food and beverage underground

The Wonderful World Of Coffee

Coffee is one of the most mis-understood and underutilized profit centers in the restaurant. Coffee is one of the most popular
drinks and most consumed drink next to water. Most of us enjoy a great cup of coffee, whether it is in the morning, afternoon, or evening for a pick me up or just to enjoy the taste of a delicious cup of Joe. Creating a top notch coffee program can be a daunting task, without training, direction, and a great cup of coffee. First, you need to decide what kind or brand of coffee you want to offer. Second, the coffee machine and or vessels you will be using to serve your coffee. Third, the choices you will offer, whether just coffee and cream, espresso drinks, after dinner drinks and coffee, the list can grow. Lastly, the training of the staff to implement your coffee program. In this article we will focus on the beans and flavors, Coffee brings to the table.

Coffee is produced from seeds of a red or yellow fruit grown from plants about the size between a shrub and a tree, by a long and complex process. This labor intensive process starts with hand picking, due to the beans ripen at different times. The average coffee tree produces about 2 pounds of roasted coffee per year, which is Two thousand cherries, since each cherry has two beans.

Two processes used to make coffee are the wet and dry process. The beans are dried out in the sun, or in dryers, and then the fruit is stripped off of the bean for the dry. For the wet process, the beans are soaked till the fruit comes off, which is known as washed coffee. After these processes, the green beans are sent to be dried, sorted, bagged, and sent to the roasters. Beans will stay fresh while they are green. The difference between commercial and specialty coffees or just as it sounds, commercial coffee is roasted in large plants, and specialty is from small stores or factories. Specialty coffees are generally the choice in most restaurant settings.

The two species of coffee are Robusta, and Arabica. Robusta is a lower grade of coffee that is generally grown at lower elevations. It has a higher amount of caffeine, but it also is more astringent. The trees have a higher yield, and are easier to maintain, therefore can be purchased at a lower cost. Is a major component of inexpensive coffees especially instant. Arabica coffee is the gourmet coffee of choice, due their more desirable flavors, even though it contains half the caffeine as Robusta. Arabica is grown worldwide and accounts for more that 60% of production. The reason for the high prices is because of the plants susceptibility to frost, disease, and pests. Adding Arabica as a base for Robusta blend will give the blend a delicate flavor and body.

The flavor of Arabica beans can vary from region to region. Just like wine, knowing the region, you can tell what flavors one would expect. Beans grown in South America and Africa (Kenya or Tanzania) have a medium body, and medium aroma. Brazil is one of the oldest production areas, and also the biggest producers of every 1 out of 4 cups coming from Brazil. Brazil’s farms offer these types of coffee; Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, and Mundo Nova. Picking coffee from East Africa (Kenya or Ethiopia), will complement food, as well as Mexico. Ethiopia has some of the best coffees of the world with their fruity and powerful aromas. Guatemala and Colombian coffees have a nice acidity. Colombian coffee is the second largest supplier of coffee, with over 12% of coffee has its origins from Columbia. The types of coffee are very rich in smell and body, with a racy acidity. Different coffees from Columbia are Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, and Maragogype. Guatemala has a vast array of climates, so therefore, not a clear cut version of coffee. Indonesian and New Guinea (Java) coffees are fuller bodied, complex and smooth, mostly called Sumatran coffees. The most popular are the Modeling, and Lintong which make great dessert coffee. Honduras is used as a blend mostly due to their simplicity. Some other note worthy countries are Costa Rica, known as the classic cup due to its balance, Dominican Republic offers a rich, dark roast that will give you a jolt, Ecuador offers a slight acidity and is good for blending, Haiti has a sweet and soft body, Jamaica, and Kenya is well balanced, rich and full bodied, Nicaragua has a mild flavor, Tanzania has a medium to full body, Uganda is balanced and mild. Kona is smooth and mild, but is rich in flavor. I know there are others, but these coffees are the most recognizable.

From Coffee to Tea

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