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Fresh Coffee

"Even the bag containing the beans matters"

By : Kapriz

There's nothing like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. Millions of people all over the world enjoy this morning ritual. When we wake up, we need a little time to orient ourselves to the new day, shake off our slumber and prepare for the day's work. For some people, a cup of instant will do the trick. For others, nothing but a freshly brewed cup will do. For those of us of the more picky persuasion, fresh coffee entails more than opening a can of pre-ground coffee or worse yet, a pre-made packet you drop in the basket.

The gourmet coffee drinker knows there's more to fresh coffee than meets the eye. This coffee drinker puts emphasis on the “fresh” when speaking of fresh coffee.

There are really only two components of importance in producing a cup of truly fresh coffee: the coffee and the water. Well, so what, you say. Combine the two and drink. Not so, says the gourmet.

First, you have the coffee. The quality must be superior. This means the coffee beans must be 100% Arabica. The other species of coffee is called Robusta and is most often used in cheaper coffees and at best, contains a mix of Robusta and Arabica. Robusta beans lack the complexity of flavor afforded by Arabica and often have bitter or flat notes.

Once you have your 100% Arabica, you must decide between whole beans you grind yourself at home, or a bag that's purchased already ground. Which is better? You guessed it. Whole beans retain flavor best.

Even the bag containing the beans matters. Like spices, coffee quickly loses its essential oils, which contain both flavor and aroma, when exposed to air. Therefore, choose a bag that is airtight, made of foil with a shiny surface, over a paper bag with waxed lining.

Storage of the beans is also important in flavor retention. Store the bag in the freezer. Heat causes loss of the essential oils, sabotaging your quest for a cup of fresh coffee.

Now we're ready to proceed to making that fresh coffee. Start with very cold water in the pot. Grind just enough coffee for the pot. Brew as usual. This method is simple and produces a cup of fresh coffee that will please the gourmet.

Or will it? It depends on just how hardcore a gourmet you are. Some people disdain even airtight, foil bags of beans, claiming that just a couple of days after roasting the coffee has deteriorated. The bag at the store was probably roasted at least two weeks ago and therefore is no longer up to snuff. Can you imagine? “This is not fresh coffee!”

This connoisseur insists on buying unroasted beans and roasting them at home in quantities sufficient for a few days. Only then is it deemed fresh coffee. Some people just can't be pleased!

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