News

Should you Freeze your Coffee? December 01 2017

There are many different suggested ways to store coffee in order to maintain freshness. One of the suggested methods is to put your ground coffee or coffee beans in the freezer. Is storing coffee in the freezer a good way to maintain freshness? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Freezing has been used for centuries as a way to extend the life of many foods. A diverse selection of foods can be frozen. Bread, meat, fruits, vegetables and even butter can be successfully stored in your freezer. Freezing even maintains many of the vitamins and nutritional value of a wide variety of foods. Coffee, however, isn’t as likely a candidate for storage in the freezer.

Coffee has four main enemies against freshness: air, heat, light and moisture. At first, freezing doesn’t seem to contain many of the offending enemies. However, appearances can be deceiving.

Coffee beans have been roasted in order to enhance flavor. The beans are also porous. Unfortunately a freezer can contain many other foods which have odors. The porous beans can absorb the flavors of many other frozen foods. Flavored coffees can be pleasant, but no one wants to drink seafood or garlic flavored coffee.

Moisture can also be absorbed by the coffee beans. Moisture can cause deterioration and loss of flavor. The more often you take coffee out of the freezer and put it back in, the more moisture absorption takes place into the bean. If you absolutely need to freeze some coffee because you have a large excess you’d like to keep, only freeze it once. The more you take it in and out of the freezer, the more damage you do.

Freezing also breaks down the oils in the beans. The oils contribute to the flavor of the coffee. Breaking down the oils means taking away flavor, and let’s face it, a large part of a good cup of coffee is the flavor.

When it comes down to it, freezing is not the best way to store your coffee. Keep coffee stored in a cool, dry, airtight container away from light. Freezing coffee is possible, and is best if you only freeze it once. The resulting loss of flavor and quality from repetitive freezing makes it a method of storage to stay away from. Your best bet is to purchase only enough beans or ground coffee to supply you for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy the coffee at its freshest! 

Another helpful hint for a great stress free cup of coffee is the Justin Case Deck.  It captures overflow messes that may occur when using an automatic coffee maker. This is a great gift for the holiday season.


Coffee Five Ways! November 15 2017

"Turkish" or "Greek" Coffee

Turkish coffee or kahve, the traditional name, is made in small containers directly on the flame.  The water and finely ground kahve comes to a boil. Often times it is brewed up with sugar already introduced. In some traditions they will pour off a little into each cup and then bring it to a second boil, pouring the rest into each cup insuring an even distribution of grounds. In some regions they serve the kahve with added spice which is usually cardamom. The coffee is not filtered from the liquid which leaves a thick pungent and muddy brew. The mud settles to the bottom of the tiny demitasse cups the coffee is served in. In many countries they read the coffee mud after you have drank your coffee and tell you your future.

Concentrate Brewing

Concentrate brewing is very popular in Latin America and other parts of the world. It is beginning to make a comeback in the U.S.. Concentrate brewing takes large amounts of coffee that is brewed with small amounts of water to brew a concentrate. To make a cup of coffee you mix some of the concentrate with hot water. The concentrate is brewed either hot or cold. When it is brewed cold you must let the coffee sit for at least a day. This method creates a mild light-bodied coffee with little aroma and a little acidity with a muted flavor.

Percolating

This procedure involves a continuous brewing of the coffee grounds using boiling water which then turns to boiling coffee liquor brewing over the grounds. This method is practical but is an insult to the coffee bean. Brewing with boiling water is bad enough, then boiling the liquid is asking for a thin, bitter and tarry coffee.

Though this produces an awful cup of coffee many people still prefer percolation. If it’s for you then more power to you!

Auto drip

This is the most popular way to brew coffee in the U.S.A. Pouring hot water over grounds in a filter and letting the brew drip out the bottom, simple. Drip brewing can produce an excellent cup of coffee. One of the biggest issues with auto drip machines is they can malfunction from time to time and cause an overflow of coffee over the counter top and onto the floor. The Justin Case Deck at JustinCaseDeck.com is a great accessory to have for capturing the liquid before it makes a mess (for a 15% discount, use the code BLOG15). If you have an auto drip brewing machine then the next hurdle to tackle is the filter. Paper filters can deposit a flavor in the coffee and also do not allow a lot of the coffee oils and organic compounds through. A gold-plated reusable filter is the perfect option for drip brewing. It will not deposit a taste in the coffee and doesn't trap as much of the coffee's essence as paper filters do.

