the art of grinding coffee
Coffee is the most complex substance ingested by human beings. There are hundreds of compounds in this fathomless elixir; all are necessary to the full-flavor experience. The only caveat is, In The Right Balance. An essential factor in producing this balance is The Right Grind. A proper, uniform grind is as important as the coffee quality itself.
Proper Grind is determined mainly by brewing method.
The coarsest grind is appropriate to the French Press. The coffee particle must be sized so as to not plug up, and prevent the depressing of, the plunger screen, yet not so coarse that full flavor and body are not delivered in a 3-4 minute steeping.
Drip methods require a mid-range grind that allows the water through with enough “dwell time” to extract a pleasing brew. This grind also works for pour-overs and refillable K-cup style brewing.
Espresso methods generally demand the finest grinds, with a particle size approximating sugar granules. This is not usually the finest setting on an adjustable grinder, but getting down there.
We do recommend the purchase of a burr grinder for home grinding. If you are accustomed to the sadistic old whirling blade grinder, you will be amazed at the quality improvement in the cup with a good adjustable-grind burr grinder. Only the burr grinder can produce a uniform size coffee particle, a factor essential to optimum cup quality.
All of our coffees are available whole bean, or ground. We offer three different grinds: automatic drip, espresso, and French press for most of our coffees.
Our goal at Raven’s Brew is to find the perfect intersection between flavorful bean and roast level for each of our blends. Roasting coaxes a panoply of flavors and aromas from the depth of the bean while layering in toasty, warming notes. Our roasting method insures that our beans are never scorched—even when taken to the darkest levels of roast.
We boldly admit that our Light Roast is on the darker-side of this description. Many coffees do not develop well at this stage, tending to be acidic or even astringent, and sometimes featuring strong grassy or vegetable tastes. However, a few coffees fare well with this roast level and have a bright, eye-opening sassiness to them with just a touch of sweet. For those seeking a way to lift the fog from their eyes, we recommend Breakfast Blend.
Medium Roast is the optimal level for many blends where the flavor of the bean is accentuated more than the toastiness of the roast. The coffee flavors are more developed than in a Light Roast, the body is heavier, hints of spiciness start to develop, and flavors and aromas from the roasting process come to the surface. Some of our most cherished blends are fully developed at this stage: Misty Fjords™ Coffee, Dharma Beans® Blend, Santa Caws™ Coffee, and Organic Raven’s Brew® House Blend Decaf.
Full City Roast
Perched just before a Dark Roast is the Full City Roast. The coffee appears dark, the oils are just starting to emerge from the beans, sugars are more developed, and the flavors from the roasting process are more fully present. These blends bring together the flavors of the bean and the browning tastes from roasting. Delectable drinks of all desires can be concocted from these blends: Bruin Blend® Coffee, Organic Bruin Blend® Coffee, Skookum® Blend, Skookum® Blend Decaf, Resurrection Blend® Coffee, and Organic Resurrection Blend® Coffee.
Some might even term this an “espresso roast” and many of our favorite coffees for espresso are roasted to this level. These blends are the dark-brown color of chocolate and have a shimmer of oil on their surface which can appear in the cup when brewed. The flavors from the beans begin to be eclipsed by those from the roast. However, the beauty of the origins still shine through the symphony of nutty, caramel, and chocolate notes commonly present in these blends. Whether drip or press or espresso or a pour-over these blends will brighten your day and delight your palate: Deadman’s Reach® Coffee, Organic Deadman’s Reach® Coffee, Raven’s Brew® House Blend, Organic Raven’s Brew® House Blend, Three Peckered Billy Goat® Coffee, Organic Three Peckered Billy Goat® Coffee, Wicked Wolf® Coffee, and Organic Wicked Wolf® Coffee.
The very darkest of our roasts is as dark as the coffee can be roasted while preserving the integrity of the beans. The appearance is nearly black with the shine of the oil fully present and emerged on the surface of the bean. These shiny beans feature all of the browning flavors of the roasting process offering a dark cup of solace filled with rich flavors. The lustrous appearance of these jewel-like beans inspired the name of the featured blend: Ebony Pearls™, and Organic Ebony Pearls™.
If it’s Raven’s Brew® coffee, store it in a safe! Besides preventing theft, a good safe can offer nice conditions for coffee storage: darkness and coolness. Remember: oxygen, light, heat and humidity are the enemy. Airtight containers are ideal and ideally stored in a cool dark place.
The ultimate coffee quality defense measure is the freezer, NEVER THE REFRIGERATOR. The freezer, the colder the better, will at least radically slow down the loss of freshness. If you have more coffee than you will use in week, consider putting some portion in airtight containers and freezing.
Once removed from the freezer, allow contents to come to room temperature before opening. From then on, keep this coffee in a cool dark place, sealed in its container. Do not refreeze.