And complicated grossly understates how complex it actually is. But here, we're going to make it easy for you to understand the important things.
When we’re talking about the taste you experience in the simple cup of your morning joe, every decision made within its life – from seed to cup – impacts how it will turn out.
At the farm where the coffee is grown, attributes like the altitude, the varietal of the plant, the humidity, soil, neighboring plants at the farm (along with many many more) will impact the coffee.
Once the coffee is picked it is taken to the processing portion of the production, where the exterior cherry husk can be removed in a few different ways, each process leaving the specific trademarks on the taste profile of the coffee.
Then off to the roaster where they have a multitude of options at their finger tips on how to best showcase the taste profile of the coffee. How long will the roast be for? What temperature will the roast be? How will the temperature change throughout the roast?
Now when the coffee gets in your hands you have to brew it! Do you choose to brew in an immersion method that’ll give you lots of body (like a French Press) or in something that will highlight the cleanliness of the brew (like in a Chemex)? How fine did you grind the coffee? How long do you brew for?
So... yeah, it can be complicated.
One of the ways we try and understand that complexity is analyzing what we know. And on most specialty coffee bags (or on the inserts we include in each issue of The Roasters Pack) there is a few pieces of information that helps paint the picture of what to expect from this coffee and help provide context for your future coffee drinking.
Here we’re going to go through some of the things that can impact the taste and hopefully turn you into a coffee-super-pro!