There are many ways to set a Commercial x Gourmet Coffee Definition. We will try to simplify the idea for the average consumer. Let’s see!
An ordinary coffee lover can get real lost with so many options and definitions in the coffee market.
Let’s establish something from the beginning:
We are talking about that person who loves coffee but doesn’t want to know if Sumatra beans are a new type of grain to make Panama Chili or a kind of coffee from the far East.
The next fellow just wants to drink good coffee. Names, origin, tastes, bodies, aromas, acidities, etc. are just too complicated for him.
Whatever crazy stuff you may come up with is just incredibly overwhelming and particularly to scary, to begin with.
The frightened consumer just grabs any good old breakfast coffee pack and runs away.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
Let’s simplify the equation and just talk about:
Commercial and Gourmet
(I’m not using the “specialty definition” on purpose. I’d like to loosen up the boundaries here.)
Forget about all the rest; That unintelligible mumbo jumbo that makes coffee drinking a snobbish pain in the back.
And don’t ever forget one thing:
Every average consumer can enjoy any coffee, as long as it is brewed properly. Aren’t we lucky?
One other thing:
Don’t go drinking pure brewed black coffee just because some barista told you that’s the correct way to do it.
Brew and drink coffee the way it pleases you.
Even commit the heretic sin of boiling your coffee if that’s what you like. (but, please, don’t do it!)
From the average drinker point of view, we are going to try forming a simple particular standard without all the fuzz and buzz that has been brought to the coffee business.
Simple is Easier
Let’s take a look at our two options then.
A General Definition could be:
Every ground coffee that’s is marketed by large companies that produce and sell them in massive scale, using aggressive nationwide campaigns.
- Coffee comes ground or in grain directly from a factory plant.
- Little bottles of instant coffee
- Plastic-encased bricks of ground coffee.
- Roasted and packed in large plants
- Large national campaigns and brands
- Profit comes mainly from large-scale
- Limited selection of blends and roasts
- Offers less power of choice.
- Uses less quality coffee.
- Uses low-quality coffee
- Uses some Robusta type, a cheaper option, in the blend.
- Darker roast to hide poor tastes also removes flavor subtleties.
- Coffee is standardized
- Lower prices
- More presence of green beans
- The best information you will get is country or continent of origin.
Commercial coffee does have variations in quality from brand to brand.
Gourmet types are high-quality coffees that are usually sold locally and roasted for brewing in a shorter time.
- Stored or delivered as whole beans
- One-pound bags or in bulk.
- Ground not too long before brewing.
- Usually distributed locally.
- Roasted in small stores or factories with traditional methods and technology.
- Usually sold by the roaster.
- More options and varieties give the consumer more power of choice.
- Significant variation of taste and smell profiles.
- Selection types can vary over: place, roast, blend, flavor, among others factors.
- Excellent grinding conditions.
- Processed very carefully.
- Eventually roasted in small batches for an ideal flavor profile.
- Meant to be savored within a few weeks of roasting at most.
- Uses more expensive beans.
- Higher prices.
- Usually pure Arabica beans.
- If any, slight amounts of Robusta.
- Gourmet coffee dealers are picky when choosing what to buy.
- Very few green beans, if any.
- Profit comes from higher price
- Every stage of processing can be traced, from farm to store.
Being gourmet does not necessarily mean the coffee is good. Usually is.
Some Other Ideas
- All coffees have different types of quality.
- Farmers separate the best from the lesser and sell them for different prices.
- Best beans sell at highest prices
- Defective beans sell for lower prices.
- Bad seeds can spoil the whole batch.
Both types can be appreciated by the average coffee drinker. It won’t be the same, but the price won’t either.
The ordinary consumer is a luckier guy because he cares less about the subtleties. He is willing to lose some of the refined taste in exchange for the lower price and better availability.
The above is only a fair trade as long as you are happy with it.
Finally, why are we saying all this?
It’s very simple: