Three Reasons Our Coffee Tastes Smoother Than Other Coffee

I had the privilege of serving some of my recently roasted coffee to my son on Easter. His affection for coffee rivals mine, so I wanted to know what he thought. He sipped, sipped again, looked up and expressed his delight. He said my coffee was “better than anything he was buying in local coffee shops.” I was honored. I’ve been roasting coffee for almost fifteen years, so it was refreshing to realize I haven’t lost my touch.

My coffee is different. I know that. But I haven’t given a lot of thought to what makes it different until now. So here are three reasons I think our coffee tastes smoother than other coffee:

FRESHNESS. I know the “big thing” is to package coffee in nitrogen to preserve the flavor longer. That might work until you open the coffee. Then, it’s business as usual as far as degradation of flavor goes. In fact, I think it will lose its flavor faster. I don’t package my coffee in nitrogen because I don’t want it to last a year in the bag. I want you to enjoy it within a few days of roasting so you’ll get the optimal flavor. That’s what my son experienced and why there are two bags I roasted yesterday with his name on them.

SMALL BATCH. My traditional roaster friends have machines that roast anywhere from ten to fifty pounds of coffee at a time. I can’t roast that much. I can only roast a fraction of that amount. So, I pay attention to the details. The coffee is roasted as needed and never before it is ordered. The only time I roast coffee in advance is for delivery to the one retail location that carries it.

AIR NOT DRUM. I roast on a fluid bed roaster. Rather than being tumbled in a metal drum, my coffee floats on a bed of air inside a glass cylinder. It doesn’t come in contact with metal so there is no hydrogen sulfide formed on the outside of the beans. What does that mean? It means a less acidic cup of coffee. It is much easier on folks who have problems with traditional coffee and much more flavorful for people who just want the best possible taste.

I enjoy having coffee at a number of local shops. They are great at what they do. But it is refreshing to hear someone say my coffee is on par with those other shops. Coffee is complex and there’s more than one way to roast it. I like my way. So do a lot of other people.

Why can’t you make coffee shop coffee at home?

Nothing beats the experience of a cup of perfectly brewed coffee at an artisan coffee shop. Though they vary dramatically, artisan coffee shops usually have two common characteristics—there is no drive-thru window and there isn’t a wall showcasing sugary syrups that can be added.

Artisan coffee shops turn coffee brewing into an experience. Each step in the process is carefully designed to bring out the best in each coffee they offer. From the grinder settings to the way the coffee is brewed, everything is calculated.

So, why can’t we make coffee like that at home?

Here’s the good news… we can! It might require changing the way you brew coffee, but with a little practice, you can enjoy awesome coffee whenever you want it (at a price you’ll appreciate).

First, let me explain why most basic drip coffee makers can’t duplicate coffee shop quality. There is a lot of plastic that comes in contact with the coffee and the water doesn’t get hot enough. Coffee is best brewed in glass, ceramic, or stainless steel. Most coffee makers aren’t constructed from those materials. No matter how great your coffee beans are, those machines simply can’t provide the taste you want.

What equipment do you need?

First, you’ll want to choose a brewing device. I use the Kalita Wave for my morning coffee. You might prefer a Chemex, V60, or something else. All of the specialty devices are excellent choices.

Second, get a hot water boiler with a temperature setting. Pour over coffee should be brewed at 208 degrees. If the water is too hot or cold, the taste will be lessened.

Third, get a pour over kettle. These stainless steel devices help you control the flow of the water over the beans. Pour too quickly and you’ll disrupt the pouring process.

Fourth, get a digital scale. Perfect coffee requires precision measurements. The ratio is simple—you need 17 grams of water for every gram of coffee. So, if you are using 25 grams of coffee for that big cup first thing in the morning, you’ll need 425 grams of water.

Fifth, use a timer. Begin by pouring just enough water over the grounds to get them wet and let it sit for 30 seconds. After that, slowly pour the remainder of the water over the grounds trying not to float the grounds, but keeping the water flow steady. This might sound difficult, but you’ll get the hang of it very quickly.

