FAQ

What kind of coffee can I expect from the Fancy Coffee Test?

Keep in mind, coffee is an agricultural product. It has a growing season and harvest time. Not every type of coffee is available year round and sources that were good last year may not be good this year. Coffee is ever changing which is one of its great challenges and rewards.

But in all cases, you can expect:

  • High quality beans
  • Roasted “Medium” or “Medium-Dark”
  • Mainly single-origin. A good blend from time to time
  • Sustainably farmed & organic where available
  • Sourced from programs that specifically benefits the farmer where available

 

Can you grind my coffee?

No and for two reasons.

  • It is not a good idea. Coffee is best when it is fresh. As soon as you grind it, the aging process accelerates sharply and I would never be able to get you fresh coffee that is pre-ground.
  • I can’t! I don’t have an industrial grinder.

What does washed mean?

There are three major types of coffee processing: washed, natural (dry) and honey.

Washed refers to a type of coffee processing. Washed processing means that once the coffee cherries are picked the outer fruit is milled and washed off with water leaving only the seed (bean). This minimized the influence of the fruit on the final flavor of the coffee. This is the most common type of processing and generally considered the easiest to roast.

Features of this process

  • Limited sugar and flavor absorbed by the seeds (beans) from the fruit of the cherry
  • Emphasizes the flavors the seeds of the fruit developed while growing
  • Controlled fermentation yields moderate acidity
  • Maximum water usage
  • Consistent production results
  • Predictable roasting

What does natural/dry mean?

There are three major types of coffee processing: washed, natural (dry) and honey.

Natural processing is the traditional type of coffee production dating back centuries to the origin of coffee, Ethiopia. After the coffee cherries are picked they are left to dry with the fruit completely intact as opposed to other processing methods which remove varying amounts of the fruit. Once the fruit fully dries, the outer part of the cherry is mechanically removed. Since the fruit is left on the seed during processing, it has a significant impact on the final taste of the coffee and not surprisingly natural coffees tend to be bright and fruity tasting. Since much is left to nature in this process, naturals can be inconsistent.

Natural processing is also called dry processing since no water is used.

Features of this process

  • Sugar and flavor absorbed by the seeds (beans) from the fruit of the cherry
  • Emphsissed fruit flavors possible
  • Maximum fermentation yields highest acidity
  • Limited water needed
  • Inconsistent production results
  • Can be difficult to roast

What does honey processed mean?

There are three major types of coffee processing: washed, natural (dry) and honey.

In the honey process, after the cherries are picked, the skin the fruit is mechanically removed leaving the honey-like mucilage layer. It is left to dry in this state and then mechanically milled once more to reveal the inner seeds (beans). Honey processed coffee absorbs some of the sugar and taste from the fruit of the coffee cheery (but not as much as in natural processing).

Features of this process

  • Some sugar and flavor absorbed by the seeds (beans) from the fruit of the cherry
  • Balance of flavors between the fruit and the flavors the seeds of the fruit developed while growing
  • Limited fermentation yields lower acidity
  • Limited water needed
  • Consistent production results
  • Predictable roasting

What does arabica mean?

Arabica is a species of coffee and represents the top quality coffee in the world. The other major type of coffee is robusta, which is generally bitter and with a higher caffeine content.

References

How do you grade your coffees?

I grade coffee into three categories described below. Keep in mind, taste is highly subjective and personal. A higher-graded coffee will not always taste better to you, than a lower graded one.

  • Special. A “wow” coffee. The wow many be simply because it is exceptional or due to significantly unique quality. These coffees are hard to get either due to high worldwide demand, small available quantities or other factors such as difficulty in export. For example, Yemen, one of the classic origin countries, is in the midst of a civil war.
  • Superior. An “interesting” coffee. This is a specialty coffee which has exceptional qualities. These will typically have interesting characteristics.
  • Good. “Yum” This is your daily-drinker. An excellent, enjoyable coffee. These are my Bassline™ coffees which almost everyone will like and work with a wide variety of brewing methods.