Coffee Brewing: Main Factors That Affect Taste
Surprising Factors Influence Taste
Coffee has a ubiquity of preparation methods and flavor profiles. Covering them all here would require a book. There are, in fact, many coffee books. Here is a list of four if you’re exceptionally passionate about coffee and want to expand your knowledge.
What you’ll find is that much of coffee flavor has to do with the type of beans and how they are handled prior to roasting. In this writing we’re going to give a high overview of those things, and then we’ll look at how preparation influences taste as well.
1. Where Coffee Is Grown: High Altitude Soil For Arabica Beans
The higher the altitude of the beans you buy, the better they’ll generally taste. Arabica beans are a finicky sort, and prefer soils that are very rich, and located at around the 2,000 foot elevation mark (600+ meters). High-altitude arabica beans that are “shade grown” tend to be some of the most desirable.
2. Associated Coffee Plants – Arabica Outpaces Robusta, Usually
Different kinds of coffee plants will be more or less flavorful. Two of the most favored plants are robust and arabica beans. Robusta beans aren’t as finicky and can be grown at lower elevations. These coffee varieties are more common, but don’t taste quite as good.
3. Farming Methods And Hand-Picking Strategies
This point has to be briefly glossed over for space constraints, there’s just too much to cover; but it’s worth noting. Basically, the way coffee beans are farmed and how their harvested tends to influence taste. Hand-picked beans are more expensive, but tastier, owing to the acumen of those who harvest them. Machine harvesting will produce inferior blends.
Also, the way the soil is irrigated, the way they beans are planted (whether they’re “shade-grown” arabica beans or not), what sort of nutrients are used in the soil, and the season of growth will all play a part.
4. Natural Processing, Wet Processing, And Honey Processing
With natural processing, beans are just allowed to dry naturally. Wet processing involves a machine process where beans are washed and prepped. Honey processing involves pulping the beans then drying them “naturally”. Each form of processing plays a part in flavor, natural processing is best for most drinkers.
5. Shipping And Storage
Shipping and storing coffee beans can diminish or maintain flavor; you want to buy beans where some care has been put into shipping for best results. Here’s a link to what good coffee bean storage looks like; the most qualitative shippers keep such things in mind.
6. Bean Roasting, How You Prepare Coffee, And Additives
Once you’ve got the right beans from the right grower, stored the right way, it’s time to roast them. This is sort of like how a brewer makes beer have different flavors like Cold Brew Coffee, and again, it’s such an involved process there are many books written on the subject. Suffice it to say, you want to find the sort of roast that best fits your preferences.
After you’ve figured that out, it’s time to alter the finished product. Roasted cold brews involve letting coffee steep overnight. The taste is less acidic, more smooth, and there’s more caffeine. Iced coffee involves pouring hot coffee over ice—it tastes markedly different from cold brew. However, there’s a sort of hybrid between the two that’s likewise delicious.
Cometeer coffee basically involves using liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze brewed coffee, and the taste is quite unique. A few top Cometeer coffee strategies might help you figure out how best to explore this means of preparation.
From there, a good tip for flavor might be adding a bit of cinnamon to the ground beans before the water filters through. Whole cream over half-and-half or milk will alter flavor, and honey as opposed to sugar has its place. Though to be sure, it’s best to have roasts which contain primary flavors in advance, rather than varying sugar syrups for the purpose.
Finding The Flavors That Resonate With You
How beans are roasted, prepared, and altered in brew form will affect flavor; but this is only one part of the story. Shipping, storage, processing, farming methods, the sort of plants from which roasts are derived, and where coffee is grown all represent additional key factors in flavor. In fact, many coffee experts would say these things are what’s most important.