ROAST refers to the degree that the green coffee bean has been roasted. A light, or “City” roast has been in the coffee roaster for several minutes less than a dark roast. A light roast is characterized by a lighter color and a drier look to the bean. A medium, or “Full City”, roast is characterized by a chestnut brown color and a slightly more oily look and will generally have a sweeter taste than the light roast. A dark roast is characterized by a dark almost black color with a very oily finish and will generally have a somewhat bittersweet taste.
BODY refers to the mouthfeel of the coffee beverage. Body consists of the oiliness or slipperiness and the thickness or viscosity of the beverage. A coffee with a buttery feel and heavy thickness would be considered to have a full body. A coffee with a smooth feel and a light thickness would be considered to have a light body.
ACIDITY as used in coffee terminology refers to a taste sensation, not a stomach condition. The presence of acids and acid compounds in coffee are what give different coffee varieties much of their individual taste characteristics. This is comparable to the acidity in wine, which makes the taste of wine more complex than just plain grape juice. Acidity in coffee helps creates a more complex and colorful taste. Therefore, a coffee with a high acidity will have a bright, colorful, and pleasant taste, whereas a coffee with a low acidity will have a more subdued and understated taste.
We suggest you sample many different coffee varieties to see how individual coffee characteristics match with your taste.
The following basic considerations will help you brew a great cup of coffee.
1. Use the right amount of coffee and water.
For French press or automatic drip coffee brewers we suggest two level tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water. We recommend measuring the water before you pour it into the pot, because the size of a “cup” may vary for different coffee makers.
2. Use the correct grind.
Grinds can vary greatly amongst different grinders but in general use larger or coarser grinds for longer brewing times (i.e. French press) and a fine grind for shorter brewing times (i.e. espresso). For example, an electric drip coffee maker would use a medium grind, a French press uses a larger or coarser grind, and for espresso use a fine grind.
3. Use fresh clean cold water to begin.
Use fresh clean cold water. A cup of brewed coffee is almost 99% water so be sure to use clean tasting water free from chlorine and other impurities. Water heated to just below a boil (195 to 205) is best for extracting the finest flavor from the coffee. Water that is too cool makes a poor tasting cup of coffee. Automatic drip coffee makers heat the water for you so be sure you have one that can reach the proper water temperature.
4. Use fresh coffee and grind just before you brew.
Start with freshly roasted coffee. At the Durango Coffee Company all our coffees are roasted locally several times a week. You are assured of the freshest roasted coffee each time you buy beans from us.
The main enemies of coffee freshness are oxygen, light, and moisture. Keep coffee fresh by storing it in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature. If you store coffee in the refrigerator or freezer for daily use it can damage the coffee as warm air condenses to the beans whenever the container is opened and the beans can absorb flavors/aromas present in the refrigerator or freezer. For the best results, coffee should be ground just before brewing.