Freshly roasted coffee has become
a popular American hobby, or perhaps better stated, an art of sorts.
Perfection is always the goal.
Coffee growers are producing superior beans. Roasters are improving methods of
roasting. Manufacturers are making constant improvements in coffee makers and
The DUCK and DECANTER, with over
twenty years of experience in the coffee business, boasts a fast turnover in
coffee. This means we can provide you with beans at the peak of freshness and
The next step is yours! Where to
start? How to brew the ideal cup of coffee? What kind of beans to buy and how to
store them? These are frequently asked questions. In response, we offer you this
pamphlet which we hope you find both informative and objective.
Although no two coffee varieties
are exactly alike, they do share certain characteristics. Below is a list of
terms with their definitions. These terms describe the different characteristics
of coffee beans. Gaining a better understanding of these characteristics may
help you in deciding which type of coffee is to your taste.
This is a misunderstood term in
reference to coffee. High acidity simply means that the flavor is sharp, and to
many, pleasing to taste. The coffee has snap and life. It does not refer to the
taste of sourness, bitterness or the actual acid content of the coffee. Acidity,
as a characteristic of the coffee, does not affect the amount of acid in one's
Aroma is the essence of the coffee
and it is not comparable to the flavor. Aroma can be deceiving because some
coffees do not taste exactly as they smell.
When a coffee tastes rich, heavy,
or thick, the sensation refers to body. Espresso is strong and full-bodied.
Maragogipe is mild and has a mellow body.
This term is perhaps the most
general of all. Flavor will range from mild to strong or lifeless to rich. There
are, however, a number of coffees whose distinct flavor characteristics stand
out from the others. Sumatran, for example, is unquestionably one of the richest
coffees in the world.
Capitol letters, in reference to
coffee beans, are grade indications usually describing the size of the beans. In
Kenya, Tanzania and New Guinea, AA is the largest bean grown.
Arabica, the earliest cultivated
species of the coffee bean, is still the most widely grown.
Hard bean is a high grade mountain
grown coffee. The term refers to slow matured beans produced by cool mountain
These are Arabica coffees grown at
altitudes over 2,000 feet. Such coffees are superior to coffee grown at lower
This process uses the wet method.
It involves the removal of the skin and pulp while the berry is still moist.
Washed coffee includes some of the worlds' finest coffees.
of the WORLD
Brazil has the reputation
for being a major producer of canned coffee. This results in Brazil
being the producer of one third of the worlds coffee. That is, one third
of the worlds low grade coffee.
Bourbon Santos is of the highest Brazilian grade. Santos formed its
name from the principal port in Brazil which this bean ships through.
The Santos bean came from the arabica bean Bourbon. This term refers to
the island of Reunion, formerly Bourbon, where the bean was originally
is a fair, medium coffee. The smooth, heavy body and moderate acidity
makes it a great base for blends. It is excellent for stretching out
that low grade or canned coffee.
Sulawesi (formerly Celebes) is an island located off the coast
of Borneo in Indonesia. Due to the limited quantities grown and the high
demand, Celebes produces rare and expensive coffee.
A varietal grown in
southern Celebes, Kalossi is
another world famous coffee. It is for those who desire a light acidic
full-bodied coffee. Celebes Kalossi produces a slightly spicy cup with
an excellent aroma and is superb when blended with a darker roast.
Colombia ranks second to
Brazil in the worlds total coffee production. Despite the claims of a
national advertising campaign, Colombia can export mediocre coffee. With
this in mind, it is important to look for grades when buying the
is the highest grade given to a Colombian bean. It has a full flavor and
mellow body without the extreme richness, acidity, or body. Because
Colombian Supremo is so well balanced, it is a popular base for blends.
A fine Colombian
bean aged up to eight years to give the coffee an almost nutty flavor.
It results in a rare taste sensation.
Costa Rica, located in
southern Central America, produces the strongest of all Central American
beans. With Costa Rican beans you may ignore the different grades. A cup
of any coffee from Costa Rica is bound to be good.
a hard bean grown above 3,500 feet, is the best known variety in Costa
Rica. It has an exceptional, full and robust richness with a flavorful
aroma. Tarrazu will liven up any mediocre blend.
Ethiopia is home of the
original arabica tree. This country is in western Africa across the Red
Sea from Yemen, where the cultivation of the bean began. These beans
vary from bland to rich. Another country where coffee vocabulary is
important to understand.
