We’re back with Part II of the A to Zs of coffee! Read on to learn about different coffee roasts, processing methods and fascinating coffee drinks!
Believe it or not, this fizzy-looking drink with a crown of froth is not beer, but nitro coffee. Infused with nitrogen gas through a pressurized valve with tiny holes, this cold-brew coffee that’s served on tap feels like a creamy pint with a clean body and silky finish. Starbucks offers an exclusive Nitro Cold Brew that’s wonderfully smooth with a cascading, velvety crema.
Like most food we consume these days, it’s important to ensure that the coffee we drink is free from harmful substances such as pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers. Thankfully, coffee houses such as Cedele Bakery Kitchen use beans grown only under organic conditions. Cedele’s 100% organic Arabica coffee beans are locally roasted and produce a scrumptiously wholesome range of cuppas.
We love the sound of this one. And just like its adorable name, a piccolo latte is a ‘mini’ Latte consisting of a Ristretto shot, topped off with warm, silky milk served in a 100ml glass demitasse (small latte glass). With a distinctive aroma and a delicious, chocolate-nutty after taste, the Piccola Latte from Espressolab is absolutely addictive.
The under-developed beans that have failed to roast are known as quakers. They can be detected by their pale beige shade and picked out from the batch of roasted beans.
Roasting is the process that transforms the dull green colour of coffee beans into that deep, enticing brown and brings out their distinctive aroma and fragrance. Coffee beans can be categorised into four main roasts based on a colour spectrum: light, medium, medium-dark and dark.
Contrary to popular belief, light roasts have higher amounts of caffeine compared to dark roasts and retain the beans’ original flavours. When beans are darkly roasted, their natural flavours get replaced by a bitter and smoky piquancy with a sheen of oil on their surface.
Check out Starbucks’ blonde, medium and dark roasts from their expansive range of coffee beans.
What’s local kopi without the iconic coffee sock? The coffee sock is a strainer that is placed in large, long-spouted brewing pots to sieve out coffee grinds from a concentrated brew. The brew is then diluted with hot water as canned milk and sugar are added to the mix.
If a coffee expert says that he can detect vanilla, pineapple or herbal taste notes, don’t raise that sceptical brow just yet. In coffee-terms, taste notes refer to the subtlest hints of flavours found in a coffee. Think of it as hues.
So, the next time you see ‘berries’ listed as a coffee’s taste notes, don’t expect a berry-flavoured drink, but look out for a berry-like tartness in the brew.
Unwashed processing is also known as natural or dry processing. Coffee cherries are dried in the sun and once the drying process is done, the green beans will be removed from the dried coffee husks through a hulling machine. This method produces coffee with diverse and bold full-bodied flavours.
Sounds like right out of a spy movie, the Hario V60 is a simple and elegant cone-like dripper that’s part of a manual coffee brewing system. Along with other hand-brew methods, this is a popular option for coffee enthusiasts who enjoy having control over the brew process. Its sleek shape is also a huge bonus!
Also known as wet-processing, this is a more expensive and complex system compared to unwashed processing. Coffee cherries are passed through a pulping machine before being placed in a fermentation tank, where naturally occurring enzymes dissolve the pulp till it’s ‘washed’ from the beans. Washed coffees have more complex profiles along with a delicate body and higher acidity. Specialty coffee-houses tend to use washed coffees over unwashed coffees.
XL coffee A.K.A Venti
In the language of the world’s biggest coffee house, Venti, as we all know, refers to Starbucks’ largest coffee cup size. In our language, this means vital fuel to get through a long day. Venti is ‘20’ in Italian and this refers to the cup’s capacity, which is 20 ounces. Venti’s smaller siblings are Grande (medium; 16 ounces) and Tall (regular; 12 ounces).
Yuan Yang is a fusion of milk-tea and black coffee. Its name means ‘Mandarin ducks’, which alludes to the perfect match between sweet, aromatic tea and the strong, bitter flavours of coffee. It was popularised by Hong Kong tea houses but can also be easily found at our local coffee joints, such as Killiney Kopitiam, Toast Box and Ya Kun Kaya Toast.
Great job if you’ve gotten here without nodding off! And since we’re on the topic of sleep, let’s end off with some scientific trivia on how coffee keeps us awake!
As we consume coffee, caffeine enters our bloodstream and is absorbed into our body within 45 minutes. To sum it up, caffeine causes increased neuron firing in the brain which gives us a jolt of energy while keep the tired molecules out. However, caffeine can also be dehydrating when overly consumed and may end up making us sleepier.
We hope this list leaves you with a better appreciation for this beloved drink and has taught you a thing or two about everything and anything about coffee!
Click here if you missed the first half of this list!