Preparing Good Coffee

 In addition to the freshness, the final quality of a good Colombian Coffee depends on various factors. The following are the ones that you will have to take into account to obtain a coffee beverage as it is consumed in Colombia

 

The Quality of the Coffee used 

As we have already seen, coffee is a special product. To produce a quality and outstanding coffee, it demands numerous efforts from hundreds of thousands of producers in Colombia. So a quality beverage depends first on a quality coffee. Colombian Coffee is the heart of the beverage.

Quality is an idea applied in many areas by the human being. It allows us to reach the excellence. To be assured of buying a good coffee, knowing that there is a guarantee of origin will assure the opportunity of obtaining unique satisfactions that in another way they could not be achieved.

 

Coffee Roasting

The different degrees of roasting are associated to the manner in which the heat is applied to the green coffee, the intensity of this application, and the time of it. The different ways in which coffee is consumed are linked with diverse points of torrefaction (or degree of coffee roasting). In some countries in central Europe, for example, they are used to lower roasting degrees, while in other markets high roasting degrees, or dark roasts, are more frequent. One of the darkest presented to consumers is the so called "French Roast" or the Turkish type preparations. A roasting for an espresso beverage could be intermediate. For a more profound explanation on what happens in the roasting process, please see the about coffee section, industrialization of coffee.

The advantage of Colombian Coffee is that it can adapt itself to different types of roasting methods and degrees and preparations. It is a product that has the intrinsic qualities thanks to the controls carried out from tree to cup and to the different efforts of the marketers of the 100% Colombian Brands, that allow assuring an outstanding coffee. Each brand of Colombian Coffee has its own identity, a particular degree and method of roasting that responds to the taste of a particular market segment or group of consumers. There is therefore enough variability, within Colombian Coffee, to assure the desired quality and taste for consumers in all markets.

It is then difficult to recommend a specific roasting degree or point of torrefaction. The need to perceive the different characteristics that a Colombian Coffee could offer us, is therefore influenced by the manner and degree of roasting. For instance, if you would like to taste a very appreciated attribute in certain markets, like acidity, you may not over roast your coffee. On the contrary, if you would like to taste a coffee with body, you will not be able to appreciate it in its full dimension at low levels of roasting.

 

An appropriate Coffee grinding in accordance with the type of preparation

The objective of the grinding is the reduction of the size of the roasted bean to facilitate the extraction of the aromas and of the soluble compounds during the preparation of the beverage. –That is why the time of contact between water and coffee determines how much flavoring material of the coffee could be extracted from the ground coffee.

To avoid a low development or an excess of extraction of the components of the flavor, one should use the correct size of the particles of the ground coffee. This is why it is necessary to adjust the grinders to guarantee this effect.

Type of grinding

Time of preparation

Type of coffee pot

Coarse

6 -9 min.

Piston Coffee Pot, Pot, Percolator

Medium

4 - 6 min.

Coffee pots with filter systems

Fine

0.5 - 4 min.

Mocha Coffee Pot, Espresso machine

As a general rule, prolonged times of preparation should be complemented with bigger particles (coarser grind), and the shorter times with smaller particles (finer grind).   

 

Good quality Water

The quality of the water used has a crucial impact in the flavor of the final beverage. The water should be transparent, may not have strange smells or flavors, and it must be attempted that it be free from contaminating agents or substances such as chlorine. The mineral contents of calcium and magnesium that confer hardness to water may only be present in an average proportion  (less than 150 ppm, expressed as calcium carbonate CaCO3). In that sense, try not to use water extracted from deep wells, nor water treated with chlorine (tap waters that have not been filtered). In general, the better waters (to avoid alterations in the flavor) are those bottled.

 

Temperature of the Water

The temperature of the water during the process of preparation of the beverage, affects the degree of extraction of the components of the flavor of the Colombian Coffee. Usually the water is used as soon as it reaches its boiling point. At those temperatures the water liberates the aromatic materials faster allowing for a correct extraction of other solubles in a reasonable time.

As a general rule, the temperature should be maintained constant during the whole cycle of preparation.

