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  • My name is Mike Jones and I'm a barista at Third Rail Coffee right by Washington Square Park in New York City.

  • I'm going to teach you some basic coffee-making skills.

  • So especially in recent years, you may have noticed that bags of coffee that you've bought from either cafés or coffee roasters has started adding a lot more information.

  • Such as varietal, altitude, the farm that it comes from.

  • And so it's hard to actually know, "what does that mean?"

  • Like, "how is it going to taste?"

  • There's sort of a basic category that you can put some beans in and those are the Indonesia growing region, East Africa, and Central South America.

  • Indonesian coffees tend to be very earthy, they have this sort of very heavy body to them.

  • They're often used as the undertone in espresso blends.

  • East African coffees tend to be fruitier, livelier, kind of wine-like.

  • And then Central South Americans have a little bit more base to them, some darker, deeper notes to them.

  • Another way that coffees differ is the processing, and there are two main ways. These are natural and wash-processed.

  • Wash-process is taking over a little bit more just because there's a less chance of defect in the bean.

  • What happens in natural is after the cherry is picked, it is simply left out to dry with the fruit on for a certain amount of time, and this creates, like, really crazy fruit flavors, but also ferment is rampant.

  • With washed, it's cleaner, flavors are more nuanced and balanced and more delicate.

  • And in Central and South America, washed is sort of the standard.

  • Countries like Costa Rica, it's actually the law.

  • Whereas in East Africa, Ethiopia in particular, there's such a water shortage that people are naturally processing everything and having defective beans.

  • But in recent years, there have been economically feasible ways of actually doing a wash process using special machines in Ethiopia.

  • So we've been seeing a lot more exciting coffees come from East Africa that are cleaner, less fermented, and just more balanced and exciting.

My name is Mike Jones and I'm a barista at Third Rail Coffee right by Washington Square Park in New York City.

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