Coffee is a fruit.
This may seem obvious to you if you have ever seen a coffee plant, but many think of coffee as a brown liquid. It often tastes burnt and oily, not at all like a fruit!
At Seattle Coffee Works, we embrace coffee’s botanical roots. Originally uncovered on the Ethiopian Plateau, Coffea arabica is a high-elevation bush that grows near the equator, and produces small cherry-like fruit containing large seeds. Depending on how these seeds are separated from the pulp, they can retain some of the fruit’s flavors and character.
Our team and partners work hard to ensure the coffee gets shipped to Seattle as soon as possible – often several months ahead of other roasters. This allows us to have some of the freshest coffee available.
We love this fascinating aspect of coffee. Our green coffee buying team seeks out coffees that are rich with lots of fruit flavor. This can be challenging because the coffee has to be carefully dried, sorted, cleaned, and sealed to preserve freshness and prevent any off flavors.
Roasting Just Right
Then, there’s the roasting. If you roast a coffee for too long, it can burn, leaving a charcoal taste that dominates the palate. If you roast it too briefly, it won’t caramelize the naturally-occurring sugars, meaning you’ll miss out on some of the sweetness created through what’s called the Maillard reaction.
This is the same reaction that makes bread crusts and seared meats taste sweet on the outside.
The Daily Grind
Finally, there’s the brewing. It’s absolutely critical to grind the beans to a uniform and appropriate degree of fineness, steep them just long enough, at the right temperature, to bring out the fresh fruitiness of delicious roasted coffee. This is what our team pays attention to in our cafes. Even with precision instruments and tested recipes, small changes in humidity and other environmental factors can influence the outcome.
That’s why our team tastes every batch – their finely trained palates determine whether they have gotten the best possible extraction of coffee fruit flavor.
Most of our team prefers to drink coffee black. With so much attention focused on preserving the unique fruit flavors at each step of the process, adding milk and sugar can detract from the unique flavor, with all its hints and subtleties. We love to let the taste of the coffee fruit shine through, and we hope to share that fruit sensation with you!
Serving coffee while highlighting its fruit flavors is a point of pride at Capitol Coffee Works