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The Curious Tale Of Frog Quaffer And His Quest For The Finest Cup Of Coffee

The Specialty Roaster

As he hopped off to see the respected speciality roaster, Frog Quaffer felt that he was nearer to the finest cup of quaffable coffee than he had ever been before. Wake up and smell the finest coffee When Frog Quaffer arrived at the specialist roaster’s place of business, he inhaled the wonderful aroma of fresh roasted coffee. He saw in front of him bags and bags of green unroasted coffee beans and taking centre stage, a roaster. And in front of the roaster a gentle fellow who looked like he had reached a higher state of beans.

“Good afternoon” said the gentle fellow
“Good afternoon” replied Frog Quaffer, “The Oracle informed me that this is a place where I can find fine speciality roasted coffees.”
“We do our best,” replied the gentle fellow, “to ensure that coffee lovers can have what we consider the finest.”
“How did you become a speciality roaster?” asked Frog Quaffer eagerly.
The gentlemen carried on working on the roaster, pouring fresh roasted beans from the roaster.
“It is a long story, one that goes best with a cup of coffee,” he said. “How do you take you coffee?”
“I prefer a long espresso,” replied Frog Quaffer reverently.
“Well how about an espresso prepared fresh from the coffee we source from Antigua in Guatemala?”

And the roaster prepared the brew. Frog Quaffer tasted the coffee - it was balanced and smooth, with a bittersweet taste.

“How fantasmically distinctive!” exclaimed Frog Quaffer. “I have been on a quest to find the perfect cup of coffee, and this is remarkable, balanced and smooth with a hint of bittersweet. How did you discover this coffee?”
“I too, like I can see you are, was motivated to find a better and better cup of coffee, and in my search found a number of great coffees from around the world. The problem for me was that to really appreciate a coffee it must be freshly roasted, as coffee is at its best within the first 48 hours of roasting,” the gentlemen said. “I was not able to identify any local roaster I could trust and so I learned many methods to roast coffee: in a wok, with a hair drier, in a pop corn maker (which was great for small quantities), until I had a method that I was happy with. I started importing different varieties and soon I learn that I should stick to ‘AAA’ rated coffees, as they reveal the terroir of each coffee better…”
“Terroir?” injected Frog Quaffer. “Yes just like great wines, great coffees are affected by the uniqueness of the region, the
soil and climate, as well as the height at which they are grown. The Antigua we are drinking is a world famous coffee - in the right circles of course”, the gentlemen said “for the way it reflects the area where it is grown: a perfect climate, dominated by light rains from the Pacific, on the exceptionally mineral-rich soiled slopes of the Acatenango and still-active Fuego volcanoes!”
“Wow!” said Frog Quaffer “No wonder it is such a unique and fully satisfying taste. Please go on about your drive to find great coffees”

The speciality roaster quaffed some more Antigua, before continuing:

“As I got more into importing and home roasting, I started to research the art of roasting. In my opinion each coffee exhibits its unique flavours depending on how flame is introduced and to what level it is introduct. Then deciding on wether it should go into first crack or past it or to the start, middle or end of second crack, helps promote aromas and flavours best suited to that coffee.”
“Crack?” Frog Quaffer injected again.
“Yes. What happens is that as the green coffee bean heats, it needs to get the water and gases out and it so goes through a first carck – which sounds similar to a pop of popcorn. Then after a little time it goes through a second crack – which sounds like breaking twigs.”
“I see,” said Frog Quaffer, quaffing some more of the fine espresso he had been given “so how do you decide when each coffee is best?”
“By tasting the coffees at different roast levels and profiles. We could use the coffee flavour wheel (which you see up on the wall) but the best test is what you taste, like you are doing now, tasting the coffee. We also do some cupping of the coffees in the beginning, but ultimately the final test is: what does it taste like in the cup?”
“So not only do you source coffees from all over the world, but you also decide at what roast level and profile each unique taste is found!” Frog Quaffer concluded happily.
“That is correct,” replied the Gentlemen.

Frog Quaffer took out his sandwich offered a piece to the gentlemen and the two of them savoured their coffee with a sandwich, Frog Quaffer reflected all the hops he had take to this to this point. A brief reflect was all it took for him to realize he now had more questions than ever, so he curiously continued...

Frog Quaffer Reflect on his journey

“So what about the world famous coffee names that everyone talks about” Frog Quaffer asked.
“Just like many other beverages you can quaff, there are two schools of thought. In wine you have famous red and white grape blends; some believe these to be the reflection of the true wine master, while others believe that the finest wines are those true to their original varietal. And in the whiskey industry, there are many very successful blend masters and blending companies who are probably better known to Joe Public than the single malt whiskeys, which are considered by many to be the finest,.” the gentlemen pointed out.
“So in the coffee industry, the great brands are the great blends?” Frog Quaffer queried.
“Correct, but I personally - and many like me - prefer to appreciate the purity of each coffee, and instead of tasting a coffee that has a consistent taste, have a coffee that reflects the season and the area in which it was grown. This means that for example the Antigua this year may not be as fantastic as last year. And within each ‘AAA’ class there are varieties. With blending it is easier to hide a lower quality bean in the blend, and that is why most of the coffees today have some portion of Robusta (or similar) coffee in it.”
The gentleman added, “we do have a blend made up of four of our ‘AAA’ rated coffees, which tastes great but there is nothing unique about it. It is a safe bet for many and so we sell a lot of it.”

Once again information buzzed around Frog Quaffer's head. One question he had often pondered flew into his head, perhaps now he could be provided an answer

“Even though Arabica produces a better crema when it is still fresh, Robusta is able to produce crema for longer than Arabica; however it is undrinkable in my opinion. Here I have a bag of Robusta - I got it to see if I could make a coffee from it. In pure form, once roasted form it smells and looks like coffee but tastes like burnt rubber! That is why you never see a 100% Robusta coffee”

Frog Quaffer picked up the green Robusta bean and also a few Arabica beans from a nearby bag labeled ‘Timana’ and noticed the Robusta was rounder and smaller then the Arabica.

Frog Quaffer asked for to try another coffee, and another. Frog Quaffer sat and quaffed and once reflected back on his path of discovery, and felt appreciative of all those people who had come into his life and nudged him along the way. He knew now that he had only just begun his quest, since he had finally got to the bottom of the coffee bean and had an introduction to roasting. He could see there was so much more to learn...


Read the section before on Frog Quaffer's visit to The Oracle OR Read more on Frog Quaffer's Quest: more next...

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