In the article posted last week, I introduced the readers to my study of the African coffee region. I wanted to continue looking at the area but focus on one country and share a bit of the unique perspective on coffee growth and production offered by that country.
“I would like your first writing assignment to be about coffee regions.”
My husband and assigning editor quickly back-pedaled “I know that’s not a very exciting topic...”
I’m not sure if it was the look on my face or his genuine feeling on the topic that prompted the follow-up statement, but I had to agree that it was not the type of topic I was expecting as we set out to begin growing the information section of SagebrushCoffee.com
Many people believe that the only way to enjoy a cold cup of coffee is adding ice to brewed coffee or purchasing a blended beverage from a coffee chain. Although those are both legitimate options, there is another method that has been thriving in the coffee world and may be my personal favorite. This chilled treat is called Cold Brew.
How do you shop for coffee? Do you think about the roast? Are you partial towards a certain region? Do you like coffees with nutty undertones and avoid citrusy ones? Or maybe you only buy dry-process Ethiopian coffees from the Guji Zone of the Oromiaregion at 1800m of elevation or higher roasted very light, so the origin comes out and bitterness of the coffee is in the backyard barely noticeable? And you thought the person in front of you at Starbucks had a complicated order.
I'm sure that you've seen notes on our website about how 'We don't roast until you want it." or "Roasted Fresh After You Order", but have you thought about why and how we setup our business to do that?
Have you ever heard of a fluid bed coffee roaster? How about a drum roaster? Do you remember the terms endothermic and exothermic reactions from chemistry/thermodynamics classes? If not, that's fine... I'll give you the highlights.
To start a discussion on coffee processing, I have to start with the ten steps to take coffee from seed to a cup. When I first learned there were ten steps, I thought, "Grow, roast, grind, brew. What else could there be?" As discussed on National Coffee Association's website they are as follows:
There are a bunch of certifications when it comes to coffee production. Today, I just want to look at four key ones. I've chosen these four because they are the most talked about and the only ones that we as a coffee business have paid attention to.
Cold Brew coffee; isn't that a new catchphrase? You hear it everywhere, and it has a bunch of definitions. I've seen Hario iced pour overs called cold brew (I call those iced coffees). I've seen some weird bottled drink that tastes awful called a cold brew. I've also seen an iced Toddy called cold brew.
I'm going to start by saying, these couple of paragraphs are not going to give you nearly enough information about coffee cupping. I'm basically going to tell you some of what I use to make my images and descriptions.