Learning The Science of Coffee At Origin

At Hampton Coffee Company, roasting our Craft Coffee to high standards is what we’re all about.  We’ve been roasting coffee on the East End for almost 30 years now, starting long before almost everyone else.  So, when one of our Roastmasters, Andres Vallejo, received a scholarship to travel to Colombia to learn about the scientific side of the coffee bean, it was an easy decision for him to go.

Andres traveled about 2500 miles from The Hamptons to Neira, Colombia, just north of the region’s capital of Manizales, in the “Coffee Triangle”.  Neira is more than 6000 feet above sea level, a great elevation for Colombian coffee trees to flourish.

Training started with learning about coffee roasting curves and the differences depending on whether the green coffee beans were fermented, honey-process, or natural.   Andres’s instructor, Cesar, is an Agronomist Engineer and Q-Grader Taster, and explained how roasting coffee is such a delicate process.  Done poorly, the batch is ruined.  Roasted like an expert chef, the raw beans can be transformed to obtain delicious flavors.

The next part of the training was to study “Le Nuz du Café”, a container with 36 characteristic coffee aromas that every Taster must memorize and know, like sweet, earthy, floral, and fruity.  Roasters use these characteristics to describe the coffee beans that they’ve roasted, to help coffee drinkers decide on which coffee suits them best.  If you look on any of the labels on our one pound coffee bags you’ll see “tasting notes” on every bag.  “Something we also find in coffee is the density, the body of the drink, and the flavor.” said Andres.  “I learned to distinguish the nuances between sweet, citric, and bitter -all which form the complete profile of the brewed cup of coffee.”

Andres has been back at the Roastery for a little time now since his trip to origin in Colombia and is using the new skills he learned to continue to keep Hampton Coffee’s beans at the highest level possible for all of us to enjoy.

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