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What IS Gourmet Coffee?

What IS Gourmet Coffee?

Old Sep 20, 08, 4:23 am
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Question What IS Gourmet Coffee?

So as long as I have been travelling, I can't but help seeing the term 'gourmet coffee' being thrown around. I've even tasted some, and frankly, some of them are worse than what you might find at a gas station. Or could gourmet coffee be something a chef might recommend?

Discuss...
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:29 am
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well gourmet coffee as a term is indeed throw around a lot!

Mostly it is not gourmet at all, at least by the time you take a drink.

I think of gourmet as being a quality roasted bean, but not only that, one that has been roasted within 72 hours of drinking, which is where most shops failed MISERABLY.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:34 am
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IME, "gourmet" = overpriced.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:39 am
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What's to discuss?

Are you of the view that all the coffee on offer is of the same grade and quality?

AFAIK, 'gourmet' is not a legislated, protected or standardised term, anyone can use it to promote their blend or brand. One would hope that it is mostly used to describe a higher quality (and better prepared/fresher) coffee/coffe blend, but there is no guarantee this is the case. What is nearly guaranteed is that consumers are often willing to spend more on coffee convincingly marketed as 'gourmet'.

So I would surmise that either

The 'gourmet coffee' you have tried isn't of a higher standard than the coffee served to you at gas stations.

or

You are perfectly happy with 'ordinary' grade coffee and dislike the higher quality stuff.

This second conclusion is nothing to be ashamed of. Chocolate is an excellent example of another bean the majority of Western consumers prefer, if they're being honest, lower quality versions of. A huge proportion of self-confessed 'chocolate lovers' or 'chocolate addicts' would much rather eat the chocolate and milk flavoured fat peddled by Hershey and Cadbury to real, plain chocolate with a high percentage of Criollo cocoa beans. You wouldn't be alone in preferring a cup of coffee from a gas station to a cup made of freshly ground beans from Jamaica's Blue Mountains.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:47 am
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"Gourmet" is a word much beloved of marketing VPs and advertsing copy writers, no more descriptive these days than "luxury" or "First Class".

For coffees, it seems to be employed for anything different than the mass production blended roasts of the major coffee "packagers". In many taste tests in recent years, even such long exalted types as "kona" and "Blue Mountain" have come up short.

Try coffees until you find one you like. In most cases, depending upon one's individual tastes, recently roasted beans ground immediately before brewing add more to appeal than exotic sources or wild claims or "gourmet" status.

Circumstances often do more for coffee than the beans or the preparation. Few cups of coffee will ever match the first sip from a steaming mug when assuming the Watch on the Bridge at 0400 (4AM) on cold night, even if the Messenger has forgotten to brew a fresh pot. Then there was that first drag on an unfiltered Camel, the memory of which is almost enough to send me back to smoking...
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:47 am
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Not a coffee drinker, but I think Kopi Luwak would qualify.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:57 am
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Gourmet is something that would appeal to someone with a discriminating
taste.

Now for the coffee, if the one from gas station works well for you and
nothing else.. thats a gourmet for you.

Gourmet on a label is something created by the marketing department..
hoping it will make people pay twice or more for the same product sold
at the gas stations.


Now talking about coffee.. whats up with people paying
hundreds for the coffee beans that were rejected by an
animal's digestive track? (i'm leaving the name out)
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Old Sep 20, 08, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by mjcewl1284 View Post
So as long as I have been travelling, I can't but help seeing the term 'gourmet coffee' being thrown around. I've even tasted some, and frankly, some of them are worse than what you might find at a gas station. Or could gourmet coffee be something a chef might recommend?

Discuss...
First of all there are two types of coffee beans, Robusta and Arabica. What is typically referred to as "gourmet" coffee would normally be about Arabica coffees. However more and more of the flavored coffees seem to be so labeled regardless of the type of coffee bean.

Robusta coffee is generally considered of inferior quality and taste to that of Arabica. Most of the major commercial brands, Maxwell House, Folgers etc are made from Robusta. It is a much cheaper coffee to produce, higher yields and also grows about anywhere as long as there is no frost. In addition Robusta coffees have about 3 times the amount of caffeine as Arabica ones.

In general Arabicas coffee trees yield substantially less, the trees are difficult to cultivate and each tree can produce anywhere from 0.5-5 kg of dried beans, depending on the tree's individual character and the climate that season.

But just because a bean is Arabica does not insure a great cup of coffee, very dependent on how and when it was roasted and how and when it was brewed. In general 7 days after roasting a coffee bean will begin to go stale.

In you would like more information try this link
http://kaffee.netfirms.com/Coffee/robustavsarabica.html

Sam
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Old Sep 20, 08, 11:31 am
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I called Mrs. Olson for an opinion but she did not answer the phone.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by cpx View Post
Now talking about coffee.. whats up with people paying
hundreds for the coffee beans that were rejected by an
animal's digestive track? (i'm leaving the name out)
I'd trust the civet to choose the very best coffee beans over a human. And if you don't buy into that, there is no disputing that these beans are costly to retrieve and collect, this usually makes humans take more care preparing and serving them as coffee.

Best fruit I've ever had is that picked at by birds and animals, don't see why it would be any different with coffee. As my grandfather used to say - "los pajaritos no son tontos" - those little birds are no fools.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 1:39 pm
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funny thing..it is my understanding that that Italian(long I) coffee that every body thinks is a big deal...is Robusta.

i do like it in italian coffee. and i like capachunio and coffee lata, made with expresso. i have no idea if any of the "gourmet" shops that use expresso for their base use robusta

the italian robusta is supposed to be a superior robusta.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
coffee lata, made with expresso. .
espresso in a can???? FSM wept!
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Old Sep 20, 08, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
I called Mrs. Olson for an opinion but she did not answer the phone.
Because I find this funny, I must be getting old.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
espresso in a can???? FSM wept!
i don't understand. what you say. what is fsm? why it cry?

where is can? that where we go to see the new films?

it is my understanding that the expresso you get in an italian bar is made using robusta. what are you saying.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 4:41 pm
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
i don't understand. what you say. what is fsm? why it cry?

where is can? that where we go to see the new films?

it is my understanding that the expresso you get in an italian bar is made using robusta. what are you saying.
"Latta" is the Italian word (and "lata" the Spanish one) for steel, and it's used to refer to cans, e.g. you would ask for "una latta di Coca Cola" . Canned espresso sounds particularly vile to me, and I would be surprised to find it being served in any Italian bar!
There's also "latte", which is an espresso in a long glass of hot milk, and, reading the post I'm quoting here, I reckon is what you had been referring to!
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