ARABICA VS ROBUSTA
There are many coffee bean varieties, however only 2 are used to produce coffee. Arabica beans and Robusta beans. The two varieties differ in taste, growing conditions and price. Arabica beans tend to have a sweeter, softer taste, with tones of sugar, fruit, and berries, and their acidity is higher.
Robusta beans generally have a strong, harsh taste, with a grain-like overtone and peanut aftertaste. They contain twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans, and are considered to be of inferior quality. Some Robusta’s, are of high quality and value especially in espressos for their deep flavour. Robusta beans are easier to grow, they can grow at lower altitudes than Arabica’s, and are less vulnerable to pests and weather conditions. They produce fruit more quickly than the Arabica’s, which need several years to come to maturity, and yield more crop per tree.
Most supermarket, instant and cheap ground coffees are extremely high in Robusta.
Ultimately it's a question of personal taste. Some all-Arabica blends are too high and floral for some people; some of the rich, dark harshness of Robusta can be a good thing in a blend.
RYO Coffee only offers 100% Arabica coffee beans.
Decaffeinated coffee or “decaff” is coffee that has had most of the caffeine removed. Commercially, there are two methods used to remove caffeine from coffee:
European Process of Decaffeinating Coffee
This process is most commonly used. It involves soaking the beans in water and then “washing” them in methylene chloride to absorb the caffeine from the bean. The beans are then rinsed clean of the chemicals, dried and shipped to the coffee roasters.
This method provides decaf coffee with more flavour than the Swiss water processing. Although there is almost no trace of any chemicals left in the bean after roasting, some people are uncomfortable knowing that the coffee they are drinking was chemically processed.
Swiss Water Process of Decaffeinating Coffee
The second method is known as “Swiss water processing”. This process uses hot water and steam instead of chemicals to remove the caffeine from the coffee. The “life” of the bean is taken into the water, and then the water solution is put through activated charcoal filters to remove the caffeine. Once the caffeine is removed, these same beans are then put back into the decaffeinated solution to re-absorb everything except the caffeine. The beans are then dried and shipped to the roasters. The disadvantage is that the water processing removes more than just the caffeine. Some of the oils from the coffee bean are removed as well, making it less flavourful.
Decaffeination processes using carbon dioxide (CO2) carbon dioxide, when compressed, behaves partly like a gas and partly like a liquid, and combines selectively with caffeine. In the most widely used CO2 process the steamed beans are bathed in the compressed carbon dioxide and the caffeine is removed from the carbon dioxide through charcoal filtering. However, the flavour components remain in the bean throughout the process, rather than being soaked out and then put back in again, as they are in both the Swiss Water and the indirect solvent processes.
COOL COFFEE FACTS
- There are about 50 different types of coffee tree species, however only 2 are generally used, Arabica and Robusta.
- Coffee berries are picked by hand, then the beans removed either by washing (soaked for 24/72hrs), drying in the sun for 3/4 weeks, or a semi washed method (so washed then laid out to dry).
- 25 Million people are employed on coffee farms around the world
- It takes 5 years for a coffee tree to reach maturity, and has a lifespan of up to 70 years.
- Brazil supplies between 30 / 40% of the world’s coffee.
- Coffee is the largest traded commodity, second only to oil.
- The Coffee industry is worth over 100 billion Dollars. That puts it ahead of commodities like natural gas, gold, Brent oil, sugar and corn
- Globally, more than 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed every year
- Coffee shops are the fastest growing niche in the restaurant industry
- 2.2 Billion cups of coffee are consumed every day, around the globe.
- The darker your roast, the less caffeine is present
- A strong cup of coffee normally means double the dose of ground coffee brewed in water, possibly for a longer period of time too. (A dark roast does not necessarily mean a strong cup of coffee)
COFFEE HEALTH FACTS
Below are a few (generally unknown) health aspects of coffee:
- Habitual coffee drinking has been known to lower blood pressure
- A study done in 2005 showed a percentage change in relative risk of hypertension when coffee was drunk
- The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania have determined that coffee provides more healthy antioxidants- (the substances that are thought to fight cancer and heart disease), than any other food or beverage found in the typical American diet (which includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, oils, and spices). The number of antioxidants increases after the coffee beans are roasted.
- Japanese researchers report that people who drink coffee daily have half the risk of developing liver cancer to people who never consume coffee.
- Harvard University research determined that coffee consumption can decrease (50% in men and 30% in woman) the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Coffee helps ease head pain and is widely used in headache medicines
- Caffeine can stimulate the brain and help fight fatigue
- Coffee has more good fibre than orange juice