Gourmet coffee flavor is based on many different criteria: The geographical location, the variety of bean, the roast, the grind, the water and ultimately the brewing method. Ordering gourmet coffee online is a great way to become a Cupper.
Beans, like wines, have different nuances. A gourmet coffee expert is called a “Cupper” and it is their job to distinguish the fragrance, aroma, body, nose, taste and aftertaste of many different types of coffee, from over 100 geographical locations. Cuppers have described Latin America's coffee beans as having a “bright and brisk flavor”, African coffee beans as predominately “sharp and vibrant” and Indonesian coffee beans “full with a heavy body”.
The roast is one of the most important factors affecting the flavor of coffee. There are two kinds of roasts, light roast coffee and dark roast coffee. Contrary to popular belief, dark roast contains less caffeine and acidity then light roast. The rule of thumb is the darker the bean, after roasting, the more bitter the flavor.
Types of roasts:
- American Light Coffee Roast - is used predominately at coffee chains and has medium light beans.
- City Medium Coffee Roast - bright acidity and the coffee bean is chocolate in color.
- New England Coffee Roast - sour in taste and the bean is dark.
- Italian Coffee Roast or Dark French Coffee Roast - burnt flavor and a dark oily bean.
- City Coffee Roast - caramel and chocolate flavors with a medium bean.
- Spanish Coffee Roast or Vienna Coffee Roast - flat charcoal flavor and the bean is the darkest.
For optimal dark roast gourmet coffee use a press pot, (cafetiere, French press) with a medium to course grind (10-12 seconds in a coffee blade grind) for finest flavor. Drip methods and electric brew-type coffeemakers should use medium to fine grind (15-20 seconds in a coffee blade grinder). Always use filtered water. Chlorinated or softened water can change the taste of your coffee completely.
Did you know: It takes 43 coffee beans to make 1 cup of gourmet espresso. Espresso contains the least amount of caffeine out of all the coffee types.