Barista are professional coffee makers. They are an expert in the art of coffee making and have intensive knowledge of different coffee blends, their varieties, quality etc. Obviously such experience will have a hand in shaping the judgment of coffee beans.
Sharing the Barista's objective of searching the right beans that would produce a great blend are the buying companies and "Cuppers"(tasters by profession or judges of coffee contests). In the end the person who gets a direct feedback by serving the final customers whether all that effort paid off, is the Barista.
What's Barista's take on the beans and its end product? Let's see.
Around 70 countries produce coffee beans presently in areas within 25-degree north and south along the equator, from the Caribbean to South America, Hawaii, from the Middle East to Africa.
Due to the variation in techniques, equipment, altitude, weather condition and other factors at work, the coffee beans grown in different countries produce different flavor. Variations in the brew also arise because of variant plantations.
But basically there are two types of coffee plants - Robusta and Arabica. For the best flavored coffee the Arabica, which has Robusta's caffeine by half but with great aroma and flavor is chiefly used.
Higher altitudes are favorable for growing coffee. That is why preference is given to the "Milds", whose Arabica bean plants grow at an altitude above or at 3000 feet (915m) than there Brazilian counterparts grown at a lower altitude called Brazils.
Next to the above judgment varies based on whether one likes the beans roasted or unroasted, as the latter is soft and green giving off a vegetative smell. This type of odor is normal for the unroasted beans.
The types further broaden for those who like roasted. One is the highly caffeinated and acidic flavored, 'cinnamon' (the spice's color and not the flavor influenced the name) or light.
The slightly darker, 'American' roast or medium though not "up to the mark" amongst the Barista's opinion, is popular since many coffee vendors like Yuban, Folger etc use it in large degree.
Usually used in most cappuccino machines is the 'City' roast or dark type. The acidic taste and amount of caffeine is minimized to form a sweeter and less bitter flavor and can be found in many shop's specialty. On the scale of drinkable is the 'Italian' roast which is the darkest. The pungent aroma with deep brown color is characteristic and can be found in 'special' espresso.
The drinks acidic taste lessens and becomes sweeter if one goes down along the color scale of the beans. The drink mallows down as most of the caffeine gets burned out.
Next time you have trouble deciding on the right beans amongst the large number of choices you find yourself, you can take the advice of the Barista, for the person can provide the best option for your taste.
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