1. Attend Coffee Cupping events
Cupping is the way professional roasters and coffee buyers taste the quality of the coffee.
For you to gain a better understanding of the different flavors coffee can have, public events like these are not only a good way for you to get to know more about coffee, but to establish valuable connections in the world of coffee. So you don’t appear lost, I’ll give you some basic information about coffee cuppings:
- Each taster has a cup or bowl with a capacity of 200ml, 10 grams of ground coffee and hot water (about 92 degrees Celsius) that’s poured on top of the coffee, allowing a crust to form on top.
- Tasters then break the crust, scrape off the grounds from the surface and then let it sit for about five minutes.
- Now you must taste: you can either do so by smelling the coffee and slurping small amounts of coffee so it rolls to the back of the tongue.
With every cupping, you’ll start to develop a more delicate palate. It’s also a good idea for you to hold events like these of your own, encouraging people to bring their own batches of coffee for tasting.
2. Know Where Your Coffee Comes From.
Most coffee comes from developing countries, and sometimes the conditions that the farmers are subjected to are far from ideal. There are some certifications that you should know for you to ensure that the coffee you’re consuming was grown ethically, but also pesticide-free:
Fairtrade is a non-profit organization that makes sure coffee growers get paid a just amount for their coffee. They also have a program called Fairtrade Premium, which charges a higher amount of money for the coffee to go to improve growers’ living conditions and for funding community programs.
They are an international non-profit that focuses on promoting biodiversity and promoting the rights and well-being of workers and their families.
Rainforest Alliance Certified farms are tested annually to ensure that the living conditions of their workers are fair, providing better conditions for the communities that benefit from coffee growing. They also provide education for their worker’s children and advocate for gender equality.
Organic coffee means (or, at least it should mean) that your coffee was grown naturally, without the addition of chemicals in the growing and processing of the coffee. No synthetic fertilizers, no carcinogenic pesticides, no herbicides. This is a growing concern for consumers, and you should be able to provide organic alternatives for your consumers.
Find out more about places where coffee comes from in “Where Does Coffee Come From?“.
3. Beware of Water
If you haven’t heard it before, I’m going to be the one to tell you that water actually plays a key role in the taste of your coffee: Coffee is 98.75% water.
It’s a good idea for you to invest in a good Water Filter. To further give reason to this point, you should know that, depending on where you live, tap water can contain high levels of alkalinity: this can neutralize the acids that play a big role in giving coffee its flavor. Keep your coffee pure: Use filtered water.
4. Comprehend the Effects of Caffeine
One could argue that the main reason coffee is popular is because of its high caffeine content. Everything else is just a theater that we put on so that it is socially acceptable to consume this substance without being seen as a drug user.
Caffeine is, in fact, a drug. It stimulates your senses, fights mental fatigue and gives your body extra energy. It can be found in soda, energy drinks, and tea leaves.
This is why it’s important to be mindful of how much caffeine is in your coffee. Depending on where and how your coffee was grown, the caffeine content will vary. Arabica beans usually have half the amount of caffeine that Robusta beans have. Check out the differences in these two beans in “What’s the Difference Between Arabica vs Robusta Coffee Beans“.
The average cup of coffee has anywhere from 80 to 175 milligrams of coffee. Anything more than 1000 milligrams per day can be called an overdose. Remember, coffee is supposed to have a pleasant effect, make you maybe a little sharper, wake you up. There is no need for you to be awake until the sun rises and talk to imaginary people. Don’t ingest and don’t serve too much caffeine.
5. Attend the World Barista Championship
Each year, there is an international competition that is held in Boston that is the epitome of the Barista profession. More than 50 people from around the world get together and compete to determine who is the most skilled Barista. They have fifteen minutes to prepare 12 drinks: 4 espressos, 4 milk drinks, and 4 signature drinks.
The event brings our profession to higher levels, as well as setting higher standards for the already practicing Barista. You are more than guaranteed to learn something new from some of the world’s most skilled Baristas.
Think you can compete in the World Barista Championship? Check out “How to Be a Better Barista Over Night” for tips on perfecting your craft.
6. Freeze Coffee Beans
You should always avoid having coffee beans unused. Freezing your coffee is a great way to preserve them.
Use a sealed container to store your roasted coffee beans in the freezer for up to a year. Whenever you need to use them, take out the exact amount that you need. Once they are defrosted, they start losing their properties fast, so it’s not a good idea to freeze them again. Have brewed coffee already set? Take a look at “Can You Freeze Brewed Coffee?” for more.
If you buy in big bulks, freezing your coffee is the best way for you to ensure that your coffee is in good condition. You can take out of the freezer the exact amount you’re going to need for the day and keep the rest of your coffee in the freezer so they don’t lose any of their delicious qualities.
7. Be a Cosmopolitan
A cosmopolitan, in the world of coffee, is to get to know coffee that has been grown in many different places. Most of the coffee that is consumed around the world comes from Brazil, for example. Each country has different standards and different trademarks. It is widely assumed that the best coffee in the west comes from Colombia, however, in recent years Panama has emerged as a particularly dedicated country when it comes to coffee. It’s starting to look like Colombia might be surpassed soon.
It’s important for you to be on the pulse on what’s happening with coffee around the world so you can make informed decisions at the time of choosing the coffee for your shop. Make sure to take a look at “Interesting Facts About Coffee in Cultures Around the World” for more interesting facts about coffee.
Thank you for reading with us! Are you a coffee shop owner looking for more helpful info for your staff and shop? Be sure to check out “How To Be A Barista 101” or “5 Tips When Starting a Coffee Shop“.
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