Coffee Bean Barista Secrets: The Crema Revealed

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

With a delicious scone in hand, I hop back into the car and stuff it into my mouth. I look over to see you’re still right where I left you, in the passenger seat. I give an affirming nod and put the car into drive and we are off to continued adventures. We drive out into the wild world of coffee and its ever-percolating interest in today’s article, The Crema Revealed.

Where will our caffeinated beverage lead us today? Well, if you missed my article from two weeks ago, you can catch that right here. But today’s adventures lead us to a coffee shop barista sharing secrets as well as a long list of how we can make different coffees! Woo! Are you excited?

If I told you, I’d have to kill you

Well, now. If you think coffee bean barista secrets would be kept undercover, you couldn’t be more wrong. I am happy to bring you the “crema” of coffee bean barista secrets. Here we go! Oh, just to warn you, we’re going to be here for a while, so you might want to grab some coffee. There is so much to discuss!

IImage by Tabble from Pixabay

All coffees are caffeinated equally

FALSE. Several factors play into the caffeine level in your coffee. Delve with me into the mind-numbing variables of great coffee making and caffeine levels.

  1. The type of coffee bean.
    • Arabica
    • Robusta
    • Liberica and Excelsa
  2. Roasting time.
    • Light
    • Medium
    • Dark
    • Extra Dark
  3. Amount of ground coffee used.
  4. Techniques used in brewing.
    • Grind size-
    • Water temperature
  5. Brewing method.
    • Drip
    • Pour-over
    • Espresso
    • Cold-brew

Where ya ‘bean’ all my life

Image by suju-foto from Pixabay

The most popular coffea beans are Arabica and Robusta. Liberica and Excelsa are the lesser-known beans. In the 1890s, Liberica beans saved the day for American coffee cups. Coffee rust hit the Arabica bean and almost brought coffee drinking in America to a grinding halt. America turned to the Liberica bean, making it a popular coffee bean till the Arabica bean rust crisis had passed.

The Arabica Bean

Approximately 60% of all coffee comes from the Arabica bean. This bean is grown mostly in Latin America, in places of high altitude, enjoying lots of shade and Rain. When it comes to hardiness, you could say the Arabica bean is a bit of a “sissy”. Because of this, the Arabica bean is prone to disease and is sensitive to environmental changes.

What the Arabica bean lacks in “temperament”, is made up in its flavor. Bright with complex aroma profiles and flavor. Great for a “hot cup of Joe”, drank black, and for hot brew folks. Here is a quick list of famous American Arabica bean ground coffee producers:

  1. Folgers– A good coffee brand. Folgers survived for one and a half centuries. In 2008, Folgers became a subsidiary of J.M. Smucker company. “The best part of waking up…”
  2. Green Mountain Coffee– Started nearly four decades ago in Vermont, this company is now part of the Keurig Dr. Pepper company.
  3. Starbucks– Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, this company began as a coffee bean store but expanded to selling coffee and espresso-based drinks when Howard Schultz purchased it. Starbucks has expanded into 77 countries.
  4. Dunkin’ Donuts– Well-loved by construction site workers, this coffee and donut culture caught on and in 1955 William Rosenberg started selling franchises. Moving forward, Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded into selling prepackaged ground and fresh bean coffee.
  5. Maxwell House– “Good to the last drop.” This quote, supposedly given by President Roosevelt, made a great tagline for Maxwell House coffee. This coffee company was named after its first customer, Maxwell House hotel. Maxwell House coffee has given America a consistent refreshing brew since 1892.

Stay tuned for next week’s article as I “filter” through the best information possible on coffee and the many ways to drink it. Till next time. Here is to good food, great friends, and the best coffee you can find!

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