There are many coffee companies out there that like to state that their coffee is gourmet. As a consumer you may be wondering what exactly makes coffee gourmet.
When it comes down to it, there is not an organization that oversees the making of coffee and provides it with a grade stating whether or not the coffee is gourmet. Instead, consumers are left to determine what is gourmet coffee and what is not.
There are two main types of coffee beans that are used. They are Robusta and Arabica. The Arabica coffee beans are harder to grow and these beans do not grow in as many areas as the Robusta coffee beans. For this reason, Arabica coffee beans are often more prized for their rarity and their flavor.
Generally, gourmet coffee will use premium Arabica coffee beans. The true coffee connoisseurs will go even further and state that coffee has to be consumed within three days of being produced or the richest and deepest flavors are lost. However, this is pushing the envelope as even some regular coffee can be considered to be gourmet.
Unfortunately, determining what is gourmet coffee and what is not can be a bit tough to decipher. A good place to start is to look over the package to see the type of beans that are used. Look to see if the coffee is 100 percent Arabica beans or a blend of coffee beans or all Robusta coffee beans. If the type of beans is not disclosed on the package you can likely assume that they are Robusta.
Robusta coffee beans are not bad. In fact, they have more caffeine and provide a greater jolt. However, they are just not often considered to be gourmet. Most national brands that are found in grocery stores are Robusta blends.
Unfortunately, the word gourmet has been thrown around by marketers, with many companies referring to their products as being gourmet, even if the product really is not.
Truly gourmet coffee is typically designated by specific growing regions such as Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Sumatra.
There are certain stratas of coffee as well. For example, the Jamaican coffee Blue Mountain is considered to be a top line of gourmet coffee. This coffee comes with a high price tag, ranging from $35 to $65 per pound. Many people swear by this coffee and are willing to pay these prices.
Other places offer a variety of coffee that is in a price range that is more affordable. There are even some flavored coffees that are marketed as being gourmet. However, the flavorings do not make the coffee gourmet. Once again you will need to look at the type of beans that are used, since the flavors could be gourmet and not the actual coffee.
One example is Ghirardelli Chocolate gourmet coffee. It could be marketed as gourmet coffee because of the chocolate that is used for the flavor and not because of the actual coffee.
As mentioned the Arabica beans are a superior grade. These beans have half of the caffeine as Robusta coffee beans and provide a taste that is superior. In addition, Arabica beans smell much better.
You can find many different flavors of gourmet coffee including:
- French vanilla
- Chocolate mint
- Pumpkin spice
- Irish cream
- Swiss mocha
You can find both caffeinated and decaffeinated gourmet coffee. There are also gourmet coffees made for people who have sensitive stomachs. These coffee blends are lower in acid so they are more gentle.
In order to get the best flavor of your gourmet coffee it will need to be fresh. You should purchase beans that have been roasted within the week and they should be 100 percent Arabica. A local grocery store is not typically the best place to find freshly roasted coffee beans. Typically, the coffee beans at a grocery store were roasted up to 3 months prior to hitting the shelf.
Gourmet coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the fridge if they will be used soon. If you are not going to use them soon, place them in the freezer.
It is important to make sure that you keep your coffee maker clean. This will help make a difference in how your coffee tastes. Once a month run a water and vinegar mixture through your machine to clean it out. Then run just water to get the vinegar smell out.
When you are making gourmet coffee you will want to use about 2 tablespoons for every six ounces of water. This is a good starting point and you can adjust to your tastes from there.
Only purchase gourmet coffee from a reputable company.
Specialty gourmet coffee became a thing during the 1990s and has gained in popularity since that time. It is one of the fastest growing markets throughout the world. When it comes to regular coffee, it is great and something that most people enjoy. However, gourmet coffee is superb and something that everyone should splurge on every once in awhile at least.
There are many flavors of gourmet coffee available to try as well. You will be able to easily find a gourmet coffee that suits your taste buds and you will be glad that you did. One of the most important things to remember when purchasing gourmet coffee is to look at the beans that are used and do not just assume that because the coffee is flavored that it is gourmet.