The Harrar variety, the most noted coffee of Ethiopia, grows at high
altitudes between 5,000 and 6,000 feet. The name is derived from Harer,
the old capital of Ethiopia. Harrar is very distinctive. It provides a
deep color with a strong winey flavor. This bean has created its own
Guatemala, located in
Central America, provides the climate and terrain for producing some of
the worlds choicest beans. The two varieties of Guatemalan coffees we
formerly the capitol of Guatemala, is now home of one of the finest
coffees. It has the flavor that most Americans prefer. The essentials of
good coffee - fine acidity, body, flavor, and aroma - are all found in
Antigua. If you like a spicy or perhaps smokey flavor with a distinct
richness, you'll enjoy this one.
(mah-rah-goh-shzee-peh), is a variety of arabica that originally came
from Brazil. It is the largest bean produced for the market. This
Guatemalan bean makes a mild, mellow brew with less acidity and lighter
body than other Guatemalan coffees.
is another classic example of the extremes in coffee grades and areas.
Lowland Jamaican coffees are bland and often used as blend fillers.
Jamaica's highland coffees however, are among the worlds finest.
The controversial Blue
Mountain bean is the most expensive coffee available. A couple of
years ago only one bean earned the title of Blue Mountain. This was the
bean that grew in the plantation of the Wallensford
Estate in Jamaica. Today any estate producing coffee in the Blue
Mountain district of Jamaica receives the label of Blue Mountain. We
purchase just the Wallensford Estate Blue Mountain. This assures
authentic Blue Mountain quality. If ground right before serving, and
brewed properly, it truly makes the perfect cup of coffee. It has full
body, moderate acidity, and flavorful aroma. Beware of the imitations
known as Jamaican Choice, Jamaican Prime, or Jamaican High Mountain.
Although they are fine coffees, these imitations do not meet the high
quality of the Jamaican Blue Mountain bean.
The term Java applies only
to the arabica bean grown on the island of Java. Beware of lower grade
imitations. Java produces a rich and full bodied coffee; a little more
acidic than other Indonesian coffees with a slight spicy twist to the
Government is the arabica bean that the Indonesians age for two to
three years before shipping to the roaster. Highly aromatic and unique,
it is an excellent blender, especially with Mocha
Very similar to Brazilian
Santos, Kenya has a distinctive dry, winey aftertaste with full bodied
richness. It is a fine coffee for those who like the striking or
unusual. Many restaurants use Kenya as the house coffee.
AA is the largest of the Kenyan beans, with quality suggestive of
the finest burgundy wines.
Grown in Hawaii, Kona is
the only coffee bean produced in the U.S. Kona has one very remarkable
characteristic. Its aroma! The aroma is full, sweet, and mellow. It
sends the taste buds jumping with excitement. The flavor is unique and
known for its medium body, fair acidity and richness. Like the Jamaican
Blue Mountain, there are quite a few imitations such as Kona Prime, on
Number One is the grade of Kona we stock. Although Extra Fancy is a
higher grade, we do not believe the taste is any superior to Fancy
Number One. Especially when comparing the substantial cost difference.
However, it may be special ordered
Most Arizonans relate
Mexican coffee to the inexpensive sugar coated coffee bought from
village markets just over the border. Although some do prefer this brew,
Mexico is also well known for producing a wonderful straight green bean.
Coatepec is the finest coffee produced in Mexico. It is an estate
grown bean from Veracruz harvested at over 3200 feet. Coatepec compares
to a good light white wine with its pleasantly dry acidic snap. Great
for people who like their coffee black.
This country is on the
coast of the Indian Ocean in western Africa. Tanzania can produce beans
that range in taste from winey and acidic to mellow and full-bodied.
The Kilimanjaro bean grows on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The variety
we stock earns the highest grade of AA. Considered the finest from the
African continent, Kilimanjaro produces a full body and rich flavor with
a sharp, winey aftertaste. Kilimanjaro has such a unique flavor that we
do not recommend serving it with cream or using it in blends.
Sumatra is an island in
Indonesia that is nestled amongst other reputable coffee producing
islands including Java and Celebes.
is the finest variety of Sumatra. Considered by some as the world's
finest. Mandheling compares to Jamaican Blue Mountain in body and
richness and is a pleasure for every coffee drinker.
YEMEN MOCHA MATTARI
Grown and dried for
centuries, Yemen Mocha is the "father" of fine coffees. Mocha
still grows on the same land where coffee became first discovered as a
beverage. Mocha has absolutely nothing to do with chocolate, only that
it does create a slight chocolate aftertaste. It has such full body and
richness that it makes a great cup by itself. However, Mocha does blend
well with other milder coffees of good description
The African coffee
Zimbabwe, is fairly new to the U.S. and the newest addition to The
Duck's coffee family. It is a washed bean creating a rich, smooth, mild
body with medium acidity comparable to Kenya. The intriguing taste is
reminiscent of a dry flavorful wine. Zimbabwe has those qualities that
invite you to return time and again to its pleasurable brew.
053 is the highest grade
given to a Zimbabwe coffee.
