The ultimate guide to the coffee universe
Have you ever wondered while standing in the queue to get your go-to morning drink that how on earth is it possible to brew this magical concoction? How is it done and what are the heavenly beans that come into play. Let us accept the fact that most of our coffee knowledge is limited to the instant mix of the famous Dalgona coffee trends, thanks to the pandemic.
Coffee Beans and its types
In most supermarkets and stores, you must have often come across two recurring names, Arabica and Robusta. Ever wondered if there is a difference between the two. The answer is yes, there is. So let’s dive into it.
Hands down, Arabica is the most renowned coffee that people consume all across the world. People prefer beans due to their peculiar taste. It is used in making black coffee. The beans are sweet with a complexity of different flavours. Hence, it can be consumed straight.
The astonishing fact is that the beans do not contain as much caffeine as Robusta still it is popular. You will be given a few pieces of information regarding the tree’s biology. Evergreen shrub or small tree, usually reaching a height of 5 m and in some cases 8-10m, if it is not cut, undisturbed, durable. The main taproot is short and strong, rarely growing more than 45cm in length. The trunk has a greenish-gray crumbling bark. The branches are long, flexible, spreading, often by drooping.
Flowers are bisexual, white, fragrant, 3-6 per inflorescence; self-pollinated, pollinated by insects and wind; open on sunny days in the early morning, after two days of flowering, their wilting begins, and after a few days all parts of the flower, with the exception of the ovary, fall off; inflorescences are formed from the first three to four buds or less often of all axillary buds of horizontal branches, differentiate and remain dormant until precipitation falls, which stimulates their awakening and blooming (after 8-12 days); the diploid lines of Arabian coffee are self-sterile.
Tetraploid lines allow self-pollination, but their fecundity increases with cross-pollination by bees. The fruit is an oval-elliptical or almost spherical berry, when ripe is about 1.5 cm in length, dark red or yellow (in Xanthocarpa mutants), ripens under optimal conditions 8 months after flowering, and at the borders of the cultivation zone – after 9 months; has a strong outer rind (exocarp), underneath is a juicy yellowish pulp (mesocarp), the seeds are surrounded by a gray-green parchment shell (fibrous endocarp). Seeds are paired (sitting in twos), greenish-gray, oval on one side, flat-convex with a deep groove on the other. Fruiting begins at the age of three to four years, in areas without pronounced dry and wet seasons, remontant, in areas with pronounced seasons – flushes. It used to be thought that robusta and arabica are “sisters”.
After geneticists deciphered the DNA of these two species, they found out that Robusta is the progenitor of Arabica. Most likely, Coffea canephora (robusta) crossed with another species – Coffea eugenioides, in South Sudan.
Further, the resulting new species (Arabica) multiplied and began to grow in Ethiopia, which for a long time was considered the birthplace of coffee. In this case, varieties should mean cultivars, not types of products. In many countries, a type of coffee is usually understood as a type of product – roast, origin, etc. This is also facilitated by coffee producers in these countries, often composing a name for products from the names of varieties, regions of cultivation, or even from their own names, which introduces a certain confusion. Most modern cultivars are bud mutations of Coffea arabica var. burbon and Coffea arabica var. typica, hybrids between them and their mutations. Some may be other varieties or even species and their derivatives, as well as interspecific hybrids.
Robusta beans have a stronger taste in comparison to Arabica. They are also cheaper in comparison. The high caffeine content in the beans renders it a bitter taste. Therefore, it is used in espressos and instant coffees. Want a jolt of energy to beat the Monday morning blues, go for Robusta. It will pep you just enough.
Now that we know all about the coffee beans let us explore the world of coffee makers. Every coffee maker is different and gives a different flavour and texture to the coffee.
It is one of the stylish manual and hand press coffee makers. Don’t go by the name. It is very easy to use. Simply add the ground beans and pour hot water over it. Let it soak up the beans and press down. You have your dark and rich roast ready.
It gives you the old world charm. The percolators brew the coffee by constantly blowing up hot water bubbles towards the coffee chamber. You must repeat the process till the coffee is ready. The medium roast requires a stove to run or a good campfire.
As the name suggests, it is the modern-day innovation for just a cup. Take the desired amount of coffee and pour it into the reusable filter with water and you steaming cup of coffee is ready. It’s economical and suitable for people living alone.
Yet another manual machine and surprisingly similar to our old French press. You can just go about making any kind of coffee you want in this miracle machine.
It’s a classic electric coffee maker. To make your coffee, you need to put in coffee, add water, and allow the coffee to drip. The refreshing aroma of the coffee with the sweet sound of dripping will make you want more.
Pour Over coffee makers are as simple as it sounds. You take the beans and simply pour hot water over it. A special kind of filter, however, is a requirement to end the deed.
It is a multifunctional coffee maker. It functions just like any coffee maker, but the catch is, here you can keep the coffee as it is for about 36 hours.