August 21, 2007 - This video developed by Coffee Brewing Institute in the 1950's illustrates the various forms of coffee preparations in the world - along with some basic information on coffee quality.
Welcome to this month’s issue of coffee science. In our last series we discussed the role of two alkaloids: caffeine and trigonelline and their role in coffee’s composition. This time we’ll explore some of coffee’s more common compounds, namely carbohydrates and proteins, and discuss how these seemingly ordinary compounds contribute to coffee’s alluring aroma.
April 26, 2012 - Check out this month's issue of Roast Magazine where we discuss 'The Chemistry of Brewing' from bean to cup.
Unlike wine where the winemaker has complete control of the product up to the time of bottling, coffee requires that the consumers use a bit of their own skills during beverage preparation. This final step in coffee preparation is perhaps one of the most critical, since errors here can ruin the quality of the coffee and ultimately all the work that was invested into it.
Once coffee has been roasted the next critical step is to create an infusion from the coffee grounds. Today, there are over a dozen different brewing devices on the market with new devices being developed everyday.
What is "fairtrade" coffee?
Under the overview of the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) the association provides certification for over 20 labeling initiatives in several countries including: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Mexico and the United States. In the US, Tranfair USA is the third party certification organization which ensures farmers in producing countries receive a 'fair' price for their product(s) and labor efforts. The certification also ensures a for a social development including:
1. Better and fair labor conditions.
2. Direct Trade with buyers
3. Community Development
4. Environmental sustainability
5. A more democratic and transparent organization
Although the movement initiated in Europe, the Fair Trade movement has gained significant awareness in the United States through various consumer conscious organizations. Conventionally grown washed arabica coffee from Central America, Africa and Asia receive a minimum of $1.26 USD/per lb FOB; whereas certified organic coffee's from the same regions receive a minimum of $1.41 USD/lb. In the event that world coffee price rise above this floor, farmers ensured a premium of $0.05/lb above market price.
What are "black beans"?
Black beans are severe primary defects that occur as a result of the following:
1. Picking over ripe coffee during harvesting.
2. Over fermentation and/or cross contamination during processing
3. Carbohydrate deficiency during maturation.
4. Poor drying or re-wetting, especially in dry processed coffee.
Typically these beans are easily removed by screening, hand, and/or density sorting. Recently many coffee mills have been equipped with optically sorting equipment, which rapidly reject these beans during milling. Black beans are typically slow to roast and rarely fully develop past a yellowish color. Their impact on the cup is significant imparting ferment, phenol-like, and sour mouldy characteristics. Photo below shows a typical black bean, though bean damage can vary in severance.
What is "C" coffee?
"C" coffee is exchange coffee that is readily tenderable at the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) - a futures market. C coffee is the minimum standard which is currently exchanged daily on the world market. Typically one C contract is equal to one container of green coffee or 38,500 lbs (roughly 250 sacks, depending on origin).
What is the recommended brewing temperature?
According to SCAA standards, water should be between 92°-96°C (195°-205°F) to ensure proper extraction of important flavor compounds in coffee. Water should be free of any detectable odors and have between 100-150ppm of water hardness
You know what's great about this time of year? It's cold brew coffee season. Easy to drink and addictively refreshing, it's no surprise that cold brew has become a summer drink of choice for many.
January 23, 2008 - In something straight out of The Jetsons - the $20,000 coffee maker has finally arrived.