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How fresh will the coffee be when I receive it?
Bean Therapy is a small-batch roaster. We roast coffee daily to fill on-line orders as well as to keep our retail shelves full. Your coffee will be roasted on receipt of your order, or if we've roasted (and flavored, if applicable) the same variety in the past 24 hours or so you may receive beans from our air-tight storage stock. Either way, your coffee will not be sent unless it is fresh and of the highest quality.
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How many cups of coffee does a sample pack make?
Our individual sample packs are filled with enough fresh ground coffee to make 4-6 cups, depending on desired strength.
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What is the big deal about "arabica" beans?
There are two main types of coffee beans ... arabica and robusta. Arabicas are more widely desired due to their wider taste range and overall quality. Arabicas are grown in elevated areas and require rich soil, moisture, sun/shade, and are generally more sensitive than robusta plants. For this reason, robustas can be grown at lower altitudes or in areas where the soil or environmental conditions are a bit more harsh. Arabicas are noted by flavors ranging from sweet and smooth to sharp and tangy. Robustas, on the other hand produce somewhat of a grain-like flavor and with exception to a few rare varieties, most are used in espresso blends.
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What is coffee acidity?
Simply put, acidity refers to the bright and dry taste of a coffee. The longer coffee is roasted, the less acidic it is (preferable in some darker roasts and espressos). Most roasters time batches to provide medium or high acidity, as this is widely preferred and adds life to a cup of coffee. Too much acidity; however, can lead to a bitter if not tinny taste.
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How are coffees that are dry-processed different from those that are wet-processed?
The dry or wet processing refers to the "treatment" of the beans upon harvest. Dry processing is the oldest method, and involves leaving the coffee cherries in the sun to dry. The coffee cherries are put into a vat of water during wet-processing. There are additional steps involved in both processes to remove the fruity pulp from the beans, but the key question is flavor. Some categorize the dry-processed beans as having a sharper, wild flavor while wet-processed beans are more smooth and consistent.
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What is the best way to store coffee?
The best way to store coffee--whether whole bean or ground--is in an air-tight glass or ceramic jar out of direct sunlight. Keep your coffee at room temperature for best results. While many freeze their coffee (and this is okay providing once you remove the coffee from the freezer you do not put it back in) the goal is to protect it from moisture, heat, and air. Why glass or ceramic? If you store coffee (yes, even unflavored) in plastic containers, some of the oils from the beans may be transfered to the plastic. While this may not be a huge deal, if you switch varieties you may pick up traces of flavor or aroma from the previously stored beans. This is obviously much more relevant if you are a flavored coffee drinker.
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How long will coffee last once I buy it?
This is a tough one, because it depends on when the coffee was actually roasted. If you bought your coffee from Bean Therapy, you can be assured it was roasted very recently ... maybe even the same day it was shipped. For the first 48 hours or so after roasting, coffee beans degas, a process where carbon dioxide is released and the beans stablize. From this point, peak flavor and aroma can be expected for a couple weeks, and if stored properly you can enjoy your coffee for a couple months after that. The flavor dissipates rather quickly when coffee is ground, so try and grind-as-you-go rather than grind a whole pound or so at once. The reason for this simple ... with ground coffee more surface area of the "bean" is exposed to the air. Keep in mind the coffee you drink a month or so after it is roasted will not have the same flavor as it did just a few days after roasting ... but it should still be enjoyable.
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