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Learn About Coffee

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. It is prepared from the roasted seeds– commonly referred to as beans – of the coffee plant, and is usually served hot but can also be served cold.
Caffeine is one of the 1500 constituents of coffee that gives coffee its distinctive character. It occurs naturally in coffee beans as well as in tea and cocoa. Caffeine also acts as a mild stimulant, increasing mental alertness and speeding up the thought process. It is because of this that some people prefer to drink decaffeinated coffee, particularly in the evening, when they might wish to relax and sleep rather than be alert.

A typical 5 fluid ounce (ca. 150 ml) cup of coffee contains 80- 90 milligrams of caffeine, depending on the method of preparation. Coffee represents 71% of all the United States caffeine consumption, followed by soft drinks and tea.
Following is comparison between caffeine in coffee and other drinks:
mg caffeine/serving
Coffee (per 150 ml cup) - from roast and ground
~80
Coffee (per 150 ml cup) - from instant
~60
Decaffeinated Coffee (per 150 ml cup) (either roast, ground or instant)
~3
Tea (per 150 ml cup)
~40
Cola (per 330 ml can)
~30
Plain Chocolate (50g)
~20

Enjoy Better Coffee!

  • Coffee Varieties

    Coffee Varieties

    In order to help our customer decide what kind of coffee they should have, we decided to include to our store pages some information about the different kinds of coffee.
    There are many different ways of how coffee is differentiated, such as roasting type, caffeine level, country of origin, kinds of coffee beans, flavor level, and flavor additives. We will describe the most commonly used categories:

    Decaffeinated Coffee
    Mild Coffee
    Full body Coffee
    Espresso style Coffee
    Instant Coffee


    Decaffeinated Coffee

    A coffee bean contains one to two per cent caffeine, which is responsible for the stimulating effect of coffee. For those who cannot tolerate caffeine but do not want to give up their enjoyment of coffee, the raw coffee beans are decaffeinated. To do this, the beans are moistened with water and steam using special equipment; suitable solvents are then used to wash out the caffeine and traces of the solvent are dispelled using steam. For technical reasons, a small residue of caffeine is unavoidably left in the beans, but the maximum one gram of caffeine per kilo dry weight of decaffeinated coffee may not be exceeded.
    The caffeine which has been washed out is dried and reused, for example in cola drinks. The decaffeinated beans are then dried to the correct pre-roast level of moisture and can be roasted normally.

    Almost all brands we are selling, have decaffeinated coffee in their selections.

    Please check out our Decaffeinated Coffee.

    Mild Coffee

    Mild coffee usually has the same level of caffeine as regular coffee. The biggest difference from regular coffee is the less intense mild flavor. This coffee is pre-processed to remove some acidity, bitterness, and harshness of regular coffee. It is usually light roasted coffee.
    Mild coffee is “stomach friendly” coffee; it is recommended for those with sensitive stomachs. If you experience heartburn, upset stomach, or indigestion from regular coffee, try these kinds of coffee and start enjoying your coffee again! The most famous brand for mild coffee is IDEE.

    Mild coffee is becoming more and more popular.

    Please check out our selection of Mild Coffee.

    Full Body Coffee

    The opposite of decaffeinated and mild coffee, is full body (or regular coffee). It is the least pre-processed coffee. Essentially, the process to get regular coffee is to only roast the green coffee beans. Consequently, the biggest difference between regular coffees is how they are roasted. Time, temperature, level of moisture, and uniformity of roast are the major parameters of the roasting process. From light to mild, to dark espresso roast – all of these, you will find in our store.

