Frequently asked questions
What is speciality coffee?
Coffee that tastes good. Coffee produced with care and sophistication to achieve recognized quality. Also refers to green coffee with a limited amount of allowable defects. - Falcon Coffee
Specialty coffee refers to the whole process from farmer to cup using single origin coffee
If you want to get technical about it, according to The Specialty Coffee Association of America any coffee that scores 80 points or above out of 100 is graded "Specialty Coffee". Speciality coffees are grown in specific, ideal climates, and are distinctive because of their full cup taste and little to no defects. The unique flavors and tastes are a result of the special characteristics and composition of the soils in which they are produced.
Fridge or cupboard: How do I best store my coffee?
Fridges are normally full of water and other goods, smells and humidity will get onto the beans and this will alter the flavour of the coffee.
Coffee mantains its flavour and its as its best when kept in a breathable container or bag, to prolong the life of the bean keep in a place that is at room temperature and has not direct sunlight as heat and humidity will deteriorate the flavour.
How long does fresh coffee last?
This depends on a number of things:
Whole coffee beans will stay fresh for a couple of weeks in a brown paper bag. When coffee beans are placed in an airtight canister that vents CO2 then they can stay fresh for 3-4 weeks or so.
Ground coffee beans have much more surface area exposed so they start losing their freshness quicker. Once you grind whole beans they will start losing their freshness in just a few days! This may be surprising but it’s true. Cupping two brews side by side where one grind was 5 days old and the other was just a few minutes old will usually enlighten even the biggest skeptic. You can lengthen the freshness time by storing your coffee grind properly but usually stored in a good container will only lengthen the freshness date to around 10 days or so. - GGCCOFFEE
Coffee is still drinkable after a few months of roasting but after approximately 3 to 4 weeks the taste begins to flatten. This is why we recomend you buy no more than the amount you need for that length of time. Grinding yourself is also a good idea as it's only at its best for 2 hours after grinding.
What is Processing?
In Essence, processing is the journey from coffee cherry to green bean. The three most common methods are natural, pulped natural ( or honey) and washed. The natural process involves drying ripe cherries in the sun. Once the bean inside has a 10-12% moisture content, the cherries are hulled and the beans sorted, graded for quality and bagged. With washed coffees, by contrast, the cherries are first pulped by a mechanical roller, removing the outer skin. The beans and remaining mucilage are then placed in fermentation tanks for 8-50 hours, during which time the mucilage breaks down, influencing the enzymatic, character of the coffee that translates into articulate, winey acidity and fruit character in the best washed coffees. The beans are then washed and the coffee dried and hulled. During pulped natural, or honey, processing, the cherries are pulped as with washed, but on a spectrum. Black honey sees 100% of mucilage left on, white honey just a trace, with red, orange and yellow sitting in between.
What is Arabica?
There are 2 main species of coffee beans; Arabica and Robusta. Within these species there are many variaties of bean. Arabica beans have a higher economical value, as they are known for producing a less bitter, smokey taste. This may in part be becase Arabica beans contain higher concentrations of sucrose sugars than Robusta.
All HICS coffee beans are Arabica, you'll find the variaties such as Bourbon or Catuai on the packaging.