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May 2013
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How to Become a Coffee Connoisseur
Learning coffee bean basics can help expand your palate

If you’re tired of your usual morning joe, brew a cup of curiosity and become an international coffee connoisseur. All you need to do is understand coffee bean basics, and in no time at all you’ll wonder why you’ve been settling for ordinary coffee when there are so many extraordinary choices.
 
Coffee bean types
Through experimentation you’ll learn about bean variety, importance of harvest altitude, bean size, wet or dry processing, freshness and type of roast. There are two main, superior coffee bean types.
  • Arabica bean: This richly flavored, specialty bean is grown organically and is picked by hand. Specialty coffee is always more expensive because it isn’t mass produced.
  • Robusta bean:Used as a blend with other specialty beans because the flavor isn’t as rich.
Importance of grinding
Every coffee aficionado knows that the most important step when making coffee at home is the grinding process. The secret is to know how long to grind the beans depending upon the type of coffee and how you wish to use it. For example, a finely ground coffee is needed to make espresso while a medium ground bean is used for drip coffee makers. Measure carefully because you should immediately brew whatever you grind.
 
 
Brewing science
Coffee connoisseurs often turn brewing into a science. Brewing is the most challenging step in making the perfect cup of coffee. You’ll soon learn that the oilier the bean, the more flavor it releases.
  • Always keep your equipment clean after each use to prevent old smells from creeping into your fresh brew.
  • Because the quality of tap water varies, most connoisseurs use bottled or filtered water for best results. (Never use distilled water.)
  • The perfect temperature to brew coffee is 200 degrees. Connoisseurs are very particular about the brewing water not being too hot or too cold. 
Use barista tools
 
You can’t develop the perfect cup of coffee without investing in one or two barista tools.
  • Dosing tool: This handy tool allows you to make precise measurements and prevent waste. It can also be used to flatten your ground coffee before placing into your machine.
  • Stainless steel milk jug and thermometer: Most coffee connoisseurs believe that no cup can achieve greatness without the perfect foam on top. Using these items correctly guarantees the perfect temperature to make your foam. 

Attend a coffee tasting

You’ve heard of wine tastings where people learn to expand their palates and learn about new wines. Coffee tastings, known to connoisseurs as “cuppings,” are also growing in popularity. Check your area for shops that specialize in selling gourmet coffee beans, because they often host cupping events. 
 
Learning how to become a coffee connoisseur will not only be a delicious adventure, but it can also be a way to find other coffee lovers who share your passion.
 
This article is presented by Autoteam Delaware in Wilmington, Delaware

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