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Specialty Coffee vs Grocery Coffee

February 12, 2020

Specialty Coffee vs Grocery Coffee

Have you ever wondered why some coffee beans make Great Coffee, why some Acidic Coffee, and why others  Smooth & Rich Coffee. Lets start with some coffee basics. 

Less is More! 

Not all beans are created equal.  Large coffee crops that are grown for the biggest producers of coffee do not have the same taste qualities as small estate coffee farms.  Why?  Small estate farms are typically smaller plots of land, higher altitude with better rain and soil conditions.  It would not be possible to grow huge crops of coffee in this manner for the big coffee producers.  The lesson here is less is more!  Smaller crops grown by Independent Farming Families tend to be better and are more often grown with Sustainable  Practices in mind.

Roasting Coffee

Coffee is usually roasted for the consumer markets in one of two ways. The first method is Fluid Air Bed Roasting.  This method is used by large producers as well as some small producers.  This method will work to roast coffee, it takes less experienced Master Roaster and is in many cases run by computer generated programs. It is much less complicated than the second method, but does not truly bring out the best flavors of the coffee bean.  Drum Roasting tends to be the choice tor Specialty Coffee Roasters.  The main reason is that the penetration of heat into the coffee bean is deeper and allows a well trained Master Roaster to truly bring out all the unique flavors locked away in the Coffee Bean. 


Coffee Stales!  Coffee that ends up on a grocery store shelf sometimes is stale long before the consumer opens the bag.  It has lived in a warehouse, gone into distribution, sat in the backroom inventory of the grocery store and eventually stacked on a shelf.  After Roasting Coffee hits its peek flavor profile at about 72 hours.  We could get into the chemistry of why, but basically two processes are taking place.  The first is called degassing.  The coffee bean is actually putting off a mixture of different molecules of gas created in the roasting process.  during this same time the flavors are developing within the coffee bean.  Once this peek flavor has developed coffee will slowly start to degrade.  A best practice is to consume Specialty Coffee within 30 days of roasting.  Now some people will say 30 days is to long, but most of us will not notice a huge difference in taste in the first 30 days after roasting.  The best way to buy Specialty Coffee is to go to your local corner roaster or purchase your coffee on line directly from a roaster.  



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