Not all beans are created equal!
Coffee is an agricultural crop and, like any crop, has degrees of quality. Java Bob's offers only the finest, Grade 1, Arabica coffee. This is the highest grade of coffee and commonly refered to as gourmet coffee. Arabica beans, from the Coffea arabica tree, were the earliest cultivated species of coffee tree, and to this day produces dramatically superior quality coffee compared to the other coffee species, such as Coffea robusta. Arabica beans have more desirable flavors and aromatic properties, and contain only about half of the caffeine of robusta. Robusta trees are easier to grow and maintain, and produce a higher yield, but have a more astringent flavor. Robusta coffee is a generally lower grade, lower price coffee, typically used for instant coffee. You will never find Robusta beans in any Java Bob's coffee.
Espresso refers to a method of preparation, not a particular type of coffee. However, the best espresso coffee blends are painstakenly developed by roasters to produce that rich, creamy, long lasting crema and a taste explosion. Only a coffee blend specifically developed for espresso preparation will yield a memorable espresso. The term "espresso" is derived from the Italian word for express, or fast, since espresso is made to be immediately served. The definition of an espresso is quite simple: A double espresso is a 2 to 3oz extract that is prepared from roughly 14 grams of coffee using purified water at a temperature of about 200°F forced at a pressure of 9 bar. Brew time should be 25 to 30 seconds. Espresso should "glob" out of the porta-filter like warm honey. Java Bob's offers five espresso varieties; Jazzland, Jazzland Dark, Espresso "M", Espresso "X" and Espresso "X" Organic. All are post roast blends except for Espresso "X" and Espresso "X" Organic.
Single Origin vs. Blends
There is a strong analogy between coffee and wine when the subject of single origin vs. blends is discussed. Much like wine, coffee roasters succumb to marketing pressures and come up with catchy names for their blends. While the blend names are often cute and creative, they are rarely informative. In the worst cases, they are misleading (eg. Kona blends that rarely contain more then 10% Kona). Java Bob's is not immune to these pressures and offers some unique blend names of our own, such as Redwood Rush Organic, Morning Magic and Dr. Tom's. However, the majority of our coffees are single origin. We believe it is important to understand the regional attributes of the worlds coffees. Taste the distinctive difference between a crisp Costa Rican and an earthy Sumatra, just as a wine connoisseur appreciates the difference between a Pinot Noir and a Zinfindel.
Post-Roast vs. Roasted Blends
When making a blend of coffees from different regions, coffee roasters can either blend the green beans and then roast, or roast first and then blend. While Java Bob's does both, most of our blends are post-roast. Each variety of bean has its own optimum roast profile that reveals its best taste characteristics. If the green beans are blended prior to roasting, chances are none of the beans are roasted to their optimum. Isn't it best to blend beans each roasted to their own unique perfection? We think so. It's more work for the roaster, but we think you can taste the difference.
Roasting is the process by which green coffee beans are transformed into the roasted coffee beans we use to prepare our favorite beverage. Java Bob's uses fluid bed roasters as opposed to more conventional drum roasters. In technical terms, the most significant difference is the heat transfer mechanism. With fluid bed roasters, most of the heat is transferred to the beans by means of convection rather than conduction. Convection heat transfer is a far superior mechanism due to the evenness of the heating. Heat is eveningly transferred to all surfaces of the bean simultaneously as opposed to conduction heating where heat transfer only occurs on the surface of the bean in contact with the heated surface.
There is regular debate whether coffee roasting or more art or science. At Java Bob's we tend not to debate the esoteric, but rather focus on how we can produce superior tasting coffee on a consistent basis. There is very little a roaster can do about coffee crops varying from season to season, but we can work to minimize roast to roast variation. The fluid bed roasters used here at Java Bob's are particularly well suited to this.