Food Networks

Why UK Coffee Lovers Are Spoiled for Choice

Over the past decade coffee shops that sell high quality fresh coffee have flourished in the United Kingdom. This is great news for coffee lovers all over the country, twenty years ago if you asked for a cup of coffee in a cafe, you would have most likely been served a cup of cheap powdered instant coffee that contained chicory.

Thankfully things have come a long way since those days, and coffee loving Brits are now spoiled for choice when it comes to good quality fresh brewed coffee. Triple Two Coffee even sell their own delicious house blend of specially selected beans in their Swindon coffee shops, which is made from light and medium roast beans sourced from several different continents.

Why are There so Many Types of Coffee Available?

Despite the fact that most of the coffee we consume comes from just two types of bean, Arabica and Robusta, coffee lovers are spoiled for choice because there are so many variables that affect the flavour.

1. Origin

The origin of a coffee bean has a huge effect on its flavour profile. Dry processed Ethiopian coffee beans often have a delicious blueberry aroma that is release when the beans are ground, whilst Kenyan beans will often have a raisin or grapefruit flavour. There are around 70 countries around the world, each producing coffee beans with their own unique characteristics.

2. Roasting

After being picked and depulped, coffee beans must be roasted before they are ready to be ground up and made into your favorite beverage. The roasting process changes the flavour of the beans and actually alters their chemical composition. The temperature at which the beans are roasted, and the duration for which they are roasted, is known as the “roast profile”. Since different roast profiles create different flavour profiles, it is possible for a huge variety of different flavours to be created from the same type of bean.

Very light roast coffee beans tend to have an acidic and slightly tart flavour that is reminiscent of toasted grain. The darker the roast, the sweeter and less acidic the beans become. Some roast profiles introduce caramel undertones, and the darkest roasts of all introduce burnt undertones. Most speciality beans use a roast profile known as “city roast” this is a moderate roast profile that sits midway between light and heavy. It creates a coffee bean that still retains its original character, and is augmented by a noticeable but not overly prominent roast character.

3. Blending

As if we didn’t already have enough choice, different types of coffee beans can also be blended together to create a totally new flavour profile. Blending coffee beans is an artisan craft in its own right, and artisan coffee blenders often us light roasted acidic beans to create complexed citrus high notes over a smoother darker roast body.

4. Barista Craft

A skilled Barista adds even more variety to the deliciously discombobulatingly array of options we already have, with beverages such as Macchiato’s, Mocha’s, Piccolo’s and Con Panna’s for us to choose from. Personally I like to keep it simple, you can’t go wrong with a smoky dark roast Americano!