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Could there be anything better than a hot, fresh brewed cup of coffee? As you open that can of pre-ground Maxwell House Coffee, did you even know that coffee comes in different roasts? Did you know that you can roast your own coffee beans at home? If you think that the aroma of your fresh ground coffee beans can’t be beat, get a home coffee roaster, you’ll be in Java Heaven.
Roasting the coffee beans is what imparts flavor. Similar to the making of a fine wine or a hand rolled cigar, some consider the roasting of coffee beans as an art. Those that describe coffee use some of the same vocabulary they use to describe wine. Depending on the roast level chosen the beans take on different flavor characteristics. The lighter the coffee bean the less flavor it will have, the darker the coffee bean the stronger the flavor it will have.
There are generally four different categories of roast. A light roast (American) , a medium roast (Breakfast), a dark roast (French), and darkest roast (Italian or espresso). Each type of roast imparts a different appearance to the coffee beans.
When a coffee bean is roasted to an American roast the beans will have a very light color to them and they will appear dry. A medium roasted bean, or Breakfast roast will have a rich brown color and will be oily in appearance. A French roasted coffee bean will have a very oily appearance with the beans appearing very dark brown. The darkest roasted beans or Espresso beans will appear black.
Coffee roasting can easily be done in your home. Depending on the roast that you desire you can roast coffee in five to fifteen minutes. Green beans are available online from a number of sellers, as are coffee roasters. Choose different types of green coffees to sample. Drum roasters are very popular for use in the home. It’s best to consider purchasing a roaster as it will give you the most consistent finish to your beans. Some try to roast beans in frying pans, some use hot air popcorn poppers. While each of these techniques will work, as mentioned above they don’t give a consistent finish to all the beans and you will most likely be disappointed in the result.
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Today, I will propose to you how to make a great cup of coffee. You can do it. There are a few secrets to the process. I will share these with you.
Start with the bean and pick your roast. Quality coffee can only come from a quality coffee bean that is properly roasted. The process of roasting a coffee bean is complex and can result in a given bean tasting very different depending on how it is roasted. If you desire a strong intense flavor to your coffee, choose a dark roast (ex: French Roast). If you like to a light flavor, less intense, choose a lighter roast.
Never use pre-ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee will lose its flavor and essence within a short period of time. Grinding before you brew will assure you that no flavor is lost due to time.
Always use cold filtered water when brewing your coffee. The water you use represents 98% of your cup of coffee. Filtering the water will remove impurities that could affect the taste. Poor quality water can come from a variety of sources. Example, older house will have older pipes. Theses pipes tend to give the water an off flavor. You will want to remove this by filtering. The basic rule is the better the water, the better the coffee.
Skip the paper filters and go for the gold. Yes, these are 23k gold plated stainless steel filters. Paper filters will influence the flavor of the coffee in a negative manner. The Gold plated filters influence the flavor by allowing natural oils to infiltrate into your brew, adding a level of flavor and aroma you wont find with paper coffee filters. Another plus is that these filters can be reused over and over, and will last a very long time. Not only will your coffee be better, but you will be helping the environment by saving on waste.
Never over do it on the add-ins. Cut down on the sugar, cream, and other flavor add-ins to really enjoy the true essence of the brew. If we disguise the coffee to much; we will never know the true taste.
Part of what makes a great cup of coffee is how and when we enjoy it. We all have our favorite time and rituals. For me, nothing beats enjoying a great cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and reading the paper.
Posted in Coffee 101