The Brew Review

Kathy's Coffee Talk!

Coffee is many people’s favorite beverage and the number one source of caffeine consumption in the U.S. Coffee is also the # 2 most highly traded commodity in the world right behind oil. So, with those 2 pieces of info in mind, I came up with tag line, "Fueling Today's Coffee Revival." I really do believe that coffee keeps America going in more ways than one & in a very positive way as well;)!

Coffee has an interesting history although legends vary about its discovery. We do know that coffee originated in Ethiopia and was transported to the Arab world by the Ottoman Turks who were the first to drink coffee as a beverage. Grown in tropical regions around the globe, coffee is hand picked, processed, and shipped via exporters and importers who sell to coffee roasters & retailers, like us, so we can provide you with the best coffee in every cup! We buy our green bean from a qualified ethical importer who "cups" the coffee both before & after the crop and who maintains that workers are being treated equitably for their trade.

We were surprised to find out that coffee is a seed in a berry grown on dwarf trees found at high altitudes in volcanic soils around the globe where the days are hot & the nights are cool! Coffee grows in both wet and dry climates – each producing their own flavors. Just like Granny Smith vs. Macintosh apples or fine wines, each region has its own distinct taste & character.

The coffee berry looks like a holly berry with a seed inside. Each berry contains 2 beans. We have a decorative coffee berry wreath in our store. A peaberry is a phenomenon in nature where 2 beans grow together producing a unique flavor. We carry the Tanzanian Peaberry and the Colombian Peaberry, though there are others.

Another great topic of coffee conversation revolves around coffee prep. Coffee beans can be roasted, ground, and brewed many ways with the most common being the auto drip. The french press & vacuum pots are 2 of my personal brewing favorites. With the french press you take a coarse ground coffee and boiling water and place it in a "plunger" cup where you steep the ground like tea and then press them down to the bottom leaving you with an incredibly brewed cup of coffee. It tastes sooooo good because all of the oils which contain flavor components are left in the coffee instead of being filtered out as in an auto drip. The vacuum pot is cool for the entire family to watch and could even be done as a science experiment! Coffee in a glass dual chambered pot is "sucked" like magic into the upper compartment where it is brewed & then poured into your cup for a delectable brew! Of course, we sell both of these items in our shop, they make great gifts or get one for yourself to enjoy! We also sell the french press in a 2 go cup enabling us to brew any one of our 40 different coffees in a cup for you to try!

Coffee storage is a highly debated coffee topic. Old wives tails still prevail saying to keep coffee in the refrigerator or the freezer, but all of our research says that is definitely not the way to go. Coffee should be kept in a cool, dry place, like your pantry preferably in an air tight canister -- never, ever refrigerate. Coffee does not like extreme temperatures or light and it tends to absorb odors around it, so unless you want your coffee to taste like everything in your fridge, don't keep your coffee there. In fact you can use old stale coffee grounds in your fridge to eliminate odors, instead of baking soda. Freezing changes the chemical composition of coffee changing the taste and not for the better! Of course we carry coffee canisters in our store.

Another element in keeping coffee fresh & maximizing the taste is to grind your own. It is important to keep the beans whole until you are ready to brew them, because the bean protects the flavor! The wonderful aroma that you smell after grinding coffee is all of the flavor leaving the bean. Once ground the flavor begins to escape. There are some great grind and brew coffee makers out there and of course, we sell coffee grinders!

We recommend only buying enough coffee to last a week to ten days if you are not grinding your own. In other words, make it a weekly shopping item. With whole bean you can stock up for the month and take advantage of our best offer by buying 4 pounds and getting one FREE!

So, what makes Hallowed Grounds Coffee so special, it's the freshness factor! Supermarket coffee is intentionally staled prior to packaging. Due to the degassing process that occurs after roasting, all large batch roasters must allow their coffee to rest & degas prior to shippping. Otherwise the coffee would explode out of its package.Therefore, the majority of the world’s coffee is staled and then vacuum packed and shipped to you. Virtually all grocery store and box or chain store coffee sits around in warehouses, on trains, & in trucks for months, 6 months on average, before reaching the shelf, let alone your pantry! Even so-called specialty coffees with expensive 1 way valves undergo delay. Large volume purchasing usually involves compromised quality.So, why pay more? Our coffee is an affordable luxury costing less than .25 per cup & yes, you can get coffee cheaper than that in the local supermarket, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Coffee is naturally sweet, after all it is the seed of a fruit, it should never taste bitter. Bitter coffee is stale, poor quality, over roasted, or some combination of these negative factors.

One final note, different coffees also like different roasts, some lighter some darker. Roasting is both an art and a science, it is a creative process that my husband loves to experiment with. He is in his zone when blending different coffees together to create distinctive flavors. We are both constantly in the process of perfecting our craft and hope you enjoy our many creations as much as we do.

As you can see coffee is more complex than your average cup of cappuccino, however for most people sharing a cup between friends is as far as they care to go with the subject and yet there is something to be said for friends getting together for coffee and conversation and when you get together, I hope you’ll make it Hallowed Grounds coffee that you drink and share with your friends and family and all of the coffee lovers in your life!

Blessings,

kc

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