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My Introduction to Specialty Coffee

My friends and family always ask me, 'why do you praise coffee so much?' or 'just drink the instant one it tastes the same anyway'. Well, my only response to those questions is 'I love Coffee' and laugh it off. You may think all coffee tastes the same, but you may be surprised to know about specialty coffee! If you drink coffee daily and haven't tried specialty coffee before, I suggest you keep reading this and perhaps you might learn something new and interesting about that all too familiar friend of yours.  

Now, what is coffee, anyway? Let’s start with where the coffee comes from, namely coffee plants. Coffee plants have around 100 species [1] but the most common species is Robusta and Arabica. I will briefly describe these two species in this article.

Most of the instant coffee is made with Robusta beans. Robusta coffee plant itself is quite robust (as the name suggests) and it's more resistant to pests and fungi. The plant usually grows in an area that is 400-700 meter above sea level, and makes up about 43% global coffee production [2]. Although it makes up the majority of coffee production, the taste of Robusta itself is quite a common bitter tasting, heavy body, and produces a lot of crema for Espresso.

Unlike Robusta species, Arabica is more susceptible to pests and fungi. It usually grows 1000m+ above sea level and, Arabica is pretty unique. because every Arabica bean is different, it depends on where they grow, how they were treated, even other plants that surround them. It all contributes to the taste of Arabica beans. Sometimes, it has berry characteristics, citrus, or smells like flowers! [3]

Most of the time, home baristas just boil the life out of their coffee which is painful to see. The reason is, why do you buy the most exquisite Arabica beans, freshly roasted, with a complex post harvest process and just proceed to kill the flavor? 

There are better ways to brew rather than boiling the life out of your coffee. The simplest way is to use a French Press or just straight up do Tubruk, which basically just mix and combine hot water (not boiling or around 87-95°C) with the coffee ground. The ratio for coffee brewing also has a lot of variety depending on what type of coffee that you are going to make.

Coffee also has a lot of health benefits! It boosts your energy and mood level. This is because caffeine blocks the receptors of a neurotransmitter called adenosine, and it increases the levels of other neurotransmitters in your brain that regulate your energy including dopamine. Because of the mood and energy boost, coffee is also a good beverage before working out. Aside from energy and mood boost, there are many studies that say coffee is able to lower your health risk of types 2 of diabetes, depression, liver problems, and can even support a healthy heart. [4]

Now you may ask, how can I taste real coffee then? Well, you can come visit me at Backus Ceramics and I'll be sure to set you up properly. Not only will I be happy to prepare you a unique and delicious coffee, but you can also discuss with me anything about coffee, or maybe even buy a unique cup to drink your coffee from! We have a lot of coffee bean variants and many brewing methods available to use here. Who knows, maybe you'll discover the best coffee you've ever had!

See you soon!



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