Coffee plant

About Coffee

The aroma that comes with opening a pack of fresh coffee is one of life's little pleasures. Varsity coffee, based in Witney close to the city of Oxford offer a range of flavoured coffee beans and traditional flame roasted coffee beans, which can be ground to the customers requirement. 

The culture of coffee drinking goes back to the 11th century. It was then that coffee was first imported to Arabia from its original home in Ethiopia. In the second half of the 15th century, coffee spread to the Kingdom of Arabia and onto Egypt. Coffee came to play an increasingly important role in Arabia, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt and in South Eastern Europe. In 1615, Venetian merchants brought back the first sacks of coffee to Western Europe and coffee houses were soon springing up throughout Europe. In the early 20th century, Brazil was the world’s biggest coffee producer. Today almost the entire production of coffee comes from Central America, Brazil and the tropical parts of South America.

The coffee bean that we all know is in fact the seed, (we all refer to it as a bean), in the cherry of a coffee plant. There are normally two seeds inside each cherry though some cherries do contain single coffee beans that are known as "peaberries".  
There are two principal ways to process coffee, the dry process or the wet process sometimes referred to as the washing process. Once this process is completed the bean can be roasted.

In general Coffea arabica (or arabica) beans are used for flavoured coffees due to their low levels of acidity and bitterness. Arabica was the earliest cultivated species of coffee and is still the most highly prized. These top quality beans are milder and more flavourful than the harsher Coffea canefora (or robusta) beans, which are used in many commercial and instant coffees.

Flavoured coffee is not a new concept; history shows that a few hundred years ago in the Middle East, people would drink coffee blended with nuts and spices. 

Varsity coffee offers a selection of flavoured coffee using South American Arabica coffee beans. The flavour is infused into the bean as part of the post roasting process; there is no sugar added to the bean in this process. The alternative method of adding flavour to the coffee is normally associated with flavoured syrups which contain a high percentage of sugar. 

Varsity coffee also stock and promote a range of traditional flame roasted coffee. This is a process of direct flame roasting of the coffee bean. This enables the roaster to achieve a high roasting level preventing any ash or burn whilst protecting the delicate flavours of the bean which can be lost in conventional oven baked roasters. The beans are tumbled over a naked flame which produces a great looking bean with some case hardening with some lighter roasts having a slight shine.

Below are some tips about coffee, click on the links to read further.

What is coffee          Roast types         Coffee storage         How to brew coffee