The flavors and aromas of gourmet coffee don’t have to be a “coffee shop only” experience. A truly tasty cup of a coffee is possible to brew at home. With a little bit of knowledge and lot of love for coffee, brewing a cup of coffee with that gourmet flavor at home is a snap. So, how does one go about obtaining the best coffee flavor? The following guidelines will help you get gourmet coffee flavor at home.
The Right Coffee
Although it seems that this should go without saying, starting with the right coffee is the key to getting the gourmet flavor from your coffee. To find the right coffee, look for a gourmet roast that is a single bean, not the mixed blends you find in the grocery store. A gourmet coffee is defined as being comprised of 100% Arabica bean, according to Coffee.org. Perhaps you are still searching for the perfect coffee flavor, in which case, Coffee Review is great resource. This site reviews coffees, offering readers descriptions of the best coffees available.
Be vigilant. Many coffees are labeled gourmet that actually are not. While the flavoring in some coffees may be similar to gourmet, the coffee is only gourmet only if it contains 100% Arabica. Consumers can determine what type of beans the coffee they are interested in by reading the label. It should tell what type of bean is contained in the coffee. If the beans are named, the rule of thumb is that it can be assumed that the beans are Robusta. Robusta beans are named so because they are able to grow in regions that Arabica can’t.
Also, use whole bean coffee, not ground. Most importantly, don’t freeze your coffee beans. Freezing them creates condensation, which can destroy the flavor of the bean. You also should not refrigerate them for the same reason. Additionally, don’t grind your beans until you are ready to brew your coffee. This last bit has to do with the coffee bloom, which is essential to capturing the flavor of the coffee.
What is coffee bloom? Technically, it is an event, a point at which the coffee beans release their carbon dioxide in such a fashion that the gas releases pressure that causes the coffee and water to expand as long as the gas is present. It looks a bit like a flower blooming, thus the name. This process is described in great detail in “The Science Behind the Bloom.” During this process, the unique flavor of the coffee bean is released into the coffee. It takes skill and careful handling of the coffee bean to capture the flavor.
Creating the Coffee Bloom
Capturing the bloom is a delicate process. Starting with whole beans ensures the beans still have carbon dioxide trapped in them. Once they are ground, they begin to give off the gas. In order to get your coffee to bloom, simply pour a small amount of warm but not hot water slowly over the grounds. You will be able to see the bloom occur. Once this has happened, proceed with your normal brewing routine. You will have captured the essence of gourmet coffee flavor, and in your own home too!