DUCK AND DECANTER BLEND
Two types of Central American
beans blended with two varieties of South American beans. We also add a touch of
French Roast to make our house blend flavorful, but not strong. This is our most
This contains a blend of
Guatemalan, Santo Domingo, and fine Brazilian Santos with an exciting mixture of
American and European Roasts. It produces a good morning cup of coffee.
We do something different to a
traditional favorite. We add Ethiopian Harrar with the Mocha and Java. This
creates a special treasury of taste, aroma, and flavor.
BLENDING YOUR OWN:
For those who prefer to blend their own, we offer the
Here are a few tried and true
1/3 Colombian Supremo
1/3 Brazilian Santos
1/3 French Roast
2/3 Espresso Roast
1/3 Colombian Supremo
2/3 Vintage Colombian
1/3 Celebes Kalossi
1/3 French Roast
These are beans roasted to an
exact temperature to bring out a medium-brown color. The term refers to its
popularity with Americans. All of our coffees consist of this roast except for
our three European Roasts.
VIENNA ROAST (or CONTINENTAL ROAST)
Roasting the bean enough so the
oils come to the surface of the bean relates to a Vienna Roast. It is darker
than the American Roast but mildest of the three European roasts. Vienna is
another popular coffee for many fine restaurants.
This roast is the medium between
Vienna and Espresso. It provides a definite bittersweet tang. This roast is
ideal for use with the European Plunger. It is also an ideal coffee to blend
with milder, more subtle coffee.
ESPRESSO ROAST (or ITALIAN ROAST)
A very oily roast. preferred
finely ground for espresso making machines. It also serves well any conventional
way. Although the Espresso Roast provides a strong bitter bite, it contains less
caffeine and acidity than the other roasts.
All of our flavored coffees have
one or more ingredients combined with a fine high-grown bean to create a
distinctive taste. The flavoring process includes either soaking the roasted
beans in extracts, dusting them, or a combination of the two.
The bean has a fragile shell and needs protection. Store
coffee away from light in a dry, air tight container. A mason jar or French
canning jar with a rubber gasket works great and protects the beans from air and
moisture. The roasted whole bean will keep its flavor and aroma almost perfectly
for about one week. After two weeks, it begins to fade. After three weeks, the
bean has noticeably lost some flavor. While still drinkable, the whole roasted
coffee kept past one month will strike the palate as lifeless. Freezing whole
beans can extend the drinkable life of your coffee. This is probably the best
solution for the person who does not have quality whole bean coffee readily
available. Be sure to freeze the coffee in airtight containers (do not
refreeze). We do not recommend refrigerating the bean for the dampness in
refrigerators threatens fresh coffee. To prevent deterioration of your coffee,
buy your beans in small quantities - enough to last one week. Figure on fifty to
sixty cups for every pound of coffee.
Buy the coffee in its whole bean form.
Put it in an air tight container in a cool dark place.
Take out only as many beans as you need. Then grind and brew the
breaks open each bean. This exposes its delicate flavors and aroma for water to
extract in the brewing process. If the beans are not immediately brewed, the air
will expose the oils in the coffee. Exposure to the air allows some of the
flavor to evaporate. Therefore, we suggest investing in a grinder.
If you are just beginning with
fresh roasted coffee, you may want us to grind the beans for you. This will give
you time to form preferences for the type of coffee and brewer. The brewer you
choose will dictate on how finely you grind your coffee.
A grinder will increase the
freshness of your coffee and become a ritual of enjoying a good cup of coffee.
Grinders produce an aroma that fills the kitchen. They are also considered a
decorator item for most homes.
We do not recommend the use of
kitchen blenders for grinding coffee. Since manufacturers do not design blenders
to grind coffee beans, they will produce an uneven grind and burn the coffee.
Below is a description of the
different kinds of grinders available on the market. Your choice will depend on
your own preferences and needs.
These range from box types to wall
mounts. They do just as well in grinding as any electric mill, and depending on
the model, maybe even better. Most have a screw or knob to adjust for accurate
grind setting. Hand mills will probably last longer than the electric models,
but they do require a little patience and muscle power.
SMALL ELECTRIC GRINDERS (Also known as Electric Burrs)
These are usually inexpensive,
convenient, easy to use, and probably the best way to grind coffee. Great for
the office or for those who don't want to take the time hand milling requires.
Some believe that these grinders produce an inconsistent grind and burn the
coffee. The only cause for burnt coffee is improper use or malfunction of the
grinder. For better consistency, grind only small quantities with five-second
intervals until you reach your desired grind.
ELECTRIC COFFEE MILLS
Electric mills are the deluxe
version of the smaller electric coffee grinders. Designed with blades similar to
those of hand grinders, these mills grind more evenly than the smaller electric
version. They also have a larger bean capacity, precise grind control and an air
tight storage unit. Very convenient!
