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Crop of the Week: COFFEE

Like the ingredients that we use in our food, coffee is an agricultural product.  There is more than one species of coffee.  Coffea Arabica beans have rich dimensional flavor profiles, and account for 70% of world production.   That’s what we serve here, and what you will find in most specialty coffee shops that source coffee for great flavor.   Arabica coffees grow best on steep hillsides at altitudes up to 7000 ft, making mechanization virtually impossible.  These plants are high maintenance, requiring 10 times the amount of hand labor as products like wine, beer, and cigars.  Arabica plants are large bushes with dark-green oval leaves.  The fruits—called cherries— take 7-9 months to mature.   Each Arabica cherry contains two seeds:  the coffee beans.  

We are proud to source our coffee from Taylor Maid Farms.  All of their coffee is organic and fair trade, grown, picked, and processed around the world, then roasted at their roastery in Sebastopol, 58 miles north of here. The “roast” to the degree to which a coffee is developed through the application of heat.  Each Arabica bean has a comparable amount of caffeine, and this stays stable up to 500°F.  During the roasting process, the coffee bean both loses weight through evaporation and puffs up in size.   So, although the caffeine content isn’t changing, as the bean roasts, the caffeine to weight ratio increases.  This means that a darker-roasted bean will have a higher ratio of caffeine to weight than a lighter-roasted bean.

The darkest roast that we serve is Goat Rock—a favorite blend of beans from South America, Ethiopia, and South East Asia. Blended coffees attempt to keep a desired flavor profile consistent year-round. On the other hand, single-origin coffee offers an experience that changes with the seasons. Terroir refers to how geography, geology, and climate express in agricultural products.  For example, Guatemalan coffee tends to be spicy and chocolate-y, Indonesian coffee is earthier, while Colombian coffee has fruitier notes.  Like other crops, coffee, too, has seasons.  You can follow your coffee seasonally by spinning the globe.  Our medium roast is always single origin—grown within a single geographical region—and changes throughout the year, offered only at the peak of freshness.  Espresso beans are chosen for how their flavors will come through using an espresso machines, and the roasting process is a little longer. Taylor Maid Farm’s Sweetwater Espresso is post-blended, meaning each bean variety is roasted to bring forth its optimal qualities, and then blended with the others for the best overall flavor profile. 

We love Taylor Maid Farm’s commitment to provide the highest quality coffee with the most protective ecological methods by dedicated farmers in mutually beneficial relationships!


POSTED BY missionpie ON February 24, 2014 IN Banana Cream Pie.

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