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1. Variety: Arabica vs. Robusta

What exactly do these two most commonly grown coffee trees mean?

Arabica was one of the first types of coffee grown by people, it originated in Ethiopia and the first evidence of its cultivation dates back to the 12th century. From Ethiopia, it later spreaded to Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and China. It has many tones of taste: fruity, chocolate, floral, spicy, etc. and it makes up from 60 to 70% of world production. True coffee experts usually prefer Arabica.

The second type, Robusta, comes from West and Central Sub-Saharan Africa. Its grains have less acidity, but they are very bitter, without fruit or any other tones. It contains less lipids (fats, oils, vitamins, etc.), but it has 2-3 times more caffeine. Due to its low price and easier cultivation, it is often used for the production of instant coffee. In socialist regime this was the only type of coffee available in our country, which is why many still associate it with how “real” coffee should taste, that is, very bitter and strong. However in recent years, more and more people are realizing that there are other varieties.

The third option is then a mix of these two varieties. From the above information, you can probably imagine how their ratio affects the taste and price of the final cup: the higher the percentage of robusta, the cheaper the coffee, the stronger, more bitter and less interesting in taste. However, some blends use the bitterness of the robusta more subtly and in small quantities its presence may be beneficial.

2. Degree of roasting

If, after reading the first point, you are afraid that we will force you to drink only sour coffee and tell you that any degree of bitterness in the cup is a sign of barbarism and survival from the ancient past, you can rest. By determining the degree of roasting, you can define for yourself how your coffee will taste: whether it is sour or bitter without losing a wide range of flavors.

Unroasted or green coffee has very similar amounts of acids, proteins, sugars and caffeine as roasted coffee, but with the difference that it lacks the characteristic taste created by chemical reactions accompanying roasting. The first tools people used to roast coffee were thin metal or porcelain pans that heated over a stove or directly over a fire. For example, specimens from the 15th century from the Ottoman Empire have been preserved. But as you can read in the story of our grandmother in Colombia, similar pans are still used in some households. However, electric coffee grinders are used for higher coffee consumption.

The most common degrees of roasting selected coffee are as follows:

Medium dark: a classic we are used to in our Czech lands. The higher roasting rate at approx. 225 ° C gives the coffee its characteristic bitter taste, but at the same time does not overwhelm the various aromas and flavors of the coffee beans. This is the highest degree of roasting, which will allow us to fully appreciate the potential of selected coffee. An example of such coffee is Dorado San Agustín Medium-dark roasted coffee is ideal for an espresso machine, but it can also be used for filtered coffee (eg french press).

If the degree of roasting is even higher (eg very dark “Italian” roasting), it usually means that the coffee beans were not very good and their imperfections had to be overcome by burning them. The taste of such coffee is then reduced only to the bitterness given by the charring of poor quality coffee beans.

Medium roasting: the most common degree of roasting selected coffee, at 219 ° C. If you want to fully enjoy really good coffee, choose this level. However, it is not very suitable for making espresso. Medium roasted coffee usually contains beans with a high cupping score, so it would be a shame to quickly stuff them into the coffee machine. It is worth taking more time to prepare this coffee and use, for example, a French press, where the complete range of its flavors is fully developed. If you make espresso with it, it will seem too sour. It will be only slightly sour from the French press, but it will reward you with various other tones, such as caramel and lemon grass, such as Dorado La Estrella coffee.

Light roasting: true connoisseurs roast coffee at 205 ° C, which makes the original taste of the grain stand out even more, but the acidity is suppressed only minimally and is almost unbearable for most users.

3. Variety: uniform origin or blend?

As with all food, coffee It is true that the more specifically we know where it comes from, the better. In other words, if coffee is of uniform origin, it means that it comes from one area and often from a single farm, about which the seller usually informs us directly in the supplementary product information. So if we want to choose the best possible coffee, we choose a uniform origin. However, there are also “blends” of coffee packaging that combine high quality coffee beans from multiple regions, or even countries and continents. It is the choose of the individual areas so that the resulting blend has the most balanced and best taste and aroma. These include, for example, Dorado Guatemala Antigua.

However, although blends can sometimes approach the quality of single-species coffee, their prestige and then the price will usually be lower.

4. Roasting date

More important than the expiration date is the roasting date for coffee. It takes about two weeks for the roasted coffee beans to fully develop their taste potential. This is best enjoyed in the period from the third week to the sixth month from the date of roasting, with the most intense in the first months. Up to one year from the date of roasting, the coffee retains most of its taste and aroma.

But after opening the package, it is important to keep the coffee dry, dark and ideally in a hermetically sealed container to prevent unpleasant odors from the outside environment to soak in, or moisture following the formation of mold.

5. Cupping scores meaning quality evaluations

This last figure, which needs to be checked before purchase, is the clearest of all: the higher the score, the better the coffee. The scale ranges from zero to a hundred, but it is virtually impossible for coffee to get zero, as well as the full number of points. In the case of selected coffee, the score is usually around 70 points, above 80 points these are really exceptionally highly rated products. Dorado China Alta coffee has a cupping score of 87 https://doradocoffee.cz