Eduin – Colombian Microlot: Our Newest Roast

Here at Achilles Coffee Roasters, we are constantly searching for the world’s best coffee beans. Often times that means working with independent farmers and co-ops in areas that are a little off the beaten path. It’s this dedication to quality that led us to find Eduin and his Microlot coffee beans.

What is a Microlot?

One of the best ways to describe a microlot is by using an analogy of an apple orchard. Imagine that you’re growing apples and most trees are producing great tasting apples, but one spot on your farm produces apples that taste even better. These apples are juicier, crispier, and it’s very easy to notice how much better these apples are from the others. So you fence off these apples and start giving them special attention to grow even tastier than before. Now these apples not only taste better, but they can also be sold at a premium to special buyers.

That is the basic idea of coffee microlots. A microlot is not just a small lot of coffee. The term also implies that there has been research and experimentation by the farmer or co-op into producing a coffee with exceptional characteristics.

About Eduin & His Farm

Eduin is an ambitious, modest coffee farmer native to the Herrera community, a very isolated area of southern Tolima. The area is one of the more impoverished of Colombia, due to its violent history of insurgent and criminal armed groups that continues even today.

Eduin on his farm in Colombia

Though his farm consists of 1.5 hectares, he is determined to make the small amount of coffee he produces as good as possible. Eduin has a young, growing family, and sees specialty coffee as the way to provide with only a tiny piece of land.

Coffee Growing on Eduin's Farm
Eduin’s Coffee Growing

For Eduin, the risky bet has paid off and allowed him to achieve specialty cup quality even with his limited on-farm infrastructure. Since December 2017, Eduin has been earning nearly twice the Colombian commodity price for his coffee by working with roasters like us.

About the Roast

For this coffee, we decided to do a roast that is between light and medium. This allows all of the bright flavors of a light roast to shine through while still maintaining a deeper base of a medium roast. The tasting notes are Strawberry Jam, Brown Sugar, and it has a Citrus Acidity.

Eduin’s roast is now available online and in-store so you can try the microlot difference for yourself.

How to Make Cold Brew at Home

With more people brewing at home than ever before, some people are probably missing their cafe favorites. Making Cold Brew coffee at home is much easier than you might expect and it’s a great way to beat the San Diego heat. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to sipping some tasty Cold Brew.

What You Will Need

Supplies for making Cold Brew
  1. Coffee (Whole Bean works best)
  2. Coffee Grinder
  3. Two 16oz Mason Jars
  4. Water 
  5. Scale (Any common kitchen scale works)
  6. Coffee Filter (Any will do the trick)

Suggested buy not needed – Hario V60

Now that you have all of your items, it’s time to get started.

1. Choose Your Coffee

Barrio Logan, Nicaraguan Medium Roast

First things first, choose your coffee. We recommend anything that is a light to medium roast. Once you go above that more earthy, bitter flavors come out which may not be enjoyable for some. We are using our Barrio Logan medium roast as it is one of my personal favorites.

2. Weigh Your Coffee – 57 grams

Weigh your beans!

It is important to have the correct ratio of coffee and water for taste. For this 16oz recipe, we recommend using 57 grams of coffee for the best flavor and caffeine content.

3. Grind Your Coffee

A coarse grind

A coarse grind works best for Cold Brew. This allows the water to extract all of the flavors from the beans and also makes filtering later much easier. Any grinder will do the trick.

4. Place in a Jar and Fill With Water

Fill jar with coffee & water

Once your coffee is ground, you’ll want to put it in your mason jar. Give the jar a small shake to even out the grinds and fill with water. Since coffee is mostly water, we recommend using filtered water for a better flavor, but tap water will do just fine.


Shake to mix

Put the lid on and give that jar a good shake. Make sure all the grounds are getting saturated for an even extraction of coffee. You may even want to add a little more water and shake again.

6. Place in Refrigerator and Wait 24 Hours

Cold Brew brewing cold

Cold Brew is best when it steeps for 18-24 hours. We like ours to steep for the full 24 hours to get all of the flavors that we can. If you forgot about your Cold Brew, it’s probably still pretty tasty as long as its under 48 hours.

7. Filter

Filter out the grounds

There’s a lot of ways to do this next step. The way we find the easiest is by using a Hario V60 with a metal filter, but any paper filter or even cheesecloth should do the trick. Let the Cold Brew filter from the grounds and into your second mason jar. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let all of the goodness seep out.

