Coffee Misconceptions.

One of House Cup's goals is to help average consumers (that's you and me) make and enjoy a better cup of coffee at home. This week we're going to try to clear up a few misconceptions about coffee that will help you be a smarter consumer of this delicious beverage.
  • There is no "X" in "espresso" We hear it all the time - "expresso" but it's spelled "espresso" with an S instead of an X. Want to sound smarter at the next neighborhood cocktail party, leave the "x" at home.
  • There is no such thing as an "espresso bean" Espresso is a style of brewing, not a type of coffee or a level of roast. While it may be common for espressos to use darker roasted coffee, a current trend on the west coast is to brew lighter espresso drinks too. But keep in mind, when we say espresso, we mean how it's prepared.
  • Espresso is not high in caffeine. Not only is espresso commonly brewed with darker roasted coffee (as noted above) which burns off more of the caffeine in the bean, brewing espresso is a relatively quick process whereby the water is infused through the grounds with a lot of pressure - not enough time to gather a ton of caffeine into the final product. You’d have to drink about four espressos to get the same amount of caffeine you find in an average cup of brewed coffee.
  • Cold Brew is not the same as Iced Coffee. These are two different methods of brewing coffee with an end result being a cold drink rather than a hot drink. Iced coffee is simply pouring hot brewed coffee over ice. It tends to produce a more bitter flavor and eventually watered down since the ice is coming in contact with hot coffee initially.  Cold brew actually is like making tea - the coarse grounds are put into a filter and immersed into water for a long period of time - 12, 24, 30 or more hours. It produces a very smooth, full-bodied drink.
  • Bonus Points: Do you think cold brew coffee has more or less caffeine than regular hot coffee? I bet you answered more! Yes, cold brew is super high in caffeine since the coffee grounds sit in the water for a long period of time and soak up that future buzz you're about to experience.
  • Coffee is not a bean, it's more like a cherry. Even though we call it a coffee bean, coffee is in fact more similar to the pit of a cherry. It can be eaten but would be very hard and very tart. This is why we either process them (dry or wet) on the farm to get the outer layers off of the pit and then roast them in a deliberate fashion to bring out their natural flavors. 
  • Ground coffee quickly goes stale. As soon as coffee beans are ground, the deterioration begins immediately. There's more surface area for oxygen to get to the coffee at this point and while day old (or more) ground coffee of course won't harm you, it will begin to lose it's full flavor. Forget bags with valves at this point (they served their purpose when the whole beans were bagged initially). The best thing you can do is brew it or if you have to, put it in an airtight container (but don't let it sit around for weeks if you want that fresh taste).

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published