Coffee drinkers are unique — whether it is the aficionado, the person who spends time lovingly brewing the perfect cup, or the person who enjoys a quick “cuppa” in the morning. No matter how you like it, one thing we know for sure is that coffee drinkers are always on the lookout for a coffee that tantalises their taste buds with delicious flavour, aroma and strength. Coffee preference is very personal, and the industry is constantly evolving to provide coffee drinkers with a new experience.
Trends around strength, flavours, aromas, roasts and the desired sensory experience are all taken into account when creating a new perfect balanced blend. For the coffee connoisseur, knowing the difference between the various coffees available can provide more insight into what they are drinking while encouraging them to try new and different blends. For those who never miss their morning cup of coffee, and hardly stray from their favourite brand, knowing a little more about coffee can perhaps push them into becoming more adventurous with their tastes.
The world of coffee is very complex as there are many variables that need to be considered when creating the perfect brew, but no matter what type of coffee you are enjoying, whether it be instant, capsules or beans, there are many different tastes to explore when navigating your way through the world of coffee. Let’s take a look at the different types of coffee options on the market and to decide which is the best for you.
Pure Instant coffee comes in two different variations — spray-dried and freeze-dried. While freeze-dried coffee is more solid, spray-dried variants will crumble between your fingertips. Instant coffee is usually the most affordable coffee, however not all instant coffee is made equal.
Spray-dried coffee is created by spraying liquid coffee concentrate as a fine mist into very hot, dry air. Once the coffee is collected on the surface below, the water evaporates leaving small, round coffee crystals. Producing freeze-dried coffee is more involved. The coffee is first cooked down to create an extract and then this extract is chilled into a coffee ‘slushie’. This mixture is then further chilled on a belt, drum or tray until slabs of coffee ice are formed which is then broken down into granules. ‘From there the granules are placed into a drying vacuum which causes the ice to evaporate, leaving behind instant coffee granules.
A good example of freeze-dried in South Africa, then Douwe Egberts provides a comprehensive range of quality instant pure coffee that uses the freeze-dried method of preserving the coffees’ taste. Over the years more and more variants have been added to the Douwe Egberts range, even taking coffee drinkers to the origins of Brazil and Kenya.
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Capsule coffee is made with coffee beans that are roasted and then ground into a uniform size. Coffee is at its freshest right after the beans have been roasted. Once the aluminium pods are allotted into their place on the assembly line the pre-ground coffee fills the capsules, and the lid is sealed on top. The aluminium pods ensure that no oxidation takes place, and that the freshness created after roasting is guaranteed. To enjoy coffee capsules, a capsule machine is required and is the most affordable type of coffee machine available which fits in perfectly with any kitchen.
A coffee capsule brand such as L’OR says it knows the importance of keeping the coffee fresh before use. This freshness that is sealed in allows coffee drinkers to experience the taste of the coffee just as it would have when it was first ground. L’OR offers South African coffee drinkers an extensive range of coffee pod variants. As more and more coffee drinkers are looking for a variety of coffee capsules to explore, so the options continue to grow in South Africa.
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Coffee Beans are sold whole, and it is up to the coffee drinker to grind them before making a cup of coffee ensuring that the taste is fresh and complex, as once the beans are ground they start to age (according to many manufactures, this ageing process is stopped with coffee pods due to the aluminium capsule). To enjoy a cup of coffee made from whole beans, a coffee plunger or a specific coffee machine is required.
There are many manufactures offering fresh coffee beans direct to consumers who prefer to grind their beans fresh every morning before making a cup of Joe. Local brand Bean There offers coffee lovers a range of Fair Trade beans that can be ground at home using a coffee grinder.
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On your journey to discovering the best coffee for your taste, check out our buyer’s guide for Affordable Gadgets to Make Café-Quality Coffee at Home. Enjoying an expertly brewed cup of coffee at your favourite coffee shop is one of life’s best little pleasures. But, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could enjoy the same quality cup of coffee, or at least dangerously close, at home? Many coffee lovers assume making good coffee at home comes with a ludicrously high price tag. But, the truth is you don’t necessarily need a fancy espresso machine in your kitchen to make a top-notch, café-quality cuppa.