Coffee Tasting & Appreciation
Vania from Coffee Potlucks shared with us what coffee is, how to choose and brew coffee, and even how to find quality decaf coffee! Below are some resources to help you find and enjoy your favourite coffee. Since we hosted in the evening, all the coffees we tasted were decaffeinated.
Coffee Potlucks usually meets on the first Sunday of the month for free coffee community sessions, all you need is a food donation to the food bank. Visit their website or follow them on instagram for updates! @coffeepotluck
Coffee Flavour Wheel
The coffee taster’s Flavour Wheel has been in prominent news this last year, as it was just updated! It is the product of collaboration between World Coffee Research and the Specialty Coffee Association of America and it compiles findings of professional sensory panelists and industry professionals. We can use this tool as a basis for vocabulary and starting point for what we taste in coffee, the list is not exhaustive, but rather a small reminder of where to start tasting the rainbow!
Swiss Water Decaf
This is a proprietary process that is certified organic and chemical free and uses water and osmosis to soak out the caffeine. It even happens in our backyard in Burnaby!
Caffeine is water soluble, so green coffee is soaked in hot water the to dissolve caffeine and flavour molecules. This water is then drawn off and passed through a charcoal filter to capture only caffeine molecules! What’s left is a caffeine-free liquid with flavour intact – they call this Green Coffee Extract. The first batch of coffee is disposed of.
Using the GCE or flavour rich water, the Swiss Water process then uses this ‘water’ to soak new batches of green coffee to remove only caffeine from fresh batches of coffee beans leaving the flavour intact. Other decaffeination methods use chemicals like Methylene chloride or Ehtyl Acetate to dissolve caffeine.
Watch the Swiss water Coffee decaffeination process in this quick video.
What makes great coffee?
1. Freshness of coffee crop since harvest and since roasting
Ratio: 60 grams / litre of water = 15 grams / 250 mL (1 cup) of water
1) Preheat your vessel with hot water
2) Grind 60 g of coffee; add to the vessel
3) Pour in a portion and swirl to ensure the coffee grinds are well immersed, then continue to pour the remainder of the 1 litre of water
4) Let sit for 4 minutes and press!
Note: We all learned how important the right grind is. Too fine and the coffee becomes too extracted, too coarse and it tastes like water!
What we tasted:
1) Rocanini – Ethiopia Sidamo
2) Elysian – Columbian Gaitania
3) Milano – decaf blend (which was a popular choice!)
4) Matchstick – No. 13, Columbia Washed