Table of Contents
Who doesn’t appreciate some caffeine especially in the morning? It is the basic need to start our day with. The estimated amount of coffee cups consumed every day all over the world is around 2.25 billion.
Just this estimation tells us how much we love our coffee. But what exactly is coffee and how many different kinds or types of coffees are there?
These interesting questions are not answered by the majority of coffee drinkers. Even the regulars don’t know this.
Well, and then let’s get started. Today’s article will talk about what exactly is coffee and how it grows and brews. And how the world has developed or upgraded the coffee into many different types of drinks and edible products. The variations in coffee is not something to take lightly.
Production of Coffee Beans:
We generally think it takes 10 – 12 minutes to prepare a cup of coffee. But do you think it takes on 10 – 12 minutes? No, not really. Coffee is a work that is worth years. When we think of unroasted green beans, they are seeds of coffee plants or trees. The main type of coffee plants includes; Coffea Arabica. This type of plant produces over 70% of coffee globally. The other is CoffeaCanephora also known as Robusta, which is responsible for over 25% of global coffee production.
It nearly takes 5 years for the coffee cherries to get ready for harvest. The farmers generally identify the cherries which should be harvested, this is known by their color as they turn very bright red when they are ready.
The cherries are then picked or stripped from the branch. The green cherries which are not yet cooked thoroughly are also harvested but they have a little negative taste in the coffee if they are processed further. Since the green cherries are very bitter or have no taste in general, they can reduce the taste of the red ripe ones. After the cherries are picked, then comes the processing part.
This cherry is actually the coffee bean that is surrounded by many layers which include a silver skin, a parchment layer, a pectin layer, a pulp layer, and the outer skin. For the coffee bean to come to the world, these layers need to be removed and as quickly as possible after harvesting is done, because if any later, the cherries will begin to spoil.
The processing of coffee cherries is done in different ways, but there are two main processes, dry processing, and wet processing:
The dry processing method of the coffee cherry is the oldest in the book. In this process, the fruit collects the outer pulp before it is milled. This process is usually done by hand, as the cherries are arranged into different categories, unripe, damaged, over-ripe, and ripe perfectly are separated.
This method first removes the cherry part from the seed or bean. After that, the drying process begins. This process requires a lot of water and different machinery. The cherries are placed in the water and the damaged or unripe ones float to the surface so they are easier to remove.
The mill is basically where green coffee beans are obtained. The pulp and fruit from the beans are removed and the rotten beans or fruits are separated from the good product. Milling or processing is a critical stage in the production of coffee as it has a strong impact on the result of beans and the quality of the coffee itself.
After the milling and processing, the beans are at the stage where they can be exported to the market and sold.
Roasting and Brewing
These green coffee beans, after being sold in the market are then roasted. They are more often than not, roasted in minor quantities in different batches to check the quality of the beans. The tasters determine the quality of the beans. Generally, the color, aroma, and appearance are taken into consideration by the tasters. Sometimes the tasters blend certain batches to attain the quality of the coffee, otherwise, they remain single roots.
This is the point, after the quality and blend of the beans are decided, they are then roasted in large quantities and at a high temperature. Since there are many different kinds of beans with different qualities, the duration and temperature at which the beans are roasted may differ. This is done to enhance the quality further.
The roastmasters of coffee beans roast the beans according to the different sources they are obtained from. The region of the beans, the variety, the way they were processed, and the flavor which is desired from the beans. These all are divided into different profiles by the roast master.
The main roast profiles
- Cinnamon Roast
Weak, sweet, verdant, and sharp
- Light Roast
Light brown, retains original features of bean and intricate acidity
- American Roast
Average light brown, the appeal of the bean is still preserved
- City Roast
- Full City Roast
Average dark brown, roast flavor prominent
- Vienna Roast
Moderate shady brown, surface oil, bittersweet taste, low sharpness level, original features of bean subdued
- French Roast
Dark brown, glossy, burnt traces, the real flavor of the bean is hard to taste.
- Italian Roast
Nearly black, very glossy, no or very low level of sharpness, thin body
After the roasting of the beans is done; now, we are near the process of completion. The only thing left to do is to brew the coffee and mix it with various ingredients to give a unique taste.
How many ways to brew coffee
- Drip Brew: This brewing method produces a traditional cup of coffee. The ground coffee is added in the brew basket. Then the basket is positioned in an automatic coffee machine. Gravity is used to pass the water through the ground.
- Pour Over: In this brewing method, the ground coffee is put in the filter basket. Then slowly the boiling water is poured over the filter, the coffee drips to the cup or kettle below. This type of brewing method produces a strong cup of coffee.
- Cold Brew: The cold brew method requires roughly ground coffee, which is placed in room temperature water. The ground is allowed to soak in water for a long period. The results of this brew method are a less bitter coffee which is high in caffeine.
