Everything You Need to Know About Brazilian Coffee

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If you drink coffee, we’re confident you’ve had Brazilian Coffee whether you know it or not.

Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer.

In fact, Brazil is responsible for almost one-third of all coffee. The vast country is covered by over 10,000 square miles of coffee plantations. The majority of these are located in the southeastern states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná where the environment is ideal for consistent conditions for coffee production.

In addition to being the top producer, Brazil is also the largest coffee consumer. Brazil took the title from the United States in the mid-2010’s.

Fun Fact: Along with Ethiopia, Brazil is the only other coffee producing country with a large domestic consumption.

Because of the sheer amount of coffee Brazil produces, there is not one specific kind of coffee that the country is known for. The country produces everything from mass produced cheap coffees (usually lower grade arabica), to complex and elegant coffees.


History of Brazilian Coffee

Coffee crops first came to Brazil in the 18th Century. Brazil has been the dominant producer since the 1840s.

Production as a share of world coffee output peaked in the 1920’s, with the country supplying 100% of the world’s coffee, but has declined since the 1950s due to increased global production.



A big factor in Brazilian coffee is the geography. Most of the Brazilian coffee is lower grown in grassland areas and in non-volcanic soil. The growing elevations in Brazil range from about 2,000 feet to 4,000 feet.

As we stated in our Speciality Coffee guide, these conditions are less than ideal for specialty coffee where 4,500 to  5,000 foot elevations are needed.

This is why most of the coffee in Brazil is grown to be “commercial” grade coffee where bulk and price are the prime considerations.

But that doesn’t mean Brazil can’t grow great coffee.

There are some areas where the better coffee is grown, these are the three main areas.

  1. Mogiana, the oldest coffee region is located along the border of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states north of Sao Paulo.Mogiana is known for its deep, richly red soil and its sweet, full, rounded coffees.
  2. The rugged, rolling hills of Sul Minas, in the southern part of Minas Gerais state northeast of Sao Paulo, is the heart of Brazil coffee country and home of two of the largest and best-known fazendas, Ipanema and Monte Alegre.
  3. Tap Dancer’s Brazilian coffee comes from Vargem Alegre, which is a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais in the Southeast region of Brazil.

Sitio Sertaozinho Coffee

Brazilian Coffee Characteristics

The best Brazilian coffee is soft, nutty, low acidity, and offers a nice bittersweet chocolate taste.

Because of this, Brazilian coffee makes for an excellent base for making flavored coffees. A good Brazil coffee can add a lot to espresso blends too.


Tap Dancer’s Brazilian Coffee: Sitio Sertaozinho



Sitio Sertaozinho is another of the standout specialty coffee farms in the Serra da Mantiqueira region in the South of Minas Gerais.

The region is very hilly, and is the home to many microclimates within them.  These microclimates produce a really interesting range of flavour nuances.

Region: Vargem Allegre (Happy Valley)
Varietal: Yellow Bourbon
Processing: Sun Dried Natural
Altitude: 4500 feet above sea level.

Our Sitio Sertaozinho coffee has been dried inside the fruit (dry-processed) so that some of the sweetness of the fruit carries into the cup.

It also comes from trees of the traditional Latin-American variety of arabica called bourbon.

Taste Profile: This medium body coffee was originally purchased to be our iced coffee, this coffee was too good not to offer in our lineup.

The coffee offers tantalizing notes of vanilla, chocolate, tangerine and brown sugar.

The vanilla and chocolate aromatics are subtle to our nose, but oh so enticing, and the standard roasted aroma we all expect when walking into the kitchen is noticeably more pure and rich.

Use a pour over method and you’ll get addicted to the first wave of aroma that arises with the steam from the initial pour.

You should be able to detect the notes of tangerine and the brown sugar. The finish is crisp and clean.



Dry Processing / Natural Processing

Tap Dancer’s Brazilian coffee is processed using a Sun Dried Natural process.

This is where the coffee is laid out to sun dry with the cherry on. This imparts a rich dry fruit flavor onto the coffee bean, and help adds to the body of the coffee.

Dry processing is a high risk, high reward way to process coffee. A lot of things can go wrong.

The seed or bean inside the fruit just sitting there at the mercy of the fruit surrounding it. If the fruit rots, the coffee will taste rotten or fermented. If microorganisms invade the fruit during that rotting, a hard or medicinal taste will carry into the cup.

At the most extreme medicinal end of this taste spectrum are the notorious rio coffees of Brazil, which are saturated by an intense iodine-like sensation that American coffee buyers avoid, but which coffee drinkers in parts of Eastern Europe and the Near East seek out and enjoy.

