WHAT’S YOUR FLAVOR

When it comes to finding your favorite coffee, its all about flavor. But since a coffee’s flavor is varied and complex, we have come up with a simple way to help you find one that suits you.

WE START WITH BODY

Many of us know how strong we like our coffee, but what about body? Body is the impression of “weight” or “thickness”—it’s analogous to the difference between water and milk and not to be confused with brew strength. Body is a combination of the natural compounds in coffee and its roast level. Coffee can be light bodied, medium bodied, or full bodied and sometimes somewhere in between.

TASTE IS WHERE THE TONGUE IS

When we describe taste in coffee, we are referring to the physical sensation on your tongue. Where on your tongue you sense coffee determines its taste. The graphic (right) shows where each taste sensation is located.

WHAT WE LOVE THE MOST: AROMA!

Aroma is one of the most important aspects of a coffee’s flavor. Our sense of smell contributes most to our experience, as those of us who have had a head cold can attest. While body and taste are noticeable, it’s usually aroma that makes us fall in love with a coffee—it’s that personal.

Coffee aromas are complex. Of the more than 1000 identifiable compounds that make up coffee’s flavor, about 80% are aromatics. Each coffee has it’s own unique signature and it’s the roaster’s artistry that unlocks that signature.

THE KALADI AROMA SPECTRUM (ABRIDGED)

FROM CHERRY TO BEAN

WHY PICKING AND PROCESSING IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS GROWING AND ROASTING

THE PERFECT CHERRY

  • To have a great cup of coffee, one needs to pick a great cherry. A coffee harvest lasts several months requiring a number of picking periods. Each of those picking periods produce different qualities of cherries:
    • First Pick: Cherries tend to be ‘grassy’ & undeveloped
    • Second Pick: Ideal, full flavor development
    • Third Pick: More defects & off flavors
  • Not all cherries are equal. Coffee cherries ripen at different times, even on the same branch, therefore, the cherries must be picked by hand. Picking by hand is the only way to et consistently ripe cherries.

PULPING (OR, AWAY WITH THAT FRUIT!)

  • Dry Process: The cherries dry in the sun; heat and humidity rots the cherries producing fermentation (the bad kind) and off flavors.
  • Full Wet: (Kaladi’s preferred method) Pulped beans are bathed in a tank for about 12 hours. The beans release an enzyme which cleanses away impurities. Once the beans have soaked, they are sorted. Any under-ripened beans sink (sinkers), any over-ripened beans float (floaters) and are separated out, leaving the perfect-weight beans. These perfect-weight beans are spread out in the sun and allowed to dry to about 10-12% moisture content. Some beans, once they are dried, have a resting period, or ‘repose’; this allows the flavor to mellow.
  • Pulped Natural: (or, semi-wet) The cherries are hulled by machine, rinsed, then dried in the sun. This is a good compromise in remote settings where there’s not a lot of technological resources.

MILLING AND GRADING

  • After pulping, the dried beans are milled so that the hulls fall away.
  • Beans are graded by density with the use of Gravity Tables. The tables vibrate slightly causing the heavier or denser-beans to flow one way while the light beans flow another.
  • Density is related to altitude; the higher the bean grows, the denser, and better the bean is.
  • Denser beans are more desired as density equals aroma intensity, Kaladi only buys high grown, high density beans.

SORTING AND QUALITY CONTROL

  • Once the beans are graded, they must be visually sorted by hand. This is the best way to remove any defective beans that have slipped through. Kaladi requires that all hand sorting be done 3 times.
  • After the beans are triple sorted, an on-site cupper tests the beans by roasting, grinding and tasting a sample. The cupper is judging on mouthfeel, flavor and aroma.
  • To get the right flavor for a particular roaster, the cupper can offer advice on plant growth, picking times and processing, leading to the question: Is coffee quality discovered or created?

KALADI & COMMUNITY

A lot of folks talk community, but at Kaladi, community is our heart and soul. When we went into the business all those years ago, doing right by our local and distant communities was top of the list. We knew that thriving growers would support our business, and, in a nice round-robin way, our fledgling company’s good health would support those same communities.

With that end goal in mind, we began sourcing producers that grew and processed coffee a better way—in the cool shade and washed clean with fresh water.

Our growers are small and vital, as important to their towns and cities as they are to us. A few are women-owned, many are Fair Trade, all are dedicated to providing quality beans. We’re proud to say we’ve maintained long-term relationships wiht them.

Closer to home, we have the same strong ties with local coffee houses. we choose to support locally-owned businesses. We harbor no aspirations to world domination—the world doesn’t need another chain of coffee stores.

From start to finish, from seed to cup, we’ve stayed true to our cause and purpose—to awaken community and set a new standard for coffee quality while treating others with honesty, integrity and respect.