Change in messaging

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For over 8 years we have been touting the quality and goodness of our coffee. Then we threw in a rant of two. Our message has been, “life is too short to drink bad coffee”. Now that I am reaching elder statesman age, we want to show people that one small coffee roaster CAN positively change the world, and inspire others to change things for the better.

Most of you, if not all, are familiar with Tom’s shoes. Their original model of buy a pair of shoes, give a pair of shoes has inspired many others to create similar business models of “buy one and we give one”. Please do not misinterpret what we are saying. This type of charity entrepreneurialism is wonderful, but it does not help the people who receive the charity get out of poverty.

We want to share with the United States if not the world that social capitalism is how we can positively change the world. Social capitalism is best understood as classic capitalism with a focus on improved social outcomes, or at least economic social responsibility.  We have always had this as our internal goal but we feel it is time to bring this message to the forefront of our company.

Using Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee as the example, we only buy single origin coffee. That means we know the name of the farmer who grew the coffee and we know the farmer got paid. This is the reason why we proudly put the name of the farm on our front label.  We want the farm to be rewarded for their work so that they can lift themselves out of poverty. In turn, they grow and they help their neighbors grow.

Here is the difficulty of touting this type of capitalism…because the farmer is paid well, everyone else in the chain makes a smaller margin. That is why there are very few coffee businesses that only specialize in specialty grade.   But the good news is specialty grade coffee is growing and the supply is keeping up with the growing demand which means more and more communities are growing out of poverty.  We truly believe there is more than enough for everyone.

The last three minutes (the life of a roast master)

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We talked about grading green coffee beans and sampling coffee to find the best of the best. What comes next is equally as important.  It is the roasting of the beans. If any of the other previous steps fall short then no matter how great the roast master is, the end product will fall short.

Up next is the creation of  a unique roast profile for each coffee. We will not get much into this part because I have written about it before.  The roast master is comparable to a head chef. The chef creates the ideal recipe highlighting the tastes and textures of the food. Then makes sure it is repeat the same way each time it is made. We create a way to roast the coffee to highlight different flavors and characteristics and to make sure it tastes the same each time, every time.

Today we are going to talk about the production roast. Roast Day! The night before my lovely bride Maxine creates a roast report. Each week she gathers all the order information i.e. new orders, subscription orders and change orders.  She double checks everything because this is important to get right. All I have to do is weigh out the beans and throw them into the roaster, sort of.

Each batch will take 12-15 minutes to roast. If under 12 minutes, the beans will not have enough time to develop all their flavors. If over 15 minutes, the cell walls start to char leaving a smokey flavor in the cup. The first part of the roast will last 9-11 minutes which is on the boring side. I have to sit there and make sure the coffee is ramping up at a controlled rate. Then the first “crack” happens (popping sound from the bean). From crack to drop (taking beans out of the roaster), no matter what the ending temperature is 3 minutes. If it is a low temperature, then I have to turn off the gas and open the vents to slow the temperature rise. I must be very careful not to “stall the roast” (make the temperature go backwards). A stalled roast means we will not sell that batch. Less than 12 minutes or over 15 minutes means I will not sell that batch.

So much is riding on those last 3 minutes that my heart rate and blood pressure do increase as well as my emotions. I have thought about filming my facial expression during that time but I think the thought of being laughed at quickly nixed that idea. Just know that your smooth, perfect cup of Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee is made with a lot of time, care, energy, heart-stopping moments and love. All you have to do is sit back, enjoy and smile.

Coffee Cupping Grading

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If the coffee passes our visual inspection then we will use a standard sample roast profile and let the coffee sit a couple of days. That is when the official cupping test begins. It is a very precise procedure. We coarse grind 13 grams of coffee per 5 ounce cup.  We do this for 3 separate cups to make sure all 3 are consistent with each other during the cupping process.   After weighing and grinding, we then smell the grounds which is the fragrance. taking note of the different subtle fragrances.  200 degree water is then poured into the grounds and we take note of any changes in the aroma. We wait three minutes and then break the “crust” (top layer of grounds) with a spoon and remove the crust, taking note of any other fragrance present on the spoon. We then wait an additional few minutes for the coffee to cool enough to slurp.

