Coffee Expert Guesses Cheap vs. Expensive Coffee

I’m Dylan Edwards and I’m a coffee expert it is an actually horrific lie. With these two coffees, the difference is starkly obvious coffee A has a really dark glossy surface it even smells somewhat pungent just holding it whereas coffee B is cinnamon in color it sort of has a silver skin intact in each of the beans. It’s definitely a light roast it’s not necessarily a direct indication of a price difference it is a personal preference.

Some people just really enjoy dark roasted coffee versus a lightly roasted coffee, however, a dark roasted coffee generally is going to mask a lot of the flavors in the coffee itself kind of like a heavy sauce. It’s gonna sort of just cover up all the sweetness and all the inherent characteristics of the coffee and really impart a Carboni sort of smoky flavor. Whereas with a light roast the nuances of the coffee the flaws the good attributes and the bad ones really do shine through. With a light roast, you’re looking at more often than not a higher quality coffee and with a dark roast, it’s a little bit hard to say what the quality might be. We will, of course, brew them and taste them and then see from there.

The first thing I’m doing is just rinsing these filters. The reason behind that is a lot of paper filters will actually impart a bit of a papery flavor in your cups. You want to really wash out some of that flavor just score it before you bring your coffee. So you got a really clean the coffee we have our filters rinsed we’re gonna grind our coffee. First thing I always do is smell them part of that heat masks the flavor. You don’t want to drink your coffee that’s piping hot not only did not burn your tongue but also because it’s really hard to taste that’s why if you go to a gas station when you’re on a road trip and you have a really piping hot gas station cup of coffee. You could probably get half of it down without noticing it but as it cools off and it’s sitting in your cup holder it’s gonna taste awful. Coffee A is a definitely got like a really molasses e texture like almost the experience of having raw sugar on your tongue it kind of leaves one with like an almost bittersweet kind of sweetness. The acidity is extremely muted here what I’m getting is overall as a very velvety mouthfeel general kind of OneNote. Wow after drinking coffee a coffee B is like drinking fruit juice there’s like clear kind of stone fruit acidity it almost tastes like a sweet peach kind of nectarine flavor probably wondering why I’m slurping really loudly.

Slurping the coffee taking some air in with your sip is actually a great way to sort of aspirate your palate into to incorporate lots of air. As you’re tasting we actually taste a lot with our nasal passage. So as we’re bringing air in when we’re tasting we really activate our olfactory sense and we really incorporate our sensory ability to taste. I would say that sample B is the more expensive of the two just based on the transparency and the clarity of the sweetness press sample a is most likely. Let’s see hey wallah with darker roasts the coffee itself isn’t necessarily inferior however more often than not the dark of the roast the less and less you can actually taste the origin character of the coffee. I said I’m not necessarily certain that that quality of the beans are inferior but I can say that I cannot taste the origin character at all really just tasting a very caramelized very carbonic flavor that gives me a general impression of roast flavors whereas sample B is a very fresh very fruited very clear crisp flavor profile. It definitely tastes like a unique flavor of origin. I see a pretty stark difference between A and B.

B is a fairly uniform looking being it has really whole clean kind of appearance to it. The roast is a bit lighter all of the beans are fully intact they’re a very uniform shape and size as sample A here there are some very misshapen beans and very small bits broken bits or even some of these pale-colored blonde pieces and beans themselves which we refer to as Quakers which are basically under-ripe coffee seeds that are picked too early. I’m gonna say this is a specialty coffee and this is a commercial-grade coffee just based on a bitter really really bitter almost kind of sour as well. Honestly, the aroma has kind of gone from just a rusty smell to now it almost smells like kindĀ of a wet newspaper it’s very bitter I instantly want to put a lot of sugar in this coffee. This coffee is clear it’s sweet it’s an exciting coffee has really great sweetness has really good flavors. This is a kind of coffee that I’d really want to just enjoy on its own black. This coffee is the kind of coffee I’d expect on most flights and I’d really only asked for it if I was super desperate.

