■ By Gilles Levasseur
Extract of Prestige magazine – December 2013/January 2014 issue
Whenever we enjoy a coffee, we cannot imagine how this product so common in our lives hides a world of small but important details, from the field of the producer to our cup …
1. Coffee belongs to the botanical family of Rubiaceae, which is composed of 500 genera and 6000 species. Arabica coffee beans contain a variety of essential oils and many of them have beneficial health benefits.
2. Arabica beans grow in high altitude on the slopes of nutrient-rich volcanic mountains, which gives more subtle and delicious flavors, while Robusta varieties are grown more recently in the plains. That explains the price difference of sometimes three times higher than the Arabica beans.
3. The caffeine content can vary from 0.8 % to 4 % depending on the variety, Arabica with a rate up to five times less than the Robusta. M. Okuka says it is the lower-end coffees, predominantly Robusta, which have undesirable effects on health, such as excitability and possible palpitations.
4. Packages of coffee sold in grocery stores do not display nor the date of roasting, packaging or when the product is put on the shelves, or even the type of coffee. It is therefore important to obtain a product from a retailer that guarantees a recent roasting. At the factory Café Castelo, in the Vanier Industrial Park, the coffees are roasted and distributed daily to ensure freshness. The type and the origin of the coffee beans are clearly identified.
5. Any blend of coffee beans should be done before roasting and not after, because essential oils are mixed together during the process.
6. The visible oil Grain proves that roasting was well executed. In fact, its purpose is precisely to bring out the essential oils outwards to develop the flavor. That said, Okuka says it is wrong to claim that the grains coated block oil mills and coffee machines.
7. Storing your coffee in the refrigerator to preserve the flavor is a myth: moisture is coffee’s nemesis.
8. The most important variables when roasting is the roasting temperature and time. Predrag Okuka added that we must also consider the fact that the roaster is hotter over its use, and the ambient humidity, atmospheric pressure and … seasons! “Coffee is a living product, he says, we must treat it as such, with all respects. The best coffee is not one I recommend is the one you love … without being more expensive than the one at your grocery store! ”