We are judged by our peers on how loud we slurp. True awe goes to the loudest slurpers. During the tasting phase we will concentrate on each part of the coffee’s makeup. The categories are flavor, acidity, body, balance and aftertaste, all the while looking for the hint of taints. If a coffee makes it past this stage, then we continue to sample the coffee as it cools. For us to consider buying the coffee it must taste great at all temperatures.

The final stage before purchasing is verifying its origin. No matter how much we enjoy the coffee we will not buy it until we can verify the origin. Not only do we know where the coffee came from, we know the name of the farmer who grew and processed the coffee as well. We make sure the farmer got paid. We want the farmer to be rewarded for their hard work.

Geez, after reading this I just realized, I am one of those geeky coffee guys.

How are coffee beans graded?

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We have always highlighted how are coffee tastes. Today I am feeling extra nerdy, so I am doing an entire nerdy series of a bean’s journey to becoming Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee.

We have said we only buy specialty grade coffee. Below is how coffee is graded. I will not go into what each item means Lets just leave it at they are defects found in coffee. Grade 1 (Specialty grade) is 0-3 full defects. Also must be free of cup faults and taints. Zero quakers allowed. Moisture content between 9-13%.

Tap Dancers Coffee has zero tolerance for any defect except for shells, broken beans and bug bites. Bug bites confirm that no pesticide was used.

These defects are the cause of why other coffees has a bitter acrid aftertaste and since ours do not have these taints and defects our coffee has a buttery smooth mouthfeel and wonderful lingering aftertaste.

 

 3 Shells 1
 2 sour or rancid beans 1
 2 beans in parchment 1
 1 cherry 1
 1 large husk 1
 2–3 small husks 1
 1 black bean 1
 1 large stone/earth clod 5
 1 medium-sized stone/earth clod 2
 1 small stone/earth clod 1
 1 large stick 5
 1 medium-sized stick 2
 1 small stick 1
 5 broken beans 1
 5 green or immature beans 1
5 insect damaged beans 1
Grade 1: Specialty Grade Coffee Beans: no primary defects, 0-3 full defects, sorted with a maximum of 5% above and 5% below specified screen size or range of screen size, and exhibiting a distinct attribute in one or more of the following areas: taste, acidity, body, or aroma. Also must be free of cup faults and taints. Zero quakers allowed. Moisture content between 9-13%.

 

Grade 2: Premium Grade Coffee Beans: Same as Grade 1 except maximum of 3 quakers. 0-8 full defects.

 

Grade 3: Exchange Grade Coffee Beans: 50% above screen 15 and less than 5% below screen 15. Max of 5 quakers. Must be free from faults. 9-23 full defects.

 

Grade 4: Standard Grade Coffee Beans: 24-86 full defects.

 

Grade 5: Off Grade Coffee Beans: More than 86 full defects.

Caffeine Tidbits Part 3

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This is the last of our 3 part series of our caffeine tidbits. This one is the hardest one for me to write. The reason being is that it comes from researching reports for the likes of Scientific Reports, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Insitiute and Feinberg School of Medicine. Translating their findings into short English prose is no easy feat. But here it goes…

A group of scientists have discovered that people who are genetically wired to better perceive the bitter taste of caffeine are more likely to drink coffee despite the fact that bitterness has evolved as a warning signal to protect us against consuming harmful substances.

This is not a perfect analogy (since some spices are good for you) but part of the reason is much like the spicy food effect for spicy food lovers. The mind gets conditioned that something good will follow soon after the experience hits.

