Essential Questions About Coffee: Everything You Need to Know
Is there more caffeine in an espresso shot than in a cup of coffee?
What's the best way to make great coffee at home?
Is coffee good for me?
If you're a coffee drinker, you've probably asked yourself at least one of these questions before. And in this piece, we'll answer them, and more, so that you have all the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about enjoying and brewing your favourite beverage.
- What to Know About Coffee Consumption
- DIY: Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee
- The Bottom Line
What to Know About Coffee Consumption
Is dark roast stronger than light roast?
There is a commonly held belief that the darker the roast, the stronger the coffee. However, this is actually one of the most common misconceptions about coffee. While it may seem counterintuitive, the strength of coffee is not determined during the roasting process, but rather by the ratio of coffee grinds to water during the brewing process.
So when you notice the difference between a dark roast and a medium or light roast, you aren't tasting a difference in strength: depending on how they are brewed, a cup of medium or light roast can have more caffeine content than a cup of dark roast does (dark, medium and light all have the same amount of caffeine, if you are brewing by weight rather than by “scoops”). In reality, if you feel that you are "tasting" strong coffee, you are actually referring to the roast flavour rather than the strength.
Is there more caffeine in espresso than in coffee?
Because you seemingly feel a bigger jolt when you choose to take a shot of espresso instead of your usual cup of coffee, it would be natural to think that there is more caffeine in espresso than in coffee. However, this is yet another common misconception about coffee, as the opposite is in fact true.
According to the Department of Agriculture, one once, or 1 shot, of espresso contains approximately 63 milligrams of caffeine, while a standard cup of 8 ounce coffee typically has 95 to 128 milligrams. Even though an ounce of espresso is much more concentrated than an ounce of coffee (63 ounces vs. 12-16), because of the volume, which is usually at least 8 ounces, a cup of coffee has more caffeine than does a shot of espresso.
So why do you feel more wired after a shot of espresso? Because of how you consume it. In general, since the serving size is so small, you are more likely to drink espresso more quickly than you would a cup of coffee, which is generally sipped on more slowly. And since you drink it faster, you're experiencing that sudden jolt because a higher concentration of caffeine is entering your bloodstream more rapidly.
If you are looking to cut back your caffeine intake, making the switch from regular coffee to espresso is actually a great way to do so while still enjoying the benefits of coffee.
Is coffee healthy?
Speaking of the benefits of coffee, there are indeed many positive impacts that come from consuming it on a regular basis. Coffee’s health benefits include:
- Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Improving resting metabolic rate
- Reducing the risk of certain types of cancers
Coffee can also help stave off cognitive decline, boost long-term memory, and even reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
But of course, as is with consuming any food or beverage, moderation is key. It is best practice to stick to no more than 3-5 cups of coffee a day; a good rule of thumb is to dial back a cup or two if you begin having trouble sleeping.
DIY: Making the Perfect Cup of Coffee
Where is the best place to store my coffee?
In order to ensure that you keep ground coffee or whole beans fresh, you should store the coffee on a pantry shelf in an opaque, airtight container that is away from light, heat, and moisture. If you do not have a canister, you should close the top of the bag with a rubber band and place that bag in a resealable plastic bag.
Can I freeze my coffee?
You do not want to freeze the coffee you use every day; fluctuating temperatures create moisture in the packet, which results in the loss of the oils that give coffee its pristine aroma and flavour.
However, it is fine to freeze whole beans for up to a month if you are not planning on using them during that period of time. When you do remove your frozen beans, be sure to put them on a shelf to thaw before grinding and brewing. Vacuum sealing and freezing is the ultimate way of storing coffee.
Why is a coffee grinder so important?
If you're making coffee at home, a coffee grinder is the most important piece of equipment you'll want to own. While you certainly can't make coffee without a coffee maker, a coffee grinder will transform the way you experience your coffee and gives you far more versatility:
- You can make whole bean coffee instead of pre-ground coffee, which tends to go stale far before whole bean coffee does.
- You can set the grind size for your coffee beans so that you can make any type of coffee you would like, from cold brew and French press (which require a coarse size) to espresso and turkish coffee (which require a super fine size).
- You have more control over the extraction process, which is determined by the size of the coffee grounds, allowing you to more consistently brew the perfect cup of coffee with the flavour you like best.
Should I buy a blade grinder?
We do not recommend buying a blade grinder. While they are easy to find in grocery stores, that's actually the first sign you should avoid them! If you're going to invest in a grinder, you should make sure to buy one that is durable and one that gives you manual control over the grind settings. Blade grinders are not always made of the highest quality and will not give you the same versatility as a manual grinder would.
Manual grinders are certainly more work, but they are less expensive than blade grinders and perform much better. Manual grinders give you more control over the extraction process and allow you to more easily brew your coffee of choice.
How do I know if my coffee is under extracted?
You can tell if your coffee is under extracted if you brew a cup of coffee and notice that it is acidic and does not taste well-rounded. In order to fix this for future brews and extract more, you should grind the coffee at a finer setting to speed up the extraction.
How do I know if my coffee is over extracted?
You can tell if your coffee is over extracted if you brew a cup of coffee and notice muted flavours and a rough bitterness. In order to fix this for future brews and extract less, you should grind the coffee at a coarser setting to slow down the extraction.
The Bottom Line
Now you're ready to make more informed decisions about the coffee you purchase and even brew your own! Understanding the ins and outs of what goes into making the ideal cup of coffee empowers you to enjoy your favourite beverage in whatever way you please.
At Two Bears, our mission is to energize your mission, your moments. In a world of influence, our hope is to reconnect you with you so that you can make meaningful connections with the world around you. We craft the freshest, frothiest energy for you to sip and turn into whatever you need that day – human connection, motivation, creativity, confidence, slowness... we encourage you to craft your moment with Two Bears, whatever that moment may be.
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