French Press or Press Pot

French Press brewing is more labor intensive than auto. Coarsely ground coffee is placed in a glass carafe. The hot water is then poured over the grounds. When the brewing is complete the top is placed on and a plunger that consists of a metal mesh plate is pressed down pushing the grounds to the bottom. The coffee liquid is on top ready to be poured off. The mesh filter allows the oils and fine coffee particles through without a problem. Also because a coarser grind is required a longer brewing time is required. A general rule of thumb is four minutes for a French press. This direct contact of the grounds to water allows a more complete, controllable, and even extraction. Even with the coarse ground coffee, it will still produce some fine particles, thus it will have sediment on the bottom of the cup. A cup of French-pressed coffee will be fuller, more body, and more flavorful.

 

 


Good Quality Specialty Coffee and Tea November 01 2017

 

 Coffee and tea has long been a traded commodity in the orient.  It has been considered as a drink only for royalties and kings.  These two commodities are processed in almost the same manner for it to become a soothing and relaxing drink.

Knowing Good Quality Specialty Coffee and Tea

Specialty coffee and tea should be made from the best coffee beans and tea leaves in the market.  Coffee and tea experts believe that the best brews come from homegrown and handpicked batches.  But this handpicking process can just be a myth since it really does not affect how the taste and texture comes out.  The one thing that could affect the flavor and texture of coffee and tea is the climate since this can affect the humidity and moisture of the raw products. 

   It is important to know the quality of specialty coffee and tea since top quality produce are prized at a bigger rate than that of mediocre quality ones.  Having to know the difference can give you the edge in the specialty coffee and tea market by going to specialty coffee and tea shops that are willing to give you the right value for your money.

A good hint to detect a medium or a mediocre type of specialty coffee and tea commodity is the smell of burnt beans from roasting.  These kinds of produce are intentionally burnt because it gives out a good flavor if it is in this state. 

Adding Flavor to Your Specialty Coffee and Tea

In the past decade the specialty coffee and tea business has exponentially grown.  Many specialty coffee and tea shops have been sprouting and eating up each other’s neighborhood market shares; each of them brewing and concocting their own original flavors and mixes.  

The way coffee and tea is consumed has drastically changed over the years.  Before coffee and tea was only taken hot and straight out of the coffee maker or from an instant foil pack.  Now, specialty coffee and tea drinks are made hot or cold depending on the consumer’s preference.  Vast variety of flavors and other ingredients such as grounded spices and whip creams are added to the drink to have that perfect specialty coffee and tea concoction.

But these are just flavors and ingredients to enhance the specialty coffee and tea experience.  A good flavored specialty coffee and tea should not be overpowered by the taste of its other ingredients.  The aroma, texture and flavor of the original coffee and tea must still be present to give coffee and tea drinkers the full experience.

Have fun experimenting with your home brew.  The Justin Case Deck is a quality coffee maker stand that captures spills or overflows that occur.  It is a sturdy and tough product made in the USA out of Terpolymer.  It makes a great addition to your Coffee Station in your kitchen or place of business.


Brewing a Great Cup of Coffee October 16 2017

  Brewing a great cup of coffee depends on a number of things such as the quality of the coffee bean, the quality of the water being used, the type of brewing being done, and the grind of the coffee. Now quality of bean and water is something you can easily take care. Just use good quality beans and pure 

water. However the relationship between the grind of the coffee and the type of brewing being done is more detailed and could use a little explanation. Now we all know that we make coffee by passing hot water over crushed coffee beans. However for it to really work well we need to understand just how long the water should be passing over the beans. The purpose of this article is to help you understand how to match your coffee's grind to the type of brewing you are doing in order to make the best coffee possible.

Generally speaking, the 'soaking' time relates directly to how coarse the coffee is ground. This means that smaller coffee grinds need less contact with the water, and coarser grinds need longer contact. Espresso coffee is only exposed to water for 20-40 seconds and as a result is made using extremely fine grind coffee. A French press coffee maker can take as much as 4 minutes and uses an extremely coarse grind. If coffee is left contacting water for too long for its grind size, unwanted extracts emerge and make the coffee taste bitter. Of course if the grind is too large and the water passes very quickly (like using french press grind in an espresso maker), very little of the caffeine and flavors extracted and will have poor flavor.

Of course filters play an important role in managing the balance between over and under brewing your coffee. Not only do they keep the grind out of your cup, but they also control how fast the water passes over the grinds. Paper filters are the most common, but many people are also using metal varieties. Paper filters are quite good. However they can absorb some of the coffee flavor, and some people claim they can taste the paper in the final coffee. Metal filters are normally made from stainless steel or gold plated mesh. They have very fine weave and filter out the coffee grinds very well. They also do not alter the taste of the coffee at all. Metal filters are also more environmentally friendly than the paper alternative.

              

Whichever you choose, be sure to buy decent quality. Cheap filters often clog or not allow the coffee to brew properly. A decent quality metal filter will last years and save money in the end.

Brewing a cup of coffee is not that hard. Brewing a great cup takes a little more understanding, but isn't any harder. Start with fresh beans and good clean water and then match your brewing style to the proper grind and then mess around with the exact proportions and pretty soon your be brewing killer coffee every time.

