Alchemy – Inner secrets of coffee.

Coffee goes through many changes from seedling to the displaced gasses that you’re drinking in

Chlorogenic Acid

Chlorogenic Acid

your cup, but according to thermodynamics, “matter is neither created or destroyed, but simply changes form.” Today we want to touch on alchemy as one of coffees top secrets. 

Side note: I’m currently drinking coffee from kong  (near Yirga Cheffe) Ethiopia. Yum.    

Coffee plants produce lots of organic acids and other compounds in their lifetime. (“Organic acids” are any acids that contain carbon in their molecular structure.) (Check out the Calvin CycleAll of which remain trapped inside the bean at harvest.

As we know, altitude plays a big role in physical characteristics such as bean size and density but it also alters the chemical composition. Higher altitudes tend to produce higher perceived acidity.

For every 100 meters gained in altitude we can expect 0.60 degrees Celsius drop in temperature and for every 300 meters – 10 percent increase in sugar production (sucrose.) Which equals higher acidity.

For countries that lack the elevation necessary to maximize the beans potential they rely heavily on shade to slow down the speed in which it takes the plant to reach ripeness, increasing sugar production and ultimately cup quality.

Arabica contains almost twice the amount of sucrose as Robusta.

Roasting plays a very important role and is responsible for the amount of perceived acidity and sweetness that you experience in the cup.

Chlorogenic acids amount for the majority of organic acid found in coffee. Making up about seven percent for Arabica and ten percent for Robusta. Although it might not appear to be much, the relative content to caffeine is about eight times higher.

During a Medium roast, almost half of the chlorogenic acid is decomposed, where as in a Dark roast we experience about an 80 percent loss. The chlorogenic acid that is decomposed is used in the production of quinic acid. The acid that is responsible for giving you a bigger mouth feel and higher astringency (dry mouth.)

So the darker you take your roast, the more sweetness and perceived acidity you will lose and the higher mouth feel and astringency you will gain.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Are you looking to taste more, or feel more? Your preference will guide you.

 

 

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