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Friday, January 21, 2005

Bean Flavor Factors - Choosing Beans by Species, Region, Roast, Blend & Flavoring

Bean Flavor Factors - Choosing Beans by Species, Region, Roast, Blend & Flavoring
Once you have your beans at home, you can influence the flavor of your cup by varying the grinder setting and the brewing technique; but it is what happens before you bring your beans home that has the most impact on coffee flavor and quality. The five things you will need to consider when buying are:

1. Species - Arabica vs Robusta
2.Region - Where in the world?
3.Roast - Light, Dark and Everything in Between
4.Blend - Single Origin, 100% Arabica?
5.Flavor Additives - Irish Cream, Hazelnut, etc.

For a detailed look at all these flavor factors, check out the Coffee Makers Cafe Beans Page

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Well Balanced Coffee - Bean Characteristics

What's in a bean? How do the pros judge their coffee? Here is a brief overview of the characteristics you should consider when choosing the perfect bean for you. The four terms "flavor", "aroma", "acidity" and "body" are used by professionals when evaluating coffee quality. Coffee beans that rate well in all four areas are described as "well-balanced". Once you understand these four bean characteristics, you will be well equipped to buy the right beans for your taste. One way to become familiar with the bean characteristics is to try coffee tasting, also known as "coffee cupping". To setup your own coffee tasting at home, click here to read our coffee cupping article.

1. Acidity

Coffee with good acidity tastes bright, with a pleasant sharpness similar to a dry white wine. Acidity is a desirable characteristic and can be fruity (try a Kenyan coffee) or metallic (Mexican). Without acidity, coffee tastes bland or 'flat'.

2. Body

Body is the word used to describe the way the coffee feels in your mouth. A full-bodied coffee, such as Kenyan or Ethiopian will feel thick, rich or heavy. A medium-bodied coffee, such as South and Central American, will feel lighter. If you like milk in your coffee, a heavier-bodied coffee will maintain more flavor when the milk is added. Adding milk also helps you to compare the body of two coffees - the one with more body will retain more flavor. With a mouthful of coffee, you can assess the body by running your tongue across the roof of your mouth. You will be able to feel oiliness and thickness, which together define body. Body can be thin, thick, dry, syrupy, etc.

3. Aroma

When coffee beans are roasted, they release the fragrant oils that make the coffee aroma. High quality coffee beans will contain up to 3 times more fragrant oils than inferior beans. South American beans have good aroma and are noticeably shiny after roasting due to the amount of coffee oils that are released.

4. Flavor

Flavor is the combined effect on the tastebuds of the acidity, body and aroma of the coffee bean. Terms used to describe flavor usually draw comparisons with other familiar tastes, such as 'nutty', 'spicy', or 'watery'. Here are some common terms used to describe the flavor of coffee beans - Positive Flavors: Nutty, Spicy, Fruity, Mellow, Caramelly, Chocolaty, Winey, Floral, Smokey, Tangy Negative Flavors: Grassy, Chemically, Muddy, Watery, Rubbery, Rioy (a medicinal taste)

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Six Steps to Great Coffee At Home

Six Steps to Great Coffee At Home

Your easy online guide...

Here at Coffee Makers Cafe, we aim to provide you with coffee information that is useful and to-the-point. Our six-step guide is here to help you get straight into enjoying coffee making, without wading through exhaustive detail and complex reviews.

As you read through each of the steps, you will find buying tips designed to help you find the right coffee maker or machine for you. You will also find great brewing tips and instructions for each coffee maker. For making great coffee at home, we have all you need to know!

Follow these steps for happy coffee making!...

Step 1 - To Espresso or not to Espresso?:
The first step to choosing your coffee maker is to decide whether you would prefer an espresso machine or other (drip, filter, percolator, etc.). This article helps you decide. The article also covers the "French Press" and "Stovetop Moka Express" for those coffee lovers who prefer not to use a machine.

Step 2 - Manual, Steam, Pump, Automatic or Super-Automatic Espresso Machines?:
If after reading Step 1 you decide that an espresso machine suits you best, the next step is to choose the type of espresso machine. Should it be manual or automatic? Should it use the steam or pump method of extraction? This article helps you decide.

Step 3 - Drip, Filter, Plunger or Combination Coffee Maker?:
If after reading Step 1 you decide that you would prefer one of the other types of coffee maker, the next step is to choose the type (drip, filter, percolator, French press, etc.). This article helps you decide.

Step 4 - Get the Beans:
Once you have invested in your own coffee maker, you will no doubt want to try different styles of beans and roasts. The articles in this section cover all you need to know.

Step 5 - Accessorize:
Accessories for coffee makers, machine and coffee lovers. From milk frothers to cups, mugs and filter paper, these articles will help you choose the right accessory.

Step 6 - Learn More About Coffee:
Once you begin learning about coffee, and indeed enjoying coffee, you will find that there is always more to know - coffee making is a continual learning curve. These articles are provided to help you enjoy that learning curve.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Coffee Makers Cafe Pages

Here is the current list of pages that you can view at Coffee Makers Cafe... enjoy!