Coffee is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world. Some people are perfectly content with gas-station coffee or coffee made from grounds bought at the supermarket. For others, only gourmet coffee will do.
Gourmet coffee can be commonly found in coffee shops around the world. A lot of care goes into selecting and roasting the coffee beans, which are typically ground immediately before brewing. Gourmet coffee comes in a variety of different types and roasts, all with their own individual aromas and subtle flavors.
Common Gourmet Coffee Terms
As you introduce yourself to gourmet coffee, you’ll need to know some basic terminology:
- Blend: A combination of two different kinds of roasted beans. Blending can add balance, body and flavor to gourmet coffee.
- Cupping: The official term for “tasting” gourmet coffee, including analyzing the beans, fragrance, acidity, body and taste of the coffee.
- Dripping: A basic way of preparing gourmet coffee. The coffee is placed in a filter basket and hot water is dripped onto it. A pot placed below the filter catches the brewed coffee. Most home coffee pots use this method to brew gourmet coffee.
- Espresso: A concentrated coffee drink made by forcing hot water through tightly packed espresso grinds. Espresso can be consumed on its own or as part of a specialty coffee drink, like a latte or cappuccino.
- French press: A French press is a simple, elegant gourmet coffee maker. Ground coffee is placed at the bottom of a cylindrical pot with a plunger, and hot water is poured on top. To serve the coffee, you simply push the plunger down, keeping the grounds at the bottom of the pot, and pour.
- Roast: Roasting is the method of preparing gourmet coffee beans for brewing. Different roasts provide different experiences in texture and taste. For example, a light roast is often smooth, uncomplicated and pleasant, while a French roast is much darker, with more complexity and hints of flavor.