My first experience with what was the crown
jewel of the coffee world in 2009 was a 1kg bag of green Hacienda La Esmeralda Special
Panama Geisha. It was given to me as a gift for the opening of a coffee academy
that I was manning.
The coffee was lightly scented with the aroma
of blueberries while roasting, bursting with bergamot oil upon grinding and
tasted like Earl Grey when cupped. Six years ago, this phenomenal coffee left
me yearning to dive into the world of Geisha (or gesha) coffee.
Chalo Fernandez would like to know how you’re
enjoying your cold brew on this warm summer day. A fifth-generation coffee
farmer who’s turned his family’s farm into a model for sustainability and
crop-to-cup partnerships, he frequently travels between Colombia and Canada.
Sometimes he even spots his coffees in cafés.
Yet he doesn’t have to rely on luck to know
where his coffee ends up. Direct trade closes the gap between the producer and
consumer, increasing interaction between the two. And so he can trace his beans
to the very bottles of cold brew hitting Canadian shelves today.
First of all, we need to clear one thing up.
We’re talking about roast dates, but that alone won’t let you know if the
coffee’s any good.When buying food, you look for the freshest items. Of course,
you check the best before date. Then there are the visual cues: the firmness of
an avocado, the bruising on an onion, the redness of a fish’s gills. Yet to
find out how good the food really is, you need to serve it up to eat.
The same principle applies with coffee. Never
judge the quality of beans solely on the roast dates. At the very least, you
need to open the bag, calibrate the beans the best you can, taste, and
evaluate.Now that we’ve established that the roasting date isn’t everything,
let’s look at what it can tell you.
quite like roasting your own beans. You get to enjoy the smell of fresh-roasted
coffee wafting through your home, and the satisfaction of drinking beans you
roasted yourself, to your own preferences.
What’s more, you’ll
discover all the notes and flavours you can bring out in a coffee. You’ll find
the differences between origins, altitudes, varietals, processing methods, your
roast profiles, and more. And this will push you even further.
So if you’re ready
to begin home roasting, I’m here to help you out by sharing the essential items
you need to buy. Note: there is one more you’ll need that’s not listed here,
but you can’t buy it. And that’s because your five senses are key for
developing your craft. The rest, though, you can add to an online shopping cart
right now. Let’s get started!
From the re-emergence of pour-over and hand-brewed coffee to the increasing
demand for tea, the specialty coffee and tea industries have experienced a lot
of changes in the past couple of years. Among those developments has been a
new, exotic drink on the scene: cascara, also known as coffee cherry tea. While
the beverage has been slowly popping up in cafés around the globe, it can still
be difficult to find. As such, those who haven’t yet stumbled across the
elusive cascara may be curious about what the drink actually is.
Bitter coffee? That’s a thing of the past.
Now, specialty professionals and consumers alike want their morning coffee to
have a hint of sweetness – and I’m not talking about one that comes from adding
sugar or honey. We’ve finally woken up to just how sweet our favourite drink
can be naturally.
Extraction is arguably the most important and least understood aspect of
coffee brewing. It's everything. Without extraction, you don't even get a cup
of coffee. Here's my super simple and not 100% accurate definition:
Darker roasts are generally viewed as “stronger” than lighter roasts, and
are accordingly presumed to have higher caffeine levels. The bold flavors of
dark roasts shouldn’t be mistaken as indications of their caffeine content,
though. The intense flavors arise from the bitterness produced by roasting, not
from caffeine. Darker roasts actually don’t have more caffeine than lighter
ones — they have about the same amount of caffeine.z
roasts are identified by their color: light, medium and dark. Although these
are not the most accurate terms for describing different roasts, as some
coffees are naturally darker or lighter than others, they are convenient ways
to categorize roasts. When purchasing coffee, you should expect different
characteristics from a light roast, a medium roast, and a dark roast.