Q&A Coffee

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All you need to know about coffee

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Bitterness depends mainly on 3 things:

  • The coffee used has a large percentage of robusta, which tends to be more bitter than arabica coffees;
  • The coffee is dark roasted, so the main hint it brings to the cup is really bitterness. This characteristic can be detected very easily by looking at the color of the grains inside the grinder hopper;
  • The coffee has been badly extracted, and is therefore over-extracted. In a very simple way it can be said that in the process of extraction it “burned out.”

All three of these possibilities are indicators of low quality!


Water is drunk before coffee to rinse the mouth and prepare it for tasting.

Unfortunately or fortunately, espresso is one of the most complicated extraction methods. The steps for making espresso are actually not difficult; the difficulty lies in recreating all the optimal conditions for extracting a near-perfect espresso.

The factors involved are many:

  • Machine used-there are espresso machines of different levels with more advanced technology and less;
  • Selected coffee-obviously there are coffees of different levels and quality;
  • Grinding-at the coffee shop they have the option of having a professional grinder that grinds the coffee as precisely as possible only just before extraction, the result cannot be reproduced at home unless you have a professional grinder;
  • Quality of the water used-the cafes have a water purifier that gives the water optimal characteristics for espresso.

These are just some of the points to consider!

Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered uniquely, because so much depends on the coffee you are using, your machine, and the level of grind.

But in general I can tell you that:

  • A blend with a higher percentage of arabica requires a dose of 7.5/8 g per cup;
  • A blend with a higher percentage of robusta requires a dose of 7/7.5 g per cup;
  • A single-origin Arabica requires 8 to 9.5 g per cup.

Grinding is critical to obtaining excellent coffee. You can also buy the finest coffee in the world and roast it to perfection, however, if you grind it the wrong way it is all in vain.

The topic is very broad and several factors must be considered.

So here is the link to the ABCoffee article that defines everything about grinding!


PS. No barista, roaster or coffee expert will ever be able to tell you what the right grind is for your coffee or machine, for one reason only: it doesn’t exist!

The grind is not constant, but varies depending on the temperature of the room and its humidity, outdoor weather conditions, and coffee storage. The grind of the same coffee used all the time for the exact same tool can vary even several times a day.

Certainly there are “sizes” of the average coffee ground that make it possible to extract good coffee even at home. It gets complicated for espresso, because for this extraction method, the grinding affects the result very heavily, compared to that in other extraction methods.

To learn more click on the link above and find out everything you need to know about coffee grinding.

How to reproduce the espresso we love so much from our Italian bars?

Espresso is one of the most complex extraction methods in existence and requires specific, well-defined conditions.

Here is a quick few-second video to find out how to make the perfect espresso!

As well as an article on everything you need to know about grinding, which is crucial for espresso extraction!


We all know how to make mocha!!! We are taught this from an early age!

But how would a real professional in the field make it?

Here is the link to the article with everything you need to know about mocha + a quick few-second video on how to make the perfect mocha!


It is the taste we perceive in our mouth after drinking coffee. It can have various shades of flavor and persist, in the best coffees, for tens of minutes.

It is the scent produced by freshly brewed hot coffee. Aroma, along with taste and body, is one of the main categories used by professional tasters for taste and smell evaluation of coffee.

The aroma of coffee is given by some 800 molecules capable of originating true sensory maps depending on the type and ratios in which they are present, a map capable of revealing to the expert taster much about the origin of the beans that composed the blend and the skill of those who performed the preparation.

It is less developed in very light roasts, peaks in intensity in medium roasts and declines again in very dark roasts.

The different factors responsible for aroma are:

  • The environment of origin (latitude, altitude, microclimate, soil factors, etc., i.e., terroir);
  • The botanical species used (arabica or robusta);
  • The degree and uniformity of ripeness of the cherries (in fact, on the same branch there can be unripe, ripe, and overripe cherries. The picker who seeks high quality manually selects only those that are ripe to the right degree);
  • The method of harvesting (manual or mechanical);
  • The method of processing green coffee (natural or washed, etc.);
  • The time and manner of storing green coffee (drying, storage, and transportation);
  • The degree and method of roasting (light, medium and dark);
  • The method of brewing (how the coffee is extracted, method and correctness in the steps);
  • Roasted coffee storage techniques (storage and packaging);
  • The degree of grinding, as well as the methods and times for storing the mince;
  • Type of espresso machine or any other tool used for extraction;
  • Its degree of cleanliness and efficiency.

If you would like to explore each aspect in detail, I invite you to read the articles on ABCOffee, the Ernani Coffee blog.

It leads to the decrease of gases present inside the coffee bean, formed during roasting. Coffee continues to “breathe,” that is, to degas, even after months. For this Ernani does not use a vacuum, but a sealed package with a one-way valve, which allows the gases produced by the coffee to escape, but does not allow oxygen to enter. Oxygen would cause oxidation of matter, and thus its deterioration.

It is the second best-selling species of coffee, after arabica.The Robusta bean is rounder and smaller than that of the Arabica quality; the taste is more bitter and does not have particularly intense or excellent flavor notes. In the cup, it is the component that gives coffee more body and produces the crema, so beloved by us Italians in espresso. At the level of quality it is inferior to arabica.

It is a species of coffee grown from 0m asl to about 900m altitude.

The physical characteristics are:

  • The Robusta bean is rounder and smaller than that of Arabica;
  • It has a central linear groove.