In fact, in some years these intensely medicinal-tasting coffees fetch higher prices in the world market than sound, clean-tasting Brazil coffees.

The potential harshness is the risk Brazilian farmers take in their attempt to achieve the round, sweet fruitiness of the best dry-processed coffees.


Brazilian Coffee is common, but our speciality coffee is not. You’ll enjoy this medium body coffee. It’s perfect for iced coffee or piping hot. Enjoy.

The Ultimate Guide To Sumatra Coffee

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Sumatra coffee beans are considered to be some of the finest beans in the world and have become a staple of coffee shops throughout the US.


Hailing from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, you can expect Sumatra coffees to have a rich, earthy flavor.



Coffee was first brought to Indonesia by Dutch settlers in the 17th century.

Sumatra is a part of the Sunda Islands, located in Indonesia. Sumatra means “Island of Gold,” in Sanskrit. Maybe that is why Sumatran coffee farmers grow fantastic world-class coffee.


Sumatra Island


While other Indonesian islands often have large coffee plantations, Sumatra is composed mostly of smallholder farmers.

The coffee growing area of Sumatra is divided into two primary regions.

The majority of Sumatran coffee is grown inland from the southern coast. Typically this coffee is marked or labeled Mandheling or Lintong.

Sumatra coffee that is grown farther west is usually marked Gayo Mountain. Gayo is located near Lake Tawar and produces some superb high elevation, shade-grown coffee, cultivated at heights usually between 3300-4800 feet.


Sumatra Kerinci Coffee:

Our Sumatra coffee is from the Kerinci region.

This coffee is grown in the Jambi region on the slopes of Mt. Kerinci.  The Kerinci region is nestled in lush mountain highlands near Mount Kerinci, the tallest mountain (which in reality is actually a volcano) on Sumatra.  This area is located just south and on the western side of Sumatra.

Volcanic Mount Kerinci provides a lush home to grow our Sumatra Kerinci at 5000 ft above sea level.

Mt. Kerinci - Sumatra Coffee

(Mount Kerinci)

Sumatran Coffee Beans

Sumatran coffee beans are some of the heaviest, smoothest, and most complex coffees in the world.

Coffees from Sumatra are most commonly processed using a method called wet-hulling. Wet-hulling is also known as Giling Basah processing.

This type of processing creates a coffee that leaves the farm with a much higher moisture content than other methods.

Here’s that unique process broken down.

Wet Hulling Processing:

  1. Immediately after picking, farmers remove the skin of the coffee cherry.
  2. The skinned beans are placed in woven bags or buckets and left to ferment overnight (with or without water).
  3. The next day, farmers wash off the mucilage and let the coffee beans rest for a day with some the pulp still on them.
  4. The coffee is shipped to a processing warehouse.
  5. The processor receives coffee at 40-50% moisture content, then its dried to 25-35%.
  6. The beans are run through the wet-hull machine. This machine strips off the parchment, and the bean emerges swollen and whitish-green.
  7. The beans are shipped to a port city for exportation, and dried a third time (down to 11-14% moisture).
  8. Then the coffee it’s bagged and ready for export.

This moisture level is a much higher level than coffee from most other regions. In most coffee processing methods, coffee beans are dried until their moisture levels around 9 percent when they leave the processing facility.

This means that coffee has higher than average moisture content when it is bagged and exported to its destination, and this moisture has an effect on the flavor.

While there continues to be some experimentation among coffee processing methods in Sumatra, the cultural predominance and economic advantages of wet-hulling will keep this the dominant process for years to come.


Sumatra coffee characteristics

Those that enjoy the unique coffee of Sumatra often describe it as an earthy flavor. If you are familiar with wines, it’s described as terrior.

Sumatran coffee beans are very low in acidity and produce an aroma that ranges from maple syrup to chocolate to toasted almonds.

You can expect a cup of Sumatran coffee to be smooth and full-bodied with a robust, dry finish. You can also expect a distinct note of baker’s chocolate.


Perfect for Medium to Darker Roasts

Because of this wet hulling process, the flavor profile of Sumatran coffee is well suited to darker roast coffees.

A low acidic coffee is perfect for people who find stronger blends too harsh on their stomach. For example, our Sumatra Kerinci Medium Roast is actually our strongest coffee. But because the quality of the beans is so high it’s the cleanest Sumatra we have ever cupped.

The nutty sweetness of Sumatran coffee allows it to be enjoyed both at breakfast, and or after dinner.

Coffeeresearch.org describes Sumatra coffee as one of the heartiest and most complex blends in the world, making it a must for every coffee enthusiast.


