It seems impossible to get a plain cup of coffee these days. Unless you go to an old-style diner, the choices of coffee are endless. Flavors, cold brewed, iced, and hard to pronounce names line the coffee menu to the point where trying to order food is out of the question. Before having an aneurysm regarding your coffee selection, maybe it is time to break down the most common of the coffee drinks: Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte, the Pour-Over, and the Single-Serve pod.
Espresso is actually a major part of cappuccino, which is why our journey begins here. Espresso is coffee which is brewed in a very distinct way. The coffee beans must be very finely ground. Then a small amount of almost boiling water is forced through the beans under extreme pressure. This brewing technique must be extremely precise. The coffee grounds that are used for regular coffee must be ground to a much finer consistency. The water must be the freshest available. The machine must be cleaned perfectly. You must have an exact amount of grinds to match the dose of espresso you are looking to make. If any one of these steps is incorrect, the espresso will taste horrible, take too long to brew, or be of the wrong consistency. If made correctly, the espresso shot will be extremely strong with just the right amount of crema on top.
From espresso comes cappuccino. Cappuccino is a mixture of double espresso and steamed milk foam. Sometimes, people may use cream instead of milk to create a richer, bolder flavor. They may also add cinnamon or chocolate shavings. Part of the allure of cappuccino is in the steamed milk. Therefore, it is important to use the fattiest milk to make the foam just right. Stay away from anything less than whole milk for this drink to make sure it is as creamy as it looks in the movies.
Then, from cappuccino, comes the latte. A latte is very similar to a cappuccino. Both are made from espresso and milk. Yet, the latte has more milk than espresso and is often much creamier and maybe even sweeter than a cappuccino. A latte is more steamed milk than foamed milk, whereas the cappuccino is more foamed milk than steamed. Lattes are designed for individuals who enjoy the effects of coffee but want a less direct coffee flavor than one would achieve with a cappuccino.
The pour-over is considered by some as the gold standard among coffee drinkers. The maximum flavor is extracted from the beans as water at the correct temperature (205 deg) is ceremoniously poured over coffee grounds (ground to the correct size) coffee supported by a filter that was pre-conditioned with hot water less the filter impart an undesirable flavor. The process takes several minutes amid a fair amount of showmanship on the part of the barista.
The coffee is likely a varietal that came from a specific region from a farmer known for producing quality beans. The beans are premium rated with a score in the high 80’s. Clearly, the costs are higher but the taste and quality match.
Of the coffee types described above, they are all produced on premises… in a coffee shop with all the ambiance that we expect and look forward to. However, when not in the coffee shop (which serves as my second office), the single-serve pod is hard to beat. Witness the 13 billion pods produced annually by a major manufacturer that clog the landfill.
The reputation of single serve pods available heretofore held by coffee purist was (at best) tolerance. At worst, they wanted no part of that industry. However, recent advances among the smaller companies are changing all that. The pods are 100% compostable and designed to hold more coffee. The grind and the roast are matched to extract the maximum flavor of the coffee. Finally, on-site packaging allows the pods to be packaged at the peak of their flavor.
The result is a pod that rivals a pour-over. In a recent blind test, pods packaged scored very well and even exceeded a pour-over.
If you are a roaster, you owe to yourself to give to give pods a serious look. Retailing at around $ 1.00 per pod, there is ample potential given the packaging supplies cost around $0.15 . If you are a coffee consumer that can’t be at the coffee shop all day, encourage your roaster to send a pound of whole beans fresh from roast and we will return the coffee packaged in compostable pods by return mail.
Contact Gorby Coffee at 651-408-5768.