8. Enjoy!

Sip and enjoy

The Cold Brew will be pretty strong after it’s finished. If that’s the way you like it, you can drink it as it is. You could dilute it with some more water or milk to take the edge off. You could also get a little fancy and make your own Cold Brew Concoction like our Finest City or Cabrillo.

That’s all there is to it. There are many other brewing methods, but after a lot of trial and error, we found this one to be our favorite. The Cold Brew is best when consumed within 2-3 days. If you want to make more Cold Brew, simply multiply the recipe. We recommend using different roasts and playing around with the recipe until you find something you love.

The History of the Latte

Traditional Latte Art
A Latte with Latte Art

Whether you call it a caffe latte, cafe au lait, or cafe con leche, the Latte is a drink that has stood the test of time. It has become one of the quintessential drinks of the modern coffee shop, but how did it get there? The history of the latte is a long and fascinating tale with as many layers as the art that traditionally tops them.

First, let’s begin with what is a latte? The modern latte is a combination of, typically, a double shot of espresso mixed with steamed milk. They can be made hot or iced and come in a variety of flavors. It is a simple, delicious drink that fuels many people around the world each morning. What we now know as a latte would confuse many of its original drinkers.

Early History of the Latte

Europeans have been mixing coffee and milk since at least the 17th Century. The term “caffe e latte” was first used by William Dean Howells in his 1867 essay “Italian Journeys”. At this point in history, coffee is starting to become a worldwide sensation, but the brewing methods were still very primitive as espresso machines had not been invented yet.

The Invention of Espresso

To understand what they were drinking, let’s look at a brief history of the espresso machine. Italian coffeemaker Illy defines authentic espresso as, “A jet of hot water at 190°-200°F passes under a pressure of nine of more atmospheres through a .25 oz cake-like layer of ground and tamped coffee.” The first patented espresso machine dates back to 1884, but this machine was only able to create a pressure of 1.5 atmospheres. 

Although there were many improvements made over the years, this issue would not be solved until the 1940s. Milanese cafe owner Achille Gaggia changed the game by adding a spring-piston lever to be operated by the barista. This is where the phrase “pulling a shot” originated and is still widely used today though the levers have been abandoned. This also lead to the discovery of crema. Consumers were initially suspicious of the “scum” floating on top of their coffee until Gaggia began marketing it as “caffe creme”, suggesting that the coffee could produce its own cream because of its high quality. There were a few more innovations over the years, but nothing that would impact the drink on such a massive level for a few decades. 

Espresso with Natural Crema
A Freshly “Pulled” Espresso Shot with Rich Crema

The Reinvention of the Latte

Steam wands had been added to espresso machines as early as 1903, but they had just been used to heat and create texture in the milk. In the 1980s, baristas from Seattle, Washington began to “paint” with the highly textured milk and create art to top the drinks. Over time these designs were popularized and spread throughout the world. It is now common practice to finish any steamed drink with latte art.

The latte has seen many changes over the years, but the fundamentals of coffee and milk remain the same. We likely haven’t seen the end of the evolution of the latte. In the age of social media, coffee trends change and spread faster than ever. The only thing we can be sure of is this traditional drink will continue to adapt with the times.

Pour Over Coffee: The Definitive Guide

At Achilles Coffee Roasters, we are crazy about our Pour Overs. While it may take longer than other brewing methods, we believe it is the best way to deliver an incredibly consistent cup of coffee. There are many ways to make Pour Over coffee (Hario V60, Chemex, Kone, etc.), but this will serve as a general guide to improving your brew for any of these methods.

What is Pour Over Coffee?

Pour Over Coffee in Action

Pour Over coffee is one of many brewing methods made popular recently by the rise of Third and Fourth Wave coffee. By continually pouring fresh water over the beans, you can extract more from the surface layers of the beans. It also allows you to have greater control in the brewing process by changing the grind consistency, water temperature, brew time, or weight of the beans used.

Where Did Pour Over’s Come From?

Pour Over coffee isn’t as old as you would think. As coffee grew increasingly popular throughout the 1800s and into the turn of the 19th Century, so did people’s fascination with brewing to improve the flavor in their cup. 

