Serious Coffee has been roasting coffee on Vancouver Island since 1994. In this time, we have developed roasts and blends with superior flavour characteristics but without the harsh burnt tastes associated with many dark roast coffees.
When judging coffee quality and taste, there are three basic components to consider: body, acidity, and flavour. "Body" is the heavy thick feeling of the coffee as it is rolled on the tongue. Acidity is the brightness, sharpness, or tangy sensation on the tongue. Flavour is the full sensory explosion of aroma and taste. Dark Roasted coffee has lower levels of caffeine due to the roasting process. Remember when brewing coffee not to grind it too fine; water should not puddle in the coffee, but have a smooth flow-through to avoid harsh and bitter tastes.
Shade-Grown And Bird-Friendly – What does this mean?
We also produce a full line of organic coffees, which are certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (O.C.I.A.). These coffees come from such regions as Peru, Sumatra, Nicaragua, Timor, Mexico, and Guatemala and besides offering organic coffees, all our beans are 100% Arabica beans, shade-grown and bird-friendly.
Why is it important to use shade-grown, bird-friendly beans? There are many reasons to use these types of beans, even if they are more costly than other growing methods. The introduction of non-shade growing practices has moved the farmers from using their traditional (shade-growing) methods to “modern” ways of generating more beans. The problem is that this “modern” method causes farmers to rip down the rain forests disrupting not only the environment for humans but also destroys the habitat for a huge number of songbirds. The effect has been a steady reduction in the number of songbirds, soil erosion, a loss of a way of life for local communities, the dramatic increase in the use of pesticides, and that’s just the beginning.
Shade-Grown Has Many Positive Outcomes
The alternative is to continue to practice traditional shade-growing methods. By purchasing shade-grown beans, we encourage farmers to continue to farm in an environmentally responsible way while helping to ensure that they make a decent living. The cost for Arabica beans is higher; however, we believe that doing all we can to help the coffee growers, their families, their communities, and ultimately the environment we all share, is our responsibility.
Chemicals – Most often shade-grown coffee is grown organically. Non-shade grown coffee requires farmers to strip the rainforest destroying not only the habitat for hundreds of species but also uprooting the natural cycle for all, including the farmers themselves. To compensate, chemical sprays are heavily used with coffee, second only to tobacco for the volume of chemicals used. These chemicals kill the soil and everything in it with the beans transporting those same chemicals into your pot of coffee.
Flavour – Shade-grown coffee takes longer to mature because of it’s placement under shade trees. This slow growth process allows more of the natural sugars to impart themselves into the bean enhancing the flavour of the coffee. Coffee contains over 400 chemicals important to the taste and aroma of the final drink.
Environment – Due to the shade trees above the coffee plants helping to retain soil moisture, provide protection from the scorching sun, and reduce soil erosion, little to no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are used. In fact, as previously stated, most shade-grown coffee is grown organically.
Biodiversity – By using the natural canopy to help with all aspects of production, songbirds (over 150 bird species have been identified on shade coffee farms) and other animals are able to remain in their habitat. This facilitates biodiversity and sustainability not only for the wildlife but also for the people who require the sustenance found in the forest to live a healthy, happy life.
Habitat – The rain forest provides habitat for the songbirds which in turn work as insect control helping farms to reduce their costs by not having to use a chemical alternative.
Decaffeinated Beans - Swiss Water Process
The process of removing caffeine from green beans used to mean introducing harsh chemicals resulting in a muddy or bitter flavour when having a cup of coffee. Also, people came to realize that they were still experiencing the same effects they received from a regular cup of coffee, all because the old process couldn't remove enough of the caffeine from the beans without losing all the flavour.
All of these issues have been eliminated thanks to the Swiss Water Process of decaffeinating beans. If you want to learn more, click on the Swiss Water Process heading.
The proper storage of coffee beans is extremely important if you want to ensure that your cup of coffee tastes as good as it does when served at one of our cafés. To find out the best way to store coffee, click on the Storing Your Coffee Beans heading.
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