CoffeeFAQ’S

Coffee Beans

About Coffee

Coffee grows only around the equator. Unfortunately, we cannot grow it in Alpena! It grows best at an altitude of 4,000 to 6,000 feet at a constant temperature. The arabica plant produces a higher quality bean than the robusta strain. We use only arabica beans. Coffee flavor varies with soil, growing conditions and numerous other factors. For this reason, coffee from different farms within the same region can have different characteristics.

Coffee beans are seeds of coffee cherries, which are hand-picked when ripe. They are processed using a wet or dry technique. Wet processed coffee goes through a short period of fruit fermentation. The fruit is then stripped, the beans are washed, dried and sorted by size. The dry process allows the fruit to dry on the bean before it is stripped. For example, Ethiopian coffee is a dry processed coffee and gains it's fruity essence this way. The processing technique is another contributing factor to each coffee's final flavor.

Tasting

First, smell the ground coffee before brewing. After brewing, take in the aroma. Then, slurp up a small amount of coffee using a technique similar to wine tasting. Describe what you taste. Is it nutty, fruity, spicy, chocolaty? Coffee is also described in terms of acidity and body. Acidity refers to the brightness or liveliness of flavor. This does not refer to acid content. This is a desirable trait especially well known in Latin American coffees like Costa Rican. Body means the weight of coffee on your tongue. One of our full-bodied coffees is the Big Buck Blend; a lighter bodied coffee is the Sunrise Blend. You can learn more about how to taste and describe coffee at a cupping session.

Brewing

Regardless of the brewing method, coffee should be brewed using 2 tablespoons of grounds for every 6 ounces of water. If this is too strong, add hot water to your cup. Use filtered water to avoid unwanted tastes.

The essence of coffee flavor lies in the trace oils released from inside the bean during roasting. These oils evaporate very quickly after grinding, so grind your coffee just before brewing for best taste. We recommend a burr grinder for a more consistent grind.

Suggested grinder settings :

  • Auto-Drip – fine to medium
  • French Press – medium to coarse
  • Espresso – extra fine

Buying

Coffee flavor is at its peak just after roasting and fades over time. Purchase coffee in quantities that can be consumed in 7 to 10 days. Buy whole bean coffee to prolong freshness.

Coffee is sensitive to air and should be stored in an airtight container. Keep coffee out of the light and out of the refrigerator where it will absorb unpleasant odors.