Different Types of Coffee

Learn about the different types of coffee from the experts at Third Rail Coffee in this Howcast video.

Transcript

My name is Mike Jones and I'm a barista at Third Rail Coffee right by Washington Square Park in New York City. I'm going to teach you some basic coffee-making skills.

So especially in recent years, you may have noticed that bags of coffee that you've bought from either cafés or coffee roasters have started adding a lot more information, such as varietal, altitude, the farm that it comes from. And so it's hard to actually know, what does that mean? Like, how is it going to taste. There's sort of a basic category that you can put some beans in and those are the Indonesia growing region, East Africa, and then Central/South America. Indonesian coffees tend to be very earthy, they have this sort of very heavy body to them. They're often used as the undertone in espresso blends. East African coffees tend to be fruitier, livelier, kind of wine-like. And then Central/South Americans have a little bit more base to them, some darker, deeper notes to them. Another way that coffees differ is the processing, and there are two main ways. These are natural and wash-processed. Wash-process is taking over a little bit more just because there's a less chance of defect in the bean. What happens in natural is after the cherry is picked, it is simply left out to dry with the fruit on for a certain amount of time, and this creates like really crazy fruit flavors, but also ferment is rampant. With washed, it's cleaner, flavors are more nuanced and balanced and more delicate. And in Central and South America, washed is sort of the standard. Countries like Costa Rica it's actually the law. Whereas in East Africa, Ethiopia in particular, there's such a water shortage that people are naturally processing everything, and having defective beans. But in recent years there have been economically feasible ways of actually doing a wash process using special machines in Ethiopia, so we've been seeing a lot more exciting coffees come from East Africa that are cleaner, less fermented, and just more balanced and exciting.

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