Coffee: I swear to god if one more person asks me how to grind for a Keurig….

How your coffee gets to your cup

No, I’m kidding.  I would prefer for you to ask me how to grind for a Keurig so that I can tell you all of the reasons why you should be using a 20 dollar Mr. Coffee instead.

I am a huge lover of coffee and tea and I would love to tell you all everything you want to know but I could (And many better people than me have) write a book on everything having to do with coffee.  This post is going to be dedicated to the basics and the questions that I get most often.

First of all, let’s talk about the basic Coffee Questions I get on a daily basis:

Why is coffee so expensive?

To be honest not all coffee is expensive.  Coffee that is sold in bulk like Folgers and Maxwell House are made from the Robusto beans that grow at a lower elevation and need less tending than ones that you will find in a specialty coffee shop (Arabica Beans).  Coffee is grown mostly along the equator so it takes time and an unbelievable amount of work to process.

120 million people rely on coffee for their livelihoods, the majority of them, farmers and farm workers. Coffee buyers want to buy low and sell high but in increasingly volatile markets, this does not always work in the favor of farmers and farm workers and can lead to exploitation of workers to maintain low monetary prices. Meeting these low prices can compel farmers to clear more forests, use low-quality pesticides and rely on cheap labor — child labor, in some cases — to make a profit.

Organic or Sustainable?

If you are one of those people that are all about organic…power to you.  But honestly, the fruit that is on the outside of the seed (The bean) is actually washed off or dried off in the sun naturally.  What is more important than organic is that the roaster practices sustainable practices.  Like I said, most of the places where coffee is grown is along the equator.  Meaning that these are less economically prosperous areas.  And let me tell you, harvesting the beans for your latte is backbreaking work.  Make sure that your roaster uses sustainable farms. This is inclusive of rotating crops to keep the soil healthy, paying people that farm living wages.  Not only that but the increase in demand leads to deforestation and climate change.

What is the Difference Between Different Regions of Coffee?

Above all things, this little miracle bean is a plant and plants take on the flavors they have based on the soil that they are grown in.  When you see Colombian, Kenyan, New Guinea, Sumatran ect, you are talking about the region that they were grown in; not a brand, roasting profile ect.  These regions will have different flavor profiles then each other but they can also have a slight difference between each other based on many factors (Which I will get into later in this series).

I’ve Put My Coffee in the Freezer for Years.

I wish you could see the face I’m making at you right now.  The freezer creates moisture and moisture is the enemy of the coffee bean. Taking the coffee beans in and out of the fridge and freezer creates temperature fluxations that will dull the taste of your coffee.  Please store your whole coffee beans in an airtight container in the pantry.

Do You Have An Espresso Bean?

No.  Because espresso is a process of making coffee, not a bean.  It is typically one of the darker beans but isn’t specific to that.  I can technically make your espresso with any bean you’d like but as a good barista, I typically have an understanding of what beans taste best in this process.

Which Coffee Has the Most Caffeine?

Light or dark roast.  Because the dark roast tends to be a bit smokier or “Stronger” (though that’s not actually a word used by experts to describe coffee) people thought for a while that it had more caffeine.  But the truth is that a lighter roast is said now to have a bit more.  But the truth is that people don’t all agree with this either.  The truth is that it doesn’t really matter because they are so close.

When Is Coffee Fresh?

Coffee is a plant and plants have a shelf life.  Always look for a roasted date instead of a Use-by date.  If they don’t have the roasted on date on the bag, chances are they don’t want you to know.  Coffee is best in between 7-14 days from the roast date.  The reason it’s not before seven?  Because when coffee is roasted, it releases carbon dioxide and it takes some time for that to release.

This is the reason why most people are so against Keruigs.  Those little pods sit there forever!  Most of the time in fluctuating temperatures.

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In the Coffee Series:

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