January is International Gourmet Coffee Month!
When you stop in the coffee aisle of your local supermarket, you will find a number of varieties to choose from. The same is true if you visit a kona coffee specialty store that sells. These coffees have unique flavors and combinations.
As you check out the packages on the shelf or the bins in the specialty store, you will notice the various names. The names do not necessarily mean that the coffee was produced in a particular country or area. With so many varieties, you need to be aware of the labeling.
If the name on the label includes the word “Continental” such as French, Italian, Viennese, it means these brands are usually made from darker coffees and does not mean the beans originated in these regions. These names indicate the actual length of time the beans were roasted. For example, Italian roasts are generally darker in color since they are roasted longer than Viennese, and so on.
When you are looking for coffee that was actually grown and harvested in a particular country, the country name will appear on the label. Columbian is grown in Columbia; Mexican is grown in Mexico.
Another name you may find on a label is Estate. Estate coffees are exclusive and distinct. This means it was grown, harvested, and processed on a single farm or estate. These estate owners consider their coffees to be pure. They do not mix them with varieties from other growers. One such popular estate coffee is the Wallensford Blue Mountain brand. This coffee is grown exclusively in Jamaica and is one of the most prized in the world.
The coffee buyer is also faced with varieties that have names such as chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut or other nuts. Some have fruit names and crème. These coffees are generally less expensive. The difference is that pure coffee beans are roasted black, while flavored coffees are roasted a medium brown. The flavoring is added to the coffee in a liquid form.
Some coffees are a blend of varieties, a mix of two or more coffees. The key consideration to creating a blend is that the coffees must complement each other. The aroma, taste, and flavor of the coffee should be harmonious. There are several well-known blends that are excellent coffee combinations.
Coffee is now grown organically so there is a coffee to fit the most common needs and individual lifestyles. Do not get overwhelmed by the different varieties. To find the coffee that suits you, you may want to try different varieties.