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The quality and taste of a coffee depends on many things:
Like wine that can come from different varieties of grapes, coffee can come from different varieties of trees and cherries. Coffee that is grown higher and drier will taste more acidic while coffee grown lower and wetter will be more earthy.

Coffee is grown 1,500 miles north and south of the equator between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. This is known as the “Coffee Belt” or the “Bean Belt” and that is where Barrie House sources the finest, Fair Trade Organic coffee beans from around the world.

Although there are thousands of species in the Rubiaceae family regarded as coffee plants, the coffees we drink fall mainly within just two species – Arabica and Canephora, commonly known as Robusta.

Finicky Arabica grows best at high altitudes in rich soil, while the heartier Robusta prefers a higher temperature and can thrive on lower ground.

Arabica “Coffea Arabica” – Although they contain less caffeine than Robusta, Arabica beans are widely considered to be superior in taste. Arabica beans have a smoother, sweeter taste, with flavor notes of chocolate, sugar and hints of fruits or berries.   

Robusta “Coffea Canephora” - Commonly known as Robusta coffee, this species originates in sub-Saharan Africa. Although they are robust plants, the coffee beans are less favored because they tend to have a stronger, harsher taste than Arabica beans.

There are various ways to remove the coffee bean from the cherry, each imparting a different taste/flavor

Once the coffee beans have been picked, processing must begin as quickly as possible to prevent fruit spoilage. Depending on location and local resources, coffee is processed primarily in one of two ways:

The Dry Method is the age-old method of processing coffee, and still used in many countries where water resources are limited.
•    Coffee can either be harvested as red cherry or partially dried on the tree
•    Then they are sent directly to the drying process
•    Traditional drying is done on patios and the beans are sun dried
•    Coffee must be turned or “raked” hourly to avoid uneven drying and to prevent molding
•    The un-washed drying process allows the “honey” inside the bean to be absorbed creating a more “fruity” cup profile

The Wet Method removes the pulp from the coffee cherry after harvesting so the bean is dried with only the parchment skin left on.
•    The coffee cherries are processed by being immersed in water.
•    Ripe cherries will sink and the unripe cherries will float. The cherry skin and some pulp is removed by passing the fruit
       by machine through a screen.
•    The bean can still retain some of the pulp attached to it that requires removal. This is normally performed by the
      ferment-and-wash method.

Grading and Sorting is next and is done by size and weight, and beans are also reviewed for color flaws or other imperfections.
•    Beans are sized by being passed through a series of screens. In many countries, this process is done both by
       machine and by hand, ensuring that only the finest quality coffee beans are exported.
•    Defective beans are removed either by hand or by machinery. Beans that are unsatisfactory due to deficiencies  
      (unacceptable size or color, over-fermented beans, insect-damaged, unhulled) are removed.

Because coffee can differ by variety, elevation, and processing, all coffee cannot be roasted the same. Because of this, the roast is the most important part of producing a really good coffee.

At Barrie House, we have perfected the art of the roasting process over the past 85+ years. We roast our premium coffee beans in vintage roasters with a novel drum design. This allows for better airflow and reduces the risk of over-roasting, which can cause a burnt flavor. Different compounds are developed during this roasting process at different times. By controlling the chemical reactions taking place in the bean during the roast, we can change or determine the flavors in the final cup!

Our premium Barrie House coffees are graded on a numeric scale and generally fit into three roasting profile categories:

Light Roasts accentuate fruity, and acidic flavors in hard bean coffees and malty flavors in lower grown beans like Brazil. They are generally light and sweet.
•    Caramel Apple Strudel
•    Winter Wonderland
•    Peppermint Bark

Medium Roasts start to roast out some of the most subtle flavors and bring up caramelization and body.
•    Clay Avenue®

Dark Roasts are heavy in roasted and chocolate flavors and are intense and lingering in the cup. Traditional Italian espresso blends tend to be dark roasts, although regional and international preferences vary widely.
•    Arrosto Scuro
•    Dark Mystery
•    Espresso Roast