Gourmet refers to the higher grade, cut, or quality of many of the foods and beverages we consume. Gourmet foods and beverages have long been associated with the rich and famous, who can afford the higher prices that often accompany many of these finer food and beverage versions. Coffee is a beverage that has long been available in inexpensive, regular, and gourmet varieties, and the consumption rate of coffee among people all over the world continues to rise year after year. Gourmet coffee was once only found in the finest dining establishments and mostly in the homes of the upper class, but gourmet coffee is now widely available and affordable.
The Journey From Coffee Beans to Coffee
Coffee is made from coffee beans, which are found within the berries of a variety of smaller evergreen bush plant species known as the Coffea plant. Coffee berries are harvested after they have ripened and then processed, which includes drying. The coffee beans are what remain after the coffee berries have been processed and dried. The beans are then roasted to varying degrees, causing them to change physically as well as in the flavours they produce. Finally, the coffee beans are ground into a fine consistency known as coffee grounds before being packaged and shipped to locations around the world where consumers can buy and brew coffee grounds to make coffee in commercial, hospitality, institutional, and residential settings. Some people prefer to grind their own coffee beans before making coffee. Packaged coffee beans that have not been ground can be purchased in stores and ground using the grinding mills that are available in most stores selling them, but also with home grinding machines.
Robusta and Arabica
Robusta and Arabica are the two most commercially grown species of the coffea plant, which produce the coffee beans used to make the coffee that the world’s population consumes. Gourmet coffee is made from the finest arabica coffea plant coffee beans. These top-tier arabica coffea plants are typically grown at extremely high altitudes (above 3000ft) in ideal soil and climate conditions. The coffee beans produced have fuller flavors, are more aromatic, and contain less caffeine than other coffee bean varieties such as Robustas. Consumers recognize arabica coffea plant coffee beans grown at lower altitudes as having richer flavors than Robusta coffee beans, but it is only the top tier arabica coffee beans that are considered Gourmet, and thus from which gourmet coffee is derived.
Coffee bean grounds and unground coffee beans should be stored in airtight containers and kept cool to avoid losing flavor. Coffee is typically sold in containers that are not ideal for storing coffee for an extended period of time. When you get home from the store, consider transferring the fresh coffee grounds to appropriate storage containers to extend their shelf life and full flavor.
Coffee can be brewed in a variety of ways, including boiling, pressing, and steeping. The majority of us brew our coffee using automatic coffee brewing machines and percolators, which use gravity to pull hot water through coffee grounds, where the hot water, mixed with the oils and essences of the coffee grounds, empties into a liquid holding container below. Because most people do not want to drink the coffee granules, filters are used to prevent them from being emptied into the carafe or liquid holding container from which the brewed coffee can then be served. Coffee granules can be bitter after the flavoring oils and essences have been extracted during the brewing process. Plants and flowers, on the other hand, adore coffee grounds for anyone looking for a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of coffee grounds after brewing rather than simply throwing them away.
Gourmet coffee beans, of course, are only the beginning of a truly gourmet coffee experience for many gourmet coffee drinkers. Some people prefer to drink their gourmet coffee black, without adding anything to it, such as milk, creamer, sugar, or other sweeteners or flavorings. While many others prefer to enhance their gourmet coffee and drinking experience with tasty additions such as whipped milk, sweeteners, and blending in other flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and mint, to name a few. To appeal to gourmet coffee lovers, big name coffee chains sell a wide variety of gourmet coffee with various tasty additions and flavors. Brewing gourmet coffee at home, on the other hand, is usually much less expensive, and you can add whatever you want to your coffee to satisfy your refined, gourmet tastes.
Coffee 101 – All You Need To Know