Given that all coffee plants are ancestors of one single mother it’s surprising that there is such diversity and interest in taste, aroma and flavour across the world.
In this article I’d like to explain how and why coffee flavours should be celebrated and why these might be useful in the business environment.
But let’s start with the harsh truth – most people aren’t aware of what coffee actually tastes like. This isn’t intended to be a statement of coffee snobbery; just consider this… Most people could explain the taste difference between a red or white wine or even a Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc wine. However, few people are aware of the difference between a Kenyan and Sumatran coffee. This is surprising as we’ve been drinking coffee since the 15th century.
Here’s my theory on why coffee flavours aren’t widely understood…
Generally the decent winemaker is reasonably affluent and therefore has the resources to keep control of both the farming and the production process, which finishes when the wine is bottled. We as the consumer pop the cork or screw cap and hey presto the wine tastes as the vintner intended.
With coffee the process is more protracted. The farmer grows and harvests the coffee cherries; but often because many are have limited resources they hand over their crop to a co-operative who manages the processing of the cherry into green beans, which involves removing the skin and fruit flesh, then drying into ‘green beans’
These green beans are exported and bought by roasters who can dramatically change the flavour – the main factor being how long the beans are roasted for. Light roasted beans typically have a bright acidity, subtle floral notes and a light body. Dark roasted coffee is low in acidity with smokey full flavours and a heavy mouthfeel. There are of course many shades in between depending on what the roaster is trying to achieve.
So now we’ve got roasted coffee beans (which can also quickly stale when exposed to air) and it’s yet another individual’s responsibility to get the extraction correct. The barista’s grind consistency, ratio of water to coffee and the type of machine used will all have an influence on flavour.
Care and attention in coffee
At amamus we approach coffee with the care and attention that it deserves. We only buy Speciality grade coffee because we don’t believe our clients want to contribute to the crisis facing many coffee farmers and the environmental damaged caused by commodity grade coffee. This ethically-led stance is unusual in coffee companies who supply the corporate market – most of whom rely on cheap commodity coffee. But just as importantly carefully prepared Speciality coffee tastes amazing with all the variety and interest that can be enjoyed in wine
So why is flavour important?
We find that when people try a perfectly prepared cup of Speciality coffee it creates an impactful and memorable experience. Remember Pulp Fiction when The Wolfe comments appreciatively on the coffee served in the kitchen of Jimmie, the chap played by Tarantino? This reaction isn’t unusual as most people who love coffee can remember their first superb cup coffee and they recognise quality in a cup.
So there’s an opportunity for businesses to create a stand-out experience for their clients or team at fraction of the cost of other initiatives that will generate a similar impact. Great coffee is rare so presenting a delicious coffee that is backed by a story of integrity and passion will ensure you are creating a positive impression.
A company may wish to make an impact with a single-origin coffee – choose from what the world has on offer: perhaps a syrupy, bright Colombian, or a flavourful, fruity African or a smooth and rich Brazil. Or play it a bit safer with a blend of some quality single-origins that will suit most drinkers’ preferences. We can tailor a light floral spring summer blend; or a rich and full autumn winter blend.
amamus will ensure that you have the tools to showcase your beautiful coffee for the benefit of your business. We can supply stunning double-walled glass carafes, practical double-walled coffee glasses and tasting cards that explain the taste and integrity of your coffee from your table-top. This approach ensures that your coffee makes maximum impact with your clients or team.
amamus makes the process of selecting a coffee and the appropriate machines and hardware very straightforward. Either choose from one of our ‘starter packagesOffice bean-to-cup coffee package’ Or just give us a call today so we can help you create a more bespoke Speciality coffee solution for your business.