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Coffee Beans

01 August 2014

Do the endless packets and labels confuse you? Do you find that the coffee you make doesn't live up to your expectations...or the label?

Perhaps we can shed some light and help you to make a more informed choice in the future

There are only two types of coffee plant, Arabica and Robusta. So why aren't there only two choices available? That is because there are many other factors involved before we actually end up with beans in a packet !

Here is a simplistic explanation.

To begin with,  Arabica is grown in areas of good climate and soil, whereas Arabica will grow in a less favourable climate with less favourable soil. Arabica tends to be quite delicate and acidic in taste, whereas Robusta is more earthy. ( Think of wine, basically red grapes or white, but loads of variety for you to choose from)

Then we have the difference in countries, their climates and their soil : and again with different regions within those countries where coffee is grown.
Already I am sure you can imagine how diverse the differences are , purely from where in the world the plant is growing.

Once the coffee berries have been harvested and the beans separated from the fruit, This is where the real fun begins ! The 'raw' bean is referred to as the 'green' bean, which is the natural state before its roasted.

So far, the we have a huge choice of green beans, which will already have many and varied different potential tastes and characteristics, Then the roasting begins. A high roast coffee will look really dark, as you would expect and a light roast coffee will be much paler. Then there are all the degrees between high roast and light roast, which will all effect the taste and characteristics.

The real magic is in the blending of the coffees. Making the right balance of Arabica to Robusta so the  coffee in your cup tastes as you want it to taste.

The combinations are endless. But really, what actually matters, is that YOU like it!
The packet design, doesn't affect the taste, neither does the blend name. Colombian Coffee ( for example) will not be the same from one roaster to the next. It simply tells you where the beans have been grown.

So, how to choose a coffee bean that you will like. Best to start at the end and ask yourself some questions !

Is it going to be filtered, put through a cafetiere , bean to cup machine, a traditional espresso machine,   an espresso jug, a percolator etc etc.
Are you using the right method for your desired result?
Do you like a mild or strong result. Espresso style or a softer coffee.
Do you like a more acidic taste or an earthy taste.
(Just because something is labelled 'Pure Arabica' doesn't mean you are going to like it, in fact if your taste buds pick up quickly on acidic foods, you may not like it at all !)

And then we get to the grind.... course or fine.? This really depends on how you are going to make your coffee, but getting the grind wrong, will spoil your result, as will using the wrong temperature water.
Ah yes , Water !
Soft water versus hard water ? another debate for another time

If you are looking for a lovely coffee to suit your workplace, which is made correctly, no matter who does it, look no further..... Associated Beverage Services will find the 'Right Solution' to your own refreshment needs.
We are able to assess your requirements, understand what you want to achieve, find you the right sort of equipment and finally the right blend of beans, perfect coffee every time!

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Associated Beverage Services Ltd

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