Did You Know?
- Coffee comes in five certified types: Extra Fancy, Fancy, Peaberry, Number One and Prime. Prime is the smallest bean.
- Some beans are called “mother beans” because they carry another bean inside of them. These beans are not used except in flavored coffees, since by themselves they do not carry much flavor.
- The Peaberry is pea-shaped, unlike the usual coffee bean. The theory is that at the beginning of formation there are two beans, and one dies—leaving some to believe that the Peaberry carries the flavor of two beans in one. It is called the “Champagne of Coffee,” although since it has almost no acidity, it is not considered as flavorful as the higher grades.
- Coffee is very absorbent and anything around it can impact the flavor. This is why coffee processing rooms are not painted, because the paint odor can impact flavor. NOTE: It is also why coffee producers are adamant that you should not freeze your beans, because they will 1) absorb the flavors of other foods in your freezer; 2) lose some of the flavorful oils because they get more dried out. Instead, simply store it in a cool, dark and dry place such as a pantry or drawer.
- The light/medium roast actually has the most caffeine, since “dark roast” refers to the time roasted, not the caffeine content. So, if you want your morning wake up call, have a medium roast. If you want something that won’t keep you awake at night, try a dark roast or even an espresso. Yes, we know it’s counter-intuitive.
- Buy ground coffee rather than beans if you want a uniform, professional grind.
- Keep ground coffee and processed beans out of direct sunlight.
- Buy good coffee and add flavors if you like them rather than buying flavored coffees. You’ll get a better grade of beans with more oils and, therefore, more flavor.
- Unopened coffee may be stored and still be fresh for one year.
- Decaf coffee is usually decaffeinated through use of organic solvents; there is also a water process where water absorbs the caffeine by diffusion.
To read about our tour of the Kona Joe’s Coffee Plantation, click here.
Click here for the “How It Works” and see how coffee beans go from seedlings to your cup.
Photos by Paul K. Logsdon