My friend, George B. (aka, the man on a quest for the best coffee in New Jersey), celebrated his birthday last week by having a private get-together at Java Love, in Montclair, in which Kristine Petrak, co-owner of Java Love Coffee Roasting Company, led us in a mini-course entitled “Coffee 101.”
So, we all know that coffee is good for us, right? We know that drinking coffee decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis, brain cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and death, in general. But, there’s a whole other side to coffee, besides drinking it for one’s good health. Here are 5 things I learned about coffee that I never knew.
#1-Coffee can only grow in what is known as the “bean belt’---the area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The best locale should have moderate sunshine and rain, with steady temps around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. (Guess I won’t be able to grow coffee in my background no matter how hard I try!)
#2-Coffee grown at higher altitudes has the most flavor and complexity---the higher the more complex. Examples of high-altitude coffee include Ethiopian, Kenyan, and Guatemalan coffee, while Kona coffee from Hawaii is a low-altitude coffee.
#3-The darkest roast is French roast.
#4-Flavor=smell + taste. The tongue only recognizes 4 distinct flavors---bitter, sweet, sour and salty.
#5-You know that foamy quality that coffee gets when you pour water on it, that’s called the “bloom,” which happens because of the lipids in coffee. If you don’t get the bloom, the coffee’s not fresh---and what’s worse than stale coffee?
Over the years, Java Love has given us many good cups of coffee, espresso-based drinks, chai and other teas, as well as 2 wonderful spaces to work, play, talk and hang out. And now, they are bringing us a chance to learn more about the brew we love so much. Thank you, Java Love---and happy birthday, George!