    Espresso Style Coffee

    Espresso is a concentrated coffee brewed by forcing very hot, but not boiling, water under high pressure through coffee that has been ground to a consistency between extremely fine and powder. It was invented and has undergone development in Milan, Italy since the beginning of the 20th century, but up until the mid 1940s it was a beverage produced solely with steam pressure. The invention of the spring piston lever machine and its subsequent commercial success changed espresso into the beverage we know of today, produced with between 9 and 10 atmospheres of pressure.
    Properly brewed espresso has three major parts: the heart, body and, the most distinguishing factor, the presence of crema, which is a reddish-brown foam which floats on the surface of the espresso.
    As a result of the high-pressure brewing process, all of the flavors and chemicals in a typical cup of coffee are concentrated. Some people prefer a single or double shot instead of one or two cups of coffee to get a quick shot of caffeine. But contrary to popular belief, espresso contains less caffeine per serving than other types of coffee due to the quick extraction process. Also, because of its intense and highly concentrated ingredients (including caffeine) espresso lends itself to mixing into other coffee based drinks, such as lattes, cappuccini, macchiati and mochas, without overly diluting the resulting drink.
    A frequent misconception about espresso is that it is a specific bean or roast level. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso. While some major North American chains push dark roasts as their espresso roasts, some of the winning blends used in the World Barista Championship have been what is classified as a medium or "City" or "Full City" roast, with little or no visible surface oil on the beans.
    The popularity of different levels of roast in espresso varies greatly. Espresso is typically a blend of beans roasted anywhere from very light to very dark. In Southern Italy, a darker roast is preferred but in Northern Italy, a more medium roast is the most popular type. Companies such as Starbucks and Peets have popularized darker roasts in North America and around the world, but the current trend in espresso coffee is matching the roast level to the bean type; this means that the most popular roast style is moving away from being associated with roast color, and more associated with what will produce the best flavor extraction in the cup for each region and type of bean.
    Please check out our selection of Espresso Style Coffee.

    Instant Coffee

    Instant coffee was discovered in earlier 1900's; production processes was developed in 1930-1940's. in the 1950's, Instant coffee was widelly launched onto the market.
    A cup of instant coffee can be prepared quickly and easily, without brewing, since this has already been done in the factory.
    There are 2 techniques used to produce Instant coffee: Freeze drying and spray drying.
    To create instant coffee, regular coffee is roalsted, ground and brewed. Then extract the coffee particles and the remaining liquid is evaporated using method of freeze drying which produces a better quality, smoother tasting coffee.
    During the freeze drying process the coffee liquid is frozen to minus 40°C which causes the water particles in the concentrated coffee to form ice crystals. Using a method known as sublimation the ice is extracted from the frozen granules using a special chamber which dries the particles at a very low pressure leaving behind a soluble coffee.
    The other technique that can be use to produce instant coffee is spray drying. During spray-drying the concentrated coffee is sprayed into the top of a high tower together with hot air. Due to the heat the water evaporates as it falls, so that all that remains is dried powdered coffee. Spray-drying is simpler than freeze-drying but because high temperatures are needed for this process, many of the natural properties of the coffee are lost.
    Please check out our Instant coffee.

    * Sources for the information on this page are from www.wikipedia.org and our own experience.

  • Storing Coffee

    How to Store Coffee

    Although there are many popular misconceptions and different ideas about the storage of coffee, some facts are firm; the enemies of roasted coffee are moisture, air, light, and heat. Therefore, you must keep coffee away from them to keep it fresh longer. Overall, the best environment is an airtight container that is away from light and dampness.

    Freezing Coffee

    Many people think that coffee will stay fresh when stored in the freezer, but this is not true. Coffee is very porous and it will absorb any moisture and smell that your freezer contains. Then, you coffee's flavor will be replaced by the flavor of whatever is in your freezer. Also, freezing coffee will break down the oils in the coffee that give it its distinct flavor, especially on dark roasted coffees and espresso. However, coffee can be frozen for up to two weeks only if it is in airtight containers. If you have large amounts of coffee in bulk, then you should split up the coffee into weekly portions and then freeze it. Make sure you seal the coffee very well! And most importantly, never refreeze the coffee; the freezer is a one-time shot.
     

    Refrigerating Coffee

    You can store coffee in the refrigerator if it is in a good, airtight container. The following are not airtight: tins without sealers, open coffee packs, some food canisters, and some containers and jars. 
    Never, refrigerate coffee in a non-airtight container. The fridge is one of the absolute worst places to put coffee if it is not in a completely sealed container.
     

    Ground Coffee

    Store ground coffee in an airtight container away from light and dampness. It is advisable to use it within three weeks after grounding or opening original sealed container.
     

    Whole bean coffee

    Buy whole beans and keep them whole as long as you can.
    Grinding coffee breaks up the beans and their oils, exposes the beans to air, and makes the coffee go stale and loose its flavor a lot faster, no matter how you store it. This holds especially true for flavored coffees, which is filled with oils.
    For the best tasting coffee, buy your beans whole and store them in a sealed container in a dark place. Grind right before serving.
     

    A quick review for storing coffee:

    1. Store your coffee beans or grounded coffee in a sealed container in a dark place.
    2. Try to use ground coffee within three weeks of opening the sealed container.
    3. Do not refrigerate coffee.
    4. Freeze coffee only if it is absolutely necessary.
    5. Do not refreeze coffee.
    6. Enjoy!

