Using The Right Grind Size For Your Brewing Method: An Experiment

Trained baristas know the importance of selecting the right grind size for different brewing methods. In fact, most coffee shops regularly recalibrate their grinders throughout the day to keep drinks consistent. But if you’ve been brewing coffee at home, you might not have considered why grind size is important. This is likely to be the case if you purchase pre-ground coffee, which is sometimes marketed as being suited for any brewing method or coffee machine. To demonstrate how different grind sizes affected a single brewing method, we conducted an experiment with a Hario V60 dripper. We used several different grind sizes and measured how that affected the flow rate, water… Read More

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“100% Arabica”: What Does It Mean?

Choosing a coffee can be overwhelming if you’re unfamiliar with the terms used on packaging. A common label you’ll see is the claim that the coffee is “100% arabica”. But what does this mean? To explain that, you first need to understand the key differences between the two main species of coffee, arabica and robusta. I spoke to experts in the supply chain to figure out the differences between the two, and to learn about what it means when coffee is labelled “100% arabica”. Read on to find out what they said. WHAT IS ARABICA COFFEE?  Dozens of coffee species exist, of which roughly 124 have been identified. The two… Read More

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A Brief History of Manual Brewing Methods

Manually brewing coffee at home has many advantages. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to do, making it popular with those getting familiar with coffee for the first time. It’s also a brewing method that you can experiment with, making it equally popular with coffee professionals and coffee shops. Whether you’re a home brewer wanting to know more about which device to invest in, or a barista looking to better understand the origins of the device you use every day, you’ll benefit from knowing the history of the following manual brewing devices.  Here’s how approaches to manual coffee brewing have changed over time, as well as the most popular devices that… Read More

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What’s a Macchiato Coffee?

‘Macchiato’ is an Italian word that loosely translates to ‘marked’ – and is commonly used to describe the coffee beverage of the same name. Ask most fans of the drink how to make it, and they’ll say that you add some milk to an espresso shot. While this is correct, there’s no universally accepted amount of milk used, which means that if you order a macchiato in different cafés, you could get drastically different drinks. Here’s where the macchiato originates from, how it’s served today, and how it might evolve in the future. WHO INVENTED THE MACCHIATO & HOW IS IT MADE? The macchiato was likely created in Italy in… Read More

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French Press to Pour Over: How to Make Great Coffee at Home

Delicate filter coffees and bold espressos aren’t solely found in coffee shops. Brewing coffee can be done from the comfort of your own home, too. It’s an enjoyable pastime that has delicious results. Plus, you get to learn something new every day. We’ve put together a guide on how to brew the perfect cup of coffee at home, whether you’re new to specialty coffee or a seasoned pro. Read on to find out how to make coffee at home and discover some top tips to get the best results. IF YOU’RE NEW TO HOME BREWING Whether you’re taking your first steps into making coffee at home, or have a fair… Read More

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Crema: How It’s Formed, What It Tells Us, & How to Learn From It

Espresso is a complex beverage characterised by a signature layer of crema. For some, the crema is seen as a fundamental part of the espresso. For others, it’s viewed as an unnecessary byproduct of the extraction process. To find out why people view crema so differently, I reached out to three coffee specialists for their insight. Here’s what they had to say about crema is and what it can tell us. WHAT IS CREMA? Crema is formed during espresso extraction. In James Hoffmann’s book, ‘The World Atlas of Coffee’, he explains that when water is under pressure, it dissolves more carbon dioxide, which is a gas in the coffee beans… Read More

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World Coffee Research Launches Global Survey on Agricultural Research Priorities

Only one more day to participate in the @WCoffeeResearch (WCR) Agricultural Research Priorities Survey! Learn more and take the survey here. Agricultural research and development are critical for securing the future of coffee.  World Coffee Research (WCR) has designed a global survey on agricultural research priorities with input from other coffee organizations including the SCA. The survey aims to understand the needs of the coffee industry in agricultural research and development. The purpose of the survey is to amplify the voices of the coffee community and to help the research community understand the professional and business needs that can be addressed by scientific, academic, and applied research. Please take a few minutes… Read More

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A Single ‘Super Parent’ Plant Birthed All of Arabica, Research Finds

A Bourbon variety coffee plant can be traced back thousands of years to a single ‘super parent’ plant, according to new research. When one coffee plant loves another coffee plant… Research first made available this morning has given that age-old story a whole lot more context, at least in the coffee world. It seems all of arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) species can be traced back to one single plant, a “super parent” that came from a speciation event between two other coffee species — Canephora, a.k.a. robusta, and Eugenioides.  That fortuitous event, a beautiful and spontaneous coupling, happened between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago, according to the new study, which resulted from a… Read More

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What Is a Micro Lot in Specialty Coffee?

Over time, many terms have been created and adapted to meet the needs and expectations of the specialty coffee industry. One of these terms is micro lot, which is used by many members of the coffee industry to refer to small, exclusive, and traceable lots of coffee. However, there’s still some confusion as to what exactly defines the term. Over time, many terms have been created and adapted to meet the needs and expectations of the specialty coffee industry. One of these terms is micro lot, which is used by many members of the coffee industry to refer to small, exclusive, and traceable lots of coffee. However, there’s still some… Read More

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Roast Defects in Coffee: How to Identify Them in The Cup

There are a number of different roast defects which can affect the flavour of your coffee. You might taste the burnt and ashy flavours of scorched coffee, or maybe even oaty and bread-like notes of baked coffee.  As a roaster, you won’t want these flavours overpowering the hard work you’ve put into a roast. Identifying these defects by sight and taste will help you roast to a higher standard and more consistently. Read on to discover why cupping is so important in roasting, how to identify defects in cupping, and how to make changes in your roast for that defect. Why Identifying Roast Defects Is Important Roast defects can affect… Read More

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