in a chemistry lab. You can spend more time studying the process; however it is enough for many of us to cover the basics. Now brew the coffee with your preferred method with care and take a sip and appreciate the long journey of the perfect coffee bean.