The Best Way To Brew Your Organic Coffee

The Best Way To Brew Your Organic Coffee

A “French press’ is essentially open-pot- coffee with a sophisticated method for separating the grounds from the brew.  We believe it is the best way to brew your freshly roasted organic coffee.  The pot is a narrow glass cylinder.  A fine-mesh screen plunger fits tightly inside the cylinder.  You place coarse-to-medium ground organic coffee in the cylinder, pour water that is just beginning to boil over it, and insert the plunger in the top of the cylinder without pushing down. After about 4 minutes, when the coffee is thoroughly steeped.  You push the plunger down through the coffee, clarifying it and forcing the grounds to the bottom of the pot.

The plunger pot was apparently developed in Italy during the 1930’s but found  its true home in France after World War II, when it became a favorite method for home coffee brewing.

The growing popularity of this method in the United States has unleashed a flood of French-press brewers, A few made in France and many from other places.  A consumer’s first decision in purchasing such a brewer is whether to spend a little money on a version that supports the glass brewing receptacle in a plastic frame ($20 to $30), or to spend considerably more on a brewer with a metal frame ($40 and up).  Make certain the one you decide on has a tempered cylinder, otherwise you will be replacing it frequently.

The coffee the plunger pot produces is full bodied and deeply flavored.  None of the flavor containing oils are filtered out and the resulting brew is very rich indead. Starting with a premium organic coffee bean that has a balanced acidity is very important.  Beans with a high acidity will impart an unpleasant aftertaste.  Many coffee aficionados prefer this method of preparing their brew.    Those who take their coffee with milk or cream may also prefer this method due to the fact that the coffee’s flavor is not diluted.

Style of coffee aside, the advantages of the plunger brewer are its drama, its portability and its elegance, all of which make it an ideal after-dinner brewer. It certainly isn’t any more difficult to clean than most drip or filter pots but unless you buy a design with an insulated decanter, the coffee must be drunk immediately. That also is just as well, since coffee ought to be drink immediately.  The french press is one of the best ways to brew your organic coffee.

Organic Coffee Processing In Costa Rica

Organic Coffee Processing in Costa Rica

Most of the world’s coffee beans are processed in one of two ways. Dry or “natural” processing means the fruit is left on the beans while they are drying. The organic coffee processing in Costa Rica is limited.  The fruit or cherry contains many different sugars and thus ferments quickly so this method depends on relatively low humidity to be successful. Too much humidity will cause excess fermentation and the subsequent loss of the crop.

The second method is referred to as “wet processing” and means that the fruit is removed the same day that the coffee beans are picked. At the same time most of the sugars are washed from the beans and they are spread out to dry. This creates a controllable and consistent drying environment. The weather in the mountains of Costa Rica is relatively humid, so this is the preferred method. The downside of this method is the use of large quantities of water to remove the excess sugars which results in environmental problems.

There are, however, other methods used by small growers the world over. On our small organic coffee farm in Costa Rica, we use a hybrid process most closely compared to something called “wet hulled”, which is most popular in parts of Indonesia. The same day that our organic coffee is picked we separate the fruit from the bean and wash about eighty percent of the sugars from the beans. This is accomplished by using a new type of machine which uses water pressure to remove the sugars instead of the traditional high volumes of water. We are also certified organic for processing because of this new equipment. After the “defruiting” and washing the coffee beans are placed in our new dryer that collects heat from the sun and then dries by convection. After carefully drying the beans to eleven or twelve percent humidity they are placed in burlap bags to “rest” for about forty five days. The next step is to remove the one more layer or hull from the bean. This layer is called the pergamino. There is one more layer remaining which we call parchment or “chaff” and will protect the beans during shipment and storage. This last protective coating will separate in the roasting process and our organic coffee beans are ready to be enjoyed.

Why Do Some Roasted Coffee Beans Have A Bitter Taste?

Is your coffee Bitter?

Why Do Some Roasted Coffee Beans Have A Bitter Taste?

All coffee drinkers at one time or another complain about having a bitter cup of coffee. Most coffee drinkers will relate the bitterness to one of the darker roasts. If asked what they associate bitterness with; they would tell you that it is the acidity of the coffee.