That’s it. Now you can enjoy awesome coffee without having to leave your home.

How much will all of this cost?

coffee_gearI have links to the products I recommend on this page. The total cost is about the same as a moderately priced drip brewer. With the money you save by not going to the coffee shop so much, you’ll pay yourself back in no time.

Don’t get me wrong…I still enjoy going to coffee shops for a great cup of coffee. Now, however, I don’t have to go there to get great coffee!

What is hydrogen sulfide and does it matter?

Coffee beans are very complex. Each bean contains more than 1000 chemical compounds. As beans are roasted, the chemistry of the bean is changed and flavor compounds are formed. That’s why it is so difficult to duplicate specific taste profiles. The slightest change in the humidity of the roasting room can affect the chemical reactions taking place in the beans.

Most coffee is roasted in metal drums over a natural gas fire. When the fumes from the fire interact with the coffee bean, hydrogen sulfide forms on the surface of the bean. When dissolved in water, hydrogen sulfide becomes hydrosulfuric acid, a weak acid. This is a corrosive compound that can be poisonous in large quantities. Over time, the hydrosulfuric acid is released from the roasted beans, but trace amounts remain.

after-roasted

At Franklin Coffee Company, we don’t roast over a natural gas fire. Our coffee is roasted in hot air so there is no hydrogen sulfide and, therefore, no hydrosulfuric acid. As a result, the coffee has less acid and a smoother taste. That’s why one customer recently said, “That’s the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had!” It is amazing how many people have never tasted fresh coffee. Once you try it, you’ll taste the difference.

So, if you are looking for a cleaner, less acidic cup of coffee, give ours try. If you are concerned about the trace amounts of hydrosulfuric acid in other coffees, you might like what we have to offer. If you want coffee that is roasted after you order, that’s our specialty.

From now until the end of 2016, you can get 10% off by using the coupon code, merrycoffee.

Check the Date

When was your coffee roasted?

Many people view coffee as a non-perishable food item so they don’t give much thought to when it was roasted. Coffee, however, is very perishable! It is a very complex “seed” containing thousands of natural chemicals. The flavor of the coffee is a result of the chemical processes that happen during and after roasting.

Two days; two weeks

Coffee needs to season for about two days after it is roasted. During that time, the beans release CO2 which enhances the flavor. After two days, coffee is at its best and the acidity is at its lowest. As roasted coffee ages, the acidity increases due to the ongoing chemical changes. You’ll get the best tasting cup from coffee that was roasted within the last two days to two weeks.

Freeze or refrigerate?

Neither! Roasted coffee has three natural enemies—air, light, and moisture. Freezing or refrigerating coffee (regardless of the packaging) exposes it to moisture and, therefore, negatively affects the taste. Coffee should be stored in dark, cool, dry places in air-tight containers or in containers that don’t allow in light.

Stocking up is a bad idea

Most consumers believe purchasing things in large quantities is best. That’s true for many items, but not for perishable foods that have a limited shelf-life. Think about coffee like bananas. You wouldn’t buy a month’s supply of bananas hoping they’d last. The same is true about coffee. If you want great tasting coffee at home, buy what you need for a week and make sure it was roasted in the past few days.

fcc_bag_labelCheck the date

Coffee roasters are not required to provide the roasting date. Coffee in grocery stores and large coffee chains probably was roasted months earlier. It takes a while for coffee to make its way through the roasting, packaging, shipping, and stocking process. There is a reason you can’t find the roasting date!

The Franklin Coffee Company Difference

At Franklin Coffee Company, we hand write the roasting date on the front label. That’s our label in the image. All online orders are roasted after we receive the orders. We work with local retailers to make sure the coffee available in their stores is fresh by swapping out any unsold bags and replacing them with freshly roasted beans every week. No matter where you are, we want you to have excellent coffee experiences.

Brew School is coming!

Once you have great beans, you need to know how to brew great coffee at home. Our free online tutorials will introduce you to some of our favorite methods and give you links to the tools you’ll need.

You don’t have to leave home to get a great cup of coffee!