  • Grinding Coffee

    Grinding Coffee

    For the freshest and best tasting coffee, you should grind it right before brewing. This will give you a rich strong flavor. Also, it is very important to grind the coffee in the right form for the brewing you will do. Grinding too fine or coarse for certain brewing methods will not work.
     
    Generally, the shorter the brewing cycle, the finer the grind required to produce optimal flavour extraction. The longer the brewing cycle, the coarser the grind required. Fine grinds expose more of the coffee's surface area to the water and the coffee's essential oils are released faster. Longer brewing methods require a coarse grind to avoid over-extraction.  For example, espresso brewers can produce a cup of espresso in just 20 seconds, so they need a very fine grind. A grind that is mismatched to the brewing method can produce a bitter, overly strong coffee, or one that is weak and lacking in flavour.
    Brew Method Grind Setting
     
    Brew Method
    Grind Setting
    Drip brew
    Medium
    Espresso
    Fine
    Permanent Filter or Vacuum
    Medium to Coarse
    French Press
    Coarse
     
     

    The Grinders

    Blade Grinders

    Blade grinders actually just blend your coffee beans. They are cheap, easy and quick to use, and readily available. However, blade grinders are very inconsistent; you may end up with chunks beans and powder. Also, the blades add the element of friction and heat. This makes the coffee loose its essences and aroma and taste burned.
    When using blade grinders, press the button at quick intervals of 2-5 seconds. This prevents the beans from heating up. Also, holding the machine firmly with both hands, shake the grinder up and down while you grind for better consistency. A course grind requires 7-10 sec of grinding. A fine grind requires 15-20 sec.
     

    Burr Grinders

    Burr grinders are clearly the best way to grind your coffee because they crush your coffee instead of slicing it. This way, the consistency is much more even and no heat is added. However, they do cost more than Blade grinders. Many commercial coffee grinders use these machines but there are many countertop models.

  • Brewing Coffee

    Common Coffee Brewing Methods

    There are many ways to brew coffee and it is important to know how to do each technique properly; brewing is a key factor in how your coffee tastes.
    We will describe the most common ones:
     

    French Press

    As opposed to drip machines that only pass the water through the coffee and a filter, the French press, also known as a press pot, actually brews the coffee with the hot water. Then, a metal filter is pressed inside the pot and it traps all the coffee grinds. This method leaves the coffees oils and rich tastes and aromas. With the French press, you also have a lot of control. You can make the temperature of the water much hotter, it should be around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that drip makers can not reach. You can also control the amount of coffee you want to add to make it stronger. And also, you can control the brew time, which should be about minutes. The French press is also extremely portable; you do not need electricity or lots of space, just hot water. An important tip to remember is to take out the coffee; do not leave it in with the grounds after it is brewed.
     

    Vacuum Brewer

    Like French presses, vacuum brewers make the coffee together with the hot water. However, these are not very common and are hard to find. A vacuum brewer has an upper and a lower chamber connected by a thin tube wiath a small filter inside. Ground coffee is placed in the upper chamber, and water is placed in the lower. As the pot is heated, the water slowly rises up to meet the coffee in the upper chamber and begins to brew. Finally, the water is cooled and the coffee seeps back into the lower chamber through the tube, leaving the grounds behind. The top chamber is removed, and you can serve the coffee. These can be electric or stovetop.
     

    The Toddy Maker

    The toddy maker is an unusually tool, which uses a cold-brewing method that creates a coffee concentrate. This concentrate is then mixed with hot water to make coffee. Then, the concentrate can be refrigerated and used to make one cup of coffee at a time, whenever you desire. This method is exceptional for coffee drinkers with stomach problems because the resulting coffee is very low-acid. However, this method does take a great deal of time because the water is cold. Plan to brew over night for multiple cups of great tasting coffee!
     

    Drip Grind with a Permanent Filter

    Permanent filters are superior to one-time-use filters because they let more of the coffee taste in. Permanent filters allow for more liquid (as well as aromatic oils) to pass through, and the end result is more flavorful. Look for gold plated filters because they do not leave a metallic after-taste.
     

    Drip Grind with a Paper Filter

    Paper filter coffee brewing is very quick and efficient, but it clearly produces the worst tasting coffee. If you are a person who has never had their coffee brewed another way, buy a French press and experience the difference!