Tap Dancer’s Sumatra Coffee

We currently have two Sumatra coffees available, a medium and a dark roast. But don’t be fooled by the type of roasting. Specialty coffee’s use the type of roast to bring out the flavor profile, not to determine how strong the coffee is. For our Sumatra coffee, our medium roast is much stronger than our dark.

Sumatra Kerinci Medium Roast

Taste Profile:  THIS IS OUR STRONGEST COFFEE. The cleanest Sumatra we have
ever cupped. notes of white pepper, ginger and mango

Purchase HERE


Sumatra Kerinci Dark Roast

Taste Profile:  Full body deep rich coffee with notes of  mocha, cinnamon and a delightful nutiness

Purchase HERE


So that’s a full run down on Sumatra Coffee. What else would you like to know? Have a question, just leave it in the comments section.

How to Brew the Best Coffee at Home

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If you’re like us, you think about coffee all the time.

All day while we’re awake we think about how we can get more of the finest coffee beans on the planet, roast them to perfection and get them to your doorstep in our special air tight bags.

Then while we sleep we dream about these beans being brewed to perfection at your home.
Whether your morning coffee is a bold espresso blend, your afternoon coffee is a strong medium roast or your evening coffee is a Columbian decaf or whatever your preference is…how you brew your coffee matters

It matters a lot!

Life wine, coffee is complex. There are many many things that can impact the taste.

Because of this, many people are intimidated by the process to make truly great coffee. Or they just throw some grinds into their brewer and call it a day.

But making great coffee is easier than you think. You just need to know some of the best practices and techniques.

The time it would take you to microwave a quick breakfast is the same amount of time it takes to make the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
And perfectly brewed coffee doesn’t need to come from a fancy coffee shop, it can come right from your own kitchen!
We made this guidebook to help teach you how to brew the absolute best cup of coffee.
We didn’t want to skip out on any of the important details so we created what we think is the only guide you or anyone would ever need to make the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
But it’s a beast. Over 2,000 words!
Because there are so many aspects to making the best cup of coffee and to make it easier to consume the content, we’ve broken it up into chapters.
This will make it easier to navigate.
We used our own experience and knowledge as well as scoured the internet for the best information on each section and topic.
Understanding how each of these factors are interrelated to the final product can help troubleshoot and fine tune the brewing process.
If you follow these rules and this advice you are virtually guaranteeing a satisfying cup of coffee every time.

Table of Contents:

Section 1: The Beans

  • The Finest Coffee Beans
  • Specialty Coffee Standards
  • How to Properly Store Coffee Beans
  • Keeping an Air Tight Seal
  • Lack of Contact
  • No Pre-Ground Coffee

Section 2: Preparation

  • Measuring Your Coffee
  • Measuring Coffee With a Scale
  • Which Coffee Scale to Get
  • Measuring Coffee Without a Scale
  • What Coffee Grinder to Use
  • How to Grind Coffee
  • The Right Water
  • The Water Ratios

Section 3: Brewing

  • The Temperature
  • The Filter
  • The Pour
    • Pour Over
    • French Press
    • Espresso
    • Cafe Americano
    • Cold Brew
  • Timing

Section 4: Clean Up



Section 1: The Beans

The Finest Coffee Beans

Let’s start with the obvious to get it out of the way. If you don’t start with great coffee beans all else is pointless.

We at Tap Dancer’s offer the world’s finest coffee beans so if you’re looking to make great coffee at home…you’re in the right place.

CLICK HERE to Shop our Specialty Coffee Beans 

We take great pride in this claim, and back it up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

We only offer specialty grade coffee, here’s what that means.

Specialty coffee beans are grown in select altitudes and climates and nursed for years before the first harvest. Specialty coffee producers devote their life to refining and perfecting the highest quality coffee on the planet. For them, it is quality, not quantity that is the most important consideration.

Specialty grade beans are 100% organic, fair-trade, low in acidity and not inherently bitter so it is easy to concentrate solely on flavor.

Specialty coffee producers take great pride on providing these beans.

In the coffee world, like fine wine or steaks, Specialty Coffee Beans are the best of the best.

Specialty Coffee Standards

To be considered specialty grade coffee they must adhere to strict standards.

To meet the criteria of specialty grade, green coffee can have zero category one defects and five or less category two defects.

You can see the SCAA green grading handbook for more information on these defects.

Specialty Coffee Standard List

How to Store Coffee Beans

There are a couple of things we have to consider to ensure our coffee retains all of its goodness until you drink it. One is keeping the coffee fresh.

