WHERE DOES COFFEE FLAVOUR COMES FROM - Intro 1
We have been asked a rather interesting question. It is quite challenging to explain to our customer in a simpler terms without getting too technical.
“Why does this Ethiopian coffee taste like a floral white fruit wine, but last time it tastes like a hot berry cider?”
This comes down to the fact that, the beans come from different regions within Ethiopia and farms. The topic has been covered in different dimensions multiple times, and each time most of us get it right, but couple years down the track a new theory comes up then it gets evoke into a new discussion on the same topic. A bit confusing, I know!
But for coffee lovers, that don’t mind some bits of technical details can read on!
Well, at Society Coffee we think it’s better for you to understand this in a simpler way if you think of coffee process like wine making. Since it's such a big topic, we will try to find a new angle that has not been covered adequately.
Let us start with an introduction this time round then expand it into its individual discussion. So... let us talk about what coffee tree/cherry/bean need to experience before it gets to a cup that we are drinking now. Most of us, called this the "Seed to Cup" journey and it is a way for us to deliver coffee to our customer. Terroir
Micro-climate, soil composition, mineral deposit, natural surround, biodiversity of the environment, temperature, elevation, and etc. You name it and they each play an important role on the flavour of coffee. We would like you to start this journey off with YOUR appreciation on your morning cuppa.
The story of your morning cuppa relates back to its origin, especially on its ‘farming’ process. As mentioned all environmental factors play a role, from there farmers are able to cultivate coffee at selected area. No matter is what or how fertilizer was apply, irrigation system/regime, pesticide, wind treatment, shade treatment...etc, often it all comes back to, how farmers do to nurture the coffee plant and build on the natural terroir/habitat.
Similar to grapes in wine, coffee have different species and varieties exist in different areas. So common species to be found are Arabica and Robusta can be understood as white or red wine. Yet, within the species, farmer often need to choose what type of varietals (Geisha, bourbon or caturra) are suitable for them to grown on their farm, to some it is a conscious decision to be made, to others it is what has been growing on the land for generations. To make the same reference, it is like vineyard choosing to grow pinot grigio, cabinet or ganache. One of the most important thing is based on which varietal the farm choose to grow (where and how it was grown), the flavour of the coffee is differs.
Coffee is a natural produce, just like many produce, the flavour of the coffee to a degree will be affected by how and when it was harvest. Depending on the understanding of the farms towards the coffee that they grown, there is not universal colour code to tell farmer when to pick the cherry. Some may harvest their coffee cherries when it is ripped or it may again, differs based on different farms. While others may harvest base on the flavour of the coffee offers, vast majority still reply heavy on traditions rather than experience.
Well, that is all for today’s read. We may carry on with our “Seed to Cup” journey next time! Covering coffee processing, storage, roasting and also brewing!
If you're keen, come by our roastery tomorrow to have a chance to meet one of our trader, Hugo and his opinion on "Moving away from the C price".
Event is free but RSVP HERE, come by tomorrow from 4:30pm.
See yall tomorrow!