Blog — coffee

Coffee Around the World, Pt. 2: Varietals

Posted by Christopher McClure on

Many coffee drinkers are unaware of the existence of varietals: different strains of the coffee plant that grow cherries (and beans) with different characteristics. While growers have known about these coffee varieties for a long time, most of the attention has been paid to how resistant they are to pest or disease, or how much coffee they yield. Until very recently, neither coffee growers nor consumers have not paid any attention to how varietals affect the coffee they’re drinking. The closest you'll get to a coffee rainbow (photo by Mad Cap Coffee) For the foodies among us, it’s somewhat of...

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Coffee Around the World, Pt. 1: Processing

Posted by Christopher McClure on

One of the most exciting things about coffee, for us nerds at least, is how different each coffee can be. I’ve mentioned before that there are up to 1,500 flavor compounds in coffee, compared to wine’s measly 200 (coffee snobs can officially look down their noses at wine snobs, if that’s your thing). And like wine, coffees from different parts of the world taste incredibly different: you could take a coffee from Ethiopia and a coffee from Colombia, and even someone who had never tasted coffee before could tell you that they were different, even if they couldn’t say exactly...

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The Road to Decaf Coffee

Posted by Christopher McClure on

There exists a group of coffee drinkers for whom caffeine is not an option. Some might call them the true believers, the true adherents, since they’re drinking it not to get their morning fix. These true connoisseurs get no buzz, but enjoy only the flavor of their simple cup and the experience it brings with it. Too bad most decaf coffees aren’t any good. Or, at the very least, they are nowhere close to the same standards of flavor set for regular coffee. Sadly there are a lot of reasons to not like decaf coffee, even beyond the lack of...

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What Does Coffee Taste Like?

Posted by Christopher McClure on

There was recently a segment on the Today show that did a blind taste test between what they called ‘cheap deli coffee’ and ‘fancy gourmet coffee.’ Their finding? 67% of participants preferred the cheap stuff. It has prompted some negativity from those interested in craft coffee, and for good reasons (what coffees are they using? how are they roasted? how are they brewed? how long did they sit around before being served? how does ‘dozens’ constitute any kind of meaningful sample size?), but there might be something to what they’re saying. Mostly being: maybe most people aren’t able to tell what...

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