The chemical and organoleptic characteristics are:

  • It tastes more bitter than Arabica coffees;
  • It offers a narrow flavor profile;
  • It releases feelings of bitterness and intensity;
  • It has about twice as much caffeine as Arabica coffees;
  • It has half as many chromosomes as Aranica coffees;
  • It is poorer in essential oils, hence the reduced aromatic range.

Indicates a possible positive or negative feeling after tasting the coffee.

It indicates the quality of the aromas present in a coffee. In fact, they can be considered as merits and, therefore, pleasant, or defects and, therefore, unpleasant. The former are, for example, hints of chocolate, caramel, cocoa, cinnamon, honey, citrus, flowers, etc.; while the latter are smells of ash, empyreumatic (i.e., all those hints of burning), rubber, wet wood, tar, jute, etc.

It is related to the pleasant lingering of aromas after drinking a cup of coffee.

If what remains in our mouths after tasting is instead unpleasant and annoying and makes us tempted to drink a glass of water, it may be a symptom of poor quality coffee.

It to be considered perfect must be:

  • Hazel-colored or “monk’s head.”
  • With slight reddish streaks;
  • Very fine, so compact with very fine meshes;
  • Without the presence of macro bubbles;
  • Glossy, thus able to reflect light;
  • Silky, so smooth and even;
  • Persistent over time.

If it is too dark, it means that the coffee is over-extracted and most likely burned; if the crema is too light, on the other hand, it is said that the coffee is under-extracted, thus watery and not very aromatic.

Generally Arabica coffees produce a finer, but very firm and persistent crema that is glossy and silky, thus more beautiful.

It consists of the amount of scents that come to the nose after bringing a cup of coffee toward it.

The aromas perceived in a cup of coffee are very infinite. In fact, it is estimated that coffee at the end of roasting releases up to 800 volatile substances that make up the aroma, and in Ernani’s case, they are all natural!

Chief among these are: hints of caramel, toast, chocolate, fruity effluvia, citrus notes, dried fruit aromas, bouquet of flowers, red fruits, citrus, vanilla, tobacco, and many others.

After direct olfaction, which occurs before tasting, retronasal olfaction also takes place, during and after tasting. In this second stage other odors may be perceived on the palate and in the nasal duct.

An espresso is intense when it has a consistent body, rich fragrances and a high aromatic level, as well as a higher caffeine load.

One of the five basic tastes (the others are bitter, savory, sour and umami), which can be felt at the tip of the tongue. Sugar is used as the prototype.

The sweetest Ernani coffee is the Brazilian Bom Chocolate, the Indian Kalledevarapura, and the Harmony.

Full-bodiedness can be traced back to the human sense of touch: it is, in fact, the physical property of the beverage perceived by the mouth during and after ingestion. It is also known as consistency, precisely because it indicates the structure of the liquid and the concentration of substances dissolved in it.

To offer yardsticks for comparison, we consider hot chocolate to be very full-bodied, oil to have medium body, and water to have no body.

Although it is thought that balancing occurs between sweetness and bitterness, this is not the case in coffee, as it is calculated between bitterness and acidity. A coffee is considered balanced if the bitterness is not too strong and, therefore, does not override the acidity and vice versa. Beware, attention should not be placed on how long the sour and bitter sensation lasts, as the bitterness will persist longer in the mouth after tasting, but care should be taken to understand the intensity with which these sensations are felt on the tongue.

Warning. If a coffee is unbalanced it does not mean it is a defect! The finest coffees are the defect-free highland Arabica coffees. They present a flavor profile that is very much pushed toward acidities to the detriment of bitterness!

Balance is only one data point to consider in tasting stages, but if you give it a low score it does not automatically mean that the coffee is of poor value!

It is a tactile sensation: when we eat an unripe banana, raw artichokes or unripe persimmons, we have a sensation of astringency, that is, dryness of the palate and unpleasant sensation when we swipe our tongue across the palate. In espresso, such a sensation is always a negative signal, attributable to roasting defect or poor coffee quality.

It is a species of coffee grown mainly in South and Central America and East Africa, between 800m asl and 2400m asl.

The physical characteristics are:

  • The Arabica bean is more elongated and oval than that of Robusta;
  • It has a more sinuous central groove.

The chemical and organoleptic characteristics are:

  • It tastes less bitter than Robusta coffees;
  • It offers a broad and intense flavor profile;
  • It releases sensations of acidity and freshness;
  • It has about half as much caffeine as Robusta coffees;
  • It has twice as many chromosomes as Robusta coffees;
  • It is richer in essential oils, hence the large aromatic range.

One of the five basic tastes (along with sweet, savory, sour and umami), characteristic of coffee, perceivable at the back of the tongue, toward the throat. It is a characteristic that is more pronounced in robusta quality coffees.

Among Ernani’s coffees, the Strait is the one that turns out the bitterest.

A coffee is amiable when there is a balance between sweetness of taste and freshness of aroma. An amiable coffee will therefore have a fragrant aroma, balanced body, and rich, consistent crema.

The coffee that turns out to be the most lovable among Ernani blends is definitely the Allegro.

One of the five tastes (along with sweet, savory, bitter, and umami), characteristic of, for example, lemon, perceivable on the sides of the tongue. It is a characteristic that is more pronounced in Arabica quality coffees, especially those grown at higher altitudes.

Among the Ernani coffees, Blue Diamond, Sidamo, and Colombia have more pronounced acidity.

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