Several years ago, I fell in love with specialty coffees. Some call this unique coffee experience gourmet coffee, and I suppose that is so. I have blessed it always with specialty coffee. Why? Because a taste this close to heaven deserves to be called special.
Once I found my passion, I set out to learn everything I could about the history of coffee, how to make great coffee, coffee roasting and roasters, the people who share the passion, and their businesses.
Knowing I was on a path that would last a while and that I would find information that everyone needs to know if they find themselves on a like journey, I kept notes.
One of the first interesting facts that came to my attention in the beginning was the significance of the different types of coffee grinds. A person needs to know types of grinds in order to match the right grind with the correct coffeemaker.
There are several different types of grinds, but for our purposes here we will clarify which coffeemakers work best with the following grinds.
Coarse – A coarse grind works best with French Press or Percolator
Medium – A medium grind works best with Automatic Drip
Fine – Fine works best with Espresso
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find a good coffee grinder. A decent one can be had to less than $15.00. As I went about this excursion in the next few years, I found that plenty of people tried to make the coffee making itself much more complicated than it was.
For me, the epiphany was the taste change from commercial to specialty coffee. Fresh roasted specialty coffee. There is nothing like it in the whole world. The reason why is that commercial companies like Folgers and Maxwell House use the cheapest blends, and beans.
Specialty coffees are made from the finest beans from the finest farms. This learning experience also included finding out the differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Clearly stated, Arabica is the best. Most commercial companies don’t use Arabica beans. One of the most comical aspects of coffee is the advertising. For years, commercial companies have advertised that their coffee is “mountain grown”.
The fact of the matter is that all coffee is mountain grown. So, these companies are not really a step above the rest, now are they?
I have been lucky enough to interview several coffee roasters in the past few years, and some have sent me some product. Each coffee roaster puts their own unique stamp on their coffee. My favorite at this point is Smuggler’s Brew from Island Joe’s Coffee in Key West, Florida. The aroma lasts for hours, smooth, deep brown, and chocolate. The Brew has a nice body, with a decided tang, and a wonderful taste, that is so far beyond bliss that there are no words. Joe’s motto is “The Proof is in the Cup”. And it is, it certainly is.