Take a sip and breathe in the aroma. Wait. Now take another sip to determine the flavour, body, acidity, sweetness and the overall balance. Look for fruity, nutty, spicy and floral notes. Sounds like wine tasting, doesn’t it? We are, however, talking about another global favourite beverage with the same amount of complexity—coffee.
There is so much more to the beverage than opening a sachet of freeze-dried instant coffee and adding it to water or milk. Welcome to the world of artisanal or specialty coffee, where the beverage’s journey, from cherries to the final cup, is monitored at each level to provide an exceptional brew. From the way the pulp is washed to the roasting and grinding of beans to the way you brew your coffee, all of it impacts the taste profile. Unlike commercial coffee, where mass-produced beans are roasted and stored on the shelf for months, artisanal or specialty coffee has a shelf life of only three weeks post roasting. Also, when you order online, most artisanal coffee brands will grind the beans as per your brewing method—finely ground for regular, espresso and moka pot; and coarsely ground like crushed black pepper for the French press.
“Environmental factors such as terroir and climate, as well as production methods, all play a key part in a coffee’s flavour—just like in winemaking,” says Nishant Sinha, Founder of artisanal coffee brand Roastery Coffee, which has cafés in Hyderabad and Kolkata. It will soon open one in Noida as well. From its online store, you can buy various artisanal and single estate-origin coffees. Check out Monsoon Malabar, the coffee that has put India on the global coffee map. It gets its name from the unique harvesting process, which involves exposing the harvested beans to the full force of the Malabar region’s seasonal monsoon weather.
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