Around 1908, a German woman named Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz was tired of the bitter coffee from her percolator and began experimenting with other brewing methods. She created the first cup of Pour Over coffee by using some blotting paper and a brass pot that she punctured with a nail. Melitta was so happy with the outcome that she released the Pour Over brewers to the public. By the 1950s, the cone shape that we see today was released for sale. To this day, Melitta is still a very well known brand for its Pour Over equipment and filters.

What Makes a Great Pour Over?

As said above, there are many things you can adjust in your Pour Over brewing to improve the overall flavor of your coffee. We’ll go over each individually.

The Water

Water quality is just as important as any other part of brewing a great cup of Pour Over Coffee. We recommend using clean, filtered water, but using tap water at home will not ruin your cup. 

The next thing you want to pay attention to is the temperature of the water. By using water between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit, you can assure that proper extraction will take place. If your water is too hot you will have a bitter, over-extracted cup, and too cold will leave you with a bland, watery cup. Temperature can easily be measured by a thermometer or temperature controlled kettle.

The Beans
Freshly Roasted Achilles Coffee Beans

It’s not only important to use quality, freshly ground beans when brewing Pour Over coffee, it is also important to use the correct amount of beans. At Achilles, we use 25 grams for our 12oz Pour Overs and 33 grams for our 16oz’s. The general rule is 60 grams for every liter of water. A simple scale is a very cheap, handy accessory for this step.

The Grind

A consistent grind is crucial to a consistent flavor. We recommend a Burr grinder. A Burr grinder will ensure all of your grinds are about the same size, unlike Blade grinders that will leave you with an uneven grind. To illustrate why this is important, think of cooking. When you chop all of your ingredients into identical sizes they will all cook in about the same time. However, if you have many large and many small items, the small ones will be overcooked, the large ones will be undercooked and will not taste as good.

The Brew

So you have your water, your beans, and a consistent grind. Now you’re ready to make an amazing cup of coffee, right? Not quite, now it’s time to bring it all together with the brew.

First, we recommend quickly rinsing your filter with hot water. This step isn’t always needed but will reduce any paper flavors.

Second, add your freshly ground beans into the filter and start adding your water. You’ll want to do this in a clockwise motion and make sure you are soaking all of the beans. You’ll want to fill up your brewer about 3/4 full and wait about 30-45 seconds while the water drains. This will allow your coffee to “bloom” and release Co2. If you do not allow the bloom to happen that Co2 will produce off-flavors that will end up in your cup. 

Once the bloom is complete, continually fill your brewer with water in a clockwise motion. Always ensure to wet all the grinds evenly until you’ve reached your desired brew. 

This whole process should take about 3-4 minutes depending on your beans and your grind. Adjust your grind accordingly to change the brew time. A finer grind for a longer brew and coarser grind for a shorter brew time. This will also change with different beans. For example, we use a finer grind for our medium/dark roasts and a coarser grind for our light roasts.


Those are the essentials to brewing an amazing cup of Pour Over coffee. Play around with all of these elements until you are satisfied with your final product. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so don’t be afraid to break or bend any of these “rules”. 

Cold Brew Coffee Wars

Remember the cola wars? Similarly, we might soon see the cold brew coffee wars. The way we drink coffee is dramatically different from the days when Maxwell House and Folger’s were household names. We prepared and consumed it at home using grounds coffee from a can. Furthermore, we certainly were not concerned about origins or tasting profiles. It was hot and it tasted like ‘coffee’.

Cold Brew Coffee

Fast forward 100 years and cold brew is a staple of the coffee lexicon. We are not referring to coffee brewed in a traditional manner and then chilled, we now know that is an inferior way to drink cold coffee. Cold brew is steeped for 12-24 hours at room or chilled temperatures using specialty coffee. As a result, the coffee is smoother, richer, less acidic and more flavorful. This has led to an explosion in the popularity of cold brew coffee as a segment of the packaged beverage market. Market analysts refer to the retail cold brew market as the ‘Ready to Drink Coffee’ market. And it is experiencing explosive growth.

History of RTD

The ready to drink (RTD) beverage market started over 100 years ago. Early carbonation techniques were first developed in the 1760’s. The term soda water was coined in 1798 and then first bottled in the U.S. in 1835.

