The Stirring Reality of Coffee – Coffee Brew

Our attachment with coffee is unconditional. It knows no bounds. We crave for a delicious cup of coffee at almost all times and sip on it even at most untoward moments. Brewing coffee is rapidly becoming an art and is quite fervently taking over all the forms of brewing in this world. Coffee has a far-reaching horizon and employs a remarkable percentage of labor for its production. If statistics related to coffee are concerned, the numbers that come up are staggering.

The reality introspection into the world of coffee reveals things that are dark at best. From labor exploitation to animal abuse, the world of coffee is a one that appalls beyond understanding. Here, we seek to elaborate the unseen aspects of coffee. The discussion that follows is as under: 

Coffee certifications 

Your coffee beans bear labels on their packets. These labels correspond to various certifications. One such certification is of organic methods of processing. For your information, organic farming leads to lower yields. This pushes the farmers hard to use unnatural alternatives in order to support their families financially. Connecting the dots reveals that the organic coffee beans are a product of a potentially broke farmer. He might even be starving, struggling to make ends meet. 

Impacts on biodiversity 

Farming of coffee has a lot to do with environmental issues. The farming techniques, especially when they shift from organic to inorganic farming. Statistics do bring out surprising numbers pertaining to the adverse effects of coffee farming on the environment. Moreover, the impacts are not just direct, but they are indirect effects that prevail due to dependencies centered around coffee farming. For instance, the people involved are mostly concerned with financial issues and can go on to deteriorate anything in order to achieve their financial motives. Here, we fail as a society and it is reflected as our own deterioration. 

Involvement of animals 

Animal abuse is a growing concern in the coffee industry. Some animals are fed coffee beans and their excretion is then used for normal consumption of coffee. This leads to the rearing of such special animals. These animals are kept in confined cages and exploited specifically for this purpose. This sort of animal abuse is never brought to our morning tables and remains a hidden story altogether. This is a major dark side of the coffee industry. 

If animal abuse was not enough… 

Even humans are exploited under the canopy of coffee plantations. It is acutely unfortunate that the labor involved in coffee farming is essential ‘debt peonage’. These workers are toiling day in and day out to repay their debts. Critically commenting, this form of farming is effective slavery. So your coffee is a product of slavery. 

 Then comes child labor 

It is true that child labor is one major portion of coffee farming. As the plantations grow, families that poor send their children to earn money on farms rather than sending them to schools. 

Such harsh realities should be brought to light and this article seeks to achieve this particular motive. While coffee is essential, a reality check is never a bad idea. Maybe, this makes for a rather awakened consumption. 

Brewing Coffee 101

Everyone relishes a good cup of coffee. The good thing about coffee is that there is no good time to sip. Every time is coffee time and you can relentlessly, unapologetically sip on your favorite cup of coffee just anywhere. While you may love sipping coffee, you might not fathom the nuances that are involved in the process of brewing coffee.

Well even if you do, it is pertinent that you go through this particular write-up in order to gather something new about coffee. In fact, there is no end to learning and learning how to brew coffee better is probably the best thing in the world. Let us now see how this education is imparted. 

First things first 

The most important ingredient and the backbone of coffee is water. But it would not be good to speculate that any kind of water would make a good coffee. Mineral water, for instance, cannot pull flavour out of the coffee beans. Soft water is not suitable, either. It would be pretty hard to get just the apt kind of water easily, however, you can try to get things in place with the facts that follow. A hardness of 7 to 10 grains and particulate content of about 140 to 150 ppm would be apt for your coffee beans. 

Get a nice brewer 

Obviously, you need a good brewing machine to obtain an almost perfect cup of your favorite coffee. You need a machine that not only has a fitting brew time but also heats up to apt temperatures for brewing coffee. Too less of brewing time would lead to a weak content of coffee and too much of brew time would end up with a tad too many soluble materials in your cup of coffee. To avoid just that, choose the machine that has a brew time of about 4 minutes and heats up to about 195 degrees. 

Consider grinding the beans properly 

Again, coffee seeks a perfect meeting of things to come out properly. You need to find a grind that is just fitting for a good coffee taste. Too fine and you have too bitter taste, too coarse and you end up with a weak coffee. 

Bear in mind the ratio of coffee to water 

You might be able to do it according to your taste. For your information, the standard that is followed by coffee enthusiasts is near to one tablespoon of coffee for every six ounces worth of water. You must know that dark roasted coffee beans require a tad more than that to achieve similar results. Same is the case with decaf. 

Consider also 

It is advisable that the coffee beans you have are fresh from the roasting process for better results. 

Huh? Brewing coffee is not as easy as it sounds. Yes, it takes in a lot of efforts to obtain a perfect cup of coffee. Follow this guide and you will end up appreciating coffee a lot more than you do now. So, try it yourself. Happy brewing!  

The Anatomy of Coffee Beans 

All of us relish a stark cup of coffee at all times of the day. Needless to mention, we drink a hell lot of coffee without even considering what we are really doing. That is the beauty of coffee, we love it unconditionally. This also implies that while we love coffee so much, we ignore where it comes from or what it has gone through just to be with you. This attachment to coffee brushes aside the struggle involved in becoming a coffee bean after making its way through the plantations. This write-up is to bring to you the story of coffee and making you realize your mischief of dealing only with the appearances. So embark as we begin on this eye-opening journey with what follows under. 

 

How and where it appears 

You might not have had the privilege of meeting a coffee cherry personally. There is a pertinent reason for it and that reason is coffee beans grow somewhere near the equator. The region is known as the coffee belt and is located between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of Capricorn. 

Your coffee beans are nestled in red cherries. One cherry has two coffee beans which are not quite what reaches you. The bean from the cherry is processed as its layers are removed and carved into what we know as a coffee bean. 

Know what it contains 

Your raw coffee bean has certain layers which deserve a special mention. Those layers are: 

  • The outer skin: This is the outermost layer of the cherry we just mentioned. The cherry witnesses different colors as it matures, starting from green. Then it goes through yellow, then orange and finally a plum red color. 
  • The mesocarp: This is essentially the pulp material of the cherry. This layer contains a lot of sugars. 
  • The endocarp: This is the outer layer that surrounds the bean. This layer has about 5 sub-layers. 
  • The most important part, the bean or the seed: This is what is processed and roasted to come up in the form of the coffee bean we all know. Quintessentially, it appears as a green seed. 

Apparently, coffee is not really what we know it to be. The bean that we get our hands on is the end product of a lot of work that goes into the making.  

About the taste 

The most important layer governing the taste of coffee is the mesocarp. The quality and essence of coffee is a product of its growing and processing methods. Consequently, more care leads to a better coffee. It is important to note that if there is a compromise at any stage of processing, your coffee is bound to taste different from what it is supposed to be. 

So, that is what each of your coffee beans goes through to end up in the aromatic coffee that you have in hand. Hopefully, now you might appreciate coffee more than you have been doing. Happy brewing!