Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee

Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee

As one of the best coffee roasters in Sydney, we want to help you understand all you need to know about your favourite drink "coffee", so we've answered questions most people have asked about coffee.


Cup of coffee placed on a surface


Where does coffee come from? 

Coffee is made from coffee cherry which is grown along the "Bean Belt''. The bean belt includes countries like Colombia, Brazil, Indonesia, and Mexico. Coffee beans are harvested from the coffee trees as ripe cherries. Then, they go through the processing methods which could be - the wet process or the dry process to ensure the beans have the right moisture. 

The processing method to be used is dependent on the location of the farm. The beans are then milled and exported to their destination. After this, the beans are roasted and sold whole or ground. 

Buy freshly roasted coffee beans

Read more: How is coffee grown, harvested, and processed

How much caffeine is in a cup of coffee? 

The caffeine content in different types of coffee can vary. A standard cup of coffee (227ml) will contain an average of 94 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content also depends on the size, strength, and type of coffee you are consuming. For example, cold brew coffee has more caffeine than regular hot coffee because it is steeped in cold water for 12-24 hours. 

How many calories are in a cup of coffee? 

It depends on the type of coffee you are drinking, the number of calories will surely not be the same. If you add extras such as sugar, milk, and syrup, it will directly affect the calorie content of the coffee.  A standard cup of black coffee (that is 227ml) contains 1 calorie but a cappuccino can contain 60 to 160 calories depending on the type of milk you are using and the size of the cappuccino. If you want low-calorie coffee, you can switch from sugar to sweetener and switch full milk to soy or skim. 

What are the different types of coffee beans?

Robusta and Arabica are the two main types of coffee beans. Coffee Robusta is a lower grade of beans and they are grown at lower altitudes. They contain a larger amount of caffeine. While Coffee Arabica is the world's most popular type of coffee. The flavour notes of the Arabica coffee are nutty and chocolatey. You may also notice hints of berries or fruity taste. It has a slightly pleasant acidity and little bitterness. 

Cold brewing helps bring out the sweet flavours of Arabica beans. Coffee Arabica is grown at higher altitudes and it contains more sugar than Robusta.

Buy 100% Arabica beans here 

What is fair trade coffee? 

Fair trade coffee is coffee produced by a co-operative of farmers, importers, exporters, and even distributors that abide by the standards set out by the Fair trade organization. Fair trade is an organization that makes sure that products are made according to strict standards that ensure environmental sustainability, as well as ensuring that the people involved in the production are treated fairly.

How can I keep my coffee hot?

You ought to brew a fresh batch whenever you want coffee but if you want to keep coffee hot for a short period, you can use a thermally insulated container; it is an enclosed container that can reduce the loss of aromatics from your coffee. 

How do I clean my coffee maker? 

Cleaning your coffee machine should be a part of your weekly cleaning routine to ensure your coffee tastes great and is healthy. You can use white vinegar to clean your machine- make a mixture of 3 cups of vinegar to 6 cups of water or use hot water mixed with citric acid. Never use bleach to clean. Bleach is a harsh chemical and it is unsafe for consumption, it can ruin your machine. When you have made the mix, add a filter to your coffee maker and add the mixture where you usually put water. Turn on the machine and allow the mixture to run through the machine completely before removing the filter. Let it cool, then rinse the coffee pot properly. Repeat the steps above with plain cold water. 

What does bar pressure mean? 

When you purchase a coffee machine, it will operate at a certain pressure. This is the pressure that forces the water through the coffee ground to pick up the flavour and strength of the coffee. Pressure is measured in units called "bars". Espresso need to be made with at least 9 bars of pressure to get that richness and strength you are looking for. This means you should avoid buying low-quality espresso machines that may have as little as 3 bars of pressure and this is not enough to bring out that richness you want. 

Is coffee good or bad for the body? 

In general, coffee has a lot of positive effects on your body. The positive impact outweighs the negative. The health benefits include- improving your metabolism rate and reducing the risk of having diabetes. Also, coffee helps ward off cognitive decline and boost long-term memory. Coffee contains a large number of nutrients such as vitamins B2, B3, and B5


Brewed coffee on a brown table with coffee beans


The negative effect of coffee is considerably small- becoming addicted to coffee and suffering withdrawal symptoms like headaches is one of the examples. Also drinking a large quantity of coffee can disrupt your sleep due to the large caffeine intake.  

How long does caffeine from coffee last? 

Once you take in coffee, you'll feel the effect of the caffeine in 15 to 45 minutes. Caffeine has a half-life of between 3 to 6 hours. This means that, when you take a cup of coffee, your body will break down about half of the caffeine it contains. For example, if you take 200mg of caffeine at 9 am, you'll have about 100mg left in your body between 2-3 pm. This is why some people feel the need for a second cup of coffee during the day as the caffeine amount they need has dropped significantly. 

How is coffee decaffeinated? 

Coffee is decaffeinated through different processes. The decaffeinating process takes place while the coffee beans are still unroasted. The processes are; solvent-based process and non solvent process (Swiss water process and carbon dioxide process). The solvent process involves removing the caffeine from the beans with the help of chemical solvents. In the carbon dioxide process, beans are soaked and liquid carbon dioxide is forced into the beans to remove the caffeine, while the Swiss method relies on osmosis and solubility to remove caffeine from beans by soaking the beans in hot water. 

How is a French press or coffee press used? 

A coffee press is quite easy to use. Grind your coffee beans, scoop some of the coffee into the jar, depending on the quantity you want. Pour some pre-boiled water into the jar. Check how much water and room your French press has- you don't want it to overflow and make a mess. After this, give it a quick stir before adding the filter and lid. Leave it for 3-5 minutes and press the filter down slowly, press it to the bottom and that's it. Your coffee is ready to be poured. 


A French press

 

Can I use plant milk for my coffee? 

Yes. In other countries, you may not get a soy cappuccino, it's either you have your coffee black or with full dairy milk but in Australia, you can get skim milk, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, and even macadamia milk.  

Almond milk: It comes in varieties of sweetened and unsweetened. But it sometimes leaves a slightly bitter taste. If you want the coffee to be sweeter, you can opt for the sweetened version of the almond milk.

Soy milk: This is a popular alternative to dairy milk. The taste is somewhat nondescript so it doesn't affect the flavour of your coffee.

Oat milk: This milk is void of saturated fat but loaded with fibre, protein, and sweetness. You can use any of these plant milk readily available in cafes and supermarkets. 


Coffee with milk


Is there more caffeine in dark roasted beans? 

No, this is a common misconception due to the darker colour of the coffee beans. The truth is that the roast type does not affect the caffeine level in your beans. Light roast, medium, or dark roasted beans have the same caffeine ratio unless the beans are of different types, that is Arabica or Robusta.

How can I store coffee beans? 

Coffee beans should be stored in a cool and dry place, not in a refrigerator. This is important because you don't want the flavour and aroma of your coffee beans to degrade due to exposure to sunlight, air, and moisture. You can store your coffee beans in canisters but make sure you consume them within 2-4 weeks. 

Read more: Best way to store coffee beans 

How can I make coffee less acidic?

Adding cream or milk to coffee is a good way to cut down the acidity. This is because the calcium in milk helps to balance the acidity in a cup of coffee. 

Why does my coffee taste bad? 

Under extraction or over-extraction is usually the main reason your coffee is bad. In other words, brewing incorrectly and using the wrong steeping time can result in your coffee tasting bad. This is because the acids in the coffee dissolve too early in the brewing process. 

Read more: Coffee brewing mistakes- how to fix them.


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