Let’s see how much they are. Wow, big difference needless to say these are very different coffees every step behind this coffee had to have been carefully managed for this cup to be so sweetened so clear this coffee is something that probably grew at a variety of altitudes. It’s grown without of focus it was probably not even dried carefully or milled carefully it probably came from a very voluminous rose tree that was really looking to shave cost and to really just produce a drinkable caffeine beverage and not something that was really delicious.

These two samples are fairly average in appearance one of them has a slightly more developed roast. I can see that there’s a little bit of oil on the surface which is an indication that was roasted a little bit longer whereas sample A does still have the silver skin intact which is some of the cell material of the coffee seed this is more indicative of a lighter and medium roast however these roasts aren’t different enough that I would lump one into the bucket of dark roast and light roast. These two coffees are probably of a similar caliber, however, I imagined sample A is probably just a little bit better we’re gonna have to taste them to find out.

The first thing that I’m doing when I brew a cup of coffees I’m gonna hit each cup with a bit of hot water and I’m gonna look for some off-gassing to happen. It looks like one of these is already off-gassing quite a bit more than the other one to me that indicates a fresh roast. This coffee here is bubbling up you can see multiple bubbles still coming up probably 30 seconds into this room. Now this one here is just sort of sunk in its already sort of stopped any sort of action it’s probably a little bit more of a stale roast. Fresh froze bubbles it really causes what we call the bloom and that that is because there is gas trapped inside freshly roasted coffee. Part of the roasting process is putting the coffee through a really really wide array of chemical reactions during the roast and what happens in that roasting process is gas is physically trapped inside the beat slowly over time they will leak out of the coffee bean. However, they do expediently leak out once the coffee is ground.
This is one of the reasons you really want to seek out whole bean freshly roasted coffee. It’s gonna be a lot more lively and sweet and vibrant when you get it and brewed it out. Sample A has like sort of a crisp almost like apple-like acidity really refreshing really clear it’s actually a very sweet cup of coffee. It has sort of almost a sugary character to it. It reminds me of rooibos tea yeah it’s very crisp very light very fresh with a mouth-watering acidity the predominant note here is a very tobacco leaf flavor. Very kind of bitter earthy flavors that are almost like heavy on the palate leaving one with like a heavy kind of bitter aftertaste. Overall it’s a kind of a dull experience that that acidity that I was talking about. In cup A I’m getting almost little to none of that type of acidity at all really I’m experiencing mostly a very big-bodied cup of coffee something that you know it would definitely take a lot of milk and sugar quite well. But on its own is it’s not a very enjoyable cup of coffee at all. Based upon what I’m tasting I think A is definitely the more expensive coffee. I was clear expressive flavor vibrant acidity good sweetness it’s very balanced it’s very crisp coffee B again is very tobacco a very tired very muted in terms of its flavor overall it just leaves kind of a heavy bitter flavor on the tongue. I’m gonna assume that this is a commercial-grade coffee and it is the less expensive of the two. We’ll have to see based on these prices I think it’s fair to say this is probably bottom of the shelf grocery store Best Buy coffee.

Whereas $28 a pound, you’re probably gonna find this at your specialty coffee shop something that’s freshly roasted in small batches when you’re looking for coffee in your grocery store you really
want to look for coffee that has a roasted on a date not the best by date. Roasted on really gives you a sense of whether that coffee is fresh. You really want to look for coffee that’s no older than then to or three weeks past it’s roast. Eight if you want to enjoy it adds peak whereas coffee that has the best by date and no roasted on a date will really not give you any sense of how fresh it is. That type of coffee is most likely commercial-grade it’s a probably cheaper and there’s a reason we see all sorts of varieties when we’re traveling the world and sourcing coffees varieties just like in apples or in wine. And coffee we also have specific types of seeds that produce specific types of plants if you’re ever at your farmers market and you’ve seen the various varieties and apples available for sale the same thing is the case with coffee. When we go to specific organs like Colombia like Panama like Guatemala we will encounter specific varieties of coffee.

