Coffee 101

December 5

As most of you may know, I am a coffee addict/fanatic. One of my favorite spots in the city is Mokha 1450, and even done sensory coffee experiences there. I recently talked to Joe Gitonga, Barista at Mokha 1450 on how they source and roast their beans, women farmers and things to look for in good coffee. They have a lounge at Golden Mile on the Palm and a cafe on Al Wasl Road.

Mokha sources and roasts their own beans. Can you share more details?  
The idea of sourcing our own beans is as a result of promoting fair trade by dealing directly with the farmers and cutting out the traditional middle men (brokers). This enables the farmers to get a full amount in return of their hard work. It also helps us to create a bond with the community which we work with and this ensures long term sustainability benefits for both parties.

Specialty graded coffees are very sensitive to the surrounding environment especially after being roasted and this is one of the reasons our beans are roasted locally and in small batches for a strict quality control purpose. This enables us to provide our customers with freshly roasted coffee for an optimum experience.

I was told most of those farmers are women. I love that, can you share more? 
The majority of the world’s coffee production comes from women farmers or women owned cooperatives. The sad truth is that these women are the most marginalized group in the chain and nearly unrecognised. Mokha 1450 tries to celebrate these hard working women by recognizing their efforts through trading directly with them. This is our way of empowering a whole community and a generation.

What makes specialty coffee different to regular coffee? 
The scores it fetches during the grading process (80 points and above). Any coffee above that brackets will always present unique tastes and flavours in the cup. Specialty coffee industry also promotes traceability values. Every process throughout the journey from the farm to the cup is a craft and this also helps to highlight the uniqueness of these coffee.

What are 3 things to look for in good coffee 
* Date of roasting – The fresher the better
* Packaging – The container must be airtight
* Grinded or Not – If grinded, it should be consumed within two weeks from the date of grinding and Must always be kept in an air/waterproof container.

If all the above are equal and the coffee is specialty graded, it should present unique flavours without bitterness.

Please share a cheat sheet on what beans to choose from depending on taste?  

General Taste & Flavours

–          Wine like/sharp acidity,
–          Fruity and floral
–          Exotic spices
–          Low to Medium mouth feel

–           Low Acidity
–          Medium to full mouth feel
–          Smokey
–          Earthy
–          Woody
–          Spicy

South America

–          Mild Acidity ( low-medium)
–          Nutty
–          Cacao/chocolate
–          Floral

For people that want good coffee at home, what equipment should they get and invest in?  
Whether one is into milk based coffee or filter/ brewed coffee he/she needs a good grinder.
The way we grind coffee at home in most cases is under looked but this process has a huge influence on how flavours get extracted out from grounds by water. Investing in a good grinder is therefore the first thing to consider before deciding on either a simple espresso machine or brewing gadgets.

Lastly, what are the next trends in coffee?  
We will see a lot of technology and science being incorporated to help enhance the way we perceive different taste and flavours that are present in coffee. We will also see emergence of different coffee mocktails in social fields.

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