February 17, 2019 4 min read

Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice - Mary Berry 

It’s All About Coffee - Tips for Baristas and Aficionados

Loved by millions worldwide, coffee has been in existence for thousands of years. Originally established as a hot drink back in 800 AD, over the years, we’ve discovered a range of interesting and unusual ways to use coffee – particularly when it comes to the grinds and all the great stuff they can be turned into.

There are so many different types of coffee on the market, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. However, most of the coffee beans that we consume can be split into two main types – Arabica and Robusta.

  • Arabica beans account for the majority of the speciality coffee that is currently produced and sold all over the world.
  • Robusta beans are much stronger and bitter. These beans are most commonly used for a range of espressos based hot drinks or used to create a much stronger coffee. Often blended with Arabica and it is a much cheaper variety

Spoiled for Choice: Coffee Drinks

Where the most significant difference in coffee lies, is in the different types of coffee drinks. In this modern day and age, coffee has become somewhat of a trend, and now, there are many different brew methods to give coffee some of its most unique flavours. There are, of course, your standard coffee drinks, but there are also lots of weird and wonderful concoctions when it comes to coffee drinks.

  • Black coffee
  • Filtered or drip coffee
  • French press coffee
  • Percolated coffee
  • Turkish coffee
  • Cold brew coffee
  • Iced coffee
  • Espresso
  • Caffe Americano
  • Cafe Cubano
  • Caffe cream
  • Cappuccino
  • Latte
  • Flat white
  • Macchiato
  • Cafe au lait
  • Egg coffee
  • Chai Latte
  • Liqueur coffee
  • Irish coffee
  • Mocha
  • And believe it or not, so much more!

When it comes to how much coffee should be used per serving, there is a guideline called the ‘golden ratio’. This is simply one to two tablespoons of ground coffee to be added for every six ounces of water. Of course, this can be adjusted somewhat to suit individual tastes.

Best coffee grinds for each type of coffee

Depending on the type of coffee beans or granules you are using, the end result of the grinds will vary greatly. Let’s take a look at what each kind of coffee should be producing when it comes to grinds.

  • French press grinds should be coarse. Almost a little bit like breadcrumbs.
  • Pour over coffee should produce fine to medium grinds.
  • A drip coffee maker should create medium grinds that are almost like beach sand.
  • Espresso machines produce extra fine grinds.

Grinds can be a fantastic resource for a number of things. You can make face masks, body scrubs, garden fertiliser and even cleaning materials from coffee grinds.

Storing Your Coffee Beans

We all want the best from our coffee beans. Therefore, it is vital that they are stored and looked after properly. So that you get the most from your coffee beans and can enjoy the best cup of coffee, start by choosing quality beans, storing them properly to maximise freshness and flavour.    

  • Keep beans airtight and cool to keep them fresh. It’s important to know that the greatest enemies of coffee beans are air, heat, light and moisture.
  • To preserve the freshness of your all-important coffee beans and to keep that flavour for as long as possible, be sure to store them in an air-tight container at room temperature.
  • To keep them fresh and delicious, keep coffee beans in a dark and cool location. Avoid anywhere too hot like next to the cooker or in direct sunlight. A cupboard or dark spot is perfect.
  • Because coffees retail packaging is not really ideal for long-term storage. If feasible, invest in storage containers with an airtight seal.

Don’t Overbuy – You Can Always Get More

  • Coffee can begin to lose its delicious freshness almost immediately after they are ground. Therefore, buy smaller batches of freshly roasted coffee more frequently and invest in a good coffee grinder. Simply grind the amount you need right before brewing
  • Exposure to air is bad for your coffee beans. If you prefer to keep your beans in an accessible or even attractive container (and let's face it, who doesn’t!?), it can be a great idea to split your coffee supply into smaller portions, with the larger, unused portion in a sealed an airtight container.
  • If you prefer buying ground coffee, its best to buy in smaller batches more frequently and use as soon as you open the bags. You don’t want them to have too much exposure to air.

What About Freezing Beans?

Freshness is critical when it comes to a delicious quality cup of coffee. Coffee experts and baristas worldwide agree that coffee should be consumed as quickly as possible after being roasted. This is particularly important once the packaging seal has been broken.

While there are varying views on whether coffee should be frozen or refrigerated or not, the important thing to keep in mind is that coffee absorbs moisture and odours from the air. While most home storage containers still let in small amounts of oxygen, if you do choose to refrigerate or freeze your beans, be sure to use a container that is as airtight as can be.

The Wonderful World of Coffee

The next time you ask for your flat white or Americano (or other coffee of choice), you will now have more of an insight into just how much goes into coffee, and how much there is yet to be learned about what we can do with it. It is, in fact, a very versatile drink that can be used in all sorts of wonderful concoctions. Some of these include alcohol, desserts, and cooking.

Coffee can be very interesting indeed, and quite often rather technical, so it may best to just enjoying that next sip of a deliciously warm cup of joe without thinking too much of how it made it to your mug.

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