Here is the really confusing part. There are two types of bitterness to coffee, acid and acrid. Acidity is the first to hit your tongue. These relate to fruit acids like orange, lemon, apple, grapefruit. These are the actual caffeine tastes in specialty grade coffee (the only grade of coffee we buy).  Acrid taste, on the other hand, comes after drinking coffee which hits the tongue as a sharp, biting acerbic aftertaste which one experiences from drinking lower quality grades of coffee. This taste usually comes from the impurities that are allowed into coffee.

So the brain of someone who drinks coffee just for the caffeine is conditioned to looking for the acrid bitterness to get it’s rush.  This causes many of them to reject our coffee instead of allowing it to being a warning to them that they are consuming something  that is bad for them.  Listen to your taste buds!

Caffeine Tidbits Part 2

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Roses and sharks have something in common.  They both come in many colors, shapes and sizes.  Coffee does too.  In fact, there are over 100 species of coffee. Several customers and friends expressed concerned because they heard in the news the several coffee species were going extinct.  I was happy to put them at ease letting them know that those varieties were going extinct because the coffee they produced tastes horrible.

There are two species that are cultivated for our coffee cups, namely robusta and arabica. Arabica coffee can only be grown in the mountains and robusta coffee is grown in the low lands. Robusta is the commodity coffee. When one hears of the price of coffee going up or down on the news they are referring to robusta. Vietnam is the number 1 producer of robusta followed by Brazil. Robusta contains twice the caffeine of arabica coffee. Because of its high caffeine content, it is bug and disease resistant but it also tastes pretty horrible. While there are some folks trying to get robusta into the specialty grade class of coffee, I am of the school that it will never be accepted.

We only buy and roast arabica beans. Arabica beans come in several varieties. Of the plethora of varieties, we concentrate on 5. Another criteria we stress, is that the coffee is grown over 5,000 feet above sea level. At that level, the bean grows slower and becomes denser.  As not to get too technical, it literally means there is more flavor packed into the coffee bean. Then it is my job as the roast master to bring out those different flavors and textures for you to enjoy at home.  Our line-up of 7 to 8 coffees take over 140 tastings to choose.  It’s not about the caffeine….it’s about the taste.

Caffeine Tidbits Part 1

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Here are a couple of interesting tidbits about caffeine so if the subject comes up in a conversation, you can feel like you have something to add to the conversation. Okay, maybe the subject does not come up as often with you as it does with me but here’s some great info.
Caffeine is a natural insect repellent/insecticide. Just like caffeine stimulates us humans, it also stimulates an insect’s nervous system. So much so that insects will die if coffee plants or beans are over consumed. What this means to us is that chemical insecticides are not needed to control insect infestations.
The natural question would then be, “why isn’t caffeine used as an insecticide for every crop around the world?” The answer is pretty simple. It is very water soluble and washes away when it rains so it would have to be reapplied after every rain shower or storm.
Doesn’t a lighter roast have more caffeine? [On a side note, I hate this question! Those who just drink coffee solely for the caffeine effect should just go to a gas station and buy the $1.50 per gallon coffee to get their “fix”.] I do understand the confusion. There is marketing misinformation out there and it is our job to set the record straight.
The definitive answer to which has more caffeine a light roast or a dark roast is that caffeine is not roasted out of coffee. In other words, it has the same amount of caffeine in an unroasted green bean as in an over-roasted dark oily bean. However, the bean losses moisture as it is roasted and a dark roasted bean can weight 20% less than a light roasted bean. Therefore if you weigh your coffee before brewing, it will take more of the dark roast coffee beans to reach the desired brewing weight which means a dark roast coffee will have more caffeine than a light roast. Wait! What?
Stay tuned and next week we might talk about more nerdy facts about coffee and caffeine.

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.

 

Geography

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

 

BRAZIL 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.

BUY OUR BRAZILIAN SPECIALITY COFFEE HERE

 

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.

 

Geography:

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

 

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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.

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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.

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Brewing

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.

 

Timing

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.

Pouring

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.

Espresso

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.

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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.