By the mid 1800’s sweetened flavors made their way into soda water. But the real game changer came in 1886 when J.S. Pemberton created Coca-Cola from a combination of kola nut and cocaine, yes you read that correctly. Then, innovations in bottling and distribution fueled the mass production of RTD’s.

Evolution of RTD Beverages

1760s Carbonation techniques were first developed.
1798 The term “soda water” was first coined.
1835 The first soda water was bottled in the U.S.
1886 Dr. John S. Pemberton invented “Coca-Cola” in Atlanta, Georgia.
1899 The first patent was issued for a glass blowing machine, used to produce glass bottles.
1919 The American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages was formed.
1920s The first automatic vending machines dispensed sodas into cups.
1957 The first aluminum cans were used.
1965 Soft drinks in cans were dispensed from vending machines.
1970 Plastic bottles were used for soft drinks.

In the last 20 years the RTD market mushroomed to include not only sugary carbonated beverages, but also teas, cold press juices, energy drinks, kombucha and most recently cold brew coffee.

Coffee and the RTD Market

According to a senior beverage analyst at Rabobank, the RTD coffee segment will double over the next 5 years. The fastest growing segment of the retail coffee market and worth 6 billion. The main driver is canned, bottled and boxed cold brew that can be purchased just about anywhere. From big box supermarkets, convenience stores and gas stations, cold brew coffee is not just a summertime drink.

Bulletproof Cold Brew

Need more than roasted coffee beans and water in your cold brew? 4th wave coffee player, Bulletproof Coffee, introduced cold brew drinks with performance enhancements such as collagen protein, butter and Brain Octane Oil.

Big Soda and Cold Brew

When you think about coffee its doubtful Coke and Pepsi come to mind. However, both of these big players in the RTD market made strategic moves in order to take advantage of the growing market. Coca-Cola partnered with Dunkin’ Donuts in an attempt to counter Pepsi’s partnership with Starbuck’s. As a result, bottles of coffee are starting to resemble bottles of sugary soda. Even the largest food company in the world, Nestle, joined the game. With its majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, cartons of New Orleans style cold brew are found just about anywhere.

Local Craft Cold Brew

However, the crowded shelves of mass produced and hyper-marketed cold brew is good news for local craft coffee shops. There is no substitute for fresh, small batch crafted cold brew. The masses will get turned on to cold brew via a bottled version at the local supermarket. As a result, they will seek out alternatives that are fresher and of higher quality. When they do local coffee roasters will be ready.

4th Wave Coffee is Here

You probably didn’t notice but 4th wave coffee is here. The proliferation and exponential growth of the 3rd wave players created a new wave in coffee. We have come a long way since cans of ground robusta beans filled the grocery shelves, but the more things change the more they stay the same. Whoever thought we would see instant coffee labeled ‘specialty’? Single origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe for sale on the shelves of Target? Oh and that new specialty coffee shop opening in your city or neighborhood, it might be owned by the largest food company in the world. Welcome to the 4th wave of coffee.

1st Wave Coffee

This was the mass adoption of coffee into the american household. Where brands such as Folger’s and Maxwell House became ubiquitous and synonymous with coffee. Convenience came before quality and innovations in production and packaging paved the way for exponential growth in the coffee industry. Austin and R.W. Hills, the founders of Hills Bros. Coffee, invented the process of vacuum packaging. The dehydration process was patented and instant coffee was born.

2nd Wave Coffee

The 2nd wave of coffee is characterized by a reaction to the mass produced, poor quality coffee of the 1st wave. Coffee should be something enjoyed and experienced rather than just a beverage. Peet’s Coffee and Starbuck’s are easy examples of 2nd wave players. While Starbucks may be an easy target of 3rd wave coffee drinkers, it paved the way for the 3rd wave by introducing the masses to the coffee shop. Other examples that came out of the 2nd wave are, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Caribou Coffee.

3rd Wave Coffee

The 3rd wave emerged as a response to the ‘corporate chains’ of the 2nd wave. Quality took a hit with the prevalence of automatic espresso machines, dark roast profiles and a Starbuck’s on every corner. In the early 2000’s a small Bay Area coffee roaster, Blue Bottle Coffee, appeared at the Berkeley Farmers Market with its emphasis on craft, roasting profiles, origins and fresh roasted local coffee. Blue Bottle and others like Stumptown and Intelligentsia introduced coffee drinkers to a wider variety of roast profiles and origins. Espresso was weighed and pulled from a manual espresso machine. It was hyper local with an emphasis on quality. The antithesis of the Starbuck’s experience.