 

Correct proportion between coffee and water

The relation between the amount of water for each 500 grams of ground coffee used, will determine the density of the beverage and the capacity to be able to appreciate it. Depending on the country one can drink a very diluted coffee or a more concentrated beverage. The following table details the concentration of Colombian Coffee suggested for a typical consumption in countries such as Colombia, North of Europe or North America:

 

Water

Coffee

Relation %

Cups/ ounces

8 ounces

0,24 Liter

13 g.

(2 tablespoons)

6.2

1

16 ounces

0,5  Liter

30 g.

(5 tablespoons)

6.0

2

24 ounces

0,74 Liter

44 g.

(7 tablespoons)

6.0

3

34 ounces

1 Liter

60 g. (10 tablespoons)

6.0

4

 

Appropriate use of the preparation equipment chosen

To begin with, it is necessary to remember that hygiene is vital. Coffee has an important content of lipids and any residue becomes rancid very fast. Thus, the equipment should be cleaned regularly. Any soap used to wash the equipment should be completely rinsed out.

Every preparation has its own particular conditions. It is necessary to take into account that the selection of the type of roasting and the grinding of Colombian Coffee to be used should be consistent with the method of preparation. There are several options:

 

Piston or Plunger Coffee Pot

The coffee pot should be previously heated with hot water.

Add water that has just been boiled, over the coffee that has been deposited in the glass container. It could be mixed a little with a spoon in order to moisten all the coffee, and you have to let it settle for around 6 minutes.

When the coffee is ready, descend piston on the plunger slowly towards the bottom of the container to separate the beverage. It is recommended that for this type of preparation the Colombian Coffee should be used with a medium type of grinding and of dark roasting.

 

 

Coffee Pot with Manual Filter

It is important to preheat the containers with hot water, to put the filter in the small basket and measure a tablespoon of coffee for each cup to be prepared. Pour a small amount of water that has just been boiled to moisten it. The pouring of water must go through all the area where the ground coffee rests. The filter should be removed and the coffee served immediately. For this type of preparation it is recommended to use a Colombian Coffee with a medium type of grinding and of medium degree of roasting.

 

Coffee Pot with Automatic Filter

The coffee pot features a container for the water with an electric resistance to heat it, the filter holder, the jar, and a heating plate. To prepare the Coffee beverage one has to first fill up the container with water up to the measure of the amount of cups to be prepared. Then we will put the filter with the medium ground Coffee in the filter holder. The jar has to be located under the filter holder and the power should be connected to start the extraction.

It is recommended that the coffee pot should have an ant dripping valve, to avoid the fall of the beverage in the heating plate when the jar is removed. Do not remove the coffee before the extraction is completely finished, to assure that the average dilution is the expected one.

For this type of preparation it is recommended to use Colombian Coffee with a medium type of grinding and medium / dark roasting.

 

 

Domestic Espresso Coffee Pot (Mocha)

Unscrew the upper part of the coffee pot from the base, remove the filter and fill the base with fresh water up to the security valve.

Fill the filter completely with medium-fine ground coffee and put it back in the base. Adjust the upper part to the base firmly and put the coffee pot at moderate heat. When it starts boiling, the pressure will have the water going up through the coffee, extracting its flavor. At the noise of the bubbling, the beverage will be ready. Take it out from the heat source and serve it.

For this type of preparation it is recommended to use Colombian Coffee with a fine type of grinding and of dark roasting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkish preparation

The system of preparation is simple: put a tablespoon filled with Coffee and a little bit more than two cups of water. The Coffee should have a very fine grinding, almost like dust (finer than the one used to prepare Espresso). It is also frequent to add two teaspoons of sugar, even though one always asks this before the preparation. That is because the sugar should be added before the infusion, as all the ground is removed afterwards. Once everything is prepared, put the container on the heat source until it starts boiling, at that moment remove it from the heat source for a couple of minutes and repeat this operation for three times. After this pour everything in the cup and let the grounds settle to be able to drink the beverage. If the Coffee is well prepared when the cup is emptied it should have a light cream in its upper part. For this type of preparation it is recommended to use Colombian Coffee with a very fine type of grinding and of dark roasting.

Share

© Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia 2010 Terms of Service Newsroom En Español Online Services Mobile Version