Friday, September 09, 2016

6 Sep 2016: Getting to know you.... COFFEE

Was it a coffee appreciation session? Hm.... I guess it depends on how we define the word "appreciation" - it's about depth? or breadth?

Anyway, through the session, I learn to appreciate the effort behind the making of a cup of good coffee more now... and therefore give the coffee a higher 'value' tag (for money). Unfortunately, as Phil, the owner of Highlander Coffee said, the revenue generated hardly goes back to the farmers or workers behind the product.

Here are some takeaways from the 2-hour session:

1. There are two types of beans were introduced: arabica vs robusta beans:

While Arabica beans are of higher quality (grow at higher altitudes), Robusta (being the 'cheaper' ones) comes with more caffaine.

2. The traditional "local" coffee powder: It's not purely made up of coffee bean. If we look at the powder packaging carefully (it was the first time I looked at it), it would say, a mixture. Due to central quality control by the government, all mixture must have at least 50% from coffee beans. Fillers added to it could be corn and wheat! And coffee beans are roasted with butter and sugar!

3. About roasting: Good coffee should taste acidic.
How acidic it is depends on how long the beans are roasted. Once turned bitter implies the beans are over-roasted and no longer good.

4. Several terms were introduced - e.g. espresso, americano, etc. While I'm not into these terms and have already forgotten some of them. What left an impression were:
  • Basically, espresso is brewed coffee 
  • The concentration of caffaine depends on the 'making' - the quick press would be less concentrated, compared to the dripped method (which makes sense)
  • americano - water is added to dilute the coffee (note the sequence)
5. Coffee powder's freshness - lifespan is very short. So, grind on demand!

6. For good coffee, do not add sugar. One should taste the tint of sweetness in the sip :)

On the whole, the key takeaway is - it's far much more complicated (the need to look into the details) if we want to brew a really nice good cup of coffee. So, in that case, just buy one from a decent cafe.