Brewing the Perfect Cup

image005Coffee roasting is the process of converting a complex starch into a caramelized sugar in a controlled heat environment, typically for 15 to 20 minutes at between 440 and 410 degrees F.  Each and every varietal has a unique roasting profile as a result of the chemical makeup and moisture content of the bag.  It’s the Roastmaster’s task and art to optimize the timing of each roast so there is no grassiness resulting from under roasting, or the burnt, heavily acidic, harsh taste resulting from over roasting.  Over roasting is an easy mistake to make because the coffee must be pulled before it is actually finished.   Generally overroasted coffee ends up in the French Roast bucket which some companies have successfully marketed as a superior product.

All coffees come from the Tropics, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn and have regional similarities based on their area of origin (the Americas, Africa, Indonesia, Hawaii, the Caribbean).  Each region has unique individual characteristics that are brought out by the appropriate roasting profile.

How do you like your coffee?  Here are a few characteristics to consider: 

Acidity – The sensation of dryness in the back and under the edges of your mouth. This is a desirable quality and not to be confused with sour (which is considered a bad quality of coffee). Acidity creates a lively, bright taste, characterized by citrus or fruity notes. Without it, the coffee would taste flat.

Aroma – Without aroma, we could only taste sweet, sour, bitter and salty. This is where we get the subtle differences such as floral, nutty or fruity.

Body – The way the coffee feels in your mouth, its viscosity or heaviness. The best way to describe it is the comparison to how whole milk feels in your mouth compared to water. If you are unsure as to the level of body in the different coffees, add an equal amount of milk to each one and the one with the heavier body will retain more of its flavor when diluted.

Flavor – This is the overall perception of the three characteristics above. Flavor can be rich (full bodied), complex (multi-flavored), or balanced (no one characteristic overpowers the other.

Tasting-Chart

As the world turns; 65 ways to tickle your fancy..
Yes, coffee is grown in 65 countries.  Each contributes unique characteristics to the coffee you drink. Barking Dog custom blends to your particular taste.  If you’re local we offer a drip bar at the store so that you can taste your blend before you commit.

Brewing the perfect cup of coffee:

The basics for a great cup of coffee are straight forward; well sourced, properly roasted, properly stored, properly ground coffee, good water properly heated, a vessel (just about anything will do) to make it in, and a little patience.  Most of everything else is just plain marketing hype.  You can make a brilliant, knock your socks off cup in a sauce pan if you put the right “stuff” in it, take it off the heat at the right time, and use a little trick we learned a few years back.

The Right Coffee
If you’re on our web site this part’s easy.  Choose from our selection of small batch coffee varietals and blends, or custom blend your own either with our help or on your own.  Blending allows you to add just the right amount of whatever direction your palate takes you; full bodied, tart, light or dark.. etc.  Don’t be afraid to play and experiment with any varietals that we have.

Proper storage
Great coffee starts with fresh beans. Store your coffee beans or freshly ground coffee in an airtight container placed in a cool, dark spot.  Don’t put it in the freezer or refrigerator.  Browse and buy from our stylish selection of storage canisters.

Pure water
It’s a fact, the purer the water the better the coffee. Start every pot with fresh filtered water to maximize the flavor characteristics.

The right equipment
There are many exotic possibilities, but we prefer either pour over’s or the French Press to make our coffee.  When we’re in a hurry for our fix we use the French Press.  Otherwise we believe paper filters offer the best cup.

The right filter, if filters are your choice
Choose only quality unbleached cone-shaped filters constructed of high-grade paper.

The right measure
About one rounded tablespoon for every 8 fluid ounces of water, but it varies by personal taste and by bean.

The right grind
Every process requires a different coursness of grind, for example pour-over requires a finer grind than French Press.

Proper time
Don’t rush but be careful you don’t over extract the beans.  Don’t let the water sit too long on the beans.

Keep it clean
Be sure to clean your coffeemaker frequently to remove oil residues and mineral deposits that build up with use.