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Coffee Blog

Women and Coffee

From the orchard to the coffee shop, females perform an important part in each and every component of the coffee supply chain. A brand-new movie short from Equal Exchange commemorates the role that women play in this business. In the movie, we witness as the eco-friendly coffee purchaser contacts an organic coffee company in Honduras. After reaching America, the coffee is baked and then presented to customers in Equal Exchange’s coffee shop in Boston. In every phase of the supply chain, we see females are blazing a trail. Although the coffee industry has a very long way to go in the direction of gender equal rights, we praise Equal Exchange for highlighting the important management roles that women currently have in this sector. Watch the movie and get motivated people!


Lighter Roasts

Lightly roast coffee beans go through overall lower temperatures in the roaster. They have soaked up less energy which allows them to keep more of their acids as well as their fragrance. As a result, they have increased levels of acidity and fragrance to them. Lighter roasts typically have much less physical body and are typically less sweet, although a few are very sweet and full-bodied.

Medium Roasts

These coffee beans rest somewhere between the Darker and Lighter roasts. There are numerous shades of Coffee roasts in this category, but they are typically milder versions of either darker and lighter roasts. Many of the roasters in use today focus on the medium roast as it is good for both espressos and filter coffees.

Darker Roasts

Darker roasted coffee beans go through greater levels of heat in the roaster. Consequently, they tend to have very little levels of acidity and as a consequence might taste unplesant. But sometimes, in experienced hands, they can be made to be very tasty. Typically, darkly roasted coffee beans produce coffee that has more body and a sweeter taste.

A Few Good Tamps

A woodchopper requires an axe, a cook requires a skewer, and so a barista needs a good tamper. Australian coffee celebrity Matt Perger developed Pergtamp to optimize extraction by raising the contact area of a traditional tamper by around square centimeters. That little refinement can have a substantial bearing on taste. The Pergtamp is available in the US through Heart Roasters.

Sonya Devon in Da House

Some of the best aspects of tussling in barista contests is not the minute of fame that winners experience or even the free boodle that comes with the territory, it is actually the relationships tht you make with various other dedicated coffee-heads. We were excited to discover one of our barista buddies, who recently took an interesting brand-new job with Brooklyn’s Variety Coffee Roasters, graced our premises. A big shout out to Sonya Devon who was gracious enough to chat extensively with us about working with a brand-new roaster, competing in barista contests, as well as what’s it like to work at the best place NYC for coffee.

Don’s DIY

A big thank you to Don Dexter for doing some DIY work in the shop recently. Don is the ultimate handyman, having once had a national Chicago-founded hardware company that has since fallen on harder times. Since then Don has come into the 21st century with his (relatively) new power tools business DIY High where he is currently marketing air compressors and other air tools from the original enterprise. Don hopes to expand his new endeavour to include other power tools and DIY equipment, so don’t be shy to approach Don if you need specialist equipment other than his current lineup of air compressors and accessories. On the side, Don alos advises on DIY projects and indulges in handyman jobs around Bronzeville (so if anyone needs a true handyman, he is always looking for the extra business, so he says :)). Don is a regular patron of the shop who always goes for the Caffè Americano in true patriotic style!

Tamping Troubles

Among the different skills a barista needs to learn, tamping coffee grains is one of the most difficult to grasp. During a typical work schedule, a barista will often draw numerous shots of coffee, and in order to make a decent cup of the stuff, the barista will have to have uniformly dispersed the ground coffee grains within the portafilter every time, followed by pressing down the grounds with a high quality, even tamp. It sounds straightforward enough, however after training dozens of baristas here at Bronzeville Coffee, we know that it is among the one of the final skills new baristas get the knack of. Although milk-steaming, latte artistry, and making pour-overs might challenge the brand-new employee, it is tamping that keeps an old-timer barista awake at night. Even a small variance in the distribution of the coffee within the porterfilter can lead to the much feared situation of channeling. Channeling is when the clean water travelling through the coffee bed finds a path of least resistance. This results in only a small amount of the coffee grains coming into contact with the water while the majority of the coffee stays relatively dry and untouched. Unfortunately, the outcome of channelling is a shot that is simultaneously sour and also bitter with a slim mouthfeel, an undesirable encounter with coffee that nobody should have to pay for.