When you have an overflow issue with your coffee maker you will be happy to know there is a simple solution for easy cleanup, check out the Justin Case Deck.

 


About Organic Coffee October 01 2017

Coffee drinkers everywhere now have the option of forgoing their ordinary cup of coffee and going “organic”.  Coffee made from organic coffee beans has advantages and is healthier for you than its traditional counterpart. 

 Organic coffee is created using beans that have been cultivated and harvested without the use of chemical or synthetic pesticides or herbicides, which can be harmful to both growers and consumers.  Because the yield of organic coffee is less than with traditional coffee, this type of coffee tends to be more expensive than regular coffee.  In  

growing organic coffee, emphasis is made on recycling, fair trade purchasing, composting, and soil health, as well as on a healthy environment.

Coffee is certified organic using a third party certification organization; most commonly, organic growers use the Organic Crop Improvement Association.  There is a cost involved, cutting into the profits of the small producers that often make this type of coffee.  In addition, organic coffee is “shade grown”, which reduces yield and also adds to the cost of this type of coffee.

Most organic coffee is also considered “fair trade coffee” and a special certification is required for that status.  Fair trade coffee is traded in such a way as to bypass the coffee trader, allowing better profits to the producer, in general. The third party certification organization that certifies fair trade coffee is called Fair Trade USA.

Organic coffee traded using fair trade methods involves an agreement by coffee importers and small farmers that says the importers will purchase their organic coffee from smaller farmers listed in the International Fair Trade Coffee Register. 

Organic growers are guaranteed a minimum “fair trade price” for their coffee and importers provide a certain amount of credit to growers against future sales, keeping farmers out of debt.  The middle man is cut out of this process. 

It is also important in organic coffee farming that the farming be sustainable.  While the definition of “sustainable” varies, it basically means that the growth of the organic coffee is healthy for the environment and the people who grow and buy it.  Sustainable organic farming doesn’t destroy the land the product is grown on and uses very little external energy in the production of the organic product.

 
A sustainable organic farm is designed to give back to the land as much as it receives from it.  Non-renewable resources are avoided and pollution in the farming process is minimized as much as possible.  Sustainable organic farming thinks of the health and welfare of the employees as well.  One example of using sustainable 

farming is to reuse the organic coffee husks as heating fuel rather than using petroleum or natural gas heating.  New trees are grown to make up for those used in heating.

Sustainable organic coffee growing takes steps to avoid excess energy added to the system.  For example, a solar coffee drying system is used instead of commercial coffee bean dryers.  Water consumption is minimized in sustainable organic coffee growing and the water used is kept clean.  Water from the coffee fermentation tanks is never dumped in rivers or lakes but is filtered naturally through the earth before being used for irrigation. 

Sustainable organic farms will spread organic fertilizer like composted coffee pulp under and between the coffee trees. Yields are increased and the mineral content in the soil is maximized.  All in all, organic coffee farming is safe, healthy and good for the environment.  Consumers can buy these products in cooperatives, health food stores and some supermarkets.

Get yourself a Justin Case Deck for your coffee maker. For easy cleanup when your coffee maker malfunctions and spills coffee all over, you will be happy that you have the Justin Case Deck.  

The Importance of an Office Break Room September 15 2017

 

 

 

 

          The coffee break is normally one of the American traditions of taking a break during office hours. It actually started in the early 20th century, and until now, most Americans are still practicing it. Drinking a cup of coffee is a small daily pleasure which is part of each one of us, synonymous with relaxation is the best excuse to take a moment to pause.

 

            Happy employees are essential for a company.  Whether your company is an office or industrial shop, it is very important to make sure that you have an area for your employees to take a break.  It should have a comfortable environment with a coffee station.  Coffee is a great break for a majority of people and they often feel a mental relief when they slow down for a moment to sip it.  In office situations, it is often sipped all day long while working at a desk.  A coffee break provides the employee with both a physical and mental break to help reduce the stress of a normal day and keep their production up.
 

By providing the proper environment with all the fixings for a good brew of coffee you will help the employees feel that you care about them.  It can create a team atmosphere by offering a homey area for them to strike up conversations.

            Having coffee available for customers, clients and guests in your work place is also a real plus.  It provides the comfort to sit and talk over important information, or if they need to wait a few minutes before the meeting it gives them something to do without getting antsy.

 

            The break room should be kept clean and up to date with all the supplies.  A Justin Case Deck is a great accessory to include in your coffee station.  It sits under the coffee maker to capture any overflow mess from the coffee maker which may occur in the event of the coffee maker malfunctioning or normal drips and spills.  The Justin Case Deck not only captures the mess preventing a huge mess, it is also a safety feature and a time saver if there is a spill.