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Debunking Coffee Myths & Exploring Press Coffee's Excellence | ICONIC LIFE

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Debunking Coffee Myths & Exploring Press Coffee’s Excellence

Photos courtesy of Press Coffee Roasters

Press Coffee roaster
There is more to coffee than you may think, Press Coffee helps us understand common coffee misconceptions.

What is your go-to coffee order? If your answer is an iced vanilla latte, or a caramel macchiato, chances are the coffee bean itself is the afterthought in the equation. Many people may not realize that a quality cup of coffee has these flavorful notes in the bean itself. Andrew Robertson, expert barista at Press Coffee Roasters with more than a decade of experience says coffee is much more complex than the standard flavor we think of when someone mentions a cup of joe.

Andrew Robertson, expert Barista at Press coffee

Andrew Robertson

“There are two types of coffee plants, Arabica and Robusta,”  Robertson explains. “ More than 80 percent of coffee that we drink is from the Arabica plant; now within the Arabica family, there are about 200 different types of coffee plants. And every coffee you have ever had received a score when it went from the farm to the roaster, this score determines the quality of the coffee you consume.”

Press Coffee Roasters is a third-wave, Arizona-based coffee shop with 17 locations. Third-wave coffee shops focus on the quality of the coffee and embracing the natural flavor of the beans compared to second-wave coffee shops (i.e. Starbucks, Dunkin, etc.) which focus more on specialty drinks with added sweeteners and syrups to mask the taste of the coffee on its own. 

“We only buy coffee beans with a quality score of 80 points or more (your popular coffee chains buy coffee that ranks within the 50-60 point range). Now what that means in terms of quality is that there are no defects in our beans.” 

Since its inception in 2008, Press Coffee has grown substantially, becoming a staple in the Arizona community, however their mission has remained the same: source the best product, use the best equipment and establish a team that shares a passion for amazing coffee. 

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I took a field trip to their largest store in Phoenix. To my surprise, the modern cafè was also the roasting site for their beans. Large burlap sacks were filled with unroasted beans from around the globe. I took a whiff of the beans and was shocked to smell fruity and light aromas. 

Press Coffee Roasting Machine

“Because our beans don’t have defects, when they are roasted we don’t have to roast out any sour, citric or bread flavors… With coffee beans, you have to individually pick the ripe beans from the farm. When a coffee bean is not ripe, it contains citric acid, which makes the coffee sour and leads coffee shops to resort to dark roasts. We buy ourselves out of that situation by buying high-quality beans. We don’t do dark roasted coffee, all of our coffee is roasted the same to bring out the fruity notes,”  Robertson says.

After explaining the process of roasting the beans through their state-of-the-art, in-house roasters, it was time to taste the coffee for myself. Robertson prepared four Press coffees for me to sample. After pouring hot water into the ground beans, the aroma of the coffee became more potent the longer the coffee steeped. 

The first coffee was sourced from Ethiopia. It was a light bodied coffee with hints of lemon and black tea. The citrus notes of the lemon made this coffee refreshing and easy to consume straight. 

Nakayla and Alex trying Press Coffee

The next coffee I tried was from Brazil. This coffee has a heavier body with strong and smooth peanut butter, chocolate and hazelnut notes. The richness of this coffee contrasted from the previous fruity one was quite apparent. 

Not only was I shocked by the bold flavors derived solely from the beans, I was also impressed by how easy it was to brew a quality cup of coffee. 

So this leads us to the ultimate question, how do we know if we’re consuming good coffee. According to Robertson, it’s all in the bag. “In general, the things you need to pay attention to are the country, processing method, farm or region and tasting notes. Anything more may indicate bad quality coffee,” he says. 

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Press coffee samples

I am no expert in coffee, but here are some common misconceptions with coffee that people have when it comes to their coffee orders: 

  • Ordering a Caramel Macchiato: this is a delicious option if you are at Starbucks. However, the traditional drink is actually called a macchiato and it is made with espresso and a dollop of milk foam – that’s it.

 

  • Putting espresso where it doesn’t belong: We often think, the more espresso the better… but sometimes adding espresso can blend two bitter flavors making the drink less appealing. 

 

  • Adding cream and sugar to drinks a pour-over: Pour-over is arguably one of the best methods to brew a hot cup of coffee. It takes immense time, skill and effort to brew the perfect cup and the method brings out the flavor notes to perfection. Due to this, it has become a bit of a faux pas to change or mask those flavors by adding milk, sweetener or flavored syrups. 

 

Coffee is fascinating. The flavor profiles and body varietals that you can have indicate that no cup ever has to taste the same. I am excited to broaden my horizons when it comes to my coffee consumption. What will you try next? 

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