Does it matter what type of coffee you are drinking? Coffee either acts as a caffeine concoction to start the day, or serves as a way to relax after a busy day, which is why it is important to most people what their coffee tastes like. With so many types of coffees nowadays, it can be a bit tricky to distinguish what is gourmet coffee and regular blends, especially since not all blends are crafted equally. So, how does one tell which coffee drink is gourmet and which one is just a regular cup of Joe?
Would you believe that the quality and consistency of coffee can vary wildly depending on the beans used to make it? That’s right! In fact, the roasting and grinding process, and how it is brewed, plays a huge role in the outcome of the coffee. The biggest difference between gourmet coffee and regular coffee though is the beans used to make it. Many grocery store coffees use low-quality ingredients to quickly mass-produce their product. While coffee houses such Lyger Coffee, take a different approach and only offer high-quality, gourmet coffee to coffee-lovers.
What type of coffee bean is used for gourmet coffee?
Not a lot of people can tell, but gourmet coffee or specialty coffee in general is made from 100% Arabica beans to give the coffee a full-body, refined aroma and rich flavour. On the other hand, regular coffees use Robusta beans, which are less expensive because they are easier to produce. Compared to Arabica beans, which need a cool subtropical climate, preferably in a high altitude to grow, Robusta beans can grow at low elevations and yield larger crops for growers.
Now, when it comes to natural taste, Robusta beans have a more bitter taste and inconsistent quality than Arabica beans. That's why some companies opted to use a mix of both types of coffee beans to produce a good quality coffee while not having to charge consumers too much.
Which of the two has a higher caffeine content?
Many people will say that morning starts after coffee. That’s because once you’ve consumed it, caffeine elicits its most classic effect — helping keep you alert and awake.
It remains to this day that gourmet coffee uses the best coffee beans to prioritise flavours more than caffeine content. Arabica beans have 60% more lipids and twice as much sugar as Robusta beans, making it sweeter and smoother compared to Robusta coffees which have a higher level of caffeine content that affects the coffee's acidity and makes it bitter.
Of course, factors such as processing and brewing time affect the caffeine level. Which is why coffee houses that produce specialty coffee are very particular with their method.
Arabica coffee beans are also far superior to Robusta from an environmental perspective.
Typically, farmers who plant Robusta beans repeatedly grow them on the same crop. This involves clear-cutting forestland to make room for more crops, eroding the soil and depleting its nutrients, making it unusable for future harvests. The gourmet coffee industry emphasises using farming practices that do not harm the environment, the coffee plant, or the farm employees.
How does coffee get to be labelled as a specialty?
Unlike general gourmet coffee, a marketing term, specialty coffee is accountable to specific standards maintained by the SCA. “Specialty coffee” is a particular term overseen by The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). The SCA grades coffee quality on a 100 point scale, and for a coffee to be labelled as “specialty,” it must achieve at least a score of 80 on that scale. Now, that’s a high score to achieve, but in our opinion, it’s the exact score that ensures coffee-lovers, and coffee-aficionados are happy with their drink.
If we’ll talk about the trend in gourmet coffee, we can say that specialty coffee is in high demand among younger demographics. About 48% of millennials consume gourmet coffee on a daily basis and we are talking about coffee drinkers who prefer cappuccinos, lattes, and of course, espresso.
Compared to regular coffee, specialty coffee also has so many positive qualities that can give you a very interesting experience:
- It has more antioxidants than regular coffee
- It has a sweeter and smoother taste
- It is not acidic nor bitter
- It has a rich and sweet aroma
Sure, gourmet coffee can be far more expensive than regular blends. But if you want to experience a special cup of coffee to boost your mood and help improve your day, gourmet coffee is the way to go. After all, many coffee houses nowadays are offering better blends at an affordable price.
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