We suggest the following grind
settings for the type of brewing method you choose.
Just as there are a variety of coffee beans, there are also a
variety of methods to brew coffee. The most noted are:
EUROPEAN PLUNGER (Melior)
These can be decorative
conversation pieces ranging in cost from $40.00 to $150.00.
The pot is a tall, glass cylinder
with a fine, meshed screen plunger that fits snugly into the carafe. The
attraction of this brewer is its ability to steep coffee in water. The plunger
pushes the grounds to the bottom of the carafe after steeping. This allows for
the serving of coffee directly from the carafe. The European Plungers offer a
great brew for those who prefer heavier body, richer flavor and a little
FRENCH FLIP DRIP (Neopolitan)
Similar in looks to the stove top
espresso makers, this pot makes fairly strong and heavy coffee. Ground coffee
lies in a two-sided container in the waist of the pot. Water heats in the bottom
compartment of the brewer. When the water is hot, flip the whole pot over and
allow the water to filter through to the empty compartment.
This traditionally American method
of brewing coffee is the worst. When you perk, you boil; and when you boil, the
delicate oils evaporate. These oils are what gives the coffee its flavor.
Percolators produce flat, bitter coffee.
FILTER TYPE (Melitta, Chemex)
Nearly all brands of filter coffee
makers work basically the same way. Place a paper filter in a plastic, glass or
ceramic filter holder. Put finely-ground coffee in the filter and set the filter
container on top of the carafe. When hot waters pours through the filter, it
produces a sediment-free cup of coffee. Filter drip coffee makers (stove top
models) are about the least expensive on the market today.
AUTOMATIC FILTER DRIP (Melitta, Braun, Krups, Toshiba)
This is probably the most popular
form of brewing coffee. Automatics use basically the same method as the stove
top models. They heat the water to the ideal temperature for coffee brewing and
automatically meters it into the filter. The coffee then drips into a carafe. An
element underneath the carafe keeps the coffee hot once it has been brewed. The
automatics produce a nice pot of coffee.
The only automatics that we do not
recommend are the basket types. Its flat bottom filter filters coffee improperly
and the result is weak, uneven coffee.
WATER CONCENTRATE (Toddy, Filtron)
Simply steep a pound of ground coffee in eight cups of cold
water anywhere from ten to twenty hours. Using the specially designed filter,
filter the resulting concentrate in a separate container and store in the
refrigerator. Finally add the concentrate, an ounce to a cup of hot water.
Results: Very mild coffee, with a
light body, natural sweetness and little acidity. Perfect for those who like
light coffee, or for medical reasons, might require a lighter brew. It is very
convenient and stretches coffee out making it a least expensive way to brew
Espresso machines make coffee like any other brewer. The
difference is in the steeping process. In a normal brewing process, the water
simply seeps down through ground coffee laid in a filter. In Espressos, steam
forces the water through finely-ground, tightly-packed coffee producing a
strong, black, frothy coffee.
Cappuccino takes the espresso
method one step further. First, make the espresso. Second, in a scalding pitcher
pour half a cup of milk for each cappuccino you intend to make. Third, slip the
pitcher under the steam jet and open the valve. Keep the tip of the jet barely
submerged in the milk. Slowly move it up and down producing a froth that will
remain on your coffee. Pour the scalded milk into your cup, add the coffee and
top it with cinnamon and/or cocoa. If you have glass cappuccino mugs, pour the
coffee slowly down the side. This will result in the coffee resting between the
scalded milk and the froth on the top. A beautiful way to present cappuccino to
Espresso machines range from
$15.00 to $75.00 for stove top models, and from $90.00 to $2,000.00 and higher
for electric models.
It is best to clean your coffee
brewer after every use. Brewed coffee leaves an oily film and unless removed
will cause your coffee to taste bitter. These oils can collect on all coffee
brewers regardless of the material.
Listed below are a few suggestions
on keeping a coffee pot clean:
Never use soap. It leaves a film
that will taint your coffee, even after rinsing.
To clean coffee equipment, you
should use a brush and wipe it out after using hot water.
Do not scour a coffee pot.
Scratches and crevices in your pot can cause easy breakage. They will also leave
you with bitter-tasting coffee from the oil build up within the scratches.
To clean your coffee carafes, we
suggest using ice, salt and lemon juice. Swirl the solution around and then
rinse with water. A little baking soda can also help.
With automatic drips, run an
occasional brew cycle of one part white, distilled vinegar and three to five
parts water. Follow up with two cycles of water to rinse out any remaining
vinegar. Some manufacturers offer cleansing tablets or pot decalcifiers.