Once coffee beans are roasted, the bean expels carbon dioxide and absorbs oxygen. It is the absorption of oxygen that creates a stale coffee.

This process of expelling and absorbing within the coffee bean cannot be slowed down, no matter what the temperature is that you’re storing the beans at.

The process speeds up however, with exposure to air so it is important to keep the coffee as airtight as possible after the roast.

Because of this, fresh roasted coffee is only fresh for 2-3 weeks.

After that it becomes stale coffee. That’s why we hand deliver our coffee (in Omaha) and ship same or next day to our friends outside of Omaha.

Airtight Seal

As we said above, it is the absorption of oxygen that creates a stale coffee. So in order to keep your coffee from oxygen you must keep it in a container with an air tight seal.

We make it easy to keep your coffee fresh, just keep it in the special bag that it was delivered in.

Each Tap Dancer’s bag comes with a one-way degassing valve, just squeeze the air out through the valve.

We use an impulse sealer to completely seal the bag. This is another way we separate ourselves from other coffee roasters.

The bags have a patented one way degassing valve. This valve insures that air only goes out and no oxygen comes back in.

There is a side notch that enables you to open the bag easily.

The bags not only seal airtight, but are easy to reseal to help keep the air exposure to a minimum.

This means better coffee for you!

Lack of Contact

The other thing we have to be aware of with coffee is that it is very absorbent.

Not only do we have to be concerned about outside moisture and exposure to oxygen, we have to be concerned about what the beans come in physical contact with.

Metallic foils (like aluminum or tin), plastic, cardboard and yes, even kraft paper will ALL taint the taste of coffee.

Again you don’t have to worry about this with Tap Dancer’s Coffee.

Our bags have a high vapor barrier and a neutral lining.

The vapor barrier keeps moisture out of the bag and keeps your coffee beans from contacting or absorbing anything that could negatively impact the taste.

These features all help to ensure your coffee retains its freshness and remains untainted.

No Pre-Ground Coffee

You may think it’s easier to buy pre-ground coffee, but pre-ground coffee is already stale by the time it gets to your home. Always get a whole bean, and grind it at home prior to enjoying it.


Section 2: Proper Coffee Preparation

Now that you’ve purchased the finest coffee beans in the world, and have stored them properly. Let’s move on to preparing the coffee beans to be brewed.

How to Measure Coffee

Don’t just grab a handful of beans and toss them into your grinder. To get the best cup ever, we want to measure them properly and get the proper bean to water ration for brewing.

Most people control the water-to-coffee ratio by measuring the volume of water and coffee they use. They use a certain number of scoops of coffee with a specific amount of water.

A scale, however, is the better way to go than a scoop.

This is because the density of coffee beans can vary. Some coffee beans may weigh more than others even if they might be the same size.  So weight is a much more accurate measurement than volume.

Once you start using a scale to measure your coffee, it is easy to use the same scale to weigh the amount of water you use.

And consistency is easy. Just use the same number of grams or ounces of coffee each morning and you will ensure your coffee-to-water ratio remains consistent to your preference.

Which Coffee Scale to Get

Learn HERE

Measuring Coffee With a Scale

Learn HERE

Measuring Coffee Without a Scale

Learn HERE


Now that you’ve properly measured the right amount of coffee, it’s time to grind the beans.

What Grinder to Use

Learn HERE

How to Grind Coffee

As long as you have the right equipment, grinding coffee is more about your preferred brewing method.

Coarse, Medium, and Fine are used for various brewing methods to get the best flavor possible.

  • Coarse – Chunky, distinct particles.
  • Medium – More the texture of coarse sand.
  • Fine – Smooth. Feels like sugar or salt when you rub it between your fingers.
  • Super Fine – Very fine but you can still feel some grit.
  • Turkish Grind – Like flour, very powdery.


A Coarse Grind is generally used for the following:

  • French Press
  • Toddy Makers
  • Vacuum Coffee Maker
  • Percolater

A Medium Grind:

  • Auto Drip Makers (with flat bottom filters)



A Fine Grind:

  • Stove Top Espresso Pots
  • Some Drip Makers (with cone shaped filters)


A Super Fine Grind:

  • Espresso Machines


A Turkish Grind:

  • For Turkish Style Coffee


The Water Quality

Water? Yes, even the water matters!

The taste of coffee is affected by the mineral content of the water that you use.

In fact scientists who were doing research on coffee (how fun is that job) found that the differences of water composition made a “dramatic difference” to coffee made from the same bean. Certain types of water hardness boosted the taste.

So what do you do? Use filtered water.

