Did you know over five hundred billion cups of coffee are consumed each year? This makes coffee one of the most popular drinks on the planet. Coffee can also be subdivided into different categories. For example, there is regular coffee, speciality coffee, espresso, gourmet coffee and so on.
I’ve been paying a lot of attention to gourmet coffee lately. I see gourmet coffee labels all the time in the supermarket. There are gourmet coffee shops in every city around the world. The most popular of all the gourmet coffee shops are Dunkin Doughnuts, Starbucks and Honey Dew Doughnuts. A lot of companies like to promote their products as being gourmet which has lead me to ask, “what is gourmet coffee?”
A lot of people make the comparison of gourmet coffee to a fine bottle of wine. Some of gourmet coffee’s characteristics are it’s great aroma, rich taste and that it has a flavour that can’t be beat.
Gourmet Coffee is Fairly New – Relatively Speaking
Coffee has been around for many hundreds of years. Did you know that gourmet coffee has only been around for less than one hundred years. Since the 1990’s gourmet coffee keeps getting more popular and is now one of the fastest growing markets in the world.
What is Gourmet Coffee
There are 2 types of coffee beans, Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Gourmet coffee is usually made from 100% Arabica beans, which are a superior bean, have half the caffeine of Rubusta beans and have the fullest flavours. Robusta beans are cheaper to grow but taste far inferior. The average jar of coffee which you buy at the grocery store is made using a mixture of low grade Brazillian coffee beans and Robusta beans. They also add a small amount of the Arabica coffee beans to produce a nicer flavour.
The first step when you buy coffee at the supermarket is to check the packaging to see what kind of beans the manufacturer is using.
Arabica beans grow on trees that are at very high altitudes and the trees are planted near volcanic ash. One of the reasons that the beans are of a high quality is because of the cooler temperatures and moisture in the air. The soil that the beans are grown gives the Arabica beans its unique flavour.
There are hundreds of different types of gourmet coffee. These include Columbian gourmet coffee which has a more bold, strong flavour. There are also flavoured gourmet coffees, which include French Vanilla, Toasted Almond and Hazelnut. There are so many choices that I’m sure there’s a gourmet coffee made for everyone.
There is no Standard for Gourmet Coffee
With the rise in popularity for this product I was suprised to learn that there is no set standard for gourmet coffee. Basically it’s a marketing term that companies can use to promote their product. There’s no organization that grades coffee to determine what is gourmet coffee and what is not.
It’s usually up to us to decide what makes gourmet coffee beans. The two most important things to remember when looking for gourmet coffee is that it is fresher and has more flavour than the commercial jars of coffee.
The gourmet coffee market is relatively new and has been increasing for the past thirty years. Gourmet coffee is usually made from 100% Arabica beans but since there is no set standard for gourmet coffee – this term can be used to describe the batch of coffee your uncle Sam brews at home, to the coffee that you buy at Starbucks.
What are your thoughts about gourmet coffee? Do you prefer gourmet coffee or do you like regular coffee? If you prefer gourmet coffee do you like to brew it at home? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below.