A wise man once said, “Humans get a lot done, not because they’re smart, but because they have thumbs to make coffee.” In other words, coffee equals intelligence! If you’re a coffee drinker, you feel this quote big-time. How many times have you heard someone on TV or in a movie say, “Not before I have my coffee!” And how many times have you said it? The simple fact is that there’s power in a cup of coffee. Seriously, can you imagine a United States where coffee was no more? Think about what would happen if tomorrow morning, all of a sudden, there was no coffee. Not one person in the country was able to drink their morning coffee, stop at a coffee shop or a gourmet cafe in Montville and grab that first latte, espresso, or just simple cup-a-Joe. Talk about the day the Earth stood still! About a billion folks in the U.S. and around the world rely on their morning coffee to wake them up and power their days. And there are so many amazing types of coffee that just one won’t do anymore.
With all the different types of coffee, coffee drinks, and coffee beans there are, the fact is that there are only two major species of coffee plant, and nearly everyone, even those who don’t drink coffee, has heard of at least one. These two coffee plants are Arabica and Typica, and nearly every coffee bean is a mutation, deviation, or otherwise fusion of these two. Coffee drinkers are able to savor the more than a thousand different types of coffee that have originating from these two species and the aromatic hybrids they’ve created. These coffees are indigenous to the mountains of Ethiopia, and the oldest recorded coffee drinkers are thought to be Muslims who lived in the 1400s.
Today, though coffees are often categorized in different ways from one country to another, from one coffee maker to another, and even from one coffee shop to another, most coffee drinkers and coffee makers alike look at coffee from the roast of the coffee. And that’s perhaps the most typical coffee typing, with several categories existing, ranging in degree from light to dark.
Light- and light-to-medium roasted coffees
If you’re a fan of the light-roasted coffees, you know that these are the weakest and the lightest in color. Light-roasted coffee is mild, with no bitterness, and a gentle flavor. Beans used to make light-roasted coffees don’t contain the surface oil that many other roasts of coffee do. The reason for this is that they haven’t been roasted for long and haven’t had time for the oil to break through. Light coffees typically are roasted under or around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cinnamon roast is an example of a light roast.
Medium- and medium-dark roasted coffees
Among the most popular types of coffee are medium- to medium-dark roasts (often also referred to as American roasts) as these are midway between weak and strong, making them just mild enough not to be bitter. Naturally, these roasts are darker than light roasts and medium in color. Like light roasts, their beans also have not had a chance to break through to the surface. Richer than medium and lighter than dark, medium-dark adheres to its name. It’s richer in color and some of the bean’s oils come to the surface, giving it a slightly bittersweet taste. Medium coffees typically are roasted at just over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, around 410 or 425.
Coffees that are considered dark-roasted use beans that are very dark, even black in color. Their beans are oily and shiny. Dark-roasted coffees are rich in flavor and aroma. Those coffee drinkers who choose dark roasts generally are looking for something stronger, and some would consider these to be bitter and even burnt. Dark-roasted coffees are roasted typically roast well above 400 degrees Fahrenheit, often around 430 to 450. Vienna Roast and French Roast generally are considered to be examples of dark-roasted coffees.
Okay, maybe coffee doesn’t make you smart. But if you’re one of the hundreds of millions of folks who consider that first cup of coffee an important step in a morning routine, one thing you know for sure is that coffee makes you happy. But just imagine what tomorrow would be like if you weren’t able to get your favorite cup of java ever again. Scary, isn’t it?! Makes you want to savor that morning coffee even more. So, tomorrow morning, when you’re going about your A.M. routine, stop into a gourmet coffee shop in Montville, order up your favorite coffee, and take a few minutes to bask in the glory that is coffee.