Besides not having a pleasant taste, water from the tap has minerals that will create mineral build up in your brewer. This build up will weaken the brewer’s heating ability to get the water to the proper temperature.

I personally prefer distilled water but again I tend to go to extremes.

According to researchers, the best cup of coffee should be made with water that is high in magnesium and low in bicarbonate.

Here’s more on that research.


Specialty Coffee Association Water Standards

Learn more HERE


How Much Water: Brewing Ratios

Water to coffee ratio is probably the hardest concept to conquer.

The best way to get a consistent water ratio for your coffee is to use a kitchen scale and a calculator.

Weigh the water you use in your pot and divide that number by 17 and that will tell you how much whole bean coffee to use.

For a sweeter coffee use a lower ratio.

For a more bitter coffee use a higher ratio.

Learn more HERE and HERE.



To be scientific about it, brewing coffee is the process of extracting the soluble and some insoluble components of ground coffee into an aqueous solution. (how’s that for fancy definition).
Brewed coffee is the result of strength (coffee mass) and extraction (soluble yield or coffee mass suspended in liquid).

Brewed coffee is around 98.8% water combined with 1.5% coffee flavor particles. 

There are several factors that will affect the extraction process. As we already discussed, the coffee / water ratio, grind particle size, contact time, and water temperature.

The most important feature of all of them is to get the water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Too cold of a temperature and the coffee becomes bitter, too hot and the coffee becomes sour.

Get as close to 200 degrees fahrenheit as possible, but we understand that that is a very precise temp, so just try and stay in the range between 195 F (91 C) and 205 F (96 C). The closer to 200 F the better.

Boiling water (212 F – 100 C) should never be used. It will burn your coffee.

Note: If you bought the $30.00 coffee brewer you can be assured that it is not getting the water hot enough.

At home we use a Technivorm-Moccamaster. There are no bells or whistles on this brewer…..it simple gets the water to 200 degrees.



How long should I brew my coffee? Learn HERE

The Coffee Filter

If given a choice, it’s better to choose white paper filters over brown ones. Remember how we said coffee will absorb many things it comes in contact with, yep even the filter paper. Brown filters can make the coffee taste more like the paper.


If you’re investing in specialty grade coffee beans, you need to know how to use them.

Because it’s easier to control the temperature with all the pour over methods, that is the main reason they work so well and why so many coffee purists prefer them.

Pour Over

The pour over is a simple and elegant way to prepare your specialty coffee. It doesn’t require much equipment and delivers delicious, honest flavors when done right.

Learn how to do a Pour Over HERE

French Press

This is a rich and smooth way to brew your coffee, and probably the most simple next to a drip coffee maker.

You do have to purchase a french press for this, but they aren’t expensive. Here’s how it’s done.


Water is forced through finely packed coffee grounds to produce a small amount of concentrate.

Cold Brew

Roughly ground seeds brewed in cold water for 12-24 hours. Final product is a highly caffeinated drink served cold.

Cleaning Your Equipment

The last step to making the perfect cup coffee is clean up. It’s important to do this properly so that you help keep both the longevity of the brewers and it will help to keep getting great flavor of each cup you make at home.

Here’s how to do it the right way.


So  that’s it! See, not so bad. Follow these steps and you’re guaranteed to have the best cup of coffee you’ve ever made. And the great part is that now that you’ve brewed it once, you can make it over and over again.

Let us know when you try it, we’d love to get your feedback on how it went. And of course, here’s where you can get the finest coffee to make your best cup of coffee.

Defining Specialty Coffee

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What is Specialty & Specialty Grade Coffee?

Specialty Coffee versus Specialty Grade Coffee……yes, there is a difference.

​The Specialty Coffee Chronicle says the market share of specialty coffee is 51 percent, passing non-specialty for the first time.  But the term “specialty” has morphed in definition from the original.  Most people equate specialty coffee with specialty, espresso based coffee drinks which justifies the statistic quoted.

The SCAA or Specialty Coffee Association of America describes true specialty grade coffee as “having a maximum of 5 defects in a standard sample with all cups free of all taints and showing distinctive positive characteristics”. Go to www.scaa.org for more on the SCAA’s definition.

On the above basis , it is estimated that no more than 5% of green coffees in the world could make specialty grade.

From how the beans are produced, the great care taken in the packaging and storage of those beans, and the highly skilled roasters that deliver the finished product–this coffee is about an experience, not just a no frills cup of joe.

There are a lot of factors that make specialty grade coffee–well–special, so let’s take a moment to unpack all of that in one place.

Continue reading Defining Specialty Coffee