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Information and advice 

Arabica and Robusta There are two types of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica varieties are known for their premium quality and their distinct aroma. The Arabica fruit is relatively large, elongated and has a flat shape. The best Arabica varieties come from Latin America and Africa. The Robusta varieties present less aromatic properties but are more resistant to diseases and can produce large quantities. The Robusta fruit is round, dense and shorter than the Arabica fruit. Robusta varieties can be found in Africa and India.
Types of Arabica coffee
There are several types of Arabica coffee such as Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Mundo Novo, Maragogype, Pacamara, Pacas, Catimor and Geisha. More information regarding these Arabica varieties you can find in the section coffee of the website.
Caffeine effects
Caffeine can be found in products such as coffee, cocoa and tea. Its effects depend on numerous factors such as the amount of caffeine per cup, the preparation of the drink, the coffee origin etc. In general, the consumption of 1-3 cups of coffee per day increases the alertness and helps the human body to maintain the satisfactory energy levels.
In one espresso shot 7,5 gr (25ml), the amount of caffeine is 60-90mlg.

Coffee extraction describes the transfer of taste compounds from solid to liquid form and includes solubles and non solubles particles. In solubles we find solids and gas that define the taste and the aroma of the coffee respectively. In the non solubles we find solids and oils that combined characterize the body, the flavor and the aftertaste of the coffee. Only 18-22% of the coffee bean is transferred to the cup and is translated in 1-1,5% of strength (acceptable concentration limits of solid coffee in 98,5-99% of water).
The coffee tree
-We find the tree Coffea in Africa, South Asia and South America. It belongs to the Rubiaceae family. This tree is an evergreen bush or small tree and has dark green bright leaves.
-The flower is similar to the jasmin & orange flower. It grows in bunches and has an intense aroma.
-The fruit has an oval shape, 15 millimeters long.
As the fruit matures, from green color it turns to a beautiful red or yellow (depending on the variety) and has the size of a cherry.
-The fruit has two coffee beans. Some fruits produce only one bean known as caracoli (peaberry).
1.Factor Variety
The Arabica coffee type is characterized superior coffee. It grows in high altitude (600-2100m). The fruit is large, long and relatively flat. It has 44 chromosomes and it produces high quality coffee.
Most important Arabica coffee varieties:
Mundo Novo
Robusta coffee is more resistant and produces higher yields. The tree grows close to the equator, in valleys and in an altitude up to 600m. The fruit is round and shorter than the Arabica fruit. It has 22 chromosomes and a relatively bitter taste or sometimes a spicy taste.
Most important Robusta coffee varieties:
2. Factor terroir
The coffee grows in fertile soil and ideally in volcanic soil. It needs depth because its roots sometimes reach 2 meters below soil level to find nutrients. Its basic characteristics are the altitude where the coffee trees grow, the ranking based on altitude, the soil, the density of trees as well as shading
Ranking based on altitude
Density of trees
Altitude has a positive impact on coffee as well as low temperatures that enhance the aroma and acidity of coffee.
As far as ranking is concerned, every coffee producing country has a different ranking method depending on altitude
As far as soil is concerned, ideal soil is mainly volcanic, rich in nitrogen, warm and mild with high rainfall levels.
The density of trees should be 1300-1700 trees per hectare. Varieties such as Caturra & Catimor are ideal for high density.
Shading is related to the balance between light and radiation and is beneficial for coffee growing for the reasons above:
Filter – photosynthesis adjustment – protection of roots
Slow maturation (body, acidity)
Humidity retained
Water retained in rainfall periods
Soil ecology
Protection of trees from the wind
Temperature stability – cool temperatures in the morning, warm temperatures in the night.
3. Factor coffee producing micro-zones
In every coffee producing country there are smaller micro-zones producing coffee presenting different taste characteristics. These micro-zones exist in countries such as Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Brazil and Kenya.