4th Wave Coffee

Here we are in 4th wave coffee. Its hard to see because we are in the middle of it. Not a reaction to the previous wave, but rather the mass production and marketing of the 3rd wave. According to the SCA there are over 39,000 specialty coffee or 3rd wave coffee shops in the US, in contrast there are 14,000 Starbucks. The 3rd wave exploded in the last 10 years and venture capital helped ignite it.

Characteristics of 4th Wave Coffee

1. Region, national and/or global reach
2. Backed by venture capital and/or corporate money
3. Strong retail presence of whole bean and/or cold brew
4. Highly designed brick and mortar locations

What began as hyper local and craft is now heavily marketed and backed by big money. Pioneers of the 3rd wave, Intelligentsia and Stumptown, now sell whole bean coffee on the shelf at Target next to Starbucks, Caribou Coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts, yikes. Blue Bottle is now majority owned by Nestle, the largest food company in the world. It has a chain of cafes in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Miami, San Diego and Japan. Another major player in the 3rd wave was Philz Coffee, also from the Bay Area. Philz now has 52 locations!

Cold Brew Coffee

A conversation about about 4th wave coffee isn’t complete without mentioning cold brew coffee. In 2013 most people were still ordering ‘iced coffee’. They had yet to experience single origin specialty coffee cold steeped for 24 hours. Nowadays go into any coffee shop, specialty or not, and cold brew is served, most likely on tap. A variety of origins, roasts and even nitro cold brew. If you haven’t had nitro, it is cold brew infused with nitrogen similar to Guinness beer. It produces a rich, creamy cold brew coffee that is a hit, especially here in San Diego.

Cold brew coffee will probably make the most noise in the packaged or bottled beverage sector. There are too many offerings to begin to list here. Read more in depth about the cold brew market here. All the big players are in the game as well as countless regional coffee companies with bottled or canned cold brew in local markets and groceries.

The 5th Wave of Coffee?

If the 4th wave of coffee can be described in a couple of words, Big Specialty Coffee. If the past is any indicator, there will be a reaction to the 4th wave of coffee. In fact, be sure the 5th wave has already started somewhere. Maybe its hyper-local, producer owned coffee roasters and coffee shops? Whatever it is,  with each new wave the coffee keeps getting better.

Flat White vs Cappuccino Do You Know the Difference?

Flat White vs Cappuccino

So, what’s The Difference Between Flat White and Cappuccino? Lately, there has been a lot of talk and debate over two very traditionally different drinks that are slowly becoming very similar.

As the Third wave of coffee is crashing over the world there are a lot of changes being made to classic coffee methods and ideals, from brewing, to technique and the ethics behind the whole coffee experience. We have seen new styles being introduced to coffee for the better half of the last decade. One of the most noticeable changes has come from the many new drinks that involve coffee. Baristas and new coffee shops popping up everywhere are now mixing their coffee with things like tonic water, ice cream and of course milk!

Shot of Espresso Cappuccino Flat WhiteHistory of Flat White and Cappuccino

So lets take a look at two very popular drinks, A flat white and a cappuccino drink. In most third wave coffee shops you’ll find one of these two and or maybe both.


The history of these two drink couldn’t be more different so lets start with the cappuccino. The cappuccino is an age old drink that dates back to the 1900s this drink has been a staple morning drink for many Europeans. The tradition is to have a cappuccino served in a 5-6 oz cup with espresso milk the a semi-thick layer of foam that has been aerated slightly longer to softly lay over the top of the drink. A clear separation between the foam and the espresso.

Flat White

The flat white was first brought to light in the 1980s in Australia and New Zealand. There’s no doubt that the drink draws inspirations from the much older cappuccino but with its own twist. A flat white will more commonly have less foam. In fact the milk will be mirco-foamed for a more silky mixture of milk and espresso. Think of it as a cappuccino sized latte.

There are many baristas alike that have chosen a side saying the Flat white has a stronger flavor with perfect mix of milk and espresso. Others saying that the cappuccino is the drink that best mixes espresso and foamed milk. Sometimes the only difference for some is the vessel that the drink is served in. The more experience you have with either of these drinks you will see a common theme being that the milk is almost always foamed longer for a cappuccino than a flat white.

