Buckhorn, I've come to a recent conclussion on why all coffee, no matter how much you pay or where it is purchased taste like crap, besides because cheaper beans are put into the mix. I think the problem has more to do with Botanist developing coffee plants that no longer need to be grown in the shade. This new method of growning has changed the taste of coffee dramatically. Coffee no longer has the depth and richness that it used to have. You have to use a lot more to make a halfway decent cup and even that is no guarantee that the coffee won't taste like water. The next time I purchase coffee I am going to make sure that I only purchase 3rd. party verified shade grown coffee. I'm willing to bet, after wasting over $100 bucks on online gourmet coffee beans that all taste lousy, that will make the difference.
02-04-2013 01:25 PM
Originally Posted by Anamandy
Hmmmm....haven't had "crap coffee" in years myself. I purchase green coffee beans from reliable sources and haven't been dissapointed yet. Not all coffee requires shade. There are varieties of sun grown coffee that are very good. Many of the Brazilian coffees are sun grown. There are environmental problems with sun grown coffee because of the exteme amount of plant food required in the form of fertilizers to sustain the increased plant output.
In general, I agree with you that coffee grown in the traditional manner under shade is a better product for a number of reasons. I'm not sure where you're getting your coffee, but there are a number of sources on-line that go out of their way to provide extremely high quality coffee. Most of the green beans that I buy come from Sweet Maria's, and Tom travels to many of the farms to verify the growing conditions, meet the farmers, and see the way the beans are processed to ensure that the beans are handled correctly from growing through processing.
If you're buying green beans, it's difficult to adulterate the beans with second rate beans as it is easy to spot different types of beans by size and color - a dead give away that the beans cannot be single origin.
The unfortunate thing with coffee beans is that the finest beans grown can be ruined by poor processing and bad handling in shipment. In talking with a representative of Atlas Coffee Importers, I was astounded at the amount of coffee they reject - after going to the farms and verifying the coffee where it was grown. One of the things many of the importers are looking at is vacuum packaging the coffee at the farm and loading into a sealed shipping container at the farm in an attempt to cut down on the amount of coffee ruined through poor handling in shipping.
In brewed coffee, the type of coffee maker itself can have an affect on flavor, richness, etc. There are very few coffee makers that actually brew at 200F. I have used a Technivorm for years because it is SCAA certified as having 200F water temperature. Some of the new Bunn machines are also certified.
Then there is how you measure the beans themselves prior to grinding. Beans come in different sizes and if you're using scoops as a measurement you run into the problem of volume not having the same weight with different bean sizes. I always weigh the coffee beans with the weight being 7 grams per cup. If you weigh the beans you are assured of the same amount of coffee per cup every time.
None of the roasted coffee I drink for drip coffee is over 7 days old from the day it was roasted, the beans are weighed and ground immediately before making the coffee - I haven't had bad coffee in 12 years, it's not that difficult to guarantee yourself high quality coffee.
Hi Buckhorn, I was with my sister in the supermarket the other day and she remarked that the coffee aisle no longer smells like coffee. It's true. Usually that aisle draws you in but there was hardly any coffee scent in that aisle any longer. Something is definetely going on with coffee in this country. Maybe it has to do with the fact that our dollar isn't as strong as it once was and we are getting inferior coffee here. That seems to be true for a lot of other products as well these days.
If the coffee aisle in the supermarket no longer smells like coffee, the coffee there must be very old. The roasted coffee loses its flavor and aroma as it sits in the store.
One of our long-time Forum members, Ccafe, always adds this line to his posts, "Have you ever walked through the isle of your local grocer and smelled the death of a dying bean?" Every time I walk down the coffee aisle, I think of him.
Buying roasted coffee at the local store is, as you've pointed out, os an exercise in carrying dead beans home. Even the local boutique groceries that carry locally roasted coffee beans don't sell enough of any one type to keep the stock and its rotation even close to fresh. I've talked with one of the local roasters who supplies the stores, and they generally "change out" the coffee after two weeks if it doesn't sell.
Originally Posted by PinkRose
I would assume that in chain grocery stores with bulk coffee bins, that could stretch to 30, 60, 90 days...who knows?
Conversely, we do have a local coffee shop that fresh roasts all of their coffee daily, and if you want freshly roasted coffee and don't roast yourself - that's the place to go. You're only limited to poor coffee if you don't look for it. If freshly roasted coffee isn't available locally, there are a number of places on the Internet that will roast and ship the same day, meaning, the coffee will be 3 days old when you get it - and that's not too bad as many coffees benefit from a couple of days of resting prior to use. Most of them ship the coffee in vacuum packages so the coffee cannot be oxidized when you get it.
In fact, I bought some green coffee from one supplier and it was vacuum packed - not something that I would have expected. I've also ordered 10 pounds of coffee from a farm in Hawaii, and it has just been picked and is being processed - and I would expect to receive the green beans sometime around the end of March.
If you want quality coffee, it really only takes a little more effort than going to the local store in order to get it.
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