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5 things I learned about a good cup of coffee

May 26th, 2011 5 Comments

Last week I toured the Java Pura roasting facility in Houston.  Richard and Fielding, the owners, gave me a solid education on coffee. I always knew a good cup of coffee was all about the beans, but I learned there’s so much more to it than meets the eye.

  1. You have to find a good roaster who truly cares about the product.  They select the beans from the farms and then determine how they are roasted.
  2. Freshness matters.  According to Fielding, coffee beans are like lettuce in that they don’t last forever.  Look for “Roasted On” date on the bag. Beans are at their best in the first week after they’re roasted and will remain fresh through 2 weeks.  After that, toss ’em.
  3. Location of the roaster matters. If the beans are only good for 14 days, you don’t want to lose 1 or 2 days due to shipping.  So find a local roaster you love and stick with them.
  4. You don’t need milk or sugar in a good cup of coffee.  Having a smooth cup of coffee will depend on the bean you choose and how you prepare it.  I learned I prefer the “pour over” methond (shown left) instead of a french press because it produces a “cleaner” cup of coffee. A pressed cup is a lot heavier.
  5. Cold coffee can be good. A good cup of coffee will continue to taste good at room temperature. I really like it better this way sometimes.

You can buy Java Pura coffee here or Houstonians can pick up a fresh bag at Central Market.  I love the chocolately Sumatra and the Don Julio.

A few pics from the tour so you can see what I’m talking about above.

Richard Colt – owner of Java Pura – showing me how the beans come raw from the farm.  They smell like hay!

Fielding Cocke – the other owner – has learned the roasting process from their master roaster.

Fielding “breaking the cap” in the “cupping” process.  It’s  just as intricate as a wine tasting.

You’ll find you can smell and taste so many different flavors.


I was instructed to slurp up a taste of the coffee so it bursts over my tongue.  Also like wine tasting.

The whole day was so much fun.  Thanks for having me boys!!

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  • Good tips — can I add one more? I just switched over to a Chemex coffee maker. It’s a gorgeous glass pitcher that you pour hot water over, completely low tech but I have seriously never had a better cup of coffee. Worth it for any die-hard coffee fanatic.

    • Really? I’ll have to look into that.

      The guys at java pura also recommended a Chinese tea maker for an even cleaner cup. I want to try it before I blog about it.

  • um…he’s a total silver fox!

  • Kristen

    I was looking on their site “where to buy” and they supply my favorite coffee shop of all time in Ingram, Texas…Spirit Wind Java!

  • M

    As an coffee addict I love this post! thank you so much for all the fabulous info and I’ll definitively keep it in mind all of the tips =)

    Classy & Fabulous