Next time you go into a specialty coffee shop maybe see for yourself what the differences are between a flat white vs. a cappuccino?

Community Composting Through Local Coffee

Community Composting At Your Local Coffee Shop

The United States creates 30% of the waste in the entire world. However, the U.S. only holds about 4% of the world’s population. That means each American creates approximately 7 pounds of waste per day. And even more dismal, according to a report, landfills will reach capacity in a short 18 years. We live in a world where approximately 30% of the waste headed to landfills is compostable material. This problem has caught the attention of a number of people. Community composting at your local businesses seems to be an innovative way to combat this growing problem.

Community Composting Through Local CoffeeCoffee to Compost

Compost is a mixture of organic materials that naturally decomposes. This creates perfect conditions for bacteria and microorganisms. The process makes a nutrient rich humus which can be used as a fertilizer. At the same time composting cuts back waste that would normally go to landfills. By composting in your household as much as 30% of waste can be recycled into the Earth. Organic decomposing waste that mixes with normal trash creates problems. The material will not break down properly and release harmful gases such as methane. With landfills filling up and the amount of waste only increasing, it’s important to bring community composting into the picture.

Decomposing Coffee

Organisms that decompose the organic material need nitrogen, carbon, moisture and oxygen to survive. In order to create a compost pile that thrives, there should be about two thirds carbon material and one third of nitrogen. The compostable or “brown” carbon substances can be wood chips, straw, newspaper and leaves. The nitrogen or “green” substances act as materials for making enzymes to break down the matter. These include food scraps, lawn and gardening clippings and coffee grounds. However, there are a couple things that should never go into compost. Meat, dairy products, diseased plants or pet manure cannot decompose in the right way.

Composting Fit for You

There are a number of factors that must be considered with composting.Composting can be difficult because it requires   There are companies like Aerobin Composter who make composting bins that do all of the work or aerating and warming the scraps for you. You could make your own composting bin or one that sits directly on the ground. This gives access straight to the soil however makes it difficult to turn and aerate the mixture. An easy option for home composting is an enclosed tumbling bin which turns itself, so all you have to focus on is what you put in.

Community Composting: Food2Soil

Furthermore, in regards to community composting, Achilles acts as a drop off location for consumers who pay for a composting service in urban areas. This service is provided by Food2Soil, who provides customers with their own 5 lb buckets and connects them to participating businesses like Achilles. These businesses have bins for which you can drop your home compost off at and gets picked up weekly by Food2Soil. Ultimately, this helps to bridge the gap in the waste cycle and truly create a community in composting for urban areas.

Costa Rican Coffee – An Introduction for Coffee Lovers

Introduction to Costa Rican Coffee

Coffee drinkers worldwide recognize Costa Rican coffee for robust flavor profiles created from a mixture of favorable growing factors. Following natural gas, coffee is the second most traded good in the world. As of 2011, over 45 different countries export coffee. Surprisingly, Costa Rican coffee beans makes up only 1% of the global coffee trade.


Origins of Costa Rican Coffee

All coffee has origins stemming from Ethiopia where Arabica was born. Through trade in the 1700s, coffee began to make its way into Europe and then the rest of the world. As far as Costa Rican coffee, a naval officer in 1723 obtained a seedling from a coffee plant from King Louis XIV of France. Amazingly, this single seedling made the voyage to the Americas and has since parented every coffee tree in Central America.

Although now, there is a lot more variation due to different growing regions. Seeing how quickly the coffee industry was growing, The Costa Rican government gave farmers free seeds to help boost the economy. As well as seeds, the government also gave plots of land to anyone willing to cultivate the plants. Because of the government’s push in the industry, farmers throughout Costa Rica began to harvest coffee. Of the entire population of Costa Rica, 10% is involved in coffee production and coffee makes up 90% of produce from the country.

Major Coffee Growing Regions of Costa Rica

There are 8 different coffee growing regions throughout Costa Rica that comprise the small 1% of the global coffee trade. The regions include: Tarrazu, West Valley, Central Valley, Tres Rios, Brunca, Guanacaste, Orosi, and Turrialba. Growing in such diverse regions of the country, each coffee creates a very distinct flavor profile. These profiles are variable depending on factors like latitude, altitude, soil type, rainfall, temperature, and processing methods. Of the different regions, coffee from Tarrazu and West Valley account for approximately half of Costa Rica’s coffee production.

