People just like you have been celebrating the brilliant flavor of coffee for a couple thousand years. However, few connoisseurs know much about the process. Coffee beans endeavor in quite a journey for you - from the earth, to the farmer, to the roaster, to your cup - each step is essential in shaping a coffee's flavor. Lets walk back along the path to see how we help make sure a coffee becomes the best cup it can be.
Coffee begins its journey as the hidden prize inside of a coffee cherry. Coffee cherries grow on coffee trees around the globe between the two lines of latitude known as the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. There are three main growing regions that land in this coffee belt, each have distinctive characteristics unique to its land of origin.
Coffees from Latin America
This growing region features coffees from Central and South America, including Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Their light body, simplicity and sharp acidity distinguish the coffees produced in this growing region. They are typically thought of as having bright flavors with a clean, crisp finish.
Coffees from Africa/Arabia
Coffees from this growing region are the most distinctive in the world, characterized by dry, winy acidity, chocolate and fruit undertones with intense aromas. This growing region includes coffees from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Yemen and India.
Coffees from Asia/Pacific
This region includes coffees from the Indonesian Islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. It also features coffee from Hawaii and New Guinea. These coffees are prized for their richness, full body, long finish, earthiness and gentle acidity.
When deciding which coffees to purchase, we slurp away in our tasting room, looking for the perfect combination of body, aroma and flavor complexity that come together to produce a great coffee. It takes a very special bean to make it into a bag of Urraco Coffee. It’s our commitment for all of our coffee to be grown under the highest standards of quality.
Fire is the trans-formative agent for all coffees. The roast process requires painstaking care—too little or too much heat applied for too long or too short, and the coffee is ruined. Other coffee roasters boast about their rich, “dark-roasts”. Our roast philosophy is to help each bean reach its maximum flavor potential, not its darkest color. A good roaster must be part artist, and part scientist, to maintain quality and consistency. It is during the roasting process that the sugars and other carbohydrates within the bean become caramelized; creating the coffee oil which is what gives the coffee its flavor and aroma.
The first evidence of the beans physical makeover is noticed after 6-7 minutes of intense heat. Like the leaves of summer to fall, the beans’ color changes from pale green to an intense yellow as they radiate a fragrance similar to popcorn.
Around nine minutes into the roast, the beans look ruined—they appear blotchy and crumpled. This is a good indicator that “First Crack” is about to occur. During first crack, the moisture trapped inside the bean begins to evaporate, causing the beans to double in size, crackling as they expand.
Between first and second cracks, the bean expansion smoothes the surface and evens out the color of the bean as their full flavor potential develops. A speckling of oil begins to sweat off the beans surface as the attributes of aroma, acidity and body triangulate into perfect balance.
The “Second Crack” signals that the end is near. We work the tryer port like a piston as the aroma and color (ultimately the flavor) change by the second. Similar to a great chef adding a dash of this or that to create great flavor, there is no set formula for deciding the exact time to end the roast (it’s different for every coffee). All we can tell you is that the color of the beans is incidental. Recall the art of roasting is creating flavor, not color.
We free the beans from the roast at their peak flavor. Pulling a release latch causes a waterfall of beans to pour into a cylindrical cooling bin as a mechanical arm sweeps the beans in a circular fashion allowing forced air to quickly halt the roasting process. The sweet aroma of freshly roasted coffee fills the shop as we tip our cap to the sound of applause created by the final cracks of the flavorful beans.
Single Origin coffees showcase particular flavors unique to their birthplace. A coffee Blend combines beans from different growing regions to weave flavors and aromas into complex, multi-layered flavor profiles for a more interesting taste experience.
At Urraco Coffee, we might blend a coffee to showcase a particular growing region. House Blend, for example, combines multiple Latin American coffees into one brew that exemplifies the best qualities of that region: lively, clean, well-balanced with nutty flavors.
Alternatively, we’ll blend beans from separate growing regions to weave interesting interplays of aromas and flavors. Blends like Italian Roast, which combines coffees from Africa and Asia Pacific to compliment the favorable characteristics of each region into one harmonious and balanced cup.
You’ll Love The Taste
A great cup of coffee offers so many different flavors. Finding the coffee for you is all about comparing and contrasting. Browse our selection of coffees and add a few to your cart to see what all the fuss is about.