- Espresso: Espresso brew is produced with the help of an espresso or cappuccino machine. The hot pressurized water is passed through the excellently ground coffee. The force of the water produces a cup of coffee which is highly concentrated. This method is very common and is used for many coffee drinks.
- Ristretto: A cup of Ristretto is similar to espresso, as it is made the same way. With the help of an espresso machine or cappuccino machine, pressurized water is passed through ground coffee. The only difference is that less water is used and the coffee is darker and stronger than espresso.
The brewing of the coffee can affect the taste of the cup a lot. The good thing about coffee lovers and fun of it all is that they try different roasts, grinding techniques, and brewing methods to find new flavors each time. a coffee lover is never bored with the different types of drinks coffee offers.
Different types of coffee
After the roasting and the brewing, the final touch to your cup of coffee in the mixture of ingredients. There are three main ingredients in any cup of coffee, espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Of course, this all comes with many different toppings that truly are based on the customer’s preferences. The world has many different types of coffee beverages, we can only talk so much about. Our words won’t do justice to these amazing cups of coffee but we shall try our best to explain each cup. These are some of the best types of coffee:
Espresso: Espresso or also called by the name short black, is estimated to be an ounce of highly concentrated coffee. The looks and physical appearance of the espresso are simple but the taste is one only true coffee lovers would enjoy and appreciate.
Double Espresso: An Italian word for double espresso is doppio. This drink is stronger and has a greater concentration than a normal espresso.
Red Eye: A cup of red is a mixture of espresso and drip-brew. The drip brew only offers a little caffeine. The idea behind the red-eye is to boost the caffeine level by adding a little espresso.
Black Eye: Black eye, similar to the red-eye but with double shots of espresso instead of a single. Which is a little stronger than the red-eye.
Americano: Americano is more popular as a wake-up drink. It includes a single shot of espresso and around 3 oz of water. This coffee also offers a high level of caffeine while the taste is not as bitter as espresso.
Long Black: Long black has more caffeine than a cup of americano. It contains a two-shot of espresso and around 3 oz of water.
Macchiato: Macchiato means mark, which indicates the mark the steamed milk leaves on the surface of espresso as it is added in the cup. Macchiato has many different options of flavorings syrups, which are added according to the preference of the customer.
Long Macchiato: this cup of coffee is often confused with a standard macchiato. There is a distinctive difference between them. While standard macchiato has a single shot of espresso and 1 – 2 tablespoons of steamed milk, long macchiato has 2 shots of espresso and 3 – 4 tablespoons of steamed milk. The taste is very different from macchiato as this coffee is arranged in layers.
Cortado: Among the many coffee variations, Cortado is a widely known one. This is a further upgraded version of macchiato. It has a single shot of espresso with one ounce of warm milk and 1 cm foam. This has less acidity than previously mentioned coffee types.
Breve: This cup of coffee is rather rich and creamy in texture. With a single shot of espresso, 3 oz of steamed half and half and foam to top it off with.
Cappuccino: This is the favorite of many creamy coffee lovers. Cappuccino is usually taken at breakfast. It is considered a comfort drink due to the thick creamy layer and variety of additional flavorings it offers.
Flat White: A flat white coffee cup is very close to a cappuccino but it doesn’t have a layer of foam on the top. This drink is creamy but not frothy.
Café Latte: This cup of coffee is rather milky in consideration with the ones mentioned above. The acidity and bitterness are also reduced by quite a lot because of the milk. Many different sweeteners and syrups can be added according to personal preference.
Mocha: Mocha is the perfect drink for those who love both hot chocolate and coffee. This is a hybrid of coffee and hot chocolate. The chocolate powder or syrup that tops the drink gives it a comfortably rich and creamy texture which is thoroughly enjoyed. This also cuts down the bitterness of the espresso.
Vienna: Vienna is a coffee of many varieties. The most common though has espresso and whipped cream. Whipped cream is used instead of milk and sugar to give a creamy texture to the drink.
Affogato: remember the edible coffee option. Other than baked sweets, Affogato is a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over it, this also has many additional toppings. But the sweetness and bitterness mix to create a perfect dessert.
Café Au Lait: This cup of coffee is made with French press instead of espresso to bring a different flavor to the cup. It also has some scalded milk added to it.
Iced Coffee: Last but never the least in the list of coffee lovers is iced coffee. This is perfect for warm weather. Drinking hot, steaming coffee under a burning sun is too much. The recipes differ from shop to shop, but iced coffee is loved by many.
The entire long and tough journey of a seed to your cup is important as it adds value to the coffee along the way. Every step is necessary and this is why coffee offers much more variety than any other natural drinks. Around the world, coffee has many types of drinks or edible forms including coffee cake, coffee chocolate, and so on and forth. Now, that you are familiar with the brewing and the grinding and the different coffee flavors, you should order some other than your regular next time you hit up a coffee shop. It will bring fun to your taste buds.