While coffee is the third-most consumed beverage in the United States (after water and carbonated beverages), it is the most consumed beverage that is imported into the United States.
However, we rarely ask, 'where does my morning cup of coffee come from' as we rush out the door.
We'd like to invite you to join us as we share a little about the history of coffee, ethically sourcing coffee, and how to brew the perfect cup.
Coffee is a popular beverage that has a long and interesting history. It is believed to have originated in the highlands of Ethiopia, where the coffee plant is native, and it has been used for centuries in that region as a stimulant and as a medicine.
From Ethiopia, coffee spread to the Arabian Peninsula, where it was cultivated and the first coffeehouses were established in the early 1500s. These coffeehouses quickly became popular social hubs, where people gathered to drink coffee and discuss news and ideas.
Coffee then spread to Europe, where it was first introduced in the 1600s, and soon after to the Americas. Today, coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and is grown in many countries, including Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam.
There are two varieties of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is widely considered a more flavorful, smooth coffee and nearly all premium coffees are 100% arabica beans.
In addition to its widespread popularity, coffee has played a role in various historical events and has been the subject of much controversy and debate, particularly with regards to its trade practices. It was the coffee industry that started the fair trade movement to ensure coffee farmers were paid a fair wage for their crops.
People often ask, 'what is the best way to brew coffee?' The answer is quite simple, 'Depends how you like it.'
There is a wide variety of methods used around the world to brew coffee, which can seem quite confusing. While we are used to brewing coffee in a coffee machine at home, there are a variety of other methods that you can also do at home for new textures and flavor profiles.
While a pour over may result in an incredibly smooth cup, you may prefer to try a french press which creates a more textured feel.
Join us as Grace Farms coffee aficionado, Frank Kwei, shares a few of his favorite ways to brew a great cup of coffee.
Brewing a pour over cup of coffee is similar to a coffee maker, but it is great for brewing just one cup and usually produces a slightly smoother coffee because it has an opportunity to 'breathe' while the hot water funnels through the ground beans.
Step 1: Wet your coffee filter inside your pour over funnel.
Step 2: Fill about 2 tbsp of fresh medium ground coffee into the coffee filter and then pour freshly boiled water (~200°) over the ground using a gooseneck kettle until they are fully soaked.
Step 3: Allow the soaked grounds to 'bloom' for 30 seconds, releasing gas from the freshly ground beans.
Step 4: In a circular motion slowly pour the hot water over the ground coffee at a speed at which it is slightly faster than the coffee is dripping into the cup, without letting the water pool up in the funnel.
Step 5: Continue pouring until the cup is almost full. Remove the funnel before the last drips exit the funnel as these last drips will have a slightly more bitter taste as oxygen is affecting the unsaturated grounds.
Step 6: Enjoy. For best results, share.
Brewing coffee in a french press may seem intimidating at first, but it really is a very simple method that produces a very unique texture and taste profile for coffees.
Step 1: Warm your french press by pouring a small amount of hot water into the container and discard.
Step 2: Add 2 tbsp freshly ground coffee on a coarse setting.
Step 3: Pour hot water over ground coffee soaking the grounds and let the coffee rise (~4oz). Wait about 30 seconds and then pour the remaining water (~8oz) over the grounds.
Step 4: Place the press lid and depress the plunger just to the top of coffee and let brew for 2 - 3 minutes. Slowly depress the plunger half way down and allow to brew for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 5: Fully depress the plunger, trapping the grounds at the bottom of the container. Serve immediately while hot.
Step 6: Enjoy. For best results, share.
Nothing is quite as refreshing and smooth as a cold brew coffee. Save yourself the trip to the cafe and make a better cup at home with these easy steps.
Step 1: Use a cold brew french press or just a large pitcher. Add 1 cup of medium to coarse ground coffee for every 8 cups of water.
Step 2: Add room temperature water, ensure coffee grounds do not sit on top of the water. Refrigerate for 12 hours.
Step 3: Enjoy. For best results, share.