Beans, beans and coffee machines: insight from our resident Eddie Catz Barrista Ashley!

Beans, beans and coffee machines: insight from our resident Eddie Catz Barrista Ashley!

Sometimes all you need is a cup of coffee to warm you up on them chilly days. Latte, cappuccino or just an Americano, but what makes coffee shops taste so different? What is actually the different between a Starbucks, a Café Nero and an Eddie Catz cup of coffee?


Firstly, the beans. There are two main species of coffee beans in the world, Coffee Arabica, and Coffee Robusta. More than three-quarters of the beans that are sold in the world today are Coffea Arabica, the majority of the remaining bulk are Coffea Robusta also known as Coffea Canephora. (“Coffea” is the plant that coffee beans come from). Let me tell you a little about them…

Coffee Arabica: These beans are of a lower grade than Arabica, and are typically grown at lower altitude. They are easier to grow and maintain, and they are also more disease resistant and produce a higher bean per plant yield. Robusta beans have more of a stronger flavour and contain a higher amount of caffeine. These are the beans used in most coffee shops including Eddie Catz Cafes.

Coffee Robusta: These are the higher quality beans and are referred to as gourmet coffee. They have half the amount of caffeine as Robusta and have more pleasing flavours and aromatic properties. Most Arabica bean varieties are named after their country or region in which they are found/ originated from.

Beans beans and coffee machines

FACT! Did you know that if you have a great espresso then drink some cold water after it makes the coffee taste almost nutty, like chocolate! This is a reaction of your different taste buds- when you first drink an espresso it starts off as a salty taste, and then reacts with the sour taste buds. By adding water you retract the sour and create a nutty after taste. This is the reason in most coffee shops you will find a jug or tap with fresh water.

Let me tell you a little bit about coffee commercial machines. When people think of coffee and coffee machines most people can only think of two types of machine the manual machine and the automatic machines.

The first manual espresso machine was built and patented in 1884 in Turin, Italy. Manual espresso machine requires a lot of effort from the user. You need to grind the coffee beans, add the appropriate amount of water and apply enough pressure using a lever to force the water through the coffee. You need to invest a lot of time and energy to get a good cup of coffee, barista’s do not always start with a skill for it… but practice makes consistency and that is what a coffee shop looks for.

Automatic espresso machines brew the coffee quickly and are easy to maintain. These machines grinds the coffee beans (and presses it), froths the milk, controls the espresso shot and takes over the entire process. All the Barista needs to do is all beans and keep the machine well maintained.

A barista’s job is to make sure you have the best possible coffee, and sometimes we can even put a pretty picture on the top. (a very tricky skill indeed) also known as latte art. It isn’t just about what coffee you have asked for it is much more than that.

So next time you order a coffee, don’t just think about the drink itself think of it as a labour of love as it’s gone from bean to drink, crop to cup.

We are a young team of Newbury locals and have fun making Eddie Catz a great place for kids. Can be found running around the playframe, cooking fries or dancing in the disco with our young guests!! Some of us have our own kids too!

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