8 habits to implement for buying and brewing great coffee at home
The new year is well underway and for many of us that means evaluating our goals and establishing new routines for health, wellness, and productivity. If getting back into healthy habits is on your list of plans this month, why not add some good habits for great coffee to your list? The more you know about how to buy, store, and brew your coffee, the more enjoyable it will be! Try these good habits today to enjoy coffee shop quality coffee at home every time!
1. Know your origins
In the coffee world, origin refers to where your coffee was grown. It is a broad term that could refer to a single producer, crop, or region. Just like the terms single malt and single estate in whiskey and wine production denote an enhanced level of quality, the same is true for single origin coffee. When you buy single origin coffee, you can expect it to be from a unique location, and that the flavor notes and attributes will represent the soil and growing conditions in that place.
The Hawaiian Islands contain several origins. The Island of Kauai is an origin, as is the Kona Coast of the Big Island. Our 100% Hawaiian Coffee products are single estate coffees because we grow, harvest, roast, and package our coffee in one location. So, in addition to enhanced quality and flavor, single-estate coffee like ours is traceable from seed to cup and USA grown!
2. Know your certifications
Every bag of coffee beans you buy online or from your favorite supplier contains a lot of information. Another good habit you can initiate for great coffee this year is to read your coffee labels carefully and understand what each certification badge means for the way it was produced. In 2018, Kauai Coffee earned the unique distinction of being triple certified by leading sustainability advocates. Our 100% Hawaiian coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified™, Fair Trade USA® Certified, and Non-GMO Project Verified. In 2021 we began updating our packaging to include all three certification badges. We’re proud of each certification, here’s what they mean:
Rainforest Alliance™: When you see the Rainforest Alliance Certification™ seal it means that the farmers or producers of that product follow more sustainable practices that:
- Protect forests and biodiversity
- Improve livelihoods
- Promote human rights
- Help mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis
In other words, our 100% Hawaiian coffees are produced using methods that promote economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
Fair Trade USA®: When you see a product with the Fair Trade Certified seal, you can be sure its producer meets rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards, including
- Safe working conditions
- Environmental protection
- Sustainable livelihoods
- Community Development Funds
At Kauai Coffee, ‘ohana (family) is at the center of everything we do. We respect our associates by providing fair wages, health care, retirement savings plans, and a safe working environment.
Non GMO Project: Non-GMO Project verification has been the market’s trusted seal for GMO avoidance for more than ten years. At Kauai Coffee, we harvest many unique coffee varietals on our 3,100-acre Kauai Farm; each plant is as authentic as nature intended.
3. Know how roasting, brewing methods, and other variables affect flavor and practice identifying tasting notes
Coffee contains more than 1,000 different chemical compounds which makes it one of the most complex beverages we consume. Variety, origin, altitude, processing, roast, storage, grind, and brewing method are just of few of the ways we can alter those compounds and affect the way your coffee tastes. Because of these variations, you can experience a wide range of flavors in a single cup of coffee. From fruity and acidic to rich and chocolatey, the more coffee you taste, the more flavors and tasting notes you’ll be able to identify. Practice tasting or cupping coffee at home with our simple guide and you’ll be able to pinpoint what flavor notes you like best which will help you buy varieties and roasts you’ll love.
4. Buy whole bean coffee
As mentioned above, the chemical compounds in coffee are responsible for the myriad flavors and aromas we experience in each cup. Many of the chemical compounds found in coffee are volatile which means they will react with elements such as air, temperature, light, and water. Buying whole bean coffee and grinding it right before you brew it ensures maximum freshness and flavor. This is because roasted coffee contains volatile oils that impart much of the flavor you taste when you consume coffee. Once beans are ground, these oils react with oxygen and begin to evaporate. The longer your ground coffee is exposed to the air, the more flavor it may lose.
5. Store your coffee properly
Now that you know the flavorful elements of your coffee can degrade over time when exposed to the elements you can store it properly and preserve freshness. Keep your coffee fresh by storing whole beans in an airtight container at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. An opaque, ceramic container stored on a shelf or in a pantry works wonders! Don’t store fresh coffee beans in the freezer. The cold, moist environment can affect flavor and texture.
6. Know your roast
Roasting coffee transforms processed green beans into fragrant and delicious coffee with time and temperature. Read our Roasting Guide to learn the differences between light, medium and dark roasts, and the products we offer for each level.
7. Find your grind
The way water interacts with your coffee during brewing has a profound effect on taste and mouthfeel. Your grind’s size and texture are important because the more contact water has with the coffee during the brewing process, the quicker it will be extracted. If your grind is too fine for your brewing method, you could accidentally prevent extraction. If your grind is too coarse, water may move through your coffee too quickly and produce a weak, tasteless cup. Review our grind guide to find the right grind for your favorite brewing method.
8. Experiment with brewing methods
Brewing an exceptional cup of coffee at home is easy when you know how to combine freshly roasted beans, ground to perfection with the right brewing method. Check out our easy-to-follow equipment and grind pairing recommendations to get the perfect cup of Kauai Coffee every time.
With these eight simple habits, there is no wrong way to enjoy a delicious cup of Kauai Coffee. Taste paradise today. Shop our entire selection of 100% Hawaiian, Estate Reserve, and Artisan Crafted coffees online now.