However, there is a problem with that conclusion. The acidity of a dark roast is less than half of what the acidity is in a medium roast.(From around 1.5% for a medium roast and as little as .70% for a dark roast. Yes, excess acidity is a factor, and some volcanic mountain soils, such as the soil on our farm in Costa Rica, needs a slight pH adjustment from time to time. Because we grow organic coffee beans,we add calcium to the soil. Costa Rican coffee beans are renowned for having just the perfect acidity. There are many different acid compounds in coffee beans, and a perfect balance in these compounds result in an excellent cup of coffee.

A Greater source of bitterness

Bitterness in roasted coffee beans can also be the result of excess caffeine. Many, if not all, large coffee companies (you are familiar with their names), blend in a certain percentage of a different coffee bean. It is called Robusta and is a very inexpensive way to expand production. Robusta has roughly twice the caffeine of the coffee bean grown in Costa Rica, which is called an Arabica bean. Arabica beans have a reputation for being the very best variety and coffee growers in Costa Rica are not allowed to cultivate Robusta beans.

So, what is the best way to eliminate the bitterness in your roasted coffee beans?

The very best way to eliminate bitterness in your cup is to purchase a very high quality organic coffee bean. Keens Beans offers one of the best Costa Rican organic coffees on the market.

Growing Organic Coffee Beans In Costa Rica

Our coffee is mountain grown in Costa Rica

A view from our coffee farm in Costa Rica

We are a small producer of gourmet organic coffee beans . Our farm is at 3600 feet in the mountains just southwest of Lake Arenal in the eastern part of Guanacaste Province. It’s a truly wonderful environment for growing organic coffee beans in Costa Rica.We’re just below the “cloud forest” so we have a little less sunshine and therefore, plants that grow a little slower. Organically grown beans don’t do well in full sun so the clouds are welcome. We also plant a variety of low growing trees to help shade the plants. Different types of banana are popular. Hence the term “shade grown”. It is much less labor intensive to grow non organic beans so organic coffee beans account for around 12% of Costa Rican production.

 Mountain grown coffee takes more work

Our coffee is grown on steep hillsides in small plots to conform to the terrain and the land must be terraced. We terrace for two reasons: the most obvious is to accommodate the immense amount of runoff in the rainy season. The other reason is to help the pickers navigate the steep hillsides. Their income depends on the amount they pick. They are paid per “cajuela”, which is a little more than fifteen quarts. An efficient picker will be able fill six or seven “cajuelas a workday. Each “cajuela” is worth around 800 colones or $1.70.

What happens after the beans ripen

The beans will ripen as soon as the rainy season ends. In a normal year that is in November. Unfortunately all of the beans don’t ripen at the same time so each plant will be revisited four or five time during the season. Coffee beans contain many different sugar compounds and the processing must be started quickly to avoid excess fermentation. After removing the fruit surrounding the bean and washing off about 80% of the sugars the beans are air dried to 11 percent moisture and then “rested” for a minimum of 30 days.

After the “resting” period, one additional hard parchment layer is removed from the bean and the coffee beans are ready to ship to our warehouse in Pensacola, Florida. The beans are roasted as needed and shipped immediately to our customers. The taste is best reward for the efforts of so many people.  Growing organic coffee beans in Costa Rica has been very rewarding.

Your Coffee Brew May Help You Lose Weight

Does caffeine help you lose weight?

There are so many of us that can’t wait to get up in the morning and start our day with a fresh hot cup of coffee.  But do you know what that cup of brew is doing for you?  That first cup of coffee can speed up your metabolism for the rest of the day,  Especially if you are working out in the gym.  Between the caffeine and the workout, you will continue to burn calories even after you leave the gym.  They say that by drinking a cup of coffee you may be able to workout harder and longer.

What about the calories in your morning brew.

Is your black coffee better for weight loss?  Yes it is!  Once you put in the half and half, sugar or syrups and top it off with the whipped cream, you just created a high calorie drink.  Most of your common coffee drinks contain around 300-500 calories depending on size and ingredients.  A cup of black coffee alone has only 2 calories.   Bottom line is, if you are drinking coffee to help you lose weight and get your metabolism moving, then make sure it is black.

Is your coffee healthy?

If you are concerned about your health then you should be drinking organic coffee.  Many of the well known coffee’s contain harmful chemicals.  Chemicals that remain even after roasting.  If you have to add a cream or sugar to your coffee, make sure it is organic.  Organic  half and half or organic soy milk are two good choices.  If you are adding a sweetener make sure it is an organic sweetener like organic sugar or organic agave.  Agave comes in several flavors that will flavor your coffee without all the preservatives that the flavored creamers have.  So grab a healthy cup of coffee and happy dieting.