The coffee seed must be grown between the right latitude and longitude, grown at the right altitude, provided shade and fertile soil, with enough water to support growth but not so much that fungi can get a foothold. Once grown, the fruit must be picked by hand to ensure every single berry is fully ripe and without major defects. The seeds must be separated from the fruit and mucilage, then quickly dried. At this point, even a light rain shower can ruin an entire batch.
Assuming that every one of the growing and processing steps was performed perfectly, we are on our way to a fine specialty coffee. Of course, the coffee has to be stored, shipped, and stored again before we can roast and brew the coffee. Roasting is a very complex process that continually mixes science and art due to the inherent variations in green coffee: Coffee crops can vary from year to year, even within the same small farm. Specialty level roasting is still a skill most of us do not possess, leaving the brewing of the coffee as the last link in specialty cup creation.
Of course, that brings us to the question: Which method will bring out a specialty coffee’s best flavors? The answer is a resounding: It depends.
Each method of brewing has advantages and disadvantages, depending on the coffee you are brewing. Unfortunately, that means that you will need to master several different brewing methods and their techniques if you want to enjoy coffee to its fullest. Fortunately, this means you get to drink lots of good coffee on your way to amazing coffee, and can impress others with your prowess once flair once mastered.
In upcoming posts, we will explore several methods of brewing:· AeroPress
o Coffee Sock
· French Press
· Moka Pot
· Toddy style cold brew
You may notice that coffee machines are not listed. That is because I have yet to use a coffee machine that comes close to the perfection that can be achieved by the methods listed. You may also notice that all of these methods have very low equipment costs, except for espresso, with cold brew being possible with absolutely no specialized equipment.
The next brewing post will take on AeroPress brewing, which is one of my favorites and close to foolproof.
Until then, happy brewing!