So what’s Beans Ahoy all about? The world of specialty coffee is small, but it is growing daily with more and more people realising that they don’t need to tolerate muddy tasting, lukewarm water in a Styrofoam cup. Coffee, like any other naturally grown product, has its own set of complexities. Many scoff when you say that coffee can be as complex as wine, but why couldn’t it? They are both natural products, highly susceptible to atmospheric conditions, soils, and preparation. Like wine, flavours of coffee vary enormously, with some being better than others.
It is the aim of this blog to crack open the world of coffee in all its forms (and as of 2016 provide you with some extra restaurant reviews). We will not just post about coffee that is ultra rare, or ultra expensive. We will talk about all types of coffee, good and bad, and will not shun a product because it might seem un-academic or not of suitable purity. Whether it be a surprisingly good cup of coffee at your local café, or a disappointing 16 step ultra rare single estate at a 3 star Michelin restaurant, we want to tell you about it. Sometimes we will use coffee jargon, but will try to explain what it means where we can, for instance ‘single estate’ as used above means coffee coming from a single farm or ‘estate’ thus providing a more precise and specific taste. Think single malt vs. blended whiskey. Most importantly however, the opinions offered on this blog are our own. We happen to like coffee, consume a lot of it, and have wide access to different types, but that doesn’t mean you will agree with us. Some people simply like different coffee dependant on their taste. What we will try and do though (especially in tasting notes) is try to describe some of the flavours that are present and point out some of the complexities of the coffee.
So sit back, brew in hand, and have a look around. You might just find something you like. Please do let us know if you have any questions or comments. Try us on Twitter @BeansAhoyCoffee or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to hear from you.
We also use a rating system for a lot of the coffee, and is marked out of 10. It is based on a very simple concept that goes as follows:
0.0 – 4.9 – Coffee that is not very good at all. Lack of structure and two dimensional tastes. Ranges from the slightly nauseating through to the down right gross.
5.0 – 5.9 – Drinkable, but really not very good. You would tolerate it being served to you at a coffee shop, but probably wouldn’t return in a hurry. Break out the milk and sugar!
6.0 – 6.9 – Beginning to demonstrate some of the basic characteristics of a properly structured coffee. Some single estate coffees that have had a bit of a bad year will land up in this category. They usually provide some indication of the coffees potential, but will not amaze you in any way.
7.0 – 7.9 – Exhibits a number of signs that the coffee has been carefully grown and roasted. Has good structured body, with a number of more complex aromas and flavours. Generally good coffees that you would be happy to drink daily.
8.0 – 8.9 – Moving into the more rarified areas of specialty coffee. Coffee in this category is almost always single estate, unless masterfully blended. This is the type of coffee you would be happy, and lucky to drink every day. Complex flavours which develop though the taste, leaving you with pleasant after tastes. Could be said to be a special cup, that most would really notice.
9.0 – 9.9 – Exceptional coffees reserved for the very highest of qualities and tastes. Near perfect conditions must usually be present to achieve this level and will always come from atmospherically excellent years. Pure tastes that show structure and quality. Reserved for the very top of the specialty tree.
10 – A perfect coffee. Few will even try for 10/10, even fewer will achieve it. A cup that is profound, a 9.9 but with that added “je ne sais quoi”.
Ciao for now