Micro-zone examples are presented below:
-Guatemala: Huehue, Coban, Acatenango, Antigua, Atitlan, Fraijanes, New Oriente, Volcanic San Marcos
-Costa Rica: Guanacaste, West Valley, Central Valley, Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Orosi, Brunca, Turrialba
-Ethiopia: Harar, Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, Wollega, Limu, Bebeka & Tepi, Djimmah, Bale
4. Factor harvest
The quality of a very good coffee is also influenced by its harvesting method. The ideal harvesting method is handpicking, selecting only the ripe fruits, often passing twice from the same tree.
Only the ripe fruits are selected, the so called cherries that have a deep red color or intense yellow (depending on the coffee variety). These fruits are free from diseases.
-Hand picking
The best and more expensive picking method. It does not harm the tree, the quality of the bean is high.
-Mechanical harvesting
All fruits are collected using a harvesting machine. The ripe fruits have to be separated after harvesting. This method is applied only in flat plantations
This method is similar to handpicking, the difference is that fruits are not selected. Workers have to pass from the trees many times to select all fruits, unripe and ripe. Then, the ripe fruits are separated after harvesting.
5. Factor processing
During coffee processing, there are three critical steps that affect the quality of coffee:
The selection (separation of ripe fruits from unripe fruits)
Fermentation and fermentation time
Dry – how sure we are that the drying process is completed
The ripe fruits are transferred right after harvesting at the processing station (beneficio).
There are various processing methods:
Pulped natural
-Natural: the beans are place in elevated “beds” in fine layers so that the beans are dried naturally by the sun heat.
-Wet: the ripe fruits are compressed through the depulpers and the outer skin is removed. The depulped fruits move to water tanks. There, the mucilage is removed through the fermentation process. The fruits are washed and then placed in the drying station (mechanical or natural drying). As soon the humidity of the bean reaches 10-12%, the green bean is released from the pergaminum and is ranked according to its density.
-Pulped natural: the outer skin of the ripe fruits is removed with a depulper like in the wet processing method. The difference is that the fruits are not transferred to water tanks and the mucilage is not removed but dries with the parchment. This processing method is used in countries with low humidity levels.
-Honey: honey processing is used in Costa Rica and Panama and is similar to pulped natural. The ripe fruit is depulped with a depulper and the mucilage dries with the parchment that surrounds the green bean. This fact has a result a cup rich in body and mild acidity.
6. Factor Sorting/Ranking Sorting can be done by hand or mechanically. Defectscan be visible or evident only by cupping the coffee. When we detect 2 defects in one bean, the defect with the strongest impact on the quality of coffee is the primary defect. Then, according to the number and type of defects in a 300gr sample coffee is ranked as commercial, premium or specialty:
-Specialty: 0 defects/300gr
-Premium: έως 8 defects/300gr
-Commercial: 9-23 full defects/300gr
-Below standard: 24-86 defects/300gr
7. Factor storage-packaging-shipping
-Grain-pro bags that are placed in burlap bags for a better protection of the green bean.
-Aluminium bags vacuum packed (specialty coffee)
-25lb bags (microlot coffee)
8. Storing coffee at the roaster
An important factor of the coffee quality is the storage at the roaster. The roaster should store the coffee with respect to some basic requirements such as the humidity level, the cleanliness and the duration of storage before roasting.
9. Factor roasting>
Research has revealed that there are 1500 defined ingredients in coffee. Understanding the different aromatic and tasting characteristics of coffee, eliminating the defects and stabilizing the flavor profile are all elements of the art of roasting.
Roasting scale based Agtron:
Coffee is characterized by the roasting degree. Therefore coffee can be roasted with respect to the following scale:
-Light - Medium
-Moderately Dark
-Very Dark
Blending vs Origin vs Single Estate
-Blend: commercial coffees blended using low quality coffee and creating a signature blend to obtain the same flavor profile every year.
-Origin: all flavor characteristics of a specific origin are revealed from a single origin coffee.
-Single Estate: reveal the higher quality of a single coffee farm, of a single coffee producer and the importance of the microclimate.
10. Factor preparation methods
The quality of coffee and the highlight of the special and unique characteristics of each coffee are affected by the preparation method that the barista will choose:
11. Factor barista skills
Finally, the quality of coffee is affected by the barista that will prepare it. The knowledge, his/her technical skills, his/her passion as well as his professionalism are all critical points that will affect the final result in the cup.
Yiannis Taloumis
Q Grader

-Dose 8gr-10gr
-Tamping (it depends on the quantity of coffee taking into consideration the rule 1ml/sec)
-Delivery time 23sec-25sec
-Volume in the cup 23ml-25ml
-Temperature of water to the group 90C-93C
-Pump pressure 9atm

According to the procedures followed by the Golden Cup, the preparation of a perfect cup of filter coffee is the following:
1. The ideal coffee to water equivalence is 50-65gr of coffee for 1 liter of water.
2. The brewing time is 4-6 minutes for 1,8 liters using a standard coffee machine
3. Good water quality that is defined from its neutral Ph. 7.0, while levels 6.5-7.5 are considered to be acceptable.
4. Ideal water temperature is 92C-96C.
Actions for the preparation of a perfect cup of espresso
The necessary controls are described below:
Control of the grinder:
1. Coffee grinding
2. The measuring/dose
3. The freshness of the coffee beans
Control of the espresso machine:
1. Water level
2. Boiler temperature and pressure
3. Positive-displacement pump pressure
4. Filters, drippers, gaskets and filter rings
5. Correct delivery of the water to the group
The espresso machine must be cleaned and maintained in a systematic way, in order to work efficiently.
Daily control
Filters, filter rings, drippers, cup gaskets, basin and discharge basin have to be cleaned on a daily basis. The drippers should be cleaned with the blind filter using a soda detergent specific for espresso machines. In order to clean the cup gaskets, a specific brush should be used, while regarding the filters and filter rings, they should be left in a bath of water overnight, using a specific product.
Annual Control
It is necessary to control the mechanical parts of the espresso machine with the intervention of qualified personnel.