I see two dishes which have very uniform beans in them coffee A has really elongated beans which is an indication of a few exotic varieties that I’m aware of. The bean itself looks a lot like sort of an Eastern Ethiopian bean of being from Harar or a bean from even Yirgacheffe. We’ll have sort of an elongated shape like that whereas this bean over here has a very uniform sort of smaller kind of more round oval shape based on the way that these coffees look I’m gonna guess that coffee A has probably a very unique variety behind it. It is most likely a Geisha or a Pacamara variety something that is very unique and exotic. Whereas coffee B being kind of a dense smaller and more compact being it’s most likely a common variety like a bourbon or cat au revoir. We’re gonna have to taste them to find out. Soak up these were really fresh it’s really satisfying has a pretty big body sort of has a character of a really juicy kind of caramel soaked apple flavor but overall also just a classic flavor. Sample A sampling is so distinctive it’s got a really really apricot forward kind of flavor profile it almost tastes like a like an Earl Grey tea just doused with apricot juice. Super light super crisp it’s a really exotic and really unique cup of coffee. Based on tasting these two coffees I’m fairly certain that this is a Geisha or something very exotic maybe a variety I haven’t even heard of. In any event, it has such clarity and such as pronounced clear distinctive singular flavors that I would assume that it’s much more expensive than this cup. This cup B is still very sweet very satisfying it has tons of fresh acidity, however, the flavors, on the whole, are more of a caramel kind of classic predictable coffee experience in comparison to cup A. Let’s see what they are.
Whoa yep, that is a rare variety of coffee at 86 dollars a pound and this one isn’t bad either at $30.00 for a go. Based on the price point I’m gonna say this is most likely a Geisha coffee. Geisha trees are extremely scarce in the world the fact that this coffee is so sweet and so clean makes me think it’s probably from one of the most famous farms in Panama producing geisha. However I, of course, do not know this coffee is fantastic – this is the kind of coffee when you’re going to splurge when you’re you’re gonna spend a weekend at home and you really just want to treat yourself. You buy a fantastic single producer a lot or a great coffee from your local roaster if they’re proud of it’s probably gonna taste a little bit more like this and cost a bit more.

In this range with these two coffees it’s pretty hard to tell which of them is the more expensive of the tube coffee a looks like it may be a single varietal lot just based on the oblong elongated shape of the coffee looks like it might be a more exotic variety. However, coffee B and coffee A are both really uniformed they have no broken bits they have no Quakers it really looked like high-quality well-processed coffees. Both of these coffees look so high-quality that I look forward to tasting them and seeing the differences. Both of these coffees were really good they’re both very expressive they’re both very sweet it’s hard to say which of these is is the better I think it makes sense to continue tasting them. In fact, I’m gonna break out a cupping spoon. A cupping spoon is a spoon that we use for tasting coffee professionally and it just helps us aspirate the coffee when we slurp it allows us to incorporate some air really spray that coffee all across our palate. I’m taking a couple more sips. I’m realizing that cup A is actually distinguished ibly more juicy it’s got a lot of citruses really really leaving me with a super crisp super lasting sort of juicy flavor in my mouth. With cup B I’m getting a lot more sort of a general flavor profile a more of an impression rather than a clear distilled flavor that to me makes me think that cup A is probably the more expensive however I imagine that they’re probably pretty close let’s see. Aha, Sookie takeaways cup A is most likely extremely specific probably down to a single farm probably maybe even down to a single varietal from a single farm-grown at a specific altitude. Whereas cup B more of a general flavor profile really good really enjoyable but getting more of an impression and less of singular flavor experience. That to me indicates probably something that was grown in a general region not necessarily as expressive as cup A and thus probably more of like a regional lot type of coffee the great thing about this is one can enjoy fantastic coffees that are traceable to a region.

Well also for a little more money enjoy coffees that are really traceable down to a single farm and get really specific with the tasting experience while you may not need all this information when you’re just brewing your morning cup of coffee. What I hope you will take away from this is that you can get well roasted freshly roasted traceable coffee for less than $30 a pound which is out sprouts better value than a good bottle of wine at your local wine shop.
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