Coffee lovers 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 several 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, regular coffee is just a lousy quality produced coffee that lacks transparency and sustainability. As a result, it gives you an unpleasant coffee experience with its sour taste and not so out-of -this-world-feeling. On the other hand, specialty coffee guarantees quality throughout the stages of production from bean to cup.
You have possibly gone through studies regarding the 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 the worst side effects, which affect your body from head to toe. Moreover, specialty coffee is good for you in many ways besides its taste.
So how would you choose your coffee now? How would you know if you are having a regular or specialty coffee? There is only one way to understand this: to comprehend the production details of the coffee from its seeding to brewing.
Growth and Processing
It starts with a coffee bean, the same seed from which your coffee is brewed. Initially, an unprocessed coffee bean is planted, which has to be of supreme quality and has to be produced at the right time at the right place to make top-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, harvested. Generally, coffee beans are picked by hand through selective pick or strip pick. Strip picking is done quickly, but it involves picking all the berries of the trees simultaneously. The particular choice is more time-consuming, but results are better as only the beans near ripeness are selected, and raw beans are left.
After the stage of picking comes the step 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.
We spread coffee beans to dry them out into a larger surface under the sun in the dry method. In the wet process, 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 mistakes are made. Bad fermenting and washing can result in a sour, 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 colors and damaged seeds. Removing the bad quality bean is essential as it can ruin your whole coffee by adding a sour vinegar-like taste. After separation, the green coffee beans are kept in sisal or jute bags to be shipped for roasting.
When the coffee beans arrive for roasting, we test them for color. The taster, also known as the upper, details the quality. Right after visual approvals, the roasting, smelling, brewing, slurping, and quality test is done, which is again approved by the cupper to start the roasting of the rest of the beans.
We roast beans at around 230-260 degrees celsius. We keep the beans moving while they are roasted. When the inner temperature is reached 230 Degrees, the beans’ oil emerges. The beans change the color from green to brown, and the coffee beans reach 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 the whole shape, or we can get them ground. However, ground beans make a massive difference while extracting all the flavor 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.