Gourmet coffee is made with high-quality Arabica beans. Read more to have “what is gourmet coffee” answered.
There is no official definition for “gourmet coffee” – different coffee drinkers and coffee makers have other points of view about it. But when people talk about gourmet coffee, they often mean “carefully cultivated coffee” or “flavored coffee.”
People who think of gourmet coffee as carefully cultivated coffee may be talking about specialty coffee or “Third Wave” coffee. On the other hand, flavored coffee may have come from large coffee farms in Brazil and is processed to make different flavors like fruits and nuts.
Gourmet coffee is generally made from Arabica coffee beans, added with complementary flavors that can improve the aroma and taste of the coffee. Most people use the term “gourmet” to define any coffee made from 100% Arabica coffee beans instead of Robusta coffee beans.
What Beans Are Used For Gourmet Coffee?
When we talk about coffee, not all blends are the same – we all know that. The quality and consistency of your cup of coffee can differ significantly depending on the coffee beans used, the roasting and grinding, and the brewing process.
Think of coffee beans in the same way most people think of wine. Coffee, just like wine, tastes different depending on where it is grown, the coffee farm it is from, and the season. Unlike Robusta coffee beans, which can grow at low elevations and yield larger crops, Arabica coffee beans need a cool subtropical climate – ideally in a high altitude – to grow.
Even though Robusta coffee beans are less expensive, they have inconsistent quality and taste inferior to Arabica coffee beans. Some coffee companies mix these two types of coffee beans – if you’re looking for an authentic gourmet coffee experience, choose 100% Arabica coffee beans.
You might also be interested in our Verveine tea guide.
Gourmet Coffee Caffeine Content
Gourmet coffee prioritizes flavors instead of caffeine content; it contains less caffeine than regular coffees made from Robusta coffee beans. Many people find this favorable, but a higher level of caffeine affects the acidity of coffee and makes it taste more bitter.
Arabica coffee beans have 60% more lipids and about twice as much sugar as Robusta coffee beans. It’s no surprise that most people choose the sweeter, smoother taste of gourmet coffee.
Gourmet Coffee Can Be More Eco-Friendly
From an environmental point of view, Arabica coffee beans are far better than Robusta. Farmers who plant Robusta coffee beans use mono-cropping – a process where the same crop is planted in the same place.
It also involves clear-cutting – where all trees are removed from the land – to make space for more crops. This method can erode the soil and deplete its nutrients, making it unusable for future harvests.
On the other hand, the Arabica coffee plant does not like harsh climates – it likes humidity and can’t handle a freezing temperature. It prefers temperatures between 59°F and 75°F (15°C and 24°C) and prefers to be grown in the shade.
The Farming And Roasting Process
The Arabica coffee beans should be grown, hand-picked, and produced to the highest standards to be considered gourmet coffee. It also requires high ethical standards regarding the labor environment and specific agricultural and production techniques.
The roasting process should not be taken lightly for artisan coffee makers, as it is both a highly technical and artistic course of action. In most cases, they also keep the specific procedures a secret.
The gourmet coffee’s aroma and flavor must be superior to regular coffees since the quality makes it different.
The Grinding Process
The bean grinding process affects the distinctive flavor and taste of gourmet coffee. Also, you’ll need a high-quality coffee maker to brew your coffee.
The flavor starts to fade as soon as you grind your beans. Oxidation triggers the loss of flavor. So, use the coffee as quickly as possible.
How To Choose The Best Gourmet Coffee Beans
Arabica coffee beans have the most flavor of all the coffee beans. The taste comes from the oils inside these coffee beans; you should buy them as a whole rather than pre-ground.
Coffee beans start losing their natural taste as soon as they are taken from the roaster. So, look for gourmet coffee beans stored in airtight containers, or have them unroasted. This way, you’ll preserve the flavor.
With so many options, it’s normal to get puzzled about what you should purchase. However, you should know that the taste intensity of the coffee beans is just one factor to consider when brewing your cup of coffee.
Can You Make Your Own Gourmet Coffee?
If you’re looking for ways to make your gourmet coffee, you can start by visiting some artisan coffee shops near you. Professional baristas can guide you on your gourmet coffee journey and give you tips on making this type of coffee according to your liking.
Some people prefer milkier coffee drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos, while some like espresso. To make espresso at home, you need to buy an espresso machine if you don’t have one. If it’s your first time using an espresso machine, you might find our guide on how to use an espresso machine helpful.
Making your gourmet coffee can be more expensive than regular coffee, so it’s not a decision you should make impulsively. Consider the costs of these coffee-making equipment carefully before buying them.