When is coffee ‘gourmet’?
What one person tastes as delicious another will not. Tastes are very subjective, whether that be coffee, wine or food – everyone is different and we are all entitled to our opinions. However, we believe that you can train your taste buds to tell the difference between a gourmet coffee from a ‘regular’ coffee.
Our blog about speciality coffee will tell you about the SCA (Speciality Coffee Association) and the grading they use to determine whether or not a specific coffee is considered ‘speciality’. Gourmet coffee beans fall into the same grading spectrum as speciality coffee beans. Not only do we love coffee here at Quirky Coffee Co but we love words too and there are so many words that we could use to describe the magnificent coffee that we supply.
Gourmet coffee or speciality coffee
As we have established gourmet coffee is just another way of saying speciality coffee; the foundations are the same. The quality of the coffee bean lies with the genetic features of the seed and the ecosystem where the coffee is grown. However, exquisite speciality coffee would not be in existence at all if it were not for the farmers. The most important ingredient to any gourmet coffee bean is the love and dedication that coffee growers give to their crops.
You can go into any supermarket and buy coffee but many of the brands on the shelves are made cheaply and taste bitter. Not only are they commercially roasted but also they lack the freshness that you would have when buying directly from a coffee supplier/roaster. Next time you are in the supermarket take a look to see if the roasting date is stated on the packaging! Of course, coffee does have a six-month shelf life and it is ok to drink but fresh coffee is the best, our motto is “the fresher, the better”.
Arabica and Robusta are the two main types of coffee that are sold in most supermarkets. Arabica beans are most definitely the more superior of the two varieties, grown at higher altitudes and more expensive to grow. Robusta, on the other hand, is more bitter than Arabica and far cheaper to grow and harvest. Robusta coffee is grown at a lower altitude to Arabica coffee beans and tastes inferior in our opinion.
Many coffee blends that are on the shelves are a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans which means that you are not getting the quality and perfect taste that you should be getting in your cup. We recognise that many people in the world like the more bitter taste to their cup of coffee, after all, we are all different and there is a place for Robusta coffee.
Single-origin gourmet coffee
When gourmet coffee is put in front of you do you know where it comes from? You should!
Single-origin seems such a small phrase but has a very big definition. Put in simple terms a single-origin coffee is that which is sourced from one single producer, crop, or region in one country.
Single farm and single estate mean that the coffee is sourced from one farm, mill, or co-operative. To go one step further with this you may find a coffee label that tells you the full estate name or a specific lot or paddock the coffee was grown on. Microlots will state the specific varietal from a specific farm.
The heritage details of each of our single-origin speciality coffees can be seen on the product pages.
As SCA’s Andra Vlaicu says:
“The most important thing about single origin is its traceability, the fact that you know exactly where your coffee is from and that it’s a specific coffee, not a blend. Usually of a higher quality, it’s the acknowledgment that the coffee is from a particular farm located in a unique setting, whilst its flavour depicts its origin, possessing characteristics of that specific area where the particular coffee was grown.”
Gourmet coffee blends
Gourmet coffee blends are unique and offer endless possibilities to capture the tastebuds of any coffee aficionado. Speciality coffee blends are a combination of 100% Arabica beans – a marriage of single-origin coffees. The idea behind a perfect blend is to take the best qualities from different single origins to create a smooth, well-balanced tasting coffee.
100% Arabica blends are perfect for traditional espresso-based drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes and americanos. Be sure to check out our Quirky Coffee Co blend range in our artisan shop. Topaza Pyra is one of best selling blends – speciality beans from Kenya, Costa Rica and Nicaragua that give an amazing profile of punchy berries and subtle nutty finish.
The best coffee in the world
The best coffees of the world are 100% Arabica beans and if you only want speciality coffee then you should ensure that 100% Arabica is stated on your bag of coffee along with the SCA score that it has been awarded. Many excellent Arabica coffees are delicious and not graded so please do not rule out trying something new but it may not be classed as speciality coffee with an 80+ grade.
Gourmet coffee is special from the very beginning. After the Arabica bean has been grown it must be handled with care in order for it to be given the high regard of speciality. Only the ripe coffee cherries will be harvested and doing this by hand ensures that the right cherries are delicately plucked from their birthplace. The perfectly formed cherries are then either naturally processed or washed and sun-dried before being exported, roasted and finally carefully packaged so the beans can breath. Once these processes have been followed religiously we can all enjoy a perfectly brewed cup of coffee.
Select your coffee as you would your wine
We regard gourmet coffee to that of fine wine. Each single-origin or blend has it’s own flavour, depth and will even pair perfectly with certain foods. There is nothing better than a cup of coffee after a delicious meal. As with wine, there is a certain type of flavour and profile that we all personally enjoy – what is right for one is not right for another! It is important that you explore all different tastes, you may find that something you thought you wouldn’t like will become your new favourite taste sensation.
Our gift taster boxes are an excellent opportunity to try different types of coffee from our artisan coffee shop range. Order your coffee selection box as either whole bean coffee or ground coffee and await delivery. Your coffee selection box is letterbox friendly and will slip directly through your door all you need to do then is brew your coffee and take your time to savour the tastes. We change our selection range every month so if you wish to reorder be assured you will not receive the same coffee selection two months in a row. We also offer a coffee subscription service where you can receive a random coffee every single month – guests coffees put in appearance during the year too, exclusive to our monthly subscribers.
Be coffee aware…
Some blends that you buy are not 100% Arabica and most certainly not 100% speciality coffee. Many blends are a combination of Arabica and Robusta beans – always check on the packaging or the online description for more information before you buy!