Ideas for Choosing and Preparing Coffee

Tips for Choosing Good Coffee
People who really appreciate a good cup of coffee can tell if the coffee beans are fresh and of good quality. Someone once told me that if I would store my coffee beans that I just opened in the freezer or refrigerator, that would keep the beans fresh. My brother-in-law set me straight about that myth.

After my husband’s sister and husband retired, they purchased a coffee plantation in the Rain Forest area of Puerto Rico and began to grow coffee. After visiting their farm a few times, I have discovered that growing coffee takes much labor and thought. They are meticulous about growing and processing their coffee beans. The beans are picked by hand and then processed under specialty coffee parameters. When the properly dried beans are hulled in preparations for roasting, they are distributed to different women on the mountain. These women carefully hand pick out the damaged beans. Only the ideal beans are roasted and used in their brand of coffee. Each time I visit their farm, I learn a few more facts about coffee.

1. Arabica beans produce the best coffee. My brother-in-law discovered some Robusta coffee plants growing on his farm. He explained to me that Robusta is not Arabica. Robusta coffee has more caffeine and is more bitter than Arabica.
2. Robusta beans are the beans that are used to blend with commercial grade Arabica coffee to produce a stronger flavored coffee with a darker tint. Robusta beans are from a different family of coffee and generally cheaper than Arabica beans.The word Robusta refers to the type of coffee beans, not to the “robust” flavor.
3. Never store coffee in freezer or refrigerator. When you store in refrigerator or freezer, it deteriorates the flavor. Always store in an airtight, glass container with a rubber seal and keep in a cool, dark place. Never store in a plastic container.
4. Once you grind the coffee beans, and they are exposed to the air, store immediately. Coffee can lose its flavor within two hours if it is not stored properly.
5. After your coffee is brewed, use a thermal glass carafe to keep the coffee hot. This can keep the coffee hot up to five hours, and it seals in the flavor.
6. Never reheat coffee.

Difference Areas of Coffee Production
Arabian – Coffee is usually high in acid and low in mellowness.
Brazilian – Most of the coffee that comes from Brazil is usually very high in acid.
Caribbean – Of Caribbean coffee the best- know good coffee comes from Jamaica. It is usually very expensive, but it is a full-bodied coffee. Lower priced Jamaica Blue Coffee is a blend.
Central America – Coffee is usually rich and full-bodied. Colombian Supreme is the favorite of most people.
Indonesian – An excellent coffee which is lower in acid than other coffee.
African-This is a full-bodied coffee with exceptional sharp flavors that is medium to dark roasted.
Hawaiian-This coffee is grown on the islands in volcanic soil. It has a rich and earthy flavor. Many people who have visited the islands on vacation, continue to enjoy drinking it, because the distinct flavors of the coffee remind them of their vacation.

Different Roasts of Coffee
American – This is the lightest roast.
Viennese – This coffee is slightly darker than American roast. This makes a good after dinner coffee.
French -Since this is a dark coffee, you should plan to use cream and milk.
Italian – This roast is very dark and makes a good espresso.