Welcome Fall! All About the Coffee
Bleary eyed, you fumble for the button on your phone that cuts off your alarm. You emerge from your warm cocoon of blankets and stumble into the kitchen to make your daily brew. For over 63% of Americans, this is how their mornings begin. With a cup of delicious, energy giving coffee.
I’m no different. I absolutely cannot start my day without at least one cup of coffee. There are those days where the number is closer to three before the day actually begins. In that, I’m not alone either. The usual consumption for American coffee drinkers is between 3 and 4 cups per day. I might be a little over that.
How do you take yours?
My grandfather takes his coffee black. Just plain drip coffee, black with no cream, no sugar, just coffee, thanks. For years, I thought that was what coffee was. Just a plain cup of black brew with no embellishments or frills. Can you imagine my look the first time I went into a coffee shop?
Now there are at least a dozen different ways of drinking coffee and each one of them has their own special way of being made. So, what if you don’t want that plain cup of coffee, but you don’t want something that needs a degree in Chemistry to make?
You’re just like me. I love coffee. I love the taste of coffee. I don’t like my coffee black. I like cream and sugar and all of the lovely things that you can include in a cup of coffee and it still be called that. So, let’s look at some ways to make that boring old cup of joe a little more exciting.
Types of Beans
The easiest way to change up the taste of your cup is to change the beans that you use to brew them. I’ll admit it, I’m the first one to use the super cheap stuff to make my pot of coffee. I just go through so much of it and I have so many other things that I need to spend the money on. (Did you outgrow your shoes again?!)
But switching to a better bean may be all that you need to do to find your perfect cup. So, let’s look at the different types of beans.
Arabica beans make up about 60% of the total world coffee consumption. These are considered to be better quality and have a tendency to be more expensive. They have more acidity than some of the other types of beans. These are the beans that are most often used in coffee shops.
These beans are the second most used coffee bean in the world. They contain about twice as much caffeine as the arabica bean, but they have a harsher flavor and tend to be more bitter because of what the roasting process does to them. They are great for making espresso shots because of their deep flavor. If you are making something with lots of cream or sugar, this may be the blend you want to use just because the flavor of the bean is going to hold up to the other flavors better.
These beans are only grown in the Philippines. More than likely you have not tasted this type of coffee because the US stopped trade with the Philippines when they declared independence. These beans are supposed to have a floral, fruity aroma and produce a coffee that has a full body and a woody smoky flavor.
This type of bean is used the least in worldwide coffee consumption. They are actually an offshoot of the Liberica bean and are only used in about 7% of the world. Unlike their cousins, this bean actually produces a tart and fruity cup of coffee.
Types of Roasts
Since you can only get one or two types of beans in most of the supermarkets in the U. S., it becomes important to consider the roast that the bean has been put through.
Light Roasts are roasted for the least amount of time. They tend to have a much more acidic flavor because a longer roasting time will actually pull the acidity out of them. Some of the blends will actually have a lemon or citrus flavor to them that you may find pleasant. Longer roasting time also pulls out the caffeine. This means that a light roast is going to be really acidic, but super caffeinated.
This roast has a little more body and less acidity than the light roast. This makes up the majority of the coffee that Americans drink. It has a much more balanced flavor that appeals to most people. So, if you are serving coffee to a crowd, go with a medium roast.