There is no single factor that makes an organic coffee gourmet coffee, but the right combination of coffee bean, roast, blend, grind, and definitely freshness can make for a very succulent cup of coffee.
The first factor is the bean. Gourmet coffees are only made from hand-picked Arabica beans. These coffee beans grow at high altitudes, in rich soil, under shade. Arabica beans are grown in many parts of the world, but the three main regions they hail from are South and Central America, Africa and Arabia, and the Pacific. Beans from each of these regions have separate and distinct flavors.
Roasting the coffee bean is a science. It’s up to the Roast Master of the coffee house to know how to roast the bean to perfection. There are five common types of roasts: American Roast or Cinnamon Roast; City Roast or Vienna Roast; Full City Roast; French Roast; and Italian Roast.
The American Roast is a very light roast, not used for gourmet beans, only for Robusta beans. The City Roast is a semi-light roast, the lightest gourmet roast. The Full City Roast is a dark roast, intended to bring out the full flavor of the bean. It often has a subtle caramel flavor. The French Roast is another dark roast. Some people prefer the slightly burnt flavor of this roast. The Italian Roast is a very dark roast, even burnt. The beans come out of this roast dark, shiny and brittle. Cappuccino and Espresso are made from this roast.
The blend of a gourmet organic coffee largely depends on personal preference, although there are certain blends that can be used for specific purposes, a low acid bean blend for those with sensitive stomachs, for example.
The three grinds used are fine, medium and coarse. A coarse grind is best used in a French press. The fine grind is for espresso and Turkish coffees, leaving the medium grind for use in automatic drip pots. Weak coffee often means that the beans should have been ground more finely, while bitter coffee may be remedied by a coarser grind.
For a truly gourmet cup of coffee, freshness cannot be underestimated. When a bag of freshly roasted coffee is open, the beans appear oily. This oily look is the essential oil of the beans and most of the flavor is in this oil. The longer the bean is exposed to air or moisture, the more rapidly it will lose this oil and the resulting coffee will taste flat.
While there are many guidelines to aid in selecting gourmet coffee, it is really a matter of personal choice. Looking over the above mentioned guidelines before shopping for coffee will make selecting a gourmet organic coffee easier. If price is a concern you can purchase bulk organic coffee beans online and save money. You can purchase bulk gourmet organic coffee from Nectar of Life for much less than you would pay in a grocery store. Not only do they fresh roast the coffee, but they ship it for free!