Achilles Coffee Roasters Costa Rican Coffee

Favorable factors

Grading all green coffee beans within the global trade is important to maintain high quality. In Costa Rica, green beans are primarily graded by altitude, which affects the hardness of the bean. Higher altitude regions produce harder coffee beans, which are viewed as more preferable. The Costa Rican grading system uses the classifications: Strictly High Grown(SHG), Good Hard Beans(GHB), and Medium Hard Beans(MHB). Strictly High Grown beans grow at an altitude higher than 1,200 meters above sea level. Good Hard Beans grow between 1,000 and 1,200 meters above sea level. Lastly, Medium Hard Beans grow at an altitude between 500 and 900 meters. The Tarrazu region produces 95% of its harvest graded as Strictly Hard Bean, the highest quality grade.

Costa Rica at the Forefront

Throughout Central America, coffee from Costa Rica is known to have some of the best flavor profiles due to the high altitudes. Another interesting reason why Costa Rican coffee beans maintain such a high standard of quality, because it is illegal to produce Robusta beans. Achilles Coffee Roasters sources Costa Rican coffee beans grown in the Central Valley region which has an altitude of about 900 to 1500 meters above sea level. In addition, the Central Valley is where coffee was first introduced to Central America, making the coffee plantations some of the oldest within Costa Rica. Beans grown in this region create a profile influenced by the soil’s tropical acidity creating a bright, citrusy flavor with nutty undertones. You can get some of our very own single origin Swami’s roast of Costa Rican coffee beans here.

Coffee As An Antioxidant – The Health Benefits in Your Morning Cup

Coffee As An Antioxidant

These days everything seems to be harmful to our bodies. However, there are coffee health benefits in your morning cup. Would you ever believe that coffee is a good source of antioxidants? Coffee, as a great source of antioxidants has recently been getting a lot more attention for its health promoting benefits. So maybe you won’t have to cut back on your favorite pour over after all.

Free Radicals vs. Antioxidants

Compounds called free radicals cause damage to cells in your body. They do this to certain DNA and proteins by breaking them apart and disrupting the cell structure. Free radicals contain unpaired electrons causing them to be highly reactive. They can be man-made or natural elements caused by chemicals produced in the body from normal functions or environmental toxins. Unfortunately, these compounds create oxidative stress which can create higher risk of various chronic diseases.

Although free radicals promote oxidative stress to the body, antioxidants help to decrease it. Antioxidants, like those found in coffee, bind to the unpaired electrons in free radicals making them more stable. Therefore, antioxidants help to lower the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes and liver diseases. Ultimately meaning, you can prevent disease through coffee as an antioxidant.

Coffee: The Thoughtless Antioxidant

When you think health, you more likely than not think fruit and vegetables. Using your daily coffee as an antioxidant may be more beneficial. According to Superfoodly, a cup of coffee has similar antioxidant levels to a serving a fruit. It may be more common to have a second cup of coffee than a lot of fruit in one sitting. This is how coffee can provide more antioxidant power. Coffee, as an antioxidant, contains polyphenols which are also good at preventing cancer, diabetes and heart disease. As a result, you can feel a whole lot better about that daily, or maybe twice daily, cup of Joe.


Coffee as an Antioxidant Achilles Coffee RoastersCoffee Is Biggest Antioxidant Source

Within the Western diet, coffee and tea beverages are essentially a staple. Although there are dietary sources higher in antioxidants, coffee is consumed on a much more regular basis. In a study done on polyphenol intake, 79% of consumption came from beverages, while 21% came from food. There have been numerous studies done worldwide concluding that coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants within the populations.

Coffee Antioxidant Power

Although the antioxidant power of coffee is high due to consumption, it is important to know to get other sources as well. Coffee contains a certain antioxidant while other fruits, vegetables and spices have different antioxidants. Certain berries usually have the highest concentrations of antioxidants. However, it is difficult to eat a large amount of berries per day. This is why coffee as an antioxidant can be the easiest source for busy lifestyles. A healthy diet should consist of a balanced intake of these various antioxidants. Try adding some cinnamon or other spices to our favorite medium roast coffee, which contains the highest levels of antioxidants.