Coffee beans are actually the seeds inside coffee cherries. The cherries grow on trees that are usually cut to about eight feet to allow for easier picking. However, in many forests the trees grow wild and much taller.
Each coffee cherry normally holds two beans. Some freak cherries only hold one bean. These are called peaberries and tend to have more intense flavor.
Coffee beans have little taste before they’re roasted. Unroasted beans (called green beans) have a slight grassy smell and are very hard. Roasting coffee is somewhat like cooking anything else: the cooking process brings out the real taste of the coffee.
Roasting the coffee allows the sugars, fats and starches within the bean to be emulsified, caramelized and released. This creates the delicate coffee oil. This oil is what gives coffee its distinctive aroma and taste.
In general, lighter roasts are sharper and more acidic than the darker roasts. Darker roasts have a fuller flavor. Beans that have been over-roasted will take on a burned, smoky or charcoal flavor. There is less caffeine in the darker roasted coffees.
The origin of the beans makes a big difference. A bean from Ethiopia will taste differently than a bean from India, even if they are both French roast.
Coffee’s three worst enemies are light, air and moisture. The longer coffee is exposed to air, light or moisture, the quicker it will go stale. Always store coffee in an air tight container that blocks the light.
If it will be longer than 3 weeks put it in an airtight container in the freezer. Warning: moisture is coffee’s enemy. Therefore, put the container right back in the freezer after taking out the beans you need for that day.
We highly recommend grinding your coffee immediately before brewing.
Use a brewer that only lets the water go through the ground coffee once. Or use a French press.