To start off, what exactly is coffee? Coffee is actually a seed from a FRUIT. Yes, a fruit, a cherry to be exact. They are called Coffee Cherries and they are grown in many locations such as America (only in Hawaii), Mexico, Central America, Central African, India, Colombia, and so many more. These coffee cherry trees have long green waxy leaves and beautiful white flowers that have a scent which is very similar to an orange blossom or jasmine, according to Alimentatium.com. The cherries turn bright red when they are ready to be harvested and contain two seeds (coffee beans). Those beans are wrapped in a silvery film and husk (envelope) which protects the seeds. Those seeds are then extracted from the cherry to make coffee with.
Robusta versus Arabica Coffee
There are two main trees that produce coffee cherries. The coffee Robusta and coffee Arabica. The Robusta coffee bean has a taste described as burnt tires or rubbery, but the reason is because that bean has more caffeine in it compare to the Arabica bean. Robusta is a hardy tree and is much easier to tend to on the farm. According to The Roasters Pack, it yields higher cherries and is less sensitive to insects, unlike the Arabica tree. The Robusta also costs less than the Arabica because of the growing conditions and how much it yields. BUT, about 70% of the world buys and produces Arabica coffee compared to 30% of the world who buys and produces Robusta coffee. If you want the darker coffees with the most caffeine in it like many espresso drinks, you would want Robusta coffee.
FUN FACT ALERT!
Did you know that coffee is the second trade commodity in world and that it is worth over $100 billion worldwide? It is right behind crude oil of course. (agiboo.com)
Types of Roasts and Their Characteristics
There are four main roasts out there: light roasts, medium roasts, medium-dark roasts, and dark roasts. Amongst those roasts are also hundreds of different kinds of flavors to choose from. So. Much. Coffee. Besides the array of flavors, what do the different roasts mean?
Going from Light to Dark. To start off, going from light to dark means you are going from low acidity to high. Meaning the darkest roasts are the most bitter.
Light Roasts. Light roast coffee beans are roasted the least and have no oil on the surface. These beans may have a fruity or cinnamon taste. That is how most flavored coffees are made.
Medium Roasts.Medium roasts are the most common in the U.S. and are slightly sweeter than light roasts. They have a more balanced acidity level and bitterness.
Medium-Dark Roasts. These beans have a slightly oiler surface and are more bitter than acidic. Here you will find “city roasts” which are more bitter than acidic, and you will also find “full city roasts”. Full city roasts have a fuller body and are bitter. A full-bodied coffee means it will have a buttery or even syrupy quality. According to espressocoffeeguide.comthey also retain more of their flavor when they are diluted.
Dark Roasts. These roasts are the most full-bodied. These beans have an oily surface, are the most bitter out of all the roasts, and taste less like the original flavor of the bean. They taste more like the roasting process than the actual bean. Here is where you will find bolder French or Italian roasts and espressos!
FUN FACT ALERT!
People in the U.S. on average spend approximately $1,642 on coffee a year! That is if you buy a coffee every day for about $4.50 a cup. Which, if you are a Starbucks lover, that is very easy to do.
How is Decaffeinated Coffee Made?
Many consumers just want the taste of coffee without the kick. Therefore, people made decaffeinated coffee! But how is it made? In short form, it is made from a chemical process where the caffeine is extracted from the beans.
The Common Process. According to todayifoundout.com(ironic name since today you are finding this out), one of the most common processes includes soaking the still green coffee beans in hot water that is 160-210 degrees Fahrenheit. The typical solvents used are methylene chloride or ethyl acetate which are added to the batch to separate the caffeine from the bean. Unfortunately, during this type of process, the first batch of beans loose most of their flavor to the water and are often thrown out. However, once the dissolving liquid is saturated from the first batch, the next batch of beans retain much of their flavor. This process is used by most big industries but tends to dull the rich flavor of the coffee bean.
Swiss Water Process. This process is the best known one that keeps the full flavor of the coffee in the bean. According to Swiss Water, they clean and hydrate the bean with pure, local water to prepare them for caffeine removal. They then add their developed Green Coffee Extract (GCE) to the beans and the caffeine removal begins. The caffeine finds its way out of the bean and into the GCE until the ratio of soluble compounds in the GCE to the compounds in the coffee reach equilibrium. The caffeine and GCE then flow through proprietary carbon filters until all the caffeine is contained and separated from the Green Coffee Extract. This process does not include any solvents and it creates better tasting decaffeinated coffees.
What Happens with the Extracted Caffeine. The leftover caffeine is put into a powder form and is sold to many beverage companies to be used in energy drinks. Coca-Cola is one of the bigger companies who buy the caffeine powder and add it to their energy drinks which gives them that boost. Woah.
Look No Further, Your Break Room Coffee Needs Can Be Met.
Now that you know all these great facts about coffee, contact Crickler Vending today to see what kinds of coffee machines and brands, including a swiss water processed decaf coffee, we offer for your break room needs!
By Rachel Golding
Rachel is the blog creator for Crickler Vending and current intern from SUNY Geneseo for the summer of 2019. Rachel is from Naples, NY, a small town south of Rochester, NY. You can check out her LinkedIn account here: Rachel Golding