Whether you drink it black or doctored up, use a French press or a standard drip, make it at home or have a daily spot where they know your name and your drink of choice, coffee likely has a place in your morning (or all-day) routine. No matter your level of coffee consumption, it’s never too late to broaden your knowledge and increase your confidence for the next time you place your order. We asked some of our favorite local baristas to weigh in on all things coffee. From the newest brewing techniques to the latest trends, here are some fun facts and behind-the-scenes secrets for making — and ordering — coffee.
Behind-the-Scenes Barista Secrets (Plus, Some Facts You Should Know)
Coffee beans aren’t technically beans.
Surprise! Coffee is a fruit. A coffee bean is actually a seed located inside of the coffee berry, which is a stone fruit just like standard cherries. “A lot of people don’t know it’s a fruit,” Ryne Hambright, director of operations for Dose Nashville, says of coffee. “It may seem like common sense to some, but for me, it wasn’t. I always associated beans with vegetables, but the coffee cherry, which the bean is inside of, is part of the Coffea plant.”
The taste of tap water changes the taste of your coffee.
Tap water dramatically affects the flavor of your coffee. If you’re brewing at home, using a filtration system such as a Brita filter can remove water impurities, offering a more consistent and clean flavor.
Grinding right before you brew makes for fresher coffee.
Whole bean coffee lasts much longer than ground coffee, and a cup of freshly ground coffee is best. With that said, grinding right before you brew is optimal but not imperative. As a side note, a ground bag of coffee typically stays fresh for at least a week.
The lighter the roast, the more caffeine it contains.
It’s somewhat deceiving, but just because a lighter roast may not have a strong flavor doesn’t mean it has less caffeine. In fact, if measured by scoops, it actually has more (though it’s minimal). “It’s a helpful tip for those unsure of which roast to purchase or order,” says SB’s Editorial and Marketing Assistant Manager, and former barista, Bailey Torkelson. “The lighter the roast, the more caffeine you’ll get. That’s why breakfast blends are always a light roast coffee. The flavor is also lighter compared to a rich, chocolatey dark roast.”
Bitter isn’t better.
“A lot of people like dark and bitter coffee because that’s what they think coffee is supposed to taste like,” says Victoria Quirk, barista and social media manager at Crema. But light coffee offers nuances that some darker roasts may hide. Single-origin coffees tend to be…
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