The story of coffee begins in 11th Century Ethiopia. The leaves of the so-called "magical fruit" were boiled in water and the resulting concoction was thought to have medicinal properties. As the fame of the coffee plant spread to other lands, its centuries-long voyage was about to begin.
From Yemen to London coffee began to spread across the world as people learned of its great taste and energizing properties finally making its way to North America in 1668. The first coffeehouse in New York, "The King's Arms", opened in 1696.
Coffee Chain of Hands
The Farmer, importer, roaster, and barista are the key members along the coffee process. They craft the coffee from the seed to the cup making their commitment to quality crucial in getting the best cup of coffee.
1. The Farmer
The Farmer, responsible for the growing of coffee, has a five year process ensuring healthy growth and proper nourishment until it is ready to harvest. Out of everyone in the coffee process the farmer spends the most time preparing the coffee for the cup.
2. The importer
The importer is the middle man between the farmer and the roaster. Taking care of any import laws and regulations the importer is crucial on helping the roaster source quality beans.
3. The Roaster
Time, temperature and roasting technique are all variables that effect the final cup of coffee making the roasters knowledge and experience crucial to making that final cup.
4. The Barista
The Barista being the final hands in the coffee process, gets to be the link between the coffee culture and the customer. Providing them with a quality cup of coffee that had a long journey to get into there hands, we get to educate the customer on why and how they enjoy the cup they are drinking so much.
The Coffea Plant
There are two major species in the coffea world. Coffea arabica accounts for 75-80 percent of the world's coffee production, while Coffea canephora (Robusta) accounts for about 20 percent. Because of the low elevation the Robusta species is grown at. It has a higher caffeine content, higher crop yield and are far easier to farm, but is extremely bitter ofter described as rubbery and burnt. The Arabica species, being grown at a much higher elevation, is far more difficult to farm, yields less, and has less caffeine. However, this species has a far more complex and enjoyable taste profile. Here at Mazevo we only utilize coffee from the Coffea arabica plant.
The Flavor Profile
The Origin of the coffee refers to the country in which the coffee was grown and harvested. Each origin creates a unique cup of coffee do the the environment in which it was grown.
Because of the fact that a specific environment in which coffee was grown can change the taste of the cup, coffee can also be broken down into regions for further tasting clarification. For instance you could be drinking an Ethiopian coffee but an Ethiopian Ardi with have a different flavor profile than a Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.
Altitude affects the time it takes for a coffea plant to mature. The length of time it takes for a coffee plant to grow and mature affects that coffees flavor profile. The higher the altitude and the longer it takes to mature usually leaves you with a more complex tasting bean.
4. Processing Methods
Processing refers to the method used to remove the coffee cherry from the green coffee bean. Common methods of this include Fully Washed, Sun-Dried and Semi-Washed. The Different process affect the taste of your final cup of coffee.
Coffee brewing is the final step bringing the coffee from the farm to the customer. There are many different processes and techniques to brew a great cup of coffee, from the french press to espresso, each method provides a unique example of the coffee bean.
1. Brewing Ratio
This refers to the amount of water to the amount of coffee. For example the pour over method typically uses a ratio of about 1:17. That is 1 gram of coffee for every 17 grams of water. Different ratios are used for different methods to bring out the best flavor profile.
2. Brewing Temperature
Brewing temperature is critical to achieving quality flavor from a cup of coffee. The hotter the water the faster the coffee is extracted from the grounds.
3. Brewing Time
Time is equally important for the same reason. The more time water sits in the grounds the more it extracts. The time for each method of brewing is unique.
4. Grind Size
The Size of the individual coffee particles is key to brewing the perfect cup of coffee. The finer the ground the more extraction you get. Example espresso is finely ground. The more coarse the grind is the slower the extraction. Example Cold Brew is coarsely ground.