Have you ever had a great cup of coffee that stopped you in your tracks? Made you look into your cup and think, “I did not know coffee could be this good?”
It may have had notes of blueberry, mango or jasmine, and for some reason it resonated on the palate and stood out above all others.
The answer is in the quality of the farm’s coffee and the roaster’s skill. Coffee is like wine in that where it is grown, how the beans are harvested, dried and then roasted all affect the flavor in the cup.
Coffee beans and the final brew have different characteristics, similar to the way wine is produced or aged can affect the flavor.
Scottsdale’s Press Coffee has borrowed a strategy from the wine world with its Allocation Coffee.
This line of specialty coffee will only include selections that score over 90 points from the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s rating scale.
The goal is to showcase some of the world’s rarest coffees and introduce the community to the nuances of high-end specialty offerings.
“Specialty coffee” refers to coffee that has scored over 80 points on a 100-point scale by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Specialty coffees are different from commodity coffee.
The beans come from higher-elevation regions. Soil, growing conditions and harvesting are all accounted for as a Q grader evaluates and gives the final score.
The coffee must have minimum defects and, when roasted, produces a clean, vibrant and amazing cup. The coffee is scored and evaluated on size consistency, aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, uniformity, cleanness of the cup, sweetness and defects.
“We are thrilled to launch this specialty coffee program,” said Will Andrews, head roaster of Press Coffee.
“We pride ourselves on being a leader in specialty coffee, finding some of the world’s rarest beans and roasting them here in Phoenix. We are excited to give this opportunity to our staff and customers as it is our passion to enjoy and immerse ourselves in the best coffee in the world.”
These specialty coffees are released quarterly with a limited quantity available.
Online subscribers will be offered their allocation first, then each retail store will be supplied a limited amount to serve customers as a pour over and any remaining will be sold on the website.
The first allocation was released April 1. The 6-ounce package retailed for $26.
Press Coffee also takes education seriously. The company offers Coffee 101 classes to teach guests about how coffee is grown and the different characteristics to look for when tasting specialty coffee.
It also includes tips for brewing consistent and great coffee at home. Press’ experts stress the importance of water, equipment and beans.
Using high-quality, locally roasted coffee is recommended. Using specialty coffee is not mandatory, but in many aficionados’ opinion, they are consistently the best.
Water makes up 98 percent of coffee, so knowing your source is important. It is recommended to use water that has a total dissolved solids (TDS) count of 150 parts per million (PPM).
Phoenix tap water typically has 450 PPM, which is considered safe to drink, but does not taste the best. Most filtered water has a TDS reading of 20 to 50 PPM, which is far too low.
Press Coffee recommends using Third Wave Water mineral packets. Add one to distilled water will bring your TDS to the ideal levels consistently when making coffee.
Finally, the equipment used to brew your coffee is extremely important. For consistently good coffee, controlling quantity, temperature, time and turbulence are key.
Using freshly ground coffee and grinding at home is best. Then measure the coffee and water so you use the correct ratios. Most commercial coffee machines do not give enough control or heat consistency, so it is recommended to use a Clever dripper or Aeropress, which have a better filter and immersion technique and produce quality, consistent cups every time.
15147 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 102, Scottsdale