Coffee Appreciation 101: Exploring the World of Coffee Classes and Cultivating a Deeper Understanding of the Bean

Ah, coffee. The drink that makes the world go ‘round—because half of us can’t possibly get out of bed in the morning without it, make it through another one of Jerry’s pointless meetings, or survive another day traumatized by monsters… I mean our children. Coffee has our back. Always has and, hopefully, always will. But, do we show it the appreciation this energizing beverage deserves? Let’s reflect, shall we?

The Heartwarming Journey of Coffee

Centuries ago, in the lush landscapes of Ethiopia, a curious goat herder named Kaldi made a fascinating discovery. His goats, usually calm, cuddly creatures, were bursting with energy after nibbling on some mysterious berries. Intrigued, and trying to handle a bunch of furry creatures bouncing off the walls, Kaldi tried these berries for himself and felt an unexpected zest for life!

From these humble beginnings, coffee began its global voyage, reaching the Arabian Peninsula. Here, it blossomed into a beloved ritual, especially among Muslims. By the 16th century, Europe had fallen under its spell, with coffeehouses springing up in every major city. The culture of coffee shops grew from simple places to enjoy a cup to vibrant social hubs, buzzing with discussions on politics, art, and the pressing issues of the day.

Coffee’s Global Embrace

Fast forward to today, and coffee is more than just a drink – it’s a universal experience, shared across cultures and continents. Imagine, every single day, over two billion cups of coffee are savoured around the world. Grown in over 70 countries, with Brazil leading the charge.

But coffee’s influence extends beyond economics. It’s a cultural phenomenon, inspiring art, literature, and even music. It’s been at the heart of many films and documentaries. More importantly, it’s ignited conversations about fair trade and sustainability, showing us the power of thoughtful consumption.

A Bean’s Journey: Arabica to Excelsa

Now, let’s get up close and personal with the stars of the show: the coffee beans. Arabica beans, the world’s sweetheart, make up about 60% of global coffee production. They’re a sophisticated bean, with a smooth, sweet melody and a gentle touch of acidity.

Then there’s Robusta, the bold and gritty performer, with a strong, bitter tune and a kick of caffeine that can really get your day going. These beans are like the sturdy warriors of the coffee world, resilient and robust.

In the corners of the Philippines, you’ll find the rare Liberica beans, with their smoky whispers and grand presence. And let’s not forget the mysterious Excelsa, often mistaken for Liberica, adding a tangy, fruity note to the coffee chorus.

Each of these beans tells a unique story, adding layers of flavor and character to our beloved beverage.

The Art of Growing and Crafting Coffee

Growing coffee is like a delicate dance with nature. Picture the coffee plants basking in the warm, tropical sun, nestled at high altitudes, where the air is just right. They need a gentle balance of warmth, moisture, and care to flourish.

When it comes to harvesting, it’s a choice between the painstaking love of handpicking ripe cherries and the efficient yet indiscriminate strip picking. The journey continues with processing – the wet method singing a slow, water-soaked ballad, and the dry method, a sun-drenched melody.

The Magic of Roasting and Brewing

Roasting coffee is where the magic happens, where beans transform and personalities emerge. From the light, lively whispers of a Light Roast to the deep, bold statements of a Dark Roast, each level of roasting shapes the coffee’s character.

Grinding coffee is equally important, setting the stage for the brewing act. Whether it’s the coarse grind of a French press or the fine grind for a rich espresso, each grind size plays its part in the coffee symphony.

The Art of Enjoying Coffee

Now, let’s talk about making that perfect cup. Espresso, a concentrated burst of joy; pour over, a meditative, graceful flow; french press, a robust embrace; and cold brew, a refreshing, slow melody.

In the world of coffee tasting, we become detectives, uncovering the secrets within each cup. It’s about exploring a spectrum of flavors, from chocolatey depths to citrusy heights. And then, there’s the joy of pairing coffee with food, a dance of flavors that can elevate both the coffee and the dish.

Coffee Adventures Around the Globe

As we’ve journeyed through the history and art of coffee, let’s not forget the joy of experiencing coffee in unique and exciting ways around the world. From the streets of Seattle to the vibrant heart of Bogotá, countless adventures are waiting for coffee enthusiasts. Let’s explore some of these incredible experiences.

Roasting Classes at Current Crop

Imagine stepping into the world of coffee roasting, surrounded by the rich aroma of fresh beans. A hands-on experience where you can learn the art of roasting coffee. You’re the roaster, guided by experts who share their passion and knowledge. It’s a wonderful opportunity to understand the delicate nuances of roasting and how it influences the final cup.

Seattle Coffee Culture Tour

Seattle, the birthplace of a global coffee phenomenon, offers a deep dive into its unique coffee culture. The Seattle Coffee Culture Tour takes you on an aromatic journey through the city’s best coffee spots. It’s more than just a tasting trip, it’s a narrative about how Seattle’s coffee scene evolved, shaping the city’s identity. As you sip on exquisite brews from renowned local cafes, you’ll feel a part of Seattle’s rich coffee story.

Turkish Coffee Cooking and Tasting Experience

Delve into the heart of Turkish tradition with a coffee cooking and tasting experience. Turkish coffee is renowned for its strong, unfiltered style, often accompanied by a rich cultural ritual. Here, you’ll learn the traditional method of preparing Turkish coffee in a cezve (a small long-handled pot), experience the joy of brewing it over an open flame, and understand the significance of this cherished ritual in Turkish households. It’s a sensory and cultural feast, complete with the thick, aromatic brew that tells tales of ancient coffee lore.

Specialty Coffee Workshops in Bogotá

In the lush landscapes of Colombia, Bogotá stands as a beacon for coffee enthusiasts. Here, specialty coffee workshops offer a gateway into the world of high-quality, artisanal coffee. These workshops are a deep dive into the journey of coffee, from the plant to the cup. You’ll visit local farms, interact with skilled farmers, and learn about sustainable practices that make Colombian coffee a global standout. It’s an immersive experience that connects you with the source of your beloved beverage.

Conclusion: A Love Letter to Coffee

So there you have it, the story of coffee—a journey from a humble Ethiopian hillside to your favorite cup. It’s a tale of culture, passion, and connection. As we sip our next cup, let’s take a moment to appreciate this incredible journey, and the countless hands and hearts that have brought this beloved brew into our lives. Cheers to coffee, a true global treasure!