As a coffee retailer, you probably have a solid working knowledge of the coffee world, as so many new products, purchasing decisions, and flavors continue to surround such an antique drink. While your understanding is important to running a successful business, it is just as vital that your staff understands the product they are serving as well, as they are the link between the customer and that cup of joe. Here are a few basic questions that your staff should be able to answer:
How does the cost of the coffee relate to its quality?
Oftentimes, the cost of specialty coffee pertains to the extra labor that is put into sorting the green coffee beans before they are exported. The reason many of the specialty and premium grades sell for substantially higher prices is the hand labor required to remove any black or broken beans present during harvesting and processing prior to export.
Does the method of roasting impact the flavor profile of the coffee beans?
Yes, both the type of roaster and the method of heat application will create different flavor profiles. Also, the rate and efficiency of heat application will impact the final taste. When you find coffees that are great tasting, it means the roast master who prepared them understands how the equipment being used relates to the coffee being roasted.
Can you freeze coffee beans?
In addition to moisture and water, temperature also impacts the freshness of coffee: the higher the temperature, the faster the release of carbon dioxide gas trapped inside the coffee beans. As the CO2 expands and escapes, it takes with it many of the aromatic flavor compounds that are an important component of coffee’s freshness. Maintain this freshness by storing coffee in the following ways: 1) a cool dry place 2) the refrigerator or 3) the freezer. All of these options help to retain the carbon dioxide gas in the coffee beans along with the aromatic flavor compounds.
What does it mean when a coffee is labeled “organic”?
The organic labeling on coffee means that an independent certification organization has inspected and certified that the coffee has been grown, harvested, processed, transported, roasted and distributed without contamination by pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.