Saturday, February 9, 2019

Coffee Like Wine?

Depending where you live, you can now chose coffees from specific origins, not just flat whites, macchiatos, but Ethiopian coffee or coffee from Honduras or Kenia. Even Nespresso has jumped on this bandwagon.

I am on a coffee farm in Colombia, and the owner talks like a wine maker. In the past, it was all about healthy beans and increasing yields ( wasn’t this the way in most wine regions just a few decades ago?). Now his goal is to improve flavour. There are three key factors: genetics, terroir, processing.

The two main types of beans are arabica and robusta, but within those, different types of trees exist. Apart from soil and climate, he talks about microclimates. For example, growing trees and shading plants has improved the flavour, according to him. Drying beans can be done outdoors or in drying chambers. Key roasting variables are time and temperature.

The complexities are not as great as in winemaking, but it looks like coffee is taking a similar route.

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