As I have been trying to determine what blog posts to write, I think back on questions I'm asked or conversations I've had with customers over the years. One of the most common conversations that I have had is with people that love 'dark' roasted coffee. Typically this type of person thinks that oily beans and dark roasts are synonymous. This leads to a perception that bolder coffees are darker roasted or that dark oily beans are perfect for espresso. I have to say, these views are so widely held, you'd think they were 100% true. However, they aren't... they're close, but there is more to it than that.
Before I started selling coffee online, I was a home roaster. I typically would buy coffee from Sweet Marias each month. I'd buy enough of each varietal to roast it 3 or 4 times and then move on. Part of the fun was learning about new coffees and figuring out what roast profile I liked for each country or process. I developed a skill and had fun doing it. So I started selling coffee to friends and family. That lead to starting Sagebrush Coffee. However, I quickly found that I was losing customers because I continued the practice of changing out my inventory on a regular basis. So I changed to a direct trade supplier to get more consistency in my offerings and quite frankly, the coffee was way better.
The Coffee Berry Borer, a small beetle native to many coffee farms, is the most feared enemy of any coffee farmer. These bugs are tiny, in fact, they can be as small as a couple of millimeters in length. They typically attack the coffee cherry by burrowing a very small hole in the top of the coffee berry.
I've lived in Arizona for going on 27 years now, and every year there is a week that I wonder why I live here and how I could make it through another year. This week may not have been that bad, but it was close. The thing is, I still drink coffee... a lot of coffee. I still enjoy a hot cup of coffee in the morning. But when it's 2 pm and 113 out, that afternoon cup of hot coffee does not sound super appealing. So what do I do to enjoy the coffee in this heat?
I find it interesting how people connect to coffee. Some people just love coffees from a particular country. Some people ask me for a good coffee at a certain roast level. I've heard a lot of requests for specific varietals of beans. But seldom do I get a request for a certain processing method. However, I believe the processing method has as much if not more impact on the flavor of coffee than any of the items listed above. I'm writing this post to talk about my favorite processing method and hope to show you another factor to pay attention to when picking coffee.
People often ask me how long coffee stays fresh. I wish there were an easy answer to this question, but there isn't. Freshness is somewhat subjective when it comes to coffee and the length of time the coffee stays fresh is dependent on the conditions in which it's stored. Because of this, I've decided to write a quick blog post/email about it.
People often ask for a light roast or a dark roast. I think they ask that because of the coffees they are currently drinking and what they think they like about those coffees. The thing is, there is a lot more to the flavor that comes from each coffee than just the roast level.
Years ago, I thought I knew decaf. I knew that it was made with chemicals that I was happier staying in the dark on the details. I knew that it was a crappy version of coffee. I agreed with David Letterman when